Coffee Courtesy in Shared Workspaces

Coffee etiquette in the work place can be something of a minefield. We suggest establishing the ground rules before you rush into brewing your first workplace pot of coffee.

First impressions count for a lot, so if you’re new to an office, you should definitely observe the rules of coffee conduct.

Work environments can be stressful and if you can make a good coffee for you and your colleagues without upsetting anyone in the process, you’ll do well in most offices across the country.

Here are some things to consider before you start spooning coffee into your cup or the machine.

Who Provides the Coffee / Who Pays?

Most workplaces will provide hot drinks free of charge for their employees. This is not always the case, though. It’s best not to make an assumption. Establish who provides the coffee before you go anywhere near it.

If your workplace does not provide the coffee, it’s likely that colleagues will contribute to the coffee costs. In some workplaces, staff brings its own supplies, in which case you’ll be carrying a bag of finest Café Altura.

Who Makes the Coffee?

The making of the coffee can be the most awkward aspect of the whole coffee break scenario. Do people make their own? Do they offer coffee to the whole team? And if the answer is yes, then where does the offering of coffee stop? If you aren’t careful, you could end up making 25 coffees in one go, which might make you friends, but cause some friction when you miss deadlines.

Watch those around you and take your lead from your team mates.

If you have a pot or caffetiere and work in a small office, perhaps the first person to arrive will brew the coffee. If you have a coffee machine or people use instant, or work in a large office where people do their own thing, people are more likely to make their own.

Observe or ask questions. You’ll be glad you did.

Mug Selection

You make a brew and sit down happily with your steaming mug and take a sip. An email arrives. It’s Sandra from accounts.

The email contains a description of the mug you are sipping from and offers a reward for the head of anyone who has it on their desk.

In a shared workspace, there are likely to be shared mugs, plates, and spoons. Unless you want a bounty on your head, however, it’s best not to make assumptions. This is perhaps especially the case when it comes to coffee. A coffee break is more than just a break; it’s a pleasurable ritual that people look forward to and the effects of a good coffee break are long-lasting, empowering workers mentally and physically for hours afterward.

If someone’s ritual involves using their mug from home, don’t get in their way. There’s nothing like putting a downer on someone’s morning pick-me-up.

One of the first things you will need to discern as part of your morning workplace coffee routine is which mugs are safe to use.

Find out if your office provides mugs? Do people bring their own? Are special cups reserved for senior management or client visits? This information must be learned if you are to successfully navigate workplace coffee culture.

Here at Café Altura, we suggest taking your mug into the office to personalize your experience and enhance your enjoyment of this fine beverage. When you have coffee as fine as Café Altura, you are taking care of yourself and investing in your enjoyment of coffee. Use a mug, therefore, that makes you happy, is the perfect size, and that is available whenever you need it!

Office politics can be difficult to navigate, but it’s easier to get off to a good start if you ask questions and follow the lead of your colleagues. Don’t assume that your new workplace is like the last place you worked at.

When it comes to coffee courtesy, the trick is to not inconvenience anyone with the way in which you enjoy your coffee break. Keep the area clean, don’t forget to take coffee orders if that’s how your office does it, and don’t use other people’s things unless they say that you can.

And if you know how to make the perfect coffee, you’ll soon be on the way to making allies left and right.

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