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Coffee Potlatch

Where you work, do you have a shared coffee pot for the entire office? Do you have one of those newfangled single-cup brewing machines? Or do people stop off somewhere on their way to work — and after lunch?

In today's Financial Times, Stefan Stern suggests that how you serve coffee at work carries a message about your corporate culture.

It strikes me that the single-cup brewers, rather than be more efficient and economical, might be wasteful and overly focusing on individualism. Likewise, making people leave the office for their joe also seems isolating, rather than collaborative.

Perhaps the coffee pot is akin to the proverbial water cooler. Do you help your employees and team members gather and collaborate, or do you separate them?

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  • Dave Waters

    Delightfully Pinteresque post ... unfortunately we have a Flavia machine. The drinks it makes taste *disgusting* and the amount of landfill it produces is unforgiveable.
    I have had to resort to my own teabag stash and two shots of their nearly-boiling water (in my own Fast Company mug!)

  • Hamish

    At my previous job we went from a communal pot, which no one used, to several different iterations of single cup machines back to a cafeteria-style dispenser back to a single cup machine. I found that a quick meeting could develop even in the few seconds it took to brew a single cup or fill my cup from the dispenser.

    At my current job, I drink tea.

  • Trevor

    We have small corporate convenience stores located in several of our HQ buildings. The coffee (served from carafes) is surprisingly tasty and the tables directly outside the stores have become an impromptu meeting and socializing area for employees on breaks.

  • Doug

    We went from a single, communal pot to a single-cup machine. Seems to work pretty well, once we got the bugs worked out of the machine.

  • Joe

    Ha! In my company large cafeteria/kitchen/snack rooms are provided. Free food/snacks and free beverages such as water, juice, tea, coffee are offered. The whole area functions as an informal, ad hoc meeting room. People from various depts meet randomly, chat about their business/projects/kids/last night's TV etc. The coffee is in large urns and it is bad.

    A small group of co-workers and I bought our own Keurig and make our own coffee at our desks.