Smart Coffee is our thought-leading hot beverage model that combines our deep knowledge of the category with the real science behind how the right hot beverage solutions could inspire productive behaviours in a way that significantly contributes to a more effective workplace.

But to understand how we might achieve this, and truly ‘think smart’ about choosing the right hot beverage solutions, we first need to understand the four key behaviours of work productivity and how they could be influenced with Smart Coffee.

What behaviours contribute to increased work productivity?

Person selecting a hot beverage from coffee machine


This behaviour is all about the productive mental state known as ‘flow,’ which is when we experience deep concentration while working on our own, free of any interruptions or distractions. But this behaviour is very fragile in that, when we do manage to achieve a state of flow, any one of these distractions or interruptions can immediately shatter its effect and leave us open to mistakes, missed deadlines or any other behaviours we would describe as ineffective. 

Take the open-plan office design as an example. During the Smart Coffee development, we found that this common layout could be one of the main inhibitors of work productivity, so naturally we wanted to understand what it was about this familiar set-up that might limit us from developing the behaviour of individual state of flow and focus. With this behind us, we focused on the realistic changes that could be made to the design in a way that would boost this style of productive behaviour without businesses incurring massive expenses or insurmountable logistical challenges.

Smart Coffee aims to encourage and maximise this state of uninterrupted focus on individual tasks.


Within a structured meeting, work productivity takes the form of ‘optimised teamwork.’ This type of behaviour is often seen in one single team of engaged people who make room for collaborative thinking and open discussion. 

Sadly, not all workplaces will have the luxury of seeing this productive behaviour come to life on a daily basis. The statistics are particularly telling - 73% of people multitask during meetings, 71% of senior management consider meetings to be unproductive and inefficient time wasters, and 64% see them as a drain on valuable individual focus time rather than being a tool for driving quick results. 

Smart Coffee work productivity tips could help businesses consider how to breed productivity within team meetings and inspire collaboration between different teams as well.

woman talking to a colleague holding a cup of coffee


Interacting face to face with each other can be a far more effective form of communication than starting a group email chain, chatting on Zoom, or messaging on Slack. Take into consideration one of the stand-out insights from the Smart Coffee concept: different teams are 9 times more likely to interact if they’re on the same floor. 

Now, most businesses will want the teams that overlap to communicate in the most effective ways possible. Of course, within one team we’re naturally more likely to interact and speak face to face with our colleagues, but it takes much more creative thinking to encourage two separate teams to come together, whether that’s formally 
in a meeting, reactively in passing, or in casual collaboration. This is where the face-to-face aspect really comes into play as one of the key productivity tips in the workplace.

Being 32 times more effective than any other form of workplace communication, face to face communication is the main driver in encouraging different teams to interact. But that’s not to say that we now subscribe to the open-plan office design — far from it. Studies show that this style of design decreases face to face interactions by 70% due to an over-reliance on email or a perceived lack of time to focus.

Smart Coffee could encourage teams to make the jump from email or instant messaging to face to face communication, and part of doing that is through facilitating smarter breaks using strategically placed hot beverage solutions.


The final productive behaviour explored in Smart Coffee is that of the ‘unplanned interaction’. These are the spontaneous exchanges that we’re all familiar with - think of the times you’ve run into a colleague in the car park or quickly chatted to someone you didn’t know when you’re both in line for a coffee. It’s these micro meetings that are the foundation of the ‘strength of weak ties’ theory that this behaviour is built from - sparking ideas between people who might not ordinarily work together, but who could provide true value in this moment of unplanned interaction. 

Needless to say, encountering this type of productive behaviour has been almost non-existent during the pandemic, but as we start to get back into the physical office, Smart Coffee looks at how we all interact across the workplace and how we can facilitate these moments of spontaneous interaction once again.


We know that businesses will always want to drive a more productive culture, but what might be some of the challenges that they’ll need to meet first? One of the main issues faced by many businesses is a lack of structured plans in place to support productive behaviours and ‘limited’ to ‘no capacity’ available to deal with any current issues upon returning to the office, like the impact of open-plan offices, unproductive meetings draining time, or a lack of team interaction despite them sitting under one roof or working from home.

We’ll be taking a look at these work productivity challenges in the next edition of Coffee Notes, but to give you a little taste of what’s yet to come, here are just some of the key questions we’ll be aiming to answer:

  • How do we get employees to see the value of the office post-Covid?
  • How can we drive unplanned interactions in the re-opened workplace?
  • How can we encourage people to take better breaks?
  • How do we do all of this without huge expense and reorganisation?

For more information on how the right hot beverage solutions could inspire productive behaviours in a way that significantly contributes to a more effective workplace, download our Smart Coffee Playbook.