Why free coffee matters

We may all take free tea and coffee at work for granted, but drinks and food, when given out in the right way, can be a major attraction for many employees.

The BBC has highlighted some of the generous lengths gone to by technology companies and City firms to make sure their employees are well fed and watered at all times. Apparently staff at Google’s offices in New York are never more than 150 feet away from some kind of food.

One of the arguments for being accommodating to employees is because this works towards Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’ for human beings, with food one of the most basic ones. If these and other primary needs are taken care of, employees can ultimately progress to ‘self-actualisation’ and a more complete commitment to their work.

Some experts believe that perks work best when not all are routine. Pamela Yeow, senior lecturer in management at the University of Kent, says that rewards given for a good month or as a result of achievement, can be more motivating for employees: “It shows you realise people are working hard and you want to reward them.”

So, when it comes to catering orders, give some thought to what might put a smile on people’s faces, help them to feel rewarded and give them an incentive to work even more effectively moving forwards.