Fuelling the workforce with coffee could make the UK £42.7 billion a year richer


A new survey has been carried out to the British workforce to discover what makes UK offices happy and productive.

Those who have access to coffee machines at work reported that they were productive for an average of 24 minutes more each day than those who didn’t have fresh coffee on tap. If every worker had access to a coffee machine, the UK economy could save a staggering £42.7 billion through increased productivity.

It pays to have a happy and productive workforce, especially as the UK is largely driven by the service industry – our people are our power.

Despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, a surprising 80 per cent of people are already happy in their workplace. It seems to be the little things that increase happiness with 86 per cent of those who are provided with fresh fruit in the office reporting to being happy at work, whilst biscuits can be said to be the way to a British worker’s heart with 91 per cent of people who are provided with biscuits and treats as standard in their office being happy in their workplace.

Sven Hock, co-founder and CEO of Service Partner ONE says, “Investing in your office workspace really does payoff when it comes to increased employee happiness and productivity. Not only do people prioritise working in a happy office environment over extra holiday days, but by providing a little extra as standard such as fruit, snacks and beverages, you can dramatically increase your workforce’s productivity and output.”

“In fact, we’ve discovered that a staggering 90 per cent of the British workforce would prefer to have a really happy office environment, with great complementary amenities every day of the year, rather than be given an extra day holiday but work in an unpleasant office environment with poorly serviced amenities.”

The average worker takes 2.8 sick days a year, with 1.5 of these days being taken as ‘sickies’ due to being unhappy at work. It seems that salary isn’t everything with those on an income of £65,001-£75,000, more than double the national average of £26,500, are the most likely to take a sick day due to being unhappy with an average of 3.5 days taken a year. In contrast, those earning £25,000 or below appear to be some of the happiest at work, with them taking an average of just 1.1 days off sick due to being unhappy at work, the lowest of any salary bracket.

It seems that how many people you work with also has a direct relationship on how happy you are at work. Those in companies with over 500 employees are the most likely to be unhappy at work, with 27 per cent stating they are not happy. Whilst those in companies between one-nine employees are the happiest overall, with 88 per cent saying they were happy.

By moving towards a serviced office model such as those provided by WeWork, which provides great perks as standard, the UK could massively increase productivity. We all know that the job itself, our salary and who we work with has a major impact on how happy and productive we are at work, but by improving the office environment and providing simple perks such as fresh coffee and fruit, you can dramatically increase happiness and productivity at work.

Table of sick days taken vs. ‘duvet’ day taken due to unhappiness at work for different sectors


Sector Average no. of sick days taken a year Average no. of sick days taken due to unhappiness at work
Healthcare 2.5 0.8
Travel & Transport 1.8 0.8
Education 2.5 0.9
Manufacturing & Utilities 3.2 1.1
Arts & Culture 5.7 1.2
Professional services 2.1 1.3
Retail, Catering & Leisure 2.3 1.3
Sales, Media & Marketing 2.8 1.5
Architecture, Engineering & Building 2.4 1.6
Property/Real Estate 3.1 1.8
Legal 3.8 1.9
IT & Telecoms 3.5 2.1
Technology 3.8 2.1
Tourism 1.8 2.1
Finance 3 2.4
HR 4.3 3.1
Other 2.2 1.2