Category • Blog articles

Elevate your office breaks: The ultimate guide to coffee machines and water dispensers

Alex | September 6, 2023

A staggering 82% of UK office workers don’t take a full lunch break and two-thirds eat their lunch at their desk most days. Research also shows that employees in the UK work the longest hours in all of Europe with an average of 42 hours per week. There’s no wonder that 88% of UK employees have reportedly experienced some type of burnout in the last 2 years.

So why should we take breaks?

Taking breaks at work is so important. Breaks have a significant impact on individual employees and the overall productivity and well-being of the workplace. Although it seems counterintuitive from a management perspective, taking regular breaks throughout the day and at lunch actually increases your teams’ productivity. Regular breaks help to prevent burnout, maintain focus, and encourage creativity and collaboration. They also allow your team to return to their tasks and projects with renewed energy and concentration.

Working continuously with no breaks is a sure-fire way to bring stress and anxiety into office life. Not only do regular breaks contribute to better mental health, but they can also support your teams’ physical health.

Breaks provide an opportunity to stand, stretch, and move around, reducing the risk of back and neck problems and promoting better posture. They also encourage your team to stay hydrated and enable them to enjoy a cup of coffee with colleagues or a refreshing water to help refocus.

It’s important to remember that staring at a screen all day is also bad for your health so people should take regular screen breaks. The 20-20-20 rule is highly recommended for office workers. This method has been designed to reduce eye fatigue and it says that every 20 minutes of screen time, people should look away at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Workplace culture

Another important element of taking breaks is the impact it can have on your overall workplace culture. No one wants to work in a job where people feel like their hard work is not recognised, rewarded or appreciated. So if you want to embrace a positive and engaging workplace culture, you’ll want to encourage regular coffee breaks, taking full lunch hours and reducing any excess overtime.

So how can you support your team in taking breaks?

If you’re an office manager, facilities manager or in any management position in the office for that matter, you should lead by example. This means taking regular coffee or water breaks yourself and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Educate your team about the physical and mental benefits of taking breaks, such as reduced stress, improved focus, and increased creativity.

Create dedicated break-out areas where your team can relax or socialise comfortably. Provide comfortable seating, inspiring decor, modern facilities and amenities. And of course, you’ll want to provide office perks like free tea, coffee, water and other refreshments.

We’re going to take our focus to the importance of coffee and water and how these two elements can elevate your teams’ office breaks and support them in staying happy, healthy and hydrated.

Freshly ground coffee and refreshing water

Both of these are key to the successful running of your office. If you’re an office or facilities manager, the provision of coffee and water probably sits within your responsibility. Almost all modern offices have both a coffee machine and a water dispenser of some type. However, with so many makes and models to choose from, which ones are right for you and your team? Let’s take a look together.

Coffee machines

Whilst there are various styles of machines from vending, filter, capsule, espresso and more, most offices opt for a bean-to-cup coffee machine. These use freshly ground coffee beans to give you a rich and delicious flavoured coffee, every time. One of their many benefits is that they’re incredibly easy and convenient to use, maintain and keep clean. All you need to do is fill them up with beans, press a button, and you have a perfect cup of coffee in seconds.

Most of them are plumbed in so you don’t have to worry about filling them up with water, although some do have hand-fill options where there is no water source available. They’re also really affordable working out from around just £4 per day to run.

What’s right for my team?

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing which machine is right for you and your team. You’ll want to think about how many people will use it, what space you have available, what style you like, what type of coffee drinks you want to serve, and also consider your budget, specs and so on.

Whilst you can buy your office coffee machine outright, most of our customers choose to either rent their machine or get it on free loan. A free loan agreement means that you don’t pay anything for the rental of your machine – you simply sign up for a minimum spend of coffee and consumables each month.

And finally, you’ll want to consider a service plan. Office coffee machine suppliers will have different levels of service to cover you in case anything goes wrong with your machine. Here at FreshGround for example we offer an Essentials Plan and a Total Care Plan. Both mean that if you have any issues with your coffee or coffee machine, we’ll get it sorted.

All of our customers have a dedicated account manager who can help with any queries. Our Essentials plan will keep the coffee flowing, however our Total Care plan offers a more comprehensive and premium level of reactive and proactive service. Understand more about which one is best.

With all of that to consider, our team is always on hand to help you with any of your questions and we offer free demos on our machines. If you’re based in the London area, we welcome you to drop into our Coffee Experience Centre where we can organise a coffee-tasting session with you and guide you to find the perfect machine. You can also read our guide to help you find the best coffee experience for your office.

Water dispensers

Next up, we’ll take a look at how a premium water dispenser can elevate your teams’ office breaks. Similarly, with coffee machines, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing what’s right for you. There are several types of water dispensers from the bulky water coolers with huge plastic bottles to the more sleek and innovative undercounter water taps. Out of all of the options in almost all cases, an undercounter water tap will be the most convenient, effective, affordable, sustainable and office-pleasing of them all. Here’s why.

What’s right for my team?

Undercounter water taps are compact, convenient and a super stylish option for most office kitchens, break out areas or meeting rooms. The great thing about these taps is that they dispense high-volume filtered boiling, chilled, ambient and sparkling water – all at a single touch.

The tap itself will be mounted on your kitchen worktop or even over a sink and the main unit is then installed discreetly underneath the counter, usually in a cupboard. They take up very little space so if you’re kitchen is on the small side, it’s not a problem. They come in a range of styles and choices of finishes – all of which have been designed to complement a modern and stylish office decor.

Price-wise, they’re an affordable solution for your office water needs. They start from around £3 per day. Another benefit of getting an undercounter water tap is that it means you’re providing fresh and filtered water to your team meaning they no longer have to buy water and bring it into the office. Not only are you saving them money, but it also supports your sustainability goals as you’re reducing single-use plastic in the office. Simply encourage your team to fill up reusable bottles or glasses, and help reduce your carbon footprint. For tea lovers, they’re a dream as you don’t have to wait for a kettle to boil. Just hit the tap and get fresh boiling water to make your hot drinks in seconds.

With regards to service plans, our range of undercounter water taps are available on exactly the same terms as our coffee machines – Essentials and Total Care. Check out our full guide to choosing your water tap.

Get in touch

Finally, our team are always happy to help so if you’re not sure about which coffee machine or water dispenser can help to support your team best in elevating their office breaks, just contact us.