Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh, Say It Ain't So for My Cup of Joe ...

I came across this article in the Harvard Business Review:

Caffeine Cuts Men's Ability to Collaborate Under Stress

When it comes to collaboration on stressful tasks, caffeine impairs men's performance but boosts woman's, according to research led by Lindsay St. Claire of the University of Bristol in the UK. The researchers say their laboratory study raises the question of whether men "fight or flee" while women "tend and befriend" under stress, and whether caffeine somehow intensifies those behaviors. They also ask whether coffee at business meetings might have the effect of sabotaging collaboration. 80% of the world's population consumes caffeine daily.

Source: Interactive Effects of Caffeine Consumption and Stressful Circumstances on Components of Stress

What can I say, does this mean when times get tough, don't bring in any more coffee? I used to say that Coffee, Cigarettes, and TV were the three great evils in the world. Items which destoryed your mind without you being aware of it. Of course, TV is the worst. But, as I have gained more experience, that morning cup of coffee is just something that now I would be hard pressed to do without. However, I have become spoiled as my cousin runs a gourmet coffee shop and keeps sending me samples, what can be said, I'm in.

But, coffee is a business staple. Show me a business that does not supply free coffee? Not only that, when the stress is on and everyone starts camping out in a war room, show me one that doesn't always have a pot of coffee on the table?

So, take this to heart, and as hard as it may be, next time you have the all hands on deck type of event, tell the men to leave their coffee back in their office. This just could be the secret to a more productive and productive solution to the problem.

Who would have thought ???