Yes – this may be a weird title for a blog but I have been observing some behaviours focused on the Coffee machine in our office.

Now here are some observations – 80% of the team use the coffee machine on a daily basis, some are strictly 1-a- day people, others have an addiction!

There are some interesting behaviours associated with the use of this machine and here are some competencies I have witnessed…


Most of the team use it daily but not all care about their teammates in relation to the coffee machine – test this out in your own office!

How many times do you go to get your caffeine hit and… ah… there it is the flashing red light that indicates the water needs filling; the container needs emptying;  there are no beans in the hopper… which are you?

When the red light is flashing after you use it do you:

  1. Walk away and think that the next person will do it
  2. Fill the water so it is ready for your colleague to use

This is very useful information and interesting human behaviour to observe – you can probably figure out who the real team players are in your office by this simple observation.


Some may argue that a caffeine injection is motivating in itself but a simple thing like a coffee machine coffeemachinemay actually be pretty motivating, it connects people!

When you wait for a coffee to be made you generally have a conversation with someone that you may not necessarily have on a day-to-day basis. Usually, it is informal and not work related so you connect with people on a personal level.

It also acts as a mental break – is it a tool for mindfulness?

Leading by Example

Who cleans the coffee machine? There is no roster, it is not in anyone’s Position Description… (not in our office anyway) but some people take the responsibility to clean it and ensure it is clean and safe for all to use – others just assume the cleaning fairies will come into the office overnight and they will clean it.

Can the Coffee Machine be a predictor of Leadership traits?


According to Coffee Republic’s website:

“A high quality selection of coffee have an effect on everyday operation which should not be underestimated. It not only promotes well-being, but also enhances the performance of employees and their ability to concentrate, thus ultimately affecting work motivation and company success as a whole. Using an Automatic Coffee Machine to serve great coffee to your employees, guests and customers expresses your commitment to excellence, care and appreciation.”

Now I don’t know if there is a statistical link or any research to back this up but I like the pitch Coffee Republic!

In such a strong coffee culture as we have here in Australia, the coffee machine is an important part of the day–to–day working life of an office environment.

Please sit back and observe who displays which competency – find out the team players who lead by example and let me know if it is a predictor of team effectiveness!

Stephen Cushion – General Manager; Consulting


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