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May 18, 2007 10:35 AM

Non-Coffee Drinkers Left Out in Workplace

I do drink coffee, but I prefer to drink my cup while I get ready in the morning. Plus, I really prefer not to drink the drip stuff when possible...anyway, to my issue. I work in a very coffee centric office. Coming up the stairs to the suite, the coffee smell always hits you. There always has to be at least one pot (if not two) made at any time of the day. Our budget covers bags of premium coffee at full retail price that we get from a local roaster. Even as a coffee lover, I think it's a little out of hand because of the fact that this is an office, not someones' home. So, now that you know the environment, here is my issue. The office is smallish (less than 20 people), and only about half of those people drink coffee. Those that do drink it at work drink copious amounts in excess of what seems normal. The rest of us have to either make do with the provided water, bring drinks from home, or buy from the vending machines or grab and go places in the area. I personally think that considering there is $100 worth of coffee in the pantry at any given time, there should at least be a few cases of soda in the pantry as well for the rest of us. Budget is not an issue here, as we spend way to much money on some ridiculous things. So, $30 or so a month on soda seems like it wouldn't be too much to ask, considering that we spend way more on coffee. Any opinions?

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  1. Well, I wouldn't go to soda, personally, but having some quality tea available sounds like it would be fair. Provided bottled or water cooler water would be a huge step up for my office.

    1. Our office is small (25 people). We provide bottled water from the cooler (with which we make the coffee, as I think the tap water isn't good in my workplace town), coffee, and tea. If someone wants sodas or fizzy/fruit waters, they bring it themselves.

      Having worked at a company back in the late 90s that provided coffee, tea, water, and also bought cases of soda for "company gatherings", as well as buying fresh fruit on a weekly basis, I can say that there are those that always used the free items in excess, and sometimes took sodas when they weren't for company gatherings...until the President caught them at it and put a stop to it. :-)

      But providing bottled water and/or teabags for tea is the least the company should do for you if they provide coffee for everyone else. Have you approached whoever handles buying the premium coffee for the company?

      1. I've only worked in one place that provided sodas, and it got completely out of hand. People will drink as many cans of soda in a day as the coffee drinkers drink cups of coffee. Coffee, even the gourmet stuff, is far less expensive than sodas when you look at it ounce per ounce. It would take a lot more than $30/month to fuel your office with sodas. But I do think that regular and decaf teas and bottled water/cooler water is appropriate.

        1. Since budget is not an issue, I don't think it would be unreasonable for the company to provide some nice refreshments for the non-coffee drinkers. We actually have the opposite problem in my office - we have sodas, bottle water, several flavors of sparkling mineral waters, hot chocolate, a variety of teas AND some sort of brown sludge that they try to pass off as coffee. I have mentioned that if they spent a little more and bought reasonable coffee, that we would save a lot in lost productivity because people wouldn't be running down to Starbucks all day long. But it has fallen on deaf ears.

          1. I would agree with the others that tea should be provided -- both regular and herbal. At one of my workplaces, they too have pots of coffee out. I bring my own tea and don't mind doing so as they would probably stock Lipton. About the soda, my sister worked for a firm that offered water, soda, coffee, tea, fruit, potato chips, pretzels, cookies and granola bars. While she was able to refrain for the most part (think she just had an occasional seltzer), she said that it probably hampered worker productivity with the employees muching and drinking all the time.