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Modern office: Free coffee isn’t enough. It has to be fancy

Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

No more instant: Picky employees are increasingly driving companies to offer high-end coffee, with demand causing firms to go "a bit more niche and independent," the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: "Dedicated coffee-makers ... are one example of the caffeinated offerings that some companies deploy to keep their employees productive, happy — and in the building."

"Employees expect not just coffee, but high quality ground beans on tap. They will make their voices heard if they’re not happy with this coffee," Glassdoor's Jo Cresswell told FT.

  • Each floor of Goldman Sachs’ City of London headquarters has a coffee bar, including one that serves single-origin coffee.
  • Co-working landlords like WeWork actually brag up their "micro-roasted coffee bar," a major departure from the days of the tepid instant variety.

By the numbers:

  • U.S. "instant coffee sales declined from $949m in 2013 to $817m in 2018," per FT.
  • Fresh coffee sales grew 18% in that period, from $11 billion to $13 billion.

The bottom line: For happy employees, dump the instant and get the good stuff.