Caffeine addiction: employee coffee trips costing British businesses

One in ten people leave work four times or more each week to pick up coffee, a new study reveals.

The average worker spends just over 22 minutes a week nipping out to coffee shops to satisfy their caffeine habit. That’s nearly 18 hours a year.

With the average British pay packet now more than £500 a week, that means our caffeine fix is costing bosses £259 a year per employee.

And with the UK’s workforce numbering the best part of 32 million, that equates to a mind-boggling £8.2 billion a year – roughly 0.4 per cent of GDP.

The survey – by ethical coffee suppliers Honest Coffees – shows that 11 per cent of people leave work once a week to pick up a coffee, with ten per cent stepping out two or three times, and the thirstiest 10.6 per cent leaving four or more times.

And it would seem men are the biggest culprits, 37 per cent make regular trips out to cafes to pick up a takeaway coffee – and just 24 per cent of the fairer sex following suit.

Men are also nearly four times more likely to risk the wrath of their bosses by leaving ten or more times a week to fuel their coffee consumption. The average across both sexes is 2.3 per cent.

And it’s not just the employers who are are out of pocket: Our habits cost each of us an average of £150 a year – enough to buy a 32-inch TV or a week away in the Canary Islands, the Algarve or Tuscany.

That should give you some food for thought the next time you fancy popping out for an espresso or latte!

Wyatt Cavalier, founder of Honest Coffees, says, ‘We know that Brits love their caffeine so it didn’t surprise us to see how often we were popping out for a cup of coffee but the numbers make quite scary reading.

‘However, the fact that men are four times more likely to go out and get a coffee is an interesting insight into the nation’s coffee habits.

‘As an employer you might not always think about this kind of stuff but when you see the figures in black and white it does put things in a different perspective. It’s amazing how much having decent coffee in the office could save British businesses, the numbers speak for themselves!’

Further reading on coffee

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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One reply on “Caffeine addiction: employee coffee trips costing British businesses”

  1. So its a way of advertising a coffee machine & supplies – by indicating that businesses are losing money/productivity by people nipping out for a coffee, so keep them inside.
    Well, most people work beyond their ‘contracted’ hours so nipping out could be seen as a readjustment. Also, people are told to take breaks & walk around – what better way & you get fresh(?) air at the same time, meet other people & come back refreshed & keener than before your coffee break.

    More time is lost each year by people researching holiday deals online I would suggest.

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