Coffee: The Glue that Holds a Team Together

By: Marie Donlon

In news that probably shouldn’t be all that surprising: drinking coffee results in greater teamwork, according to research from Ohio State University.

In a first-of its kind study, researchers looked at the impact of coffee on a group instead of on an individual and discovered that people working within a group offered more positive reviews of that group’s performance if they consumed coffee before the group meeting. Likewise, in a related study, caffeinated people were more likely to readily talk and interact with those in their group than those who only drank decaf coffee.

“We found that increased alertness was what led to the positive results for team performance,” said Amit Singh, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in marketing at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“Not surprisingly, people who drank caffeinated coffee tended to be more alert.”

To reach the conclusion that coffee improves teamwork, the research team looked at over 70 undergraduate students, all of whom were coffee drinkers. The groups were split into different subgroups, where some were given coffee before they were expected to complete group-related tasks, while others were given coffee after the tasks had been completed. Those that had been caffeinated before the group work offered a more positive assessment of the performance than those that had been caffeinated after the group work.

The study appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.