The office coffee pot is one of the ultimate “work perks.” Not only does it keep you caffeinated and focused on the task at hand, but it’s also usually free. According to MarketWatch, more than one in three Americans spent more on coffee last year than they invested, likely due to some people spending more than $2,000 per year at coffee shops. All the more reason to savor every last sip from the office coffee pot. But is your office coffee safe in the wake of COVID-19?
As states begin to reopen and offices and businesses around the country prepare to return to work, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidelines to help prevent workplace exposure to the virus. Offices are encouraged to conduct daily health checks, conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace, implement policies and practices for social distancing, and improve the building ventilation system. The CDC also recommends employees wear a cloth face covering at work, which we think just adds a little flair to your work wardrobe.
As for your favorite work perk, the CDC recommends replacing high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as pre-packaged, single-serving items. This doesn’t mean that office coffee needs to be a thing of the past!
How Companies Can Help Make Office Coffee a Safe Perk
Here are some steps we recommend taking to help increase safety and allow you to continue enjoying coffee at work:
- Bring your own mug from home and wash it with soap and water after each use.
- Ask your employer to replace the community office coffee pot with new single serve solutions, such as Coffee Blenders single cup pour overs and teabag style coffee pouches. Not only do we think these are more hygienic options for today’s working conditions, but you will also be drinking high-quality coffee using 100% arabica beans that are directly sourced.
- Ask your employer to provide disinfecting wipes or bring your own to work to use when preparing your coffee:
- For T-bag style coffees heat your water in the microwave, wiping down the handle first or wear disposable gloves;
- For pour over style coffees heat water in a disposable cup to pour over your coffee or use a communal electric kettle that you either wipe down first or wear disposable gloves.
- Limit the number of people gathering in the workplace kitchen or breakroom with signage and guidelines for how many people can be there at once; wear your mask and keep six feet apart from your co-workers;
- Consider having more than one “coffee station” in the office to help eliminate kitchen gatherings;
- Wash your hands with soap and water before returning to your desk to enjoy your delicious single serve cup of coffee.
Our lives will be forever changed by the pandemic. We hope you continue to stay safe as you return to work. Safety first, then coffee—here’s to your health.