A recent article in New Scientist shines a negative light on our favorite office brew:
Taking a coffee break at work may actually sabotage employees' ability to do their jobs and undermine teamwork instead of boosting it, suggests new research.
Dosing up on caffeine is particularly unhelpful to men, disrupting their emotions and hampering their ability to do certain tasks, suggests a report by psychologists Lindsay St Claire and Peter Rogers at Bristol University in the UK.
Many people take coffee breaks at work believing this will reduce their feelings of stress. But theories about the effects of caffeine are conflicting. Some studies suggest caffeine can worsen anxiety and trigger stress, while others show it boosts confidence, alertness and sociability, making certain tasks easier.
But this latest report, released by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council on Friday, backs the view that coffee exacerbates stress, especially in men, and makes people less co-operative when working in teams.
"Our research findings suggest that the commonplace tea or coffee break might backfire in business situations, particularly where men are concerned," says St Claire. "Far from reducing stress, it might actually make things worse."
Phew, it's only bad news for men. I can still have my coffee and drink it too.