Wednesday, January 16

Worker Productivity Gains and the rise of Starbucks... an early morning thesis

As I poured the last thin cup of coffee from the office Coffeematic and gathered the supplies to brew a fresh pot, an interesting thought occurred to me. My stand on coffee has always been "if I can see through it, I won't even bother" - which is to say, the stronger the brew, the better. I usually scoop four or five heaping tablespoons into the filter, completely filling it, and filling the office with the strong aroma of freshly brewed joy. My coffee gets rave reviews from my co-workers, the real coffee drinkers among us, who bad-mouth the first weak pot brewed up by the earliest man to arrive (a greying inside-salesman with a penchant for nicknames). People seem to really perk up after their second cup of coffee, which is invariably brewed by myself, and I wondered if our office environment is an analog of our capitalist nation at-large. I decided to do a little digging (very little, as I am working while I research this bit of blog) and try to compare worker productivity (a fitting real-world measure of worker "perkiness") with the rise of that infamous coffee titan, Starbucks.

First: The Meteoric Rise (or... a coffee shop in every pot)

Second: Busy Little Bees

So in comparing the graphs my early-morning, pre-caffeine postulation may in fact have a bit of weight behind it. The rise in nation-wide, strong-brewed coffee doled out to early-morning risers may indeed have increased worker productivity. My research for these graphs also indicated that American worker productivity had stagnated up to the early 1990's, and that technology developments and Clinton-era psychology had important effects on productivity gains. I however hold up this simple truth.
Good Coffee makes for Good Workers!

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