Coffee is known the great networking tool. It can sometimes seem as though the entire business world runs on coffee, from the caffeinated buzz in the office breakroom, to the popularity of the “coffee meeting.”
Business Headquarters: The Coffee Shop
Today’s business world looks radically different than it did even a decade ago. As of 2014, about 10 million people were self-employed. That means that the local coffee shop can double as a rent-free workplace with a short commute.
For the self-employed, consultants, salespeople and networkers, the coffee shop can be an invaluable, safe meeting place. Business Insider equates the cultural belief that mastering a skill requires 10,000 hours to the idea that networkers should aim for “50 Coffee Meetings” in order to reach entrepreneurial nirvana.
A coffee meeting should be part of your networking strategy because nearly everyone associates positive feelings with a coffee shop—the atmosphere, the comfortable furniture, and of course the menu itself keeps everyone coming back for more, as thousands of daily coffee shop business meetings can attest. A 2008 study found that the act of holding a warm cup of coffee prompted its owner to attribute warm feelings to strangers and even find them more trustworthy—so the positive feelings of your dream job’s hiring manager when sipping his coffee may just land on your application for employment.
Coffee can also grease the career wheels within the office. In a national study on how coffee gives careers a boost, 20 percent of those surveyed claimed that the beverage was responsible for opportunities to network with co-workers.
The Original Energy Drink
Looking to get ahead in business? Eventually, you’ll probably find yourself working longer hours—getting up earlier, leaving the office later, skipping lunch—and caffeine suddenly becomes your best friend. It’s the world’s most famous stimulant, dispensing 400 million cups of energy every day and throughout the day. A study at Rice University found that caffeine actually increases endurance, so you can work longer without feeling fatigued. Those long hours go hand-in-hand with a good supply of hot coffee—that’s why you see it in every office in America.
The Entrepreneur’s Swiss-Army Knife
Coffee is “the Swiss-Army Knife of Networking.” Business success is inextricably linked to coffee, whether it’s the setting, the buzz, or even the paycheck—a recent study in the United Kingdom actually determined that coffee drinkers get paid more than those who drink tea, and a different study found that 77% of senior managers in the UK choose coffee over tea.