Want Your Employees To Be More Ethical? Give Them Coffee.

May 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm

*Cue bosses loading the kitchenette cabinets with bags of coffee – a new study suggests that the stimulant helps keep employees honest.

According from a new research from Journal of Applied Psychology, just two cups of caffeinated coffee can aid sleep-deprived workers in resisting the unethical influence of other employees.

David Welsh, co-author of the report, explains that it takes less effort to go along with an unethical behavior when you’re sleep-deprived but caffeine can give these individuals extra energy to resist this behavior.

Here’s what happened –

Volunteers for the study were put into situations where they were encouraged to go along with a lie in order to earn extra money. All participants were kept awake the night prior, however half of them chewed gum that contained 200 milligrams of caffeine – the amount found in two cups of coffee. Those who had chewed the caffeinated gum were more likely to resist the situation while the others were more than willing to go along.

All in all, the unethical behaviors were a result of lack of sleep. However, with employees working longer hours and getting less sleep, employers need to realize that the results aren’t always positive for the company or the individual. By providing caffeine in the workplace as well as implementing overtime restrictions, these behaviors can be avoided.