Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 103

82 barista magazine job, but offering breaks is something that can help give a small compa- ny an edge above others, even if the breaks are only 15 minutes," says Kendra, who worked as a barista for almost a decade before she found a company that permitted breaks. "Busy shifts suddenly became less tiring because I knew there was time I could have a snack and just sit down and get some fresh air. Not only do shift breaks give baristas a chance to properly hydrate and feed themselves, but they also give them some space to recharge so they can deliver great hospitality," she says. At Narrative, Maxwell takes active steps to ensure baristas have the ability to mitigate emotional burnout as much as possible. In addition to encouraging staff to use paid sick leave for mental health as well as physical, management at Narrative check in with staff fre- quently to determine whether they feel valued, seen, and heard. "We also try to ensure that our staff knows that the level of hos- pitality we require can be draining and that it's OK to have to take a break from guest-facing positions from time to time," he says. To accomplish this, Maxwell's team actively shifts workers around to other aspects of the business when possible to allow employees to get a little more balance in their daily work routines. "This can be really freeing for folks who have to expend more emotional labor to take care of guests to know that they're wanted on the team regardless of what positions they were hired to fi ll." Maxwell acknowledges there are lim- its to this—at a base level, your business only has so many openings in it and space within it—but emphasizes that making changes to the structure of your team as you're able can go a long way. He also recognizes there are factors outside the café that are out of anyone's control, like home situations, tragedy, mental-health challenges, and more. "The best way to work through those is to ask your staff questions of how you can best support them in their unique situations. Maybe that looks like not talking about any of that at work. Maybe it looks like helping pay for part of counseling sessions. Maybe it's to give someone space to disappear off the fl oor and do dishes for a while. These aren't always immediately doable, but the best thing you can do is just ask," he says. Exhaustion and mental fatigue Another pitfall of barista work is the tiredness that comes from a grueling schedule with early opens and late closes. Not only does exhaustion make it harder to think and perform well at work, it increases chances of injury and hinders the immune system's ability to fi ght off illness. Kendra recommends making sure staff get two consistent days off in a row (a "weekend" they can look forward to regularly), and avoid- ing "clopens" unless absolutely necessary. Taking that a step further, the ideal situation for alleviating barista exhaustion is to give them as much schedule consistency as possible. Well worth it "When baristas feel valued, seen, and supported, it mitigates physical, emotional, and mental wear and tear," says Kendra. "When baristas feel safe, heard, and supported, they are often more eager and willing to show up ready to work. Good communication and recognizing the daily work that goes into smooth and successful retail operations both help facilitate an environment where everyone leaves feeling happy— the staff and the customers they're serving." There are so many ways in which baristas get burned out, but with every opportunity for injury or fatigue, there's an opportunity for thoughtful, effective, and compassionate solutions. When baristas feel good, everyone wins. Portland, ME // June 1 Nebraska // July TBA Michigan // August TBA MINIS IN THE WORKS: Albany // August TBA Colorado Springs // Sept. TBA NEXT IN 2019 NEXT IN 2019 NEXT IN 2019 NEXT IN 2019 CAFFEINECRAWL.COM FIND EVERYTHING AT coffee tea chocolate = the best Visit stand #H20 at World of Coffee in Berlin to find out why Sweetbird sugar-free Salted Caramel syrup rated so highly with consumers. Just one of 52 vegan approved Sweetbird syrups made in Bristol, UK. /hellosweetbird Part of the BTB family

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Barista Magazine - JUN-JUL 2019