Coffee is top tipple for improving performance

Drinking
coffee and meditation are the best ways of improving short-term mental
performance according to Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics at Reading
University

Speaking
at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual training
conference, HRD 2004, Warwick’s assertions are based on a study of more than
200 students at the Reading University which shows that short-term performance
is actually hindered by orange juice and last-minute revision.

Warwick
told an audience of HR and training professionals that these lessons can be
applied to similar situations in the workplace such as job interviews.

He
said: "What seems clear, but surprising, is that many of the so-called
‘bads’ such as coffee and alcohol have a positive effect on short-term
performance, whereas many of the ‘goods’ such as listening to classical music
and drinking orange juice do not come out of the study so well."

Warwick
also painted a fascinating picture as to how we will undertake learning and
training in the future. He believes that learning will become an automated
software exercise; where people download appropriate software to learn new
skills such as languages.

His
comments follow his participation in a recent experiment aimed at finding out
what happens when electrodes are fired into the main nerve fibres of the body.

"Employers
will no longer select job candidates on the basis of what they know, but on how
good people are at accessing the software that will give them new
abilities," he said.

"The
interviews of the future will need to consider job candidates’ implants, rather
than their skills and aptitudes, and reject those that are incompatible with
their own operating system. The message for the future is simple – either
implant or exit."

By Mike Berry

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