For reasons that seems fairly silly to me, there has been a lot of attention paid in the last few days to the “news” that Translink staff get free coffee at the office. As it happens, I know why that is, as I was personally acquainted with the person who made that decision. And it was based on purely financial concerns. There was previously the usual arrangement of staff collecting money from their colleagues and buying the necessary supplies. There was a significant amount of time spent, during working hours, administering this system and collecting the money in cash. The calculation was quite simple. If the employer took over the administration of the coffee supply, then the time saved more than compensated for the cost of the coffee. By having a contractor deliver the supplies, and having one for all the offices, there was also real saving in the cost of those supplies compared to retail prices: but it was the staff time saved that clinched the argument.