Managing Director of Paulig Coffee Lenita Ingelin is happy in her work when she can see her colleagues grow and flourish. Great coffee is an essential part of an inspiring working environment, and according to Ingelin, coffee culture at workplaces is developing in leaps and bounds. “I believe that in the future coffee breaks will be utilised in new and creative ways at workplaces, such as idea creation in teams,” says Ingelin.

The Head of Paulig Coffee Lenita Ingelin can clearly remember the coffee moments of her childhood in her grandmother’s kitchen in the small town of Porvoo. The atmosphere was always positive and warm. Wisdom and life experiences were passed on from one generation to the next. Lenita mixed as much cream as coffee in her cup and dipped her cinnabon bun in the coffee. “My children learnt to drink coffee the same way at their grandmother’s house,” tells Ingelin.

Coffee is the glue that keeps people together

Nowadays, Ingelin drinks approximately four cups of coffee a day. She thinks there are different types of coffee moments: Having a cup of coffee can be your own brief moment of calming down. Coffee stimulates and help you to organise your thoughts. It can also be a reward. On the other hand, coffee is social glue. Ingelin loves to have a cup of coffee together with her colleagues and friends. As such, coffee has an important place in the hearts of Finns.

“I believe that coffee significantly contributes to happiness, too. Social moments focusing around coffee are very significant. Coffee is an important part of our everyday life. I think we might be the only country in the world where coffee breaks are recorded even in employment contracts,” says Ingelin.

At the workplace, Ingelin believes that shared social moments increase the efficiency of work. High quality coffee also communicates to the employees that they are valued. A coffee break can also be a manager’s tool, if you want to see it like that. And if everything with coffee isn’t in order, people will surely be complaining.

“I believe that in the future, quality coffee will play an even greater role for companies in attracting the best talents. Coffee culture at workplaces is also developing quickly. In the future, coffee breaks will surely be utilised in new and creative ways, for instance, for idea creation in teams. This will translate as new kinds of solutions when designing work premises,” says Ingelin.

You’re happy when your colleague is happy

Choose your attitude! That is Ingelin’s motto as a leader and in life in general. You can always affect your own attitude.

“Your own attitude has an effect on your happiness. A positive attitude makes everything smoother and increases your happiness a little bit.”

According to Ingelin, happiness is having the basic building blocks of life in order. Life should include interesting challenges and things that balance them out. Living in the moment is important, too.

“You should be able to enjoy everyday situations. Happiness cannot just be waiting for your next holiday or similar rewards. You have to enjoy what you have right here and now,” says Ingelin.

In her work, Ingelin is happy when she sees employees growing and flourishing. People around her give her so much energy. This can also be seen in her leadership.

“I am people-focused by nature. I want the team to participate in the design and planning right from the start and discuss ideas together. This will crystallise everyone’s thoughts and make for better plans that everyone recognizes are their own. It makes me happy when people achieve targets together. I enjoy facilitating and enabling the success of the team. That’s when I feel I have succeeded as a manager,” says Ingelin.

The little big things

The sustainability of the world’s natural resources and, through that, the availability of coffee in the future is a topic that engages Ingelin.  She believes that companies’ long-term sustainability work as well as people’s small choices can affect the bright future of coffee.

The significance of sustainability is continuously increasing in Ingelin’s values. She believes that people are deeply concerned for the future of the earth. That’s why contributing through small choices and actions is more important than before for people who no longer expect “someone else somewhere” to fix things. 

“When you drink sustainably produced coffee, you can feel making a difference. The world takes a tiny step in a better direction. Last autumn, in Costa Rica, which is one of coffee’s countries of origin, I understood really how many different phases there are even before the coffee is on its way to us in Finland. I have immense respect for the work of the coffee farmers.”

Would you like to go grab a cup of coffee?

Someone asking you for a cup of coffee may have a very special meaning. The best case scenario is that nothing will be the same after the coffee moment. This happened to Ingelin.

It was the year 1984, Boxing Day. A young man rang the doorbell of Ingelin’s home and asked Lenita: “Would you like to go grab a cup of coffee?”

“Our journey together has now lasted for more than 30 years. I definitely recommend asking people out for coffee,” says Ingelin with a smile on her face.