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The Coffee Break at HP
Coffee breaks were a regular ritual at Hewlett-Packard facilities. Twice a day, employees from all levels and departments — including Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett — would gather around refreshment stands for complimentary coffee and snacks. The breaks’ informality fostered socialization and community spirit throughout the company, but they also facilitated creative thinking by giving people the chance to exchange ideas and problems outside of company-directed channels. The coffee break ritual was so popular that it became an internationally recognized part of the HP Way — an employee could travel to a facility on the opposite side of the world and still know just what to do if he or she heard the coffee break chime sound.
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