A considerable 44% of us have five or more every day and it’s so important to us, that it’s even enshrined in law.
Wondering what it could be? It’s the humble tea break. There are few things that will come between an employee and their cuppa, and rightly so – regular tea breaks can benefit wider business.
Shockingly, a recent survey conducted by the Royal Voluntary Service of 1,200 workers found that that two out of five employees had never enjoyed a cup of tea made by their boss. While the MD placing a fresh brew on every employee’s desk may not be practical in some of the nation’s larger companies, it’s a sure-fire pick-me-up for the staff who enjoy this occasional recognition, and a simple way for employers to demonstrate their consideration.
Legally, most workers are entitled to a 20 minute break for every six hours they work, but Bupa recommends taking short breaks every hour or so by putting the kettle on, for example.
When employees take time out of the working day, there are benefits for employers too. Bupa claims it increases productivity by reducing the number of mistakes a worker makes when they carry out a repetitive task.
While ‘collaboration’ may be a business management buzzword, few would deny that communication is at the heart of a happy and successful business. 80% of office workers now claim they find out more about what's going on at work over a cup of tea than in any other way, according to the Tea Council.
It seems to be that tea breaks have become enshrined in the workplace for good reasons, and that employers should do all they can to preserve this.
Those looking for another reason to make time for a tea break should visit the Royal Voluntary Service website. Between 28th April and 4th May 2014, the charity will be helping prevent loneliness among older people by raising money through ‘The Great Brew Break’. Find out more about the initiative here.
For more information on tea at work, visit the ‘workplace’ section of the Tetley Tea Academy.
Top tips for encouraging tea breaks in the workplace:
- Make your break-out area inviting. Offer comfy chairs or cushions, and if you can, position your tea-making area in a quiet area of the building to encourage conversation.
- Stock a wide range of blends, including fruit and herbal teas, not everyone may enjoy black tea and staff can feel especially well looked after when they are allowed to develop a personal favourite.
- Making a cup of tea for someone else can be a complicated task! To encourage tea rounds, draw up a ‘tea preference’ chart, which notes down everybody’s preference for strength, milk and sugar, and post it above your tea-making area.
- To avoid queues at the kitchen counter, instant hot water taps and dispensers can speed up the tea making process – although we think there’s nothing better than catching-up a over a boiling kettle!