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Is your office enjoying a tea break?

By Andrew Butcher – Commercial Copywriter

I don’t know about your place of work, but in this office the regular conveyer belt of tea to desk is vital to what we do, especially in the mornings and afternoon, plus one for lunch. Every now and then we even stop for a quick gas, to revitalise our mood, restock our creativity, and rest our eyes from the dratted screen, lest they turn square and prove Mother right.

But according to recent research we are now in the minority, as more than half of workers would rather head for their caffeine boost than flick the kettle on and have a natter. According to research by The Office Coffee Company, 47% of workers prefer to visit their local coffee shop than make a drink in house. In fact only a third of UK offices even provide a kettle for staff, down from 44% last year.

But why?

Most sources commenting on the issue seem to extol the virtues of a tea break, providing the opportunity to do everything from resting your eyes, to coming up with your next great idea.

In fact, according to Bupa, taking a tea break can be good for productivity AND good for your health;

  • Stop eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision by resting your eyes from the screen
  • Ease the tension in your body by getting up and walking around
  • Help you stay alert – research has found fatigue comes in many forms; sensory, cognitive, intellectual, physiological – a short break can refresh you
  • Help release stress – too much stress is obviously not good for your health, and can affect your work negatively

And if that doesn’t convince you, Richard Branson is a fan, “Having a cup of tea is not only tasty and refreshing, it gives you a moment to stop and think without distraction. Whether it’s to have a chat with a friend, ponder a business idea, or watch an inspirational video, the simple act of enjoying a cuppa can give you the time you need.”

He continues “All over the world, but especially in the UK, cups of tea provide a great excuse for colleagues to join together and have a chat. There’s no end to the great ideas dreamed up by people talking around the kettle or the water cooler.”

And that’s the point; the most important benefits of a tea break are reasonably unmeasurable. At the very least, they give us a chance to have a laugh and enjoy the company of our colleagues, most of the time.

Does it even matter? We can’t make a decent cuppa anyway...

An entirely different survey suggests that we don’t even know how to make a decent cup of tea in this country, with 37% of us not brewing our tea for long enough to ‘release maximum flavour’ – two to five minutes incidentally. Even worse, 31% of brewers are putting the milk in first (when making a tea directly in the mug, obviously making tea in the pot is a completely different scenario).

So is your place of work one of the remaining few fighting the good fight for tea breaks? And who are the inadequate tea makers you try to avoid?

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