Would you like a tea or coffee? Whether it’s time out in the kitchen or sipping a hot brew at a desk, as a nation, we love a tea break. Yet in a time of economic fragility, can we afford such pleasantries? Is it time to remove the mugs, cancel the cuppa’s and turn off the kettle for good?
Research into the financial impact on businesses of having hot drink facilities for staff, has thrown up some interested findings, but what is the impact of The Great British Brew Break.
So why keep the kettle?
Organizational Psychologists Helen Hughes and Mark Robinson, from Leeds University Business School, suggest that despite the financial impact, the wider benefits of tea breaks may substantially outweigh their costs.
“Tea breaks provide an opportunity to chat with colleagues, strengthening the social ties that bind people to their organisations. By helping people feel that they belong in an organisation, they can therefore help reduce staff turnover.
“Furthermore tea breaks provide some respite from mentally and physically demanding work, reducing stress levels and increasing concentration and motivation when people resume work.
"People tend to solve problems at work by talking to the people that are in their network, and very often these are the people in their work team or who they sit near. A tea break may be one of the few opportunities that people have to network, by chatting to, or bumping into, colleagues who are not in these circles. Chats of this kind can also be a great opportunity to share knowledge and news about work-related issues, thereby improving performance and efficiency.”