Have Your Cake

19th April 2017

In praise of the tea break

Or how GBBO might supports GDP…

The UKs productivity is in the spotlight again as the Green Party call for the introduction of a three day weekend, as a self confessed tea fiend I’ve been pondering how a cuppa & a hob nob might boost GDP.

British workers it’s claimed spend an average of 24 minutes a day making or fetching hot drinks.

It’s a sobering thought that UK workers spend only a tiny percentage of their time in work improving their skills & confidence, essentially we spend more time drinking tea than learning a skill.

How can we leverage the power of tea further?

I’m thrilled to read research suggesting that making & drinking a cup of tea boosts mood and enhances creative problem solving.

Occupational psychologist Cary Cooper agrees saying breaks are an essential part of coping with sedentary office life and yet many of us are too busy to reach for the PG Tips. Russell Hobbs claims that 20% of workers reckon they are just too busy to make a brew.

Phew that means that 80% of my work makes might join my tea round.

People tend to solve problems at work by talking to people that are in their network, a tea break may be one of the few opportunities have to network by chatting to or bumping into colleagues who are not in these circles.

Some organisations are so bought into the ‘ collision ‘ idea that they are designing workspaces designed to maximise chance encounters.

Collision and chance encounters really are felt to improve engagement and performance.

Tea is a caring, inclusive ritual, I would suggest making a new starter, your team or a visitor a proper brew as just a lovely thing to do.

Many of my initial meetings are secured by offering to buy tea & a bun.

I can attest that folks that make me just the right shades of builder’s tea are investing in my good will!

Combined with cake the tea ritual offers additional benefits, who hasn’t experienced the joy of an office bake - off or cake day? There’s nothing like discovering Barry’s gluten free beetroot based brownies or that Raj makes a mean Lemon Drizzle. Isn’t that a step to discovering authentic stuff about workmates?

5 Reasons to take a Tea Break

  • Tea is a complex drink offering many benefits contains theanine linked to relaxation & lowered blood pressure
  • It gives your eyes a rest – reduce eye and brain strain with a Tetley & a Tunnocks**
  • Talking shop – questioning those returning from a tea break 72% of tea drinkers reported engaging in conversation with a colleague, 69% having work related conversations
  • Caffeine can gets a bad rap but consumed in moderation caffeine levels restore jaded functionality to a normal state
  • It gets you off your backside – a short walk to the kettle is long enough to do a few stretches. The World Health Organisation lists inactivity as the fourth biggest killer

*Great British Bake Off

** Tunnocks is the world’s best selling delicious caramel wafer – I keep bugging them for a factory tour, they are resisting my advances