Procurement · 27 September 2017

British employees spend over 100 hours a year on tea breaks

Tea is still the favourite hot drink of over half of UK workers
Tea is still the favourite hot drink of over half of UK workers

The average British worker spends 109.6 hours per year making tea and other hot drinks, as new research has found that the vast majority of staff believe regular refreshment breaks increase productivity.

Some 87 per cent of workers feel that taking tea breaks boosts their ability to be creative and productive in their role, with most of us wanting to take four breaks at work each day on average.

A survey, conducted by household goods company Appliances Direct amongst UK employees, revealed that seven minutes was considered the optimal time needed to take a tea break, meaning that outside of their designated lunch break, respondents felt they’d be most productive with breaks totalling 28 minutes per day.

Tea remained overwhelmingly British workers’ drink of choice, with 56 per cent of the survey’s respondents saying it was their favourite hot drink. Despite coffee being more popular in the UK than ever, it came in second amongst the favourites of workers with just 38 per cent of the vote.

In terms of the professions in which workers took the most tea breaks, staff in professional services, including those in many desk-based roles, were found to take the most, spending 141 hours per year on average on tea breaks.

By contrast, the country’s healthcare workers spent less time taking tea breaks each year than any other profession – just 23.5 hours on average.

Offering up some advice for employers to ensure workers remained motivated and productive, Appliances Direct manager Mark Kelly said: “Whether you work at a desk, in a shop or a factory, or on a building site, getting away from your workstation for a few minutes at regular intervals will aid productivity as it allows you time to stretch your legs and gather your thoughts before heading back to it.

“The survey revealed some interesting findings about the nation’s workplace break habits, and it’s great to see so many Britons are taking regular breaks throughout the day to grab a drink. It would also be beneficial for those workers who are based indoors to try and get some fresh air too, if time permits.”

Read more: Employees reveal their most motivational workplace leadership qualities

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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