Work and Wellbeing · 23 December 2019

Office etiquette tips when making hot drinks for colleagues

brew round

When it comes to office politics, there’s one thing that takes precedence above everything else: the hot drinks round. Some people see the brew round as a perfect opportunity to make colleagues a tea or coffee safe in the knowledge that, in an hour’s time, theyll return the favour.

But, as we all know, others manage to skirt around the unwritten rules and take more than they give.

Tea and coffee cultures differ from office to office, so we decided to carry out a survey to determine, once and for all, the rules of engagement that surround hot drink rounds.

Here’s what keeps the nation’s caffeine habit ticking over?

The hot drink etiquette survey results

Hot drinks etiquette is so important in some workplaces that over half of those surveyed consider it to be bad manners to make a drink without offering colleagues one too.

Age has something to do with it, as we found that 71% of people aged 18-24 thought it was impolite while only 43% of those aged 65+ saw the injustice.

We also uncovered a group of people who choose to stay out of the hot drink routine altogether, with just over one-third of people saying they never offer at all.

Etiquette takeaway: Offer to make a hot drink for colleagues to avoid them thinking you’re rude

While you might feel like you’re always making brews for your colleagues, in reality only a quarter of people in the office make at least 1 hot drink a day for a colleague. 18-24-year-olds make the most hot drink rounds per day, with 1/3 of this age range making 4+ rounds daily as they try to prove themselves in the office.

Blowing everyone out of the water with their hot drink generosity, 1% of workers make 7+ hot drinks rounds a day!

Etiquette takeaway: Reciprocate the generosity of young and eager hot drink makers

Opinion is divided when it comes to who you should offer a hot drink to in the workplace.

11% of people will offer the entire workplace a beverage, a quarter of people will only ask colleagues in their immediate working area, and 35% will make a beeline for their work best friends.

1% of people might have ulterior motives with their approach to making rounds, saying that they only offer their boss a drink.

Etiquette takeaway: don’t feel pressured to ask everyone in the office, just the besties will do

When it comes to what drinks are fair game in a brew round, 57% of people are more than happy to make instant coffee or a cup of tea while only 3% will make you a herbal tea.

Unexpectedly, cold drinks are out of the question too, with only 7% of people happy to top up your water or get you another cool beverage. We noticed a slight gender split in willingness to go the distance in the hot drink round, with nearly 1 in 4 women happy to make any hot drink for their colleagues, whilst only 1 in 5 men would be happy to do the same.

Etiquette takeaway: don’t ask anyone to make you a herbal brew or cold drink coffee and tea only



Stephanie Bradburn is the Social Media Manager at?rijo42, the home of commercial coffee machines and premium coffee beans. She loves coffee (obviously!) and believes in good brew?etiquette in the workplace.

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