Death of the Tea Break: or why people refuse to make tea

I was disappointed to see on BBC Breakfast that many more colleagues are failing to make cups of tea for colleagues. Read the article. Whether they don’t feel they have time to make tea for colleagues or in fact they feel it is ‘beneath them’ to be asked to make a round of teas for the team, they are missing an opportunity.

mug of tea

It is a good opportunity to have a few moments break from your work. Rest your eyes; stretch your legs and arms – and refresh your mind! It is also an ideal opportunity to connect with your team and bond!

I had an assistant 4 years ago. She had an excellent degree, but she didn’t know how to make a cup of tea, didn’t want to learn to make a cup of tea, but was happy for me to make one for her.  It took four months before she made me a cup of tea and was then sold on the idea of the benefits. When she moved to her new job, she fully appreciated the “tea run”; she got to speak to people that she wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise. She was able to raise her profile easily within the large organisation, and to network with people straight away.

I know there are team members, who aren’t really team players. They only make tea (or coffee) for themselves.  They wait for everyone else to be out when they make tea, or they make an awful tea so everyone refuses to drink it. There is also a shift in attitude to tea making. Some people think it is beneath them to be asked to do this task. Everyone to their own, but actually it is a great opportunity to start networking with people you wouldn’t normally speak to – particularly as a junior member of staff. That’s the reality!

Also, if there are serious deadlines, and we all have them, it is great to re-group and have a 5 minute break for a ‘cuppa’ to re-energise and regroup: check everyone’s on task and TALK!!!

So when you slink off to the coffee making machine on your own, think about what you’re missing: if you offer to make a tea/coffee for a colleague you might find out about another opportunity in the company or even raise your profile!

The post Death of the Tea Break: or why people refuse to make tea appeared first on The Executive Voice Coach.

About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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1 Response
  1. Thank you very much for sharing this!

    Tea breaks are such a great opportunity to build work relationships. I always used my breaks to connect with people, not for any gain but because I liked it! But to my surprise, I even had some promotions or opportunities because I built those friendships. Even though I don’t drink coffee or English tea anymore, it is still a great conversation starter – herbal or fruit tea anyone? – you can imagine the funny looks I used to get.

    Enjoy your day