More than 11 million of us are now homeworking as we live through the pandemic but while most of us have not missed their commute or having to wear a suit, we have really missed our office tea breaks, according to a new survey.
The poll of more than 1000 Brits commissioned by the UK Tea and Infusions Association (https://www.tea.co.uk/) revealed that four in 10 of those who are working from home yearn for their work tea breaks. The number 1 reason given was the lost opportunity to catch up with colleagues (44%) followed by the chance to take a break from the desk (35%). Homeworkers also miss having a cuppa made for them or to feel part of the team.
Dr Sharon Hall, Chief Executive of the UK Tea and Infusions Association, said: “Over 80% of those in our survey said that the tea break was much more than simply drinking a cup of tea. Sharing a tea break helps to build connections with colleagues, give staff a much needed break from their desks, boost everyone’s mood, and create an opportunity to catch up on news. Younger workers under 30 were more likely to appreciate these aspects of sharing a communal cuppa.
“And while many of us continue to work from home or work in a split time across the working week, with a day or two in the office, we are all still enjoying drinking tea. In fact, 6 in ten say they are drinking the same amount while nearly 4 in ten are drinking more – but they are really missing the social aspects of the workplace tea break”.
An interesting finding from the UK Tea and Infusions Association survey was that 57% of people reported feeling more connected with colleagues thanks to the tea round and claimed sharing a cuppa was good for teambuilding. When asked how they would feel if handed a mug of tea at work, 37% said ‘thankful’ while 28% said ‘great!’. However, the pandemic has made nearly 6 in ten wary of having colleagues make them a brew when returning to the office, with most raising concerns about handwashing and following Covid rules.
Dr Sharon Hall added: “While it’s great that we are keeping up with our tea habits – and staying hydrated at home – nothing beats a good tea break with its few moments of calm, team building or catch-up chat! As restrictions ease, people will enjoy coming together to share a cuppa together.”
 Homeworking hours, rewards and opportunities in the UK: 2011 to 2020 – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
 Survey conducted by Perspective Global on 1012 nationally representative UK adults, Spring /Summer 2021