Tuesday 17 January 2017

The end of the tea break? Workers fear that their boss thinks they’re slacking

Published 17/06/2015 | 10:10

Researchers analysed more than 2,000 workers and found that 20pc feel that they take less breaks than they did five years ago.
Researchers analysed more than 2,000 workers and found that 20pc feel that they take less breaks than they did five years ago.

Employees are taking fewer tea breaks than they did five years ago because they fear their boss will think they’re lazy, new research has revealed.

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The study found that one in four employees felt that they weren’t allowed a tea break, while 50pc revealed that they simply did not have the time.

Researchers analysed more than 2,000 workers and found that 20pc feel that they take less breaks than they did five years ago.

The survey, conducted by tea maker Tetley, also reflected poorly on the boss population as it was found that only two out of five bosses have made a cup of tea for their employees.

Male employees were found to be the sneakiest tea breakers, often making themselves a cuppa without asking any of their colleagues. Other sneaky tea tactics included offering to make a cup of tea for everyone after a pot has already been made.

Meanwhile, the research found that the average office worker downs four cups of tea each day, with advertising staff drinking the most and administration drinking the fewest.

Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James commented: "Fewer tea breaks reflect the increasing pressure people feel they are under at work. Whereas in the past taking a tea break was seen as a valuable social activity in the office, it is now beginning to be seen as an unnecessary indulgence and waste of productive work time.

"Yet research has indicated time and time again that striking a balance by taking short breaks during the working day increases people's productivity and creativity."

A recent study found that more than two thirds of Irish people aren’t sure how much break time they are legally entitled to throughout their working day.

The research found that 70pc of workers are unclear about how much time they should spend away from their desk at lunch-time and other points during the day.

Half of the workforce admitted that they never slip away from their desk for a quick cup of tea and 70pc dished that they don’t have time to even put the kettle on.

In Ireland, an employee who works a typical eight hour day is entitled to a 15 minute break as well as an hour for lunch.

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