Time for tea? Five tips for the office tea round

Office workers around the country dread their turn to make the tea. So here are our top tips to help you get the most out of teatime

By Tim Gibson

Oh cripes. It’s that time again. You’ve finished the latest job on your to-do list and reach for a celebratory slurp of your tea mug. But your heart sinks as you tilt it lip-wards. Rather than refreshing warm liquid, you realise it’s full of cold milky yuck, or, worse still, nothing. 

    The office tea round is one of life’s necessary rituals. It’s a reflection of the democracy of a working environment, where everyone takes their turn.  

Now’s the moment where you look, furtively, at your colleagues. Can you get away with sneaking to the office kitchen and making a refill just for yourself? In your heart of hearts, you know that won’t do. Everyone’s taken their turn to make you a brew throughout the day. It’s very much your turn to step up and boil the kettle. 

Sound familiar? The office tea round is one of life’s necessary rituals. It’s a reflection of the democracy of a working environment, where everyone takes their turn. So how do you survive the daily travail? Here are our tips to help.

1. Get in early

The longer you put off your turn, the more onerous it becomes. By mid-morning, you’ll be stuck into work and won’t relish the interruption of making 17 cups of tea, to different strengths, some with skimmed and some with semi-skimmed milk, and all with varying amounts of sugar. 

Far better to be the early bird. Make the first cuppa of the day, and it’s over and done with. Then you can sit back and enjoy the steady flow of refreshing liquid that comes your way for the following seven hours, secure in the knowledge that you’ve Done Your Part and are now beyond reproach. 

Unless you have a policy of two tea rounds per person per day, of course. In which case, you’ve only yourself to blame. 

2. Make a list

It’s amazing how few people think to undertake this simple task. Make a list of the hot-drink preferences of everyone in the office: a simple chart detailing who takes sugar, how much and what type of milk they prefer, and whether they’re on caffeinated or decaff, or prefer the taste of Earl Grey. Then stick it above the kettle, or on a convenient noticeboard. 

That way, everyone knows what’s required when teatime comes around. So the only question to ask is, “Who wants a brew?” And everyone knows the answer to that one…

3. Have a policy on exceptions

Are you the person who will only drinkloose-leaf oolong, which has to be brewed for at least six minutes and served in a hand-crafted cup from the local pottery? If so, it may be best to withdraw from the tea round and make your own. 

But you’ll need to know whether that exempts you from making everyone else a cuppa while your fancy tea brews. So ask the question – or better still, just expect to take your turn in the kitchen. After all, you’ll be in there long enough…

    Everyone needs a drink. So why not make a virtue out of necessity and turn teatime into a treat?  

4. Set up a kitty

If you’re lucky, your employer will provide the basics for hot-drink preparation: instant coffee, teabags, milk and sugar. But you may decide to share the cost of additional items, such as decaffeinated tea and coffee, or specialist blends. You may also want to keep a biscuit tin handy, and ensure it’s always topped up with chocolate digestives and custard creams.

The best way to organise this is a kitty, with each person contributing an agreed amount on a regular basis. A couple of quid a month should cover it, and ensure teatime is that little bit more enjoyable.

5. Use teatime as a bonding opportunity

Everyone needs a drink. So why not make a virtue out of necessity and turn teatime into a treat? You could start a tea- or coffee-tasting club, working your way through different varieties to expand your horizons, and keeping tasting notes that you can compare with colleagues. 

How about taking it in turns to bake biscuits or cakes, maybe following themes like “favourite flavours”, “superheroes” or “childhood memories”? That’ll provide a chance to learn more about each other, and enjoy the fruits of your efforts in the kitchen, too. 

Some offices set up book clubs as a way of aiding staff bonding. This seems like the perfect activity to combine with a shared enjoyment of tea or coffee. Simply brew up once a week for a cuppa and a literary chat. You’ll soon see a whole new side to the people you sit with every day.

Published: 5 September 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd. 

Or would you like some help with your employee team building read our - How to create the perfect team-building exercise 
 

Jobs currently available

New job
Graphic Designer
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910168
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Graphic Designer on behalf of a company based in Colchester, Essex.

They are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Graphic Designer to join their team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an exciting company as they rapidly expand nationwide.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and producing marketing material for nine businesses across the UK
  • Each business has their own distinct brand identity, so you must be willing to adapt as the situation demands
  • Manage the production of their 300 page brochure
  • Design other promotional material; for example posters and flyers; for use in their sites
  • Liaising with 3rd parties to design and produce physical promotional materials
  • Negotiating prices
  • Experience with website design is preferable
  • Experience with running business social media accounts also preferable

Experience in a similar role or relevant qualification is a must for this opportunity

  • Relevant extensive experience in design programs - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver - is required
Read more
New job
Designer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910167
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based near South Woodham Ferrers.

This is a fantastic opportunity if you have a Product Design background and can offer Retail or POS Design experience.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Create new products, including 3D designs, prototyping and testing
  • Execute robust design process and continuous improvement
  • Take client brief either from Account Manager or Client
  • Time management and planning workload with Head of Design
  • A ‘can do’ attitude

Qualifications:

  • Excellent level of knowledge using SolidWorks
  • Good level of knowledge using Adobe Suite
  • Experience with the POS sector would be advantageous
  • Product Design degree would be preferred
  • Good problems solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good Word & Excel skills
Read more
New job
Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £16,500 - £17,000 per annum
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910164
About the role

Just Recruitment is working with one of Suffolk’s most promising mortgage companies. Established in 2014, this company is looking to take on a skilled Administrator to support its rapid expansion.

Your duties will include:

  • Supporting the mortgage brokers in their day-to-day activities
  • Electronic Filing and record-keeping
  • Checking and submitting mortgage applications
  • Progressing cases
  • Speaking to members of the public, both in-person and over the phone

Ideally, you will:

  • Have experience in an administrative role
  • Possess an excellent telephone manner
  • Be diligent and detail-oriented
  • Be highly computer literate, including familiarity with Microsoft Packages
  • Have a great sense of humour

Working hours:

35 per week – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm, with an hour off for lunch

Read more
New job
Warehouse Operator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910163
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based in Sudbury Suffolk.

Your daily duties will include:

  • Ensuring that the warehouse is kept tidy and organised
  • Unloading and checking of deliveries in
  • Checking in goods
  • Putting away products within the warehouse
  • Picking products as per customer orders
  • Checking orders, ensuring accuracy
  • Packing orders to ensure safety in delivery
  • Loading deliveries
  • On occasions take responsibility for the locking up procedure for the Warehouse/Site

Working hours:

Split shifts: 6.00am – 2.30pm / 2.00pm – 10.30pm

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • Suitable applicants will ideally have current Forklift licences for Counterbalance, Pallet Truck and Flexi
  • Good level of Numeracy and Literacy
  • Intermediate PC skills
  • Preferred NVQ Level 2 Warehousing or equivalent
  • Prior knowledge of Warehouse Management Systems
Read more
Equity Release Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910156
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Equity Release Advisor to join an established company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

  • A CeMAP / Equity Release qualification
  • Experience within mortgage broking or Equity Release
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more