Tea breaks seem to be on par with training in terms of boosting productivity

The majority of British staff only spend a tiny percentage of their hours in work improving their skills and abilities through formal training or accredited learning, and AAT research may have identified the reason why: the differences in how employees and managers approach workplace learning.

A fifth of managers thought training staff would only help them develop their own careers, not benefit their current role, while 27 per cent said training was good in principle, but disruptive in practice.

It was further highlighted that almost a third of staff never had any form of work-related training. Given this situation, 38 per cent of employees admitted they had searched online to find out how to do their jobs better – in their own time.

This all, according to AAT, essentially means that staff spend more time drinking tea than actually learning a skill. OK, this may not be the greatest situation for businesses to be facing due to our productivity gap, but fear not! It’s not necessarily a bad thing that staff go on tea breaks.

Read more about Brits and their tea:

Psychologists have often urged employers to consider the benefits of providing hot drinks due to it, on the contrary, not being a waste of time. In fact, research by Unilever found the process of making and drinking a cup of tea enhanced creative problem solving. Its lead scientist, Suzanne Einother, said: “The findings confirm what many of us suspect; that the close to sacred ritual of the tea break can effectively boost your mood, which in turn can lead to other benefits such as improved problem solving.”

It further found that 72 per cent of those involved in the study engaging in conversation with fellow employees, and of those, 69 per cent had work related conversations.

Organisational psychologists Helen Hughes and Mark Robinson, from Leeds University Business School, also concluded the wider benefits of tea breaks may substantially outweigh their costs. They said: “People tend to solve problems at work by talking to the people that are in their network, and very often these are the people in their work team or who they sit near. A tea break may be one of the few opportunities that people have to network, by chatting to, or bumping into, colleagues who are not in these circles. Chats of this kind can also be a great opportunity to share knowledge and news about work-related issues, thereby improving performance and efficiency.”

This could all mean that the worry of staff taking too many tea breaks is all for nought. In fact, with research all pointing to an increase in motivation, mood and, believe it or not, productivity, employers shouldn’t be too worried by the fact that tea is a staple part of the workforce diet.

Alternatively, we took a look at how Henrietta Lovell’s Rare Tea Company exports fine loose leaf tea all over the world.

Image: Shutterstock

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