Directors defy office brew etiquette

  • Half of business directors avoid making drinks in the office tea round
  • One third of office workers resent their tea and coffee obligations
  • Directors and senior managers were most likely to resent brew round responsibilities

Hierarchy in the workplace is thriving when it comes to office brew rounds. According to new research, half of Directors defy office etiquette by avoiding the tea and coffee round; only making drinks for themselves.

A Citation HR survey investigated work brew breaks of 2,000 UK office workers, which revealed the politics and pecking order of the office tea round.

Half of those surveyed say their colleagues don’t pull their weight, whilst more than one third admitted to resenting their obligations to always make drinks for others.

Notably, those in the most senior positions avoid offering drinks to others with half of all Directors surveyed (49 per cent) admitting they only ever make hot drinks for themselves, whilst most others offer round to colleagues.

The reason given by a quarter of Directors was that “there’s too many people to make for” and this was reflected in the results. Directors and senior managers were most likely to resent their tea round obligations (51 and 49 per cent) and yet most senior managers – 61 per cent – believe their colleagues don’t pull their weight.

Analysis by region revealed Brighton is the laziest city when it comes to offering others hot drinks – 59 per cent of those surveyed believed their colleagues don’t pull their weight and are also the most likely to resent their responsibilities (45 per cent).

Belfast avoids the kitchen all together because there’s too many people to make for whilst London make the most excuses, claiming they’re too busy and it takes too long. They also worry they’ll make bad brews more than anywhere else in the country.

Edinburgh are most likely to skip out on the whole charade and go to a coffee shop instead.

Jenny Ware, HR Business Partner at Citation, said: “This survey has revealed some interesting insights into the office pecking order and begs the question, are brew rounds reflective of wider business hierarchies?

“It’s a very old-school office tradition that junior members of the team wait hand and foot on senior leaders and managers by making tea and taking responsibility for tedious office admin. Unless it’s specifically within their job description, shared responsibility of such tasks is the most positive and productive way to ensure a happy workforce.”

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