We sit like drones, in front of our computers, earphones in, emailing the person next to us a question rather than being bothered to speak to them. Perhaps the only break we get from this is a tea or coffee break with some good watercooler talk. While this is good for employees, watercooler talk can be very annoying for managers.
According to a British study, the average British employee ‘wastes’ 24 minutes a day making tea for themselves and others. This adds up to about £400 ($600) per employee per year.
Of course, from an employees point of view, breaks are necessary in the workplace. People are happier when they socialize. It makes them feel a part of their workplace, and plus making tea for others can be a very enjoyable experience for both parties. One cannot realistically work 8 hours a day straight, and this study on productivity loss did not take into account the possible boost in productivity that may result from breaks and socialization.
It’s sort of a battle between employees and employers. However, bosses beware, while the caffeine boost from tea does not result in a increase of productivity, a study did note that if employees accustommed to caffeine were quickly deprived of caffeine, they would suffer from withdrawal effects, leading to a decrease in productivity…and probably workplace satisfaction.
Flickr Creative Commons by Jack Brodus