Spring Forward

Part 2

Welcome to the second part of our new monthly theme – why taking tea breaks makes you more productive! Now that the clocks have changed, we’re looking at ways to make the most of the daylight hours by boosting our energy. What better way to do so than with a nice cup of your favourite brew?

A good tea break can work wonders – whether it’s stepping away from a stressful task, bonding with colleagues or getting a little energy boost before a big meeting. However, research by Appliances Direct suggests that office workers spend over 100 hours a year making tea, so is the tea break really a productive use of time? We present some arguments in favour of this office institution…

1. What should be in your cup?

The short answer is… depends what you want out of it! Here’s a quick fact file on some of the nation’s favourite brews…

Coffee

  • Amount of caffeine: roughly 100mg of caffeine per mug of instant coffee
  • Research has shown that three to four cups of coffee a day might have health benefits (although the exact relationship is still unclear)
  • Coffee contains a high amount of antioxidants (both regular and decaf)

Tea

  • Amount of caffeine: roughly 30-50mg of caffeine per mug of tea, depending on how it’s brewed
  • You are less likely to have a caffeine crash when drinking tea than coffee or fizzy drinks. This is because the high levels of antioxidants in tea slow the absorption of caffeine, which results in a gentler caffeine increase in your system and a longer period of alertness with no crash at the end.
  • Research has suggested that drinking black tea may slow cognitive decline
  • Choosing green tea is suggested to have multiple health benefits – from lowering the chance of breast, lung and stomach cancers to improving cholesterol levels.

Herbal Teas

  • Many herbal tea blends are caffeine-free
  • Different ingredients have different benefits – from the immune-boosting properties of echinacea to the digestion aids of peppermint and chamomile. It’s best to check the individual properties of the flavour blend you want to try, as there’s lots of great combinations with different positives and also different health advice!
  • Combining herbal tea with honey is not only sweeter, but soothing when you have a cold

2. Should you take longer… by making a brew for other people?

Offering to make someone a cup of their favourite brew can be a great way to bond with a colleague – even if it just gives you an excuse to chat over your opinions on tea making etiquette (like the great milk first debate – we like Yorkshire Tea’s handy guide!)

While some people prefer not to form close relationships at work, having a few friends can be a big productivity booster. Research by Gallup shows that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%, and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.

So the extra time taken to make multiple cups might actually make you a better employee – meaning that time has been very well spent!

3. Should you take a tea break at all?

We’ve written before about the importance of taking breaks in a previous blog post – and we stand by our opinion that knowing when to take a break is crucial for good workplace productivity.

It’s important to recognise when you’re getting burned out, since tired minds are less focused and less productive than well-rested ones – so making a nice cup of tea or coffee can be a good excuse to give your overwhelmed brain a break.

By getting up from your desk, having a stretch and then walking to the kettle, you can get a bit of blood pumping again, and start your body releasing mood-boosting endorphins (they also help you keep alert!).

Plus, we don’t need to tell you that staring at a screen literally all day is bad for you – giving your eyes a break while you go to the kitchen is a benefit in itself!

So don’t just see your cup as a source of caffeine – it’s also a way to make you take the break your body genuinely needs.

That’s all from me this week, but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading – if you haven’t made yourself a brew already, why not pop the kettle on now?

Join us next week for the first part of a new theme!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

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Want to be more productive throughout 2018?

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