To tea or not to tea – workplaces cutting perks

At Work - Business Day

Brits are famed for their love of a good brew and yet just 57% of British workers get to enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee at work, according to new research from uSwitchforbusiness.com. In fact, a quarter of workers have seen companies cut back on refreshments over the last year – leaving a bitter taste in the mouth for many:

  • Less than a third of British employees (32%) think that the company they work for is generous to staff with four in ten (43%) describing staff perks as poor
  • Two in five workers (38%) expect an employer to at least provide tea and coffee – just one in ten (13%) don’t see why companies should be expected to pay for them
  • One in ten (10%) say that cutbacks on refreshments have changed the atmosphere for the worse at work while 19% say it has left workers feeling jittery about the future
  • 32% say that small perks like free tea and coffee boost morale – just 6% of workers don’t value such perks

The press release goes on to talk about how not having the perk of complimentary tea and coffee hurts morale and the ability to attract employees, but it doesn’t complete the thought and discuss how that could hurt productivity. If employees have to purchase it off premise or bring it from home and then heat it up, that’s time away from work. Also, there are productive conversations that naturally occur around the tea kettle between employees who work in different departments – conversations that lead to good ideas that otherwise wouldn’t happen (or at least not in an as-speedy timeframe).

So how would you feel if your tea perk was taken away? Would it hurt your productivity?

One thought on “To tea or not to tea – workplaces cutting perks

  1. This is really interesting. I work for a nonprofit in the US that studies the workplace effectiveness of small businesses, and runs a top small company workplaces competition to honor the best of them, and we’re seeing similar cuts over here (although affecting the coffee bar, as opposed to tea).

    One thing we’ve talked about quite a bit on our blog is the fact that even in the face of cuts to perks, companies can do quite a bit on the free or low-cost side to reward/thank their remaining (post-layoff) workers. If these are done in a way that appeals to employees within the existing work culture, they can be very powerful in keeping top talent put, and not eager to jump ship when the economy picks up.

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