By Daniel Hunter

Over a third of small business employees (35%) don’t join in with communal tea rounds at work, according to new research from energy company E.ON. But by regularly putting the kettle on just for themselves, solo tea-lovers could be costing businesses an additional £31.8m a year.

With employees typically taking three hot drinks a day at work, a fifth (22%) of employees are wasting energy by filling the kettle to full — even when making just one drink. Solo tea-making was most prevalent in the hospitality and education sectors.

Now E.ON is calling on employees to embrace the traditional tea round culture at work in order to help reduce waste while also providing an opportunity to get to know colleagues, with almost half of respondents (40%) stating they’re happy to get involved in the tea round as it provides a great excuse to socialise.

Anthony Ainsworth, Sales and Marketing Director at E.ON, said: “Putting the kettle on for a round of drinks is more efficient than making a single cup of tea from a full kettle, especially if your colleagues will simply have to re-boil the water moments later.

“With over 40 million hot drinks made every day in offices, shops, restaurants and factories across the UK, tea-lovers could be enjoying a more efficient brew just by getting involved in the tea round — and they may get to know their colleagues a bit better too!”

Cutting the frequency and volume of kettle-boiling is key to greater ‘tea-break efficiency’ says Anthony, and for the two thirds of SMEs that rely on a traditional kettle (64%), switching to a more energy efficient eco-kettle would also make an impact.

E.ON’s research suggests that the ingrained British love affair with tea has been boosted by workplace habits, with 12 per cent increasing the amount they drink due to the facilities, culture and routine of their working day.

The traditional tea-break transcends all trades and professions, with the most frequent drinkers working in transport related roles, such as couriers and taxi drivers. Retail professionals came second, followed by some of the more stereotypical tea drinking trades such as construction and manufacturing.

Anthony Ainsworth continues: “We understand the pressures of the workplace but by encouraging more people to participate in joint rounds with colleagues we hope to show one way that SME workers can help drive efficiency and cost savings in a simple and enjoyable way.”

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