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UK workers want the tea trolley back

Cup of tea in the office
Date 17 Aug 2007
Author The Editor

Office workers lament the demise of the tea lady

UK workers agree that old-fashioned traditions such as the tea trolley made their office a more sociable and relaxed place to work, according to new research. Almost a third of workers think it would help improve motivation as well. The Office Angels survey polled office workers about office traditions they would love to bring back and ones they’re happier without.

The findings discovered that while today’s workers are in favour of up to date technology for speed and ease, personal one-to-one communication and the home comforts found in the offices of a decade ago, are greatly missed.

Top traditions Brits back to bring back included taking a full hour for your lunch break, the annual ‘work outing’, the tea lady with her trolley full of sticky buns and afternoon delights and the sandwich man coming into the office with his selection of lunchtime treats.

However, the research shows that there are some office traditions which are best forgotten. The majority are in agreement that smoking in the office is an element of office life that they don’t miss at all, as is the custom of bringing your partner or spouse to the Christmas party. Aspects of modern office life workers would rather be rid of included eating lunch at your desk, team bonding days and open plan offices.

David Clubb, Managing Director of Office Angels, said: "Office traditions will inevitably change and develop over time, with the different demands placed on staff and their working situations. However, while the current office environment is very technology driven and fast paced this doesn’t have to mean soulless or unfriendly. Employees should be encouraged to interact with each other and could even create their own 'traditions', such as team lunches or a 3pm tea break."

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  2. team bonding days don't!

    Simon Raybould 13:07 18 Aug 2007

    I'm not surprised people want team bonding days to be consigned to history - most of them are so bad! We do this kind of thing and the number of times we've had to go into 'hostile' environments is amazing...

    ... simply because the previous experience has been so, so, so negative. You've got to make sure what you offer is what they want and what they need - and the two are often different!


  3. But I like my office...

    The Editor 12:14 21 Aug 2007Pez

    You've hit the nail on the head there Simon. Anything done badly is going to get a negative response, and things like team bonding days have the potential to be disastrous.

    I'm sure the other disliked aspects of office life described above could be rectified as well, with a little work. I'm all in favour of open plan offices, for example, but I wouldn't be able to comment on the experiences of others. Maybe the workers who don't like their open plan offices actually don't like the people they're sitting next to...

    Maybe they need a team bonding day.

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