REVEALED: Dodging the workplace brew round could see over half of your colleagues judge your manners

Business Insights

A survey of 2000 UK workers has revealed that 54% of your colleagues might be judging you if you don’t offer them a drink when you make one for yourself.

The survey aimed to uncover some of the weirdest quirks of the unspoken office ‘hot drink etiquette’ rules, bringing to light the hot drink habits of workers in 2019.

Findings from the survey, carried out by commercial coffee machine retailer rijo42, contributed towards the Hot Drink Etiquette Guide – guidelines to staying on the right side of the often-political landscape of making brews in the office.

The etiquette guide reveals that to stay in your colleagues’ good books, you should join in on the brew round, avoid asking for any drinks that aren’t tea or coffee, and serve at least your local desk mates (not necessarily the whole office!) when it’s your turn.

Other key discoveries from the survey include:

  • 36% of people never offer to make colleagues a hot drink
  • 18-24-year-olds are eager to prove themselves, making the most hot drinks for colleagues
  • Only 3% of people are happy to make a herbal tea for their co-workers
  • 22% of people say that, as long as you don’t ask for drinks from others, you don’t have to offer to make any
  • 1% of people only ask the boss if they want a drink

Sean Griffin, director at rijo42, said:

‘People take workplace hot drink etiquette very seriously, which this survey proved. We hope to usher in a new era of peace in many offices by settling once and for all what the rules of the office hot drink round are.’

As well as providing takeaways to follow for good office hot drink etiquette, rijo42 created a printable hot drinks order sheet that will simplify making rounds in offices everywhere.

Respondents to the survey also answered some other burning questions, with the answers highlighting some shocking statistics:

  • Coffee has finally taken over tea as the office hot drink of choice, with 46% of people preferring coffee compared to 32% who favour tea
  • 4% of people have 7+ hot drinks in the average workday
  • The average employee spends around 23 minutes a week making hot drink rounds in work
  • Calculations based on the average employee’s time spent making brews estimated that the whole full-time working population of the UK could be spending up to 12 million hours a week making hot drinks!

Coffee consumption is generally on the up – with an estimated 95 million cups drank every day in Britain. rijo42’s survey also revealed that London (54%) and Northern Ireland (53%) were the most passionate about coffee as a workplace refreshment, while Yorkshire was the only region where tea still reigned supreme with 40% preferring tea over 36% for coffee.

About rijo42

rijo42 are a prominent figure in the commercial coffee market, with a range of coffee machines on offer as well as a selection of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans.

As well as carrying out research into the hot drink habits of workers, they’re also leading the drive for sustainability in the UK coffee market with the launch of a new, UK-first, 100% plastic-free recyclable coffee cup.