Do you still take a tea break? Survey reveals 15% of Brits 'not allowed' one at work

Woman having a tea break while working
A new poll found that seven in ten employees take a tea break of less than 15 minutes while at work. (Getty Images)

The traditional British tea break is at risk of becoming a thing of the past after a poll revealed that as many as 15% of workers are "not allowed" to take one.

A survey of 4,000 adults across various UK industries, showed that seven in ten employees take a breather of less than 15 minutes outside of their lunch break, while 43% stop for less than ten minutes.

Reasons for not taking a tea break include their workload (47%), too many meetings (25%) and having to constantly field emails (23%) .

The research, carried out by OnePoll on behalf of biscuit brand McVitie’s, also highlighted that 36% don’t believe their employers do enough to encourage them to take time out or a screen break.

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This is despite the fact that 93% believe a tea break is an integral part of their workday, and that 42% feel more energised after some downtime.

Additionally, 38% felt less stressed, 76% saw their performance unimpaired and 74% suggested it would allow them to get to know their colleagues better when in the office.

Cup of tea beside laptop and phone
The survey found that 93% believe a tea break is an integral part of their workday. (Getty Images)

The survey found that 35% think people take fewer breaks now than when they first started out in their careers.

They believe this is due to more demanding jobs (45%) and their time being stretched more thinly than ever before (44%).

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The researchers, who analysed tea breaks in 26 different industries, discovered that salespeople took the lowest amount of time off at 9 minutes and 47 seconds.

This was closely followed by those in the charity sector, who took just 9 minutes and 52 seconds.

It varied by gender too, with men spending three minutes and 10 seconds longer on breaks throughout the day than their female colleagues.

Meanwhile, those in Belfast took a breather for the longest, while those in Norwich had the least time out.

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