Making the tea in the office is not everyones cup of tea . . .oh dear that sentence didn’t go well at all, but I think you understand what I mean. It can be a right faff – you get up to get a quick drink for yourself, feel obliged to offer to get others something and suddenly a two minute task is a mission of frustration for hours; milk, sugar, biscuits and a range of options mastermind couldn’t remember. So what to do?
The first thing is have a culture in your team where people can be honest enough not to offer if they are genuinely busy and don’t have enough time to make for all. Not always easy when some people are “always busy” but worth the effort to promote honesty in communication.
Next help your team to make these small things simple, a pen in the kitchen to write down the orders, keeping the vital ingredients in stock and that kettle working well. At hunmoco we mostly drink coffee (in the mornings – tea is at 3:00 in the afternoon, not that we are religious about it). So a couple of years ago the boss tasked one of the team to find a bargain on a bean to cup machine. This has taken a whole load of agro out of the small things which is good for us all.
One of our big clients foolishly worked out that in time lost moaning about coffee cues, parking and the toilets cost them more than £1.3M over year. They were about to use this as a weapon to beat people with when someone on the team pointed out how little fixing these small things would cost and therefore the cost benefit. However we would say even if it is hard to justify on cost benefit it is just nice to work where people care about the small things. If you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves my mother used to say. The same, we believe, is true of the little things that matter to your team.
Your team will function better if the environment they operate in is one they are proud of – if you don’t believe us then check out this research.
Wellbeing in the workplace
Planning the office
“Who would like a cup of tea?”