Never sneak off to the kitchen to brew up just for yourself, it could cost you a promotion

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Image: Not part of the office tea round? It could cost you a promotion (and other office tea making etiquette)

Daniela Vladimirova / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: danielavladimirova

If you’re the kind of person who slips off to the office kitchen at 4pm to make yourself a sneaky cuppa, then we’ve got some bad news for you. 


Well, it's bad news if you’re looking for a promotion: according to a new survey, making your colleagues a cup of tea really does go a long way.


Commissioned by Russell Hobbs, the survey of 2,000 workers found that 56% of people admitted to making themselves a secret cuppa once a week, while one in five does so once a day.

One in 10 admitted to having NEVER made a tea round (goodbye, glass office). The reason? Well, a fifth believe that co-workers are so fussy when it comes to their brew that it would be easier if they made their own (ouch), while a third are embarrassed by their poor tea-making skills (really?).


Corrine Sweet, a relationship psychologist, said: "the person who brews up for the work crew with a smile is often popular as it’s a good social networking skill. Being the one never to brew up can create resentment and bad feelings in the office, and even block promotion.”


There’s a reason why you’re shown the kitchen before you get your login when starting a new job. As any office worker should know, it doesn’t go unnoticed when someone isn’t pulling their tea-making weight. Here are the pitfalls you need to avoid:

Never EVER go to the kitchen to make a cuppa just for yourself

It's the office equivalent of the walk of shame – and now we know it won’t do your career any favours either.

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Who’s invited to the tea party?

The dilemma: you don’t want to ask too many people otherwise you’ll spend the entire morning ferrying cups of tea back and forth from the kitchen but you don’t want to leave anyone out.

The solution: this depends on how big your office is, but start with the bank of desks you work on. Warning: don’t overextend the invitation, it can quickly spiral out of control. 

Don't be a mug

The selection of mug is another potential pitfall and the key is to remember who you’re giving it to. You don’t want to make your boss's Earl Grey in a cringeworthy cup.

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Step aside

So, the tea is made and now you need to transport it. Don’t be a hero, it may require multiple trips to and from the kitchen but that’s better than having scalding-hot tea running down your leg. If there's a tray available, use it.

Anyone for a biscuit?

Don’t, we repeat don’t, turn into the office biscuit buyer. Soon everyone will be expecting a constant supply.

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Cookie Monster

Michelle O'Connell / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: shellewill79

Time to put the kettle on …