2. Tea Station Ideas
3. Stage 1 – Gaining support, approval, and ideas
4. Stage 2 – Planning your tea station
5. Stage 3 – Implementing your tea station
6. Stage 4 – Creating a suitable brew schedule
Your Guide to The Best Tea Setup in The Office
Office work can be hugely stressful, testing and mentally draining. Although office work isn’t usually physically draining, the mental side involved can be just as intense. Millions of people throughout the world work in an office environment in a variety of roles – Admin, sales, production, management, HR and finance for example. Office work is an integral part of most modern businesses and without a dedicated team of office staff, a business would not be able to run effectively.
Office work presents many challenges and a range of opportunities; there is also a wide variety of commonly associated traditions that have arisen. One such tradition is the tea break! The tea break is an important part of office life, and this guide will help you understand why, and learn how to create the perfect tea setup for your office!
Why is tea such an important commodity in an office environment?
As mentioned, office work can be mentally draining – Workers may spend hours glued to a computer
screen, working with figures and completing complicated work. Due to this factor, it is important to keep hydrated, drink a stimulating beverage, and walk away from your desk every so often. Tea and the tea break offers exactly that – A tasty and beneficial drink that can keep you hydrated and boost your performance, and a chance to get out of your chair and have a short break from your computer screen.
While water and fruit juice are also great drinks to consume in an office environment, they are relatively easy to create and you will be sat back at your desk in a matter of seconds – Creating a cup of tea takes more time and gives you a true break from the mental strain of daily office work.
What can you expect from the average tea break?
The tea break will vary from office to office, but there are several common features that you can expect. Firstly, and most importantly is the consumption of tea – Tea is obviously an integral part of the tea break – Some people drink coffee, but those people can be ignored! (joking!!!). A tea break will involve members of the office enjoying a fine brew of quality tea. Furthermore, a light snack or biscuit is often eaten during the tea break too – Maybe a small piece of cake? Maybe a cereal bar or even a piece of fruit? Finally, a true tea break will involve riveting and engaging conversation! Members of the office will often come together, enjoy their cup of tea, and talk about politics, social issues and world peace (more likely what happened in a TV show last night!).
Why is a dedicated tea station a necessity in the office?
As you can see, the tea break is quite an important event in an office environment. Due to this fact, a dedicated tea station is an absolute must! Tea cannot be made simply at your desk or on the kitchen worktop – It deserves a special area that is designated solely for the creation of tea! Furthermore, creating a dedicated area for the tea break means that the process will run smoothly and brews can be made with ease.
Now that you understand more about the importance of tea in the office and why the tea break is a necessity, you can look to creating your own tea setup! This guide aims to take you through the process, and give you ideas and tips on how to implement the perfect tea setup in your office!
Tea Station Ideas
Before you create your tea station or even begin to consider creating plans, you should study some other examples of implemented ideas and understand the important considerations associated with this task. Consider the functionality of the tea station – What do you want it to achieve? Where do you want to create the station? Will other employees have access to it? Do you want it color coded with a matching kettle and utensils? Don’t simply undertake this task blindly or you may end up creating a sub-par tea station that your fellow employees avoid like the plague!
Firstly, consider the tea station and what important aspects it should contain. Will your tea station contain a sink? If not, will you have easy access to fresh running water? Is there an ample amount of power outlets for electrical devices and lighting? What about a fridge? How will you be able to store milk and other dairy products used in the tea making process? What about biscuits, cake or other items of accompanying food? Will they have suitable storage options? As you can see the tea station is much more involved than you could ever imagine!
Tea storage is a vital aspect of the office tea setup. If you are using loose leaf tea, this is even more critical! It is advisable to have separate jars for each different type of tea you intend to make use of to ensure there is no accidental mixture of the leaves. Furthermore, the jars should be suitable for the storage of tea to keep it fresh. Tea storage devices are a simple way that you can inject a great deal of color and style into your tea station. You could consider creating a stand-alone shelf to stand your tea containers on so they stand out and create a focal point on a wall. Furthermore, you could consider choosing a selection of vibrant storage containers to liven up the tea station.
The Kettle is also a hugely important utensil in the office tea setup. The kettle is the defining object that is required to create a brew of tea. A kettle is also a fantastic object that can brighten up your tea station (much in the same way that the tea storage does). Consider purchasing a kettle that matches your tea storage containers, or alternatively, that contrasts greatly to produce a myriad of colors. A kettle can act as a bold object that can totally alter the appearance of the tea workstation.
The Working Environment
A final consideration is the actual working environment – By working environment, we mean the area that you will use to create the tea. It is important to ensure that you have allowed for an ample amount of space so that you are not cramped. Furthermore, it is important to consider storage and connections – Do you need cupboards or additional shelving to store your accessories? Do you want to buy a decorative washable tea mat that is color coordinated with your kettle and tea containers?
Hopefully, this section will have given you food for thought and started your creative juices flowing. Once you have considered these options, you can then commence the all-important four steps that are listed below!
Stage 1 – Gaining support, approval, and ideas
Creating a tea station without gaining support and approval is like adding an extension to your house without checking for planning permission! Monumental decisions such as this require approval from many levels within your organization, and a plethora of ideas and suggestions to improve your designs and thought process. Consider this; would you buy a new car without seeking approval from your family? Would you raise a new fence on your garden without checking first with your neighbors? Creating a tea station should be treated in exactly the same way!
Gain support from co-workers in your office
First and foremost, you should gain support from those individuals who are working in the same office and will be affected directly by this tea station. It is common courtesy to involve them in the process and ensure that they heartily approve of what you are proposing. Provide them with a brief outline of what you want to create, and how this will directly affect their work and daily routine. Furthermore, you should also point out to them how they will benefit from this new tea station and how it will greatly improve their quality of life at the office! Ensure you gain as much support as possible, and address any potential concerns your fellow co-workers may have.
Gain approval from management
Once you have a strong amount of support and approval from your co-workers, you must then tackle the management! Management must be made aware of what you are proposing as you will be directly altering an aspect of the office. Ultimately, your managers will have the final say on whether your project can go ahead. To sway their minds, you should highlight the positive aspects of the tea station and be clear on how it will benefit your co-workers and have a useful effect on their productivity.
Perform extensive research
Gaining approval is often the hardest part of the initial stage. Once you have done this, and you have office-wide support, you can ask for suggestions and ideas from your co-workers. To create a tea station that is appealing, usable and effective, it is beneficial to gather as much research as possible. Your co-workers can serve as a wealth of information and will be able to assess your ideas and provide valuable feedback.
Discuss funding options
A tea station may involve several new pieces of equipment or even new work surfaces –Who will pay for these new items? Will your employer pay for this venture or will you be expected to raise the funds yourself? Ensure you are clear on your company’s policy regarding tea breaks and the minimum grade of facilities they are obliged to provide.
If your company will indeed fund your new tea setup, then great! You can simply order the equipment and utensils and send the invoice to your accounts department! If not, you must assess the cost and create a funding solution. A simple method is to lobby your co-workers and ask them to make an equal contribution – Ensure that you stress to them that they will benefit greatly from the new tea setup and that the cost is minimal.
Stage 2 – Planning your tea station
Once you have a team of dedicated employees rooting for your cause and providing their support, you should then carefully plan your proposed tea station. Planning is key to ensure that the whole process is smooth, stress-free, and causes a minimal upset. Planning will also ensure that you have everything you need and that you don’t encounter any unforeseen problems.
Create a physical plan and/or drawing
A physical drawing, plan, blueprint or scientifically formulated 3D scale model is an absolute must during the planning stage (Ok maybe the last two is taking it a little too far?). A simple drawing and plan can help you visualize the tea station and see how it will fit together, and how it will fit in the proposed area. Furthermore, it will help to understand any important measurements and dimensions, and will also prove useful when you start implementing your tea station. A plan can be as detailed and accurate as you like – it could be a simple pencil sketch, or you could even use your computer to design an accurate representation.
Create a list of equipment and materials
Once you have created a sound plan, you can then create a comprehensive list of equipment and materials. By creating a list of your required materials, you can then easily purchase them, and ensure
that nothing is left unattended too. Furthermore, this list can also be used as a check-sheet when implementing your tea station. Consider creating a list of equipment required to create the tea station (you might need tools and nails etc., if you are adding new shelves). Additionally, create a list that contains the actual items that will be used in the station such as a kettle, tea storage units and milk jars etc.
Find suitable suppliers for your materials
Sourcing your materials and equipment is an important aspect of the planning stage – This also depends highly on who is paying for your tea station! If your new and improved tea station is self-funded, you may want to do some bargain hunting to reduce your total cost. Alternatively, if your employee is paying for the pleasure, you can maybe seek out a little luxury! (Don’t take liberties however and purchase a solid gold kettle for example!)
Share your plans with management and co-workers
It is important to continually update your co-workers and management on your progress and share with them your ideas. This will firstly reassure them that you know what you are doing, but also that you are making headway with the project. Furthermore, your fellow employees may be able to provide assistance and offer gentle criticisms to refine your designs and plans.
Now that you have meticulously planned your tea station, you can gather the required materials, clear your chosen area and start implementing this monumental project!
Stage 4 – Implementing your tea station
This is the moment you have been waiting for! The moment that you can put your creative and productive skills to use to implement your tea station! By following the previous 3 steps and taking a meticulous and careful approach, there is no reason why you cannot create your new tea station with minimal effort and stress. Ensure that you have everything you need before undertaking this venture – Do you have your initial plans? Do you have your equipment and materials? Do you have the approval of your co-workers and the consent of management? If so, then you are ready to go!
Before actually starting the work, you should first ensure that the designated space is clear and that any electrical devices are unplugged. Furthermore, you should agree a set time and a time-frame to complete the work in so that you cause minimal disruption to the office – maybe even consider starting work early or staying for a couple of hours extra so you do not disrupt your own schedule and workload too! If major work is required (i.e. the installation of new shelves or units), it might be beneficial to complete the work out of your office’s standard work hours – always agree on this with management, however.
You are now ready to go! While undertaking the work, ensure that you take your time and do the job properly – don’t rush your work otherwise you could end up making errors or making a tea station that looks rushed. If necessary, enlist the help of your fellow colleagues to speed up the process, but if you do, ensure that they understand what work is involved and that they take as much care and attention as you do!
When you have completed the work, you can stand back and admire your new tea station – Feel your heart swell with pride as you view the fruits of your labor! If you really want to go all out, you could consider having an official opening ceremony and maybe even try inviting a celebrity to make a speech? Whatever you do, ensure that you enjoy your new creation and be proud of what you have achieved.
Stage 5 – Creating a suitable brew schedule
Now that you have created your fantastic new and improve tea station, it is important to keep it maintained, clean, and to agree on a schedule for making drinks! If these issues are not addressed, mayhem can ensue in the workplace, and all your hard work can come undone!
Agree on a cleaning schedule
Keeping the tea station clean and sanitary is highly important – You have just put a great deal of hard work and effort into creating this new work area, therefore it is in your best interest to keep it clean. Talk to your co-workers and agree on a simple cleaning schedule – This only has to be done once or twice a week, but it will help greatly to maintain the quality of your station. The cleaning duties can be rotated so everyone carries out their fair share of work.
Agree on a suitable tea Rota
Aside from cleanliness, it is also important to agree on a Rota for the creation of drinks – This responsibility should not fall on one person (unless they offer too of course!) and everyone should take their turn at making a round of drinks. Consider when you usually have a tea break, and the people who usually have a drink, and then create a rotating schedule that lists both the approximate time of the tea break and who is responsible for creating drinks at what time of day.
Educate staff on how to create the perfect cup of tea
Once you have established both a cleaning schedule and a brew schedule, you should educate your staff on their tea making abilities. There is nothing worse than drinking a cup of tea that is truly horrible. Consider giving tea making lessons so that your co-workers can all make the perfect brew! When giving advice, try and not be condescending and try to use fun language so that the process is enjoyable.
Create clear guidelines for usage
Finally, it essential that a clear set of guidelines and rules are created concerning the correct usage of the tea station. These rules should list what you can and cannot do, how you should leave the tea station after creating a brew, and even how to order new supplies. By creating a clear set of guidelines, your co-workers will understand clearly how to use their new tea station!
There you have it – How to create a new tea setup in your office! Hopefully, you will have gained a monumental amount of insight into why the tea break is important and how you can implement a tea station that is attractive, stylish and functional.