The office tea round can boost a team's morale, bringing colleagues together in a spirit of camaraderie.
Yet, in almost every work place, there are those who shirk their duty, yet opt in the round when someone else is offering.
As many as half of us avoid making tea at work in order to avoid brewing up for others, a survey has found.
The study, conducted by Hyper Recruitment Solutions, compiled results from 2,000 adult respondents.
Discussing the findings, the study said: "While employees are direct on some issues, they'd rather avoid the situation completely than feel obliged to make a brew for other."
The survey doesn't explain why exactly people might do this, though. Fortunately, Dr Daniel Campbell-Meiklejohn, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex's school of psychology, explained last week that there are several reasons.
Speaking to LADbible, he said: "It could be one of a few things. From a social psychology perspective, there may be inbuilt hierarchies in your office politics. A person who may be senior or consider themselves to be senior may feel they don't need to do it.
"Stereotypes and gender biases can raise their ugly heads as well. Gender pay inequality is still a massive problem, and if we're willing to pay men £20,000 ($26,000) more a year to do the same job, then why would that not translate to people doing unequal amounts of chores around the office? Of course, that still exists."
Alternatively, these round dodgers could be 'freeriders'.
Dr Campbell-Meiklejohn added: "If we assume everyone is equal in the office and there isn't a hierarchy, then it's basically coming down to a 'free-rider problem'.
"A free-rider problem might be known as 'the tragedy of the commons'. These are situations where there's a public good that needs enough people to contribute to it for everybody to get a benefit.
"Tea rounds are a good example of that. It only really takes one or two really keen people to make the thing work, but a lot of people can benefit. The free-rider is the person who doesn't do it, they basically just let everyone else pick up the tab.
"Eventually though people start building up resentment and saying 'If they're not gonna do it, then I'm not gonna do it', which means nobody gets tea."
He went on to explain how workplaces can benefit from everyone pitching in with the tea round.
He said: "Everybody working independently is no fun. It's also a good idea to have a break as you're working; it gives you a chance to re-calibrate. And yeah, caffeine does have an effect, it can make people more productive.
"It's a nice thing to do, and if somebody does a nice thing for you, you're more likely to do a nice thing for them. The side effect of that is that people feel much better about their workplace."
So, to the half of you who think it is perfectly acceptable to skip the tea round, get that kettle filled. After all, what comes around goes around.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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