We have a big problem here in the Hireserve office. We’re growing fast (at the time of writing, we are still hiring) and, as the number of people through the door each day increases and the amount of desk space disappears at a rapid pace, action has needed to be taken about a certain issue.

Cup of tea on a deskYou see, we have a problem with hot beverages. Tea, coffee, bizarre herbal concoctions and even a warm Ribena when someone’s feeling under the weather – we, like most offices in the country, like a brew to get us through the day. We’ve always done it in rounds, but with a bevvy of developers, team members to make a round of drinks for, our Operations Director felt that enough was enough.

It’s finally come to this…‘, the email subject line read, followed by the sorrowful conclusion that making a round for everyone was becoming a bit gruelling.

I know we are all jolly nice, caring people‘, the email from Karen continued, ‘but we probably should get a bit better and making our own drinks and not feel obliged to make a massive round‘.

Well, we all agreed with Karen’s thoughts. It absolutely made sense and we knew we needed to toughen up and make our own individual drinks from here on in. Time-effective, cost-effective (who knows who many tea bags we get through in  a day!) and less of a heavy-duty task. The email was sent at 1:01pm on a Thursday.


Close up of a cup of tea on a desk...By 1:32pm on the same Thursday, the first round in the new regime was made. And it was made for…the whole team.

Since then, we’ve all continued to make tea for everyone – because we simply can’t not do it! It does take a  little bit of time. And we do run out of cups sometimes. And, being honest, we do sometimes find our shoulders slumping when someone requests cafetiere coffee.

But it’s worth it to continue our truly lovely company culture, where everyone, without exception, is a real part of the team.

A great company culture can be difficult to find. It’s certainly difficult to create if there’s not that genuine camaraderie and care between colleagues. We’re very lucky here, particularly as a recent survey by Deloitte (the Global Human Capital Trends 2015), found that employee engagement has become the biggest HR issue over the last 12 months, increasing to 87% this year.*

Employee engagement and a strong company culture play a lead role in staff retention and reducing absenteeism.

So perhaps our failure to embrace a ‘Cuppa Selfish’ is a positive thing. Although I do enjoy the quieter days in the office when the rounds are a bit less arduous…

* Source: HR Grapevine

2016 update! We now have a drinks machine, which means we’ve stopped the huge tea rounds…but we’re pleased to report our company culture has not diminished 🙂

Find out more:

Why we believe success comes from making people the core of a company

Discover how to achieve true flexible working

Meet our team of tea and coffee-makers

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.