What a shame that the tea round in British workplaces is dying out.

Everyone is far too busy to make anyone else a cuppa, apparently.

Really? Or could it be that tea round dodgers are to blame? The average office kitchen bears more than a passing resemblance to student accommodation. Not only is the fridge prone to fill up with overripe half-eaten microwave meals, and milk that could qualify for an old age pension, but among those who use it, there is invariably someone who has not yet learned the rules of give and take. Like the miser in the pub, the tea round dodger will accept a cup of tea whenever it is offered, happily enjoy someone else's chocolate biscuits, and - perhaps most seriously - use a colleague's special mug and then leave it unwashed in the sink, all without offering so much as a custard cream in return. Some even wait till colleagues have gone out before making themselves tea, the research suggests.

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True, the modern hot drinks order can try the patience, with its decaffs and dairy substitutes, but that is no excuse. The shirkers must not prevail, even if that means withholding biscuit tin privileges. Modern life is manic enough without the communal cuppa going down the plughole.