Revealed: Average Employee Spends £350 Per Year on Tea

The average employee in the UK spends around £350 per year on tea, which contributes to around an exta £14,500 which people will spend over their lifetime by working in an office.

This is according to data from Nationwide who carried out a survey on employee costs – which also showed a number of additional costs for working in an office.

The average employee will have 1 to 3 cups of tea or coffee on a daily basis whilst at work – and this consumption can increase if they have colds or have visitors for meetings.

In terms of additional costs, working in an office also generated more costs for clothing, Christmas gifts, birthday presents, evening socials, sponsorship for staff events or charities and births of colleague’s children.

Alan Oliver, Nationwide’s head of external affairs, said:

“Working in an office can be an expensive business, especially in big teams. While most people value the camaraderie of working in a team, birthdays, retirements and charity fundraisers can take their toll on our wallets and purses.”

A spokesman from tea brand, Nutra Tea, commented:

“We know people spend a lot on teas and coffees and despite most companies offering this for free, people will still buy from a high street or bring in their own preferred brew and type of milk.”

Annual costs incurred by office workers

  • Clothes and bags £119.16
  • Drinks and nights out with colleagues £102.24
  • Christmas parties and dinners £96.48
  • Birthday cards and presents for colleagues £66.60
  • Coffees and teas £66.36
  • Sweets and treats £64.32
  • Technology (such as a tablet, phone, calculator) £58.32
  • Leaving presents and cards for colleagues £50.28
  • Comfort items (such as tissues, tablets, anti-bacterial wipes and sprays) £49.68
  • Colleagues’ weddings, £47.04
  • Charity/sponsorship requests, £44.64
  • Births of colleagues’ children, £43.92
  • Secret Santa, £41.88
  • Stationery, £41.04
  • Other equipment (such as pens and highlighters), £38.04
  • Retirements, £39.24
  • Bereavements, £33.96.


Findings from the study

 Two-fifths (42%) of men were unhappy about spending money at work Christmas parties, compared with 34% of women. But one in five women said they felt under pressure to spend money at Christmas parties, compared with just 12% of men.

Overall, many felt uneasy about contributing to company gifts, with 28% reluctant to pay for birthday presents and 27% of people uncomfortable paying for gifts for colleagues who were leaving.