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Does a Tea Break Make You More Efficient? 

茶間休息能提高工作效率嗎?

 

點此收聽音頻:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ukchina/simp/elt/take_away_english/110104_tae_298_tea_productivity_story.shtml

 

According to tradition, China has been drinking tea since the time of Shennong, 5,000 years ago.

 

Britain's relationship with the invigorating brew is much shorter, but the beverage nonetheless enjoys pride of place as the UK's national drink. In fact the UK Tea Council claims Britons drink an average of three cups a day, or a staggering national total of 165m cups every day.

 

With figures like these it is no surprise that time spent taking tea eats into the working day of the British labour force. A recent survey found that 24 minutes a day are lost to making, buying and drinking tea and coffee. This equates to £400 (4,000 yuan) a year in lost man hours per employee, or 190 days over a lifetime.

 

So, should employers be worried about this lost working time, or does the tea break compensate in other ways?

 

One argument in its defence is that caffeine improves mental performance: a drink of tea or coffee can perk you up and help you focus on work.

 

Professor Peter Rogers of the University of Bristol disagrees. After years of studying caffeine he sees no evidence that it improves mental alertness.

 

"Workers would perform equally well if not consuming it at all," he says. "But if they're consuming it frequently and then go without, they'll feel tired and won't perform well."

 

Occupational psychologist Cary Cooper instead emphasises the role breaks play in coping with sedentary office life, and in building social relationships.

 

"We need to make people more active and see other people. The coffee break is one way of doing this," says Cooper.

 

And Professor Rogers also points out the soothing effect of a hot drink: "We warm our hands on them on a cold day, they're comforting and play a big role in our everyday life.

 

"Whatever the caffeine's doing, I'd say these 24 minutes aren't wasted."

 

Glossary 辭彙表

  • invigorating brew提神的(泡)茶
  • beverage飲料
  • pride of place 地方的自豪感
  • staggering極高的
  • eats into滲透
  • labour force勞動力
  • equates to 相當於
  • man hours工時
  • lifetime一生
  • compensate彌補
  • argument論點/觀點
  • caffeine咖啡因
  • perk you up提神
  • mental alertness大腦靈敏度
  • consuming飲用
  • go without沒有/失去
  • occupational psychologist職業心理學家
  • sedentary 久坐不動的
  • active 積極的
  • soothing effect 舒緩作用

 

 

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