Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tea breaks

Among the culture shocks I've experienced, tea breaks is one of a few that stands up. Every day at 10 AM and 3 PM, many people take a 15-minute tea break. Of course, it usually takes longer than fifteen minutes because they just don't drink tea, but have some snacks as well. Many people even go as far as half-portion of nasi lemak. It's confirmed, by a Malaysian friend working at BCG, that it's the culture, especially for the government workers. WTF! We ain't a government corporation.

This tea breaks must be one of the European, or more specifically, British customs. As this website says frequent tea breaks are the bane of office productivity, I can't agree more. Having spent most of my professional development in the U.S. these breaks are just total productivity loss. But there's also arguments for the tea breaks. This article, The Case Against Global Culture, argues that the tea breaks allow interactions with people, which in business context will help cooperation on work issues.