Why tea is the social glue that binds agencies together
A view from Olly Foot

Why tea is the social glue that binds agencies together

The chief executive of MRM Meteorite's "mystical" secret work weapon is the very British mug of tea.

It’s a crisp winter day as I sit writing this. I’ve caught up on the overnight email traffic, reviewed some of the latest work from my agency and am feeling safe in the knowledge that cradled in my hands is my secret work weapon.

A mug of tea.

I’ll confess I don’t have a hipster beard and still think that it’s wrong for grown men to roll their jeans
up above their boots, so whilst I like coffee, it’s not a religious experience for me.

Tea, on the other hand, is a different matter.

Whether it be PG Tips, Earl Grey, Darjeeling or more exotic types, it has almost mystical powers over
all who drink it and connects with even those that don’t. Something that coffee just cannot match.
It’s the social glue that binds an agency together.

From account exec to chairman the simple act of making another person a cuppa brings an instant
smile, a common bond and the start of a chat. Hierarchies are forgotten, awkwardness cast aside.

Sharing a brew is when you realise again that you’re all on the same team.

It shows you’re human.

It works outside of your agency too. We all serve tea and coffee in meetings but have you ever
made your client a mug of proper builder’s? Try it. That little act of humanity shows you care more
than any fancy lunch or wine tasting event. I’ve seen the toughest meetings and most heated
procurement negotiations transform with the clicking of spoons in mugs and a collective sigh at the
first sip.

It gives you to time to think.

Making a brew gives you space to think that a coffee never will. And drinking tea makes you pause
and just stop talking whilst you take a sip. The pauses give space for others to fill and gives you the
prop to rest behind whilst you consider their words.

So back to the crisp winter day. Tell me the world doesn’t look better if you’re standing in the
sunshine with a mug (it has to be a mug) of steaming tea in your hands.

Sigh.

Olly Foot is chief executive of MRM Meteorite