Taking a break at work earns UK workers on average £11,000 annually, new research from Viking has revealed.

‘Micro breaks’ such as toilet breaks could see employees cashing in over £700 a year and brewing two cups of tea a day could see over £500 being paid in their bank account by the end of the year.

Re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron, roughly earns £142,500, meaning that over the course of his five years governing at 10 Downing Street, he is set to earn £20,417.50 in the bathroom, and £14,785 from drinking tea.

A new interactive widget has been released that allows the working nation an insight into how much they earn from their ‘micro breaks’ or leisurely activities in the office. This includes around £3,083 earned from reading online gossip sites.

The widget, created by office supplies company, Viking, gives workers that chance to find out how much they are earning by using the salary earned per minute, multiplied by the average length of the activity in minutes.


Although the cost of taking a break can be in the thousands for a company, the benefits a micro-break can have is imperative to a business. Currently, businesses are at risk of losing £50 million a day in lost productivity, with more than six million UK employees failing to take their lunch break, according to research from Bupa.

Ruud Linders, marketing manager Europe at Viking says:

“Taking breaks, whether it’s 30 seconds or five minutes, can improve mental acuity by an average of 13% and will help employees by improving their focus, productivity and creativity.

“What we’re looking to reinforce is that through taking breaks, employees will be able to enjoy a cuppa guilt-free, regain concentration and save UK businesses being at risk of losing millions of pounds daily.”

Frida Polli, CEO at pymetrics, agrees that it is essential for employees to take a break and switch off from work.

“People spend an average of 8.7 hours of each day doing work or work-related activities – this is more time than doing any other activity, including sleeping.

“Therefore, it is important to find something that delivers fulfilment and that you find the time to take a break. Taking breaks throughout the day to re-centre yourself is critical. Learn to disconnect at the end of the day and also set boundaries to give yourself some space from work and to fully recharge.”