A tea lady is a woman in an office or working environment, whose sole job is to provide beverages like tea and light snacks during the allocated breaks. Tea ladies are a mainly British custom. They entered the mainstream in the UK during the Second World War, when tea ladies were used in an experiment to boost efficiency in workplaces for the war effort. They had such a hugely positive effect on morale they became commonplace in all areas of work. They were present in a works canteen or perhaps came round with a trolley full of either hot tea or hot water, and perhaps a selection of cakes and buns.