If you work 40 hours a week, then you might be spending more time with your coworkers than with anyone else in your life! For birthdays, special events and holidays, it is important to honor the occasion with the right gift. Here are 12 of the key Do s and don’ts for gift giving in the workplace.
1. Do Purchase Gift Cards
If you’re struggling with how to choose a workplace gift, then a gift card can be an obvious solution. When choosing the type of gift card, think about the individual. A gift card to their favorite lunch restaurant, or a gift card for the local bookstore where they purchase magazines, can be ideal. Deciding on the appropriate gift card amount is often tricky. When in doubt, stick with $10 or $20 for a thoughtful but appropriate amount.
2. Don’t Blow Your Budget on Gifts
Whatever you do, don’t blow your budget on office gifts. Gift-giving should be thoughtful, but it doesn’t need to be so expensive that it upsets your financial plans. Sometimes, the most thoughtful gifts are the cheapest.
3. Do Stash a Few Backup Gifts at the Office
There’s nothing worse than forgetting a colleague’s birthday. Play it safe by keeping a few small backup gifts in your office for those times when you’re extra forgetful.
4. Don’t Gift Alcohol in the Workplace
As a rule, don’t give alcohol to people you work with. To start, it isn’t something that is universally accepted in the office. Plus, many people abstain from alcohol for a whole host of reasons. Alcohol at work is generally not a good gift idea.
5. Do Gift Down, Not Up
Office hierarchy does play a role in office gift giving etiquette. As a rule, gift to your peers and those over whom you manage. However, it is not required for you to give gifts to your boss.
6. Don’t Get Too Personal
A personalized gift is always a nice touch. If someone you know loves a certain coffeeshop, then capitalize on that knowledge. At the same time, avoid getting too personal. If a coworker told you something in confidence, or you gleaned something off of social media, don’t use that information to buy a gift.
7. Do Splurge on Caramel Popcorn
Caramel popcorn is a gift that is universally loved. When in doubt, this sweet and crunchy treat is a people pleaser in just about any office environment. Snag cones or a whole tin for an office gift that will be well received.
8. Don’t Give Cash
One of the office gifting guidelines to pay attention to is the no cash rule. In some workplaces, there are collections for employees. While this is nice, there is no need to gift a coworker with cash for any other reason. Cash is impersonal, and it might be taken the wrong way.
9. Do Respect Workplace Price Limits
A lot of office holiday parties set price limits for participants. It is incredibly frustrating when one person goes well beyond the limit. It can make all the other gifts look inadequate, and it can stir up bad feelings. If there are set price limits, be sure to stick to them carefully.
10. Don’t Forget Anyone on the Team
If you’re buying a gift for one of the coworkers on your team, think about how it might impact others. You have two options: Gift equally in the office or gift discreetly. If you remember one birthday, try to remember them all so no one gets their feelings hurt.
11. Do Treat the Whole Office
Rather than buying individual gifts for everyone in the office, it can be a great idea to buy something for everyone all at once. If you’re a manager that wants to reward the whole team, order lunch for all your employees. Or, bake something delicious and bring it in for all your coworkers. Something that can be shared and enjoyed by everyone is always a nice choice.
12. Don’t Feel Like You Have to Gift Alone
A lot of employees struggle to think of the right gift for their coworkers. Worse still, they can’t afford the kind of gifts they want to give. If that sounds like you, find someone to gift with. Chipping in with a few others can mean better gifts that will really be appreciated by the recipients. This goes for smaller items all the way up to bigger, more expensive gifts.
These do’s and don’ts help set the tone for gift giving in the office. Armed with this information, you’ll be ready to buy the perfect gifts for your coworkers!