With holidays coming up, it’s time to think about what you’re going to gift to your friends and loved ones – but your coworkers as well. Of course, every office has its own rules when it comes to gifts, but sometimes, that doesn’t really help. In the end, getting a gift for coworkers can be even more challenging than getting a gift for a friend. After all, you actually do know about your friend’s likes and dislikes. That said, it’s important to stick to certain guidelines that will make the office gift giving more entertaining and appropriate.
Explore the gift-giving culture
Even if this may be the first time for you, your coworkers probably already have some experience with gift giving in the office. In order to make things simpler for yourself, don’t hesitate to ask around and learn the unwritten gift rules. By asking around about the past gift-giving season, you’ll find out the average price range as well as get some general ideas about the gifts. This knowledge means a lot if you don’t want to offend anyone or put your coworkers in an awkward position.
There’s no need to be extravagant
Spending more than necessary on office gifts is even worse than spending less than the average price range everyone is aware of. You’ll basically put the person you’re giving the gift to into an uncomfortable situation where they might feel obliged to return the same value gift or feel embarrassed about the gift they already prepared. This isn’t good for your relationship with your coworkers and certainly won’t fare well with your boss either, as you may come off as a suck-up. Stay within the price range!
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If your workspace is doing a Secret Santa, this situation can be successfully avoided. But, if you’re set to give out gifts for everyone, it’s important to stay fair and not favor anyone in particular. Things may be a little bit easier if the rules of the office let you give gifts to your team/department only. But, if that team has a lot of members, things can become a bit difficult if you don’t keep fairness in mind. In the end, you may want to consider your budget and divide it equally among your coworkers so that you can surprise them with useful and memorable gift cards. That way, you won’t have to worry about not being fair or making a wrong choice with the gifts.
Office gifts shouldn’t be too personal
Even if you’re best friends with someone from work, wait till you’re both out of the office to give them the gift you know they’ll love. But, when it comes to office culture and exchanging the gifts with coworkers at work, it’s important to stay as neutral as possible. Giving overly personal and specially customized gifts can make your coworkers feel uncomfortable. With office gift giving, a small token of appreciation is always the best solution to go with.
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Show that you care
Even if you get your coworkers a pretty generic gift, that doesn’t mean you can’t show them you care and appreciate them. Not getting too personal is not a terrible limit. After all, if you know something more about your colleagues’ likes and dislikes, you can always use that knowledge for the gift – as long as you keep it appropriate and neutral, as previously mentioned. What’s more, you can always express your gratitude for working with them and the respect you have with a nice and thoughtful message.
Just like when buying gifts for friends and family, remember that your coworkers don’t necessarily have the same taste as you. It’s fine if you don’t know their tastes, but don’t force yours on them. This is another reason why combining generousness and practicality will make everyone happy for the holiday office gift giving.
Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about positive lifestyle and development. Find Claire on Facebook and Twitter