For some people, Christmas can be an especially stressful time. Trying to figure out what gifts to get your family and friends can be challenging, but for your co-workers? That can be downright daunting. Here are some tips for gift giving at the office that can help make it a lot less stressful.
Things to Consider:
- The best option for most offices is to have a Secret Santa gift exchange. This is usually the most cost effective and low-stress solution.
- Keep in mind that, due to cultural and religious beliefs, not everyone will want to participate. Make sure that it is clear that participation is voluntary.
- You need to consider each employee’s financial burden while planning the dollar amount for the gift exchange. Not everyone can afford to spend large sums of money on co-workers.
- As a participant in the gift exchange, always stay within the spending limit. It is important to remember that the limit is there for a reason. Going over that amount will make other people feel as though they should have spent more as well.
- If your office does not do the Secret Santa, it is important to remember that if you gift for one co-worker you should gift for all. You don’t want to create hurt feelings in those you did not get a gift.
- If you are only intending to gift a few select co-workers, the gift should be given to them in private or outside of the office.
- Remember to check on what the company policies are regarding gifting and follow it.
- If you are thinking about gifting your boss, I would suggest that you do that as a group. Perception is everything and others may see that gesture as trying to influence your boss.
Gifts to Choose:
- Services are usually a safe bet. A dog walking service can be great for a person with a busy life. Something as simple as a manicure or pedicure is usually a big hit as well. Think about things that the person would enjoy, but not necessarily spend their own money on. Be generic when you do this. If the company providing the services has an extensive selection, let the person pick themselves.
- Music, movies, and books are also a fairly safe choice. If you know what the person’s tastes are in any of those areas.
- Plants or items for their office.
- Food is usually a good choice. Be careful to ensure that there are no allergies when choosing this option.
Gifts to Avoid:
- Fragrances or perfumes – these are a very personal choice. Only consider this route if you know what their favourite fragrance is.
- Alcohol – for most people if they want this item, they will buy it themselves.
- Anything too intimate or embarrassing. Most companies will have a respectful workplace policy in place. These gifts will usually violate that policy.
- Cultural or religious gifts. Generally, we know who our co-workers are, but do you know everything about them? Religious or cultural gifts can be very sensitive. My suggestion – stay away.
Christmas in the office should be fun not stressful. The goal of an office gift exchange is to help everyone enjoy the season a little more not make people feel burdened, uncomfortable or stressed out. Follow the ideas above, and it will help to ensure that your office gift exchange is enjoyed by all.