The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration and good cheer, yet for those of us who work it often becomes a time of stress and confusion. If you guessed the dilemma is gift-giving, you’re correct! There are so many questions surrounding this bit of office etiquette. Should you give all your coworkers a gift? What about your boss? What gifts are appropriate? How much should you spend? When should you give a gift? What if the boss or a coworker gives you a present – do you reciprocate? Here’s how to gracefully navigate office gift-giving dilemmas so you can get down to enjoying the season.
- Know your company policy on gift-giving. Large companies are likely to have one which dictates whether the practice is acceptable and who should exchange gifts. If you cannot find an official policy, ask your manager or the human resources department.
- Keep it simple. Stay within an agreed-upon budget for gifts, and don’t go overboard – especially for the boss. Doing so can appear unethical. If you’re new in the office, ask around to find out what was spent last year. Try to spend roughly the same amount on everyone.
- Go with professional yet personalized items. Make thoughtful gift choices that reflect people’s hobbies and interests. Other safe bets include gifts for the office, such as gadgets, desk accessories or a pen and pencil set. In a pinch, a gift card to a favorite retailer is nice.
- Say thank-you. Don’t feel pressured to run out and buy a gift for the boss or another coworker who gives you one. Do send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift and expressing your gratitude. If you receive a gift you cannot keep due to corporate policy, donate the item to a non-profit but still send a note expressing your thanks.
- Give gifts to friends off the clock. Many of us have coworkers that we’re closer to than others. Navigate this by giving your friend the same level of gift that you’re giving other coworkers at the office, then plan to give another special gift based on your friendship at another time.
- If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer … by all means, send gifts to clients and those with whom you often associate. Scale gifts according to who gives you the most business and the length of the relationship.
Remember, it’s the day-to-day way in which you do your job and treat people around you that matters most to coworkers at your DC office space. Follow these tips to gift gracefully, and have an enjoyable time! Happy holidays from Metro Offices!