Office Gift Rules

Holidays are the greatest time of the year. However, it also stresses some of us due to the ritual of giving and receiving gifts. Many questions pop up in our heads. Should I give a gift to my boss or to all my coworkers? How can I keep it professional yet give something meaningful? Can I give funny gifts? What is the right price range? If you are thinking similar questions and looking to find the answers, then read below.

  • Don’t make it an obligation: Do not pressure anyone to participate in an office gift exchange, make it optional. Some people may not want to participate in this ritual due to economic, religious or personal reasons.
  • Set a cap for the gift: Suggesting your coworkers a spending limit will both eliminate the inequality of the gifts and help everyone understand what is expected. You can recommend everyone to bring a gift between $20 and $30. In this way, people don’t feel uncomfortable, if they bring an over/under priced gift.
  • Don’t give personal gifts: Don’t give too personal gifts such as perfume, jewelry or clothes because your coworkers’ taste may not be the same as yours. Go with safer gifts such as a box of chocolate, a coffee mug, a decorative desk object, a desk calendar, etc.
  • Don’t try to be funny: Don’t try to get funny gifts because you may offend someone in the end. You don’t want to damage your relationships with your coworkers because you see them almost every day for at least 8 hours. Instead, try to get something everyone can use.
  • Group Gift for Boss: You can also buy a gift to your boss as a group. If you are a team of at least 5-6 people, this may be a good choice to get a nice gift for your boss. However, don’t push anyone to participate in. Make your suggestion and if someone doesn’t want to participate, then skip him/her and collect from others.
  • Spend some time and effort for gifts: Don’t leave your gift to the last minute. Spend some time and effort to buy something which people will like or use. Your last resort can be a gift card to a coffee/food chain nearby your office.
  • Don’t forget to say ‘Thank You’: You should always show your appreciation and say thank you whoever gives you a gift. Even if you don’t like the gift, you should still thank to this person. You can also show your thanks with a handwritten note or holiday card.