Office Holiday Gift Giving Etiquette

Office Holiday Gift Giving Etiquette

Holiday gift giving can be a little tricky, most especially when it’s for work where you’re always supposed to observe proper etiquette. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of office gift giving can help avoid any awkwardness or worst — memos.

Aside from reviewing your company’s gift giving policies, here are some things you should remember about office holiday gift giving etiquette.

1. Pick a neutral gift.

There should be nothing too personal or intimate on your shopping list. Don’t choose gifts that will be deemed “inappropriate” by people with no sense of humor. Don’t get an offensive or gag gift, no matter how hilarious you think it’ll be. This still applies no matter how close you are with the recipient.

2. Be thoughtful.

In the same vein, you should be thoughtful of your recipients and consider what they might want. Don’t assume that your recipient might want a donation to a charity in his or her name. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but your recipients may have wanted to receive a gift for themselves. They might not get mad at your gift, but that would be because they will look like a jerk for feeling bad.

3. Never assume.

However, don’t assume the people in your office share your tastes. Using the previous example, just because you prefer donating to charities instead of receiving a physical gift, does not mean you can assume your recipients like them, too. It’s best to stick with their favorite activities and hobbies.

4. Do your personal gift giving in private.

To avoid upsetting the people who aren’t in your gift list, give your gifts to your friends in your own personal time and space. Same goes for giving the boss a gift. Showing this gesture to your co-workers may earn you a nickname of being a suck-up. Another option is to ask others to contribute but be cautious as not everyone has the budget nor desire to contribute. It’s better not to give your boss a gift unless he is a close personal friend, in which case, do it in private.

5. Don’t be too generous.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just gotten your bonus, don’t buy expensive gifts. This will trigger animosity among your co-workers who might not like being shown off.


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