Gift Giving in the Office: Do’s and Don’ts

Like a blustery blizzard, December’s often a whirlwind for businesses – closing the books, holiday parties, and yes, peppermint mocha breaks for those late nights in the office. But as the holiday season approaches, many of you are also winding down your first year as employees in “the real world.”
Amid the flurry of activity, take a moment to determine your company’s stance on gift-giving, especially if you work for a smaller organization without a gift policy. Though it’s generally an accepted practice to forgo a present for your boss, Scrooge rules don’t always apply for everyone else. If you’d like to get a gift for someone, try to avoid:

Buying a gift for someone you don’t know well

While it may seem like a sincere gesture, giving a gift to a workplace associate can backfire if you don’t know their tastes and preferences. If you’re conflicted over getting a gift for someone you only say hello to in the elevator, it’s better not to.

Giving anything that could be deemed inappropriate

Steer clear of clothing, perfume, or other items that can make a co-worker self-conscious of his or her appearance or hygiene.  Green light for fruit baskets, desktop plants or Visa gift cards.

Exchanging gifts in front of everyone

Not only is this exclusive of others, it can create awkwardness for those who may not have purchased gifts at all.

Reciprocating gifts from your boss

 If your supervisor gives you a gift, express your gratitude with a heartfelt thank you note.

Giving gifts to gain recognition

Just don’t. This tactic rarely works in anyone’s favor.

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Suzanne De Vita

Suzanne De Vita is an online editor and content producer. Exceptionally vocal, she’s often found belting “The Star-Spangled Banner” or chanting “Roll Tide!” at her television. Her greatest loves are The Temptations, barnyard animals and cajun cuisine. She’s contributed to Chicken Soup for the Soul and the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans, and received her BA from Quinnipiac University.