Office Gift Giving Made Easy

Published Tuesday, November 02, 2010 12:53 PM

Halloween is the starting gun; the holiday race is on. Fall disappears at a breakneck pace, its time to start thinking about the winter gift-giving season.  With the Recession making funds tighter, navigating office gift giving is trickier than ever. Finding appropriate gifts for office Secret Santas or your boss is never easy. Doing so on a budget is tougher still.

What's Your Office Gift Giving Strategy?

 No matter the size of your budget, keep in mind a few key considerations when shopping to ensure your gift is appropriate and well received. Gifting at Work: What's Right? What's Wrong? outlines 10 useful Do's and Don'ts. They include:

  • Do ask human resources about gifting policies. There may be a dollar-amount limit or gift giving might be prohibited altogether.
  • Don't give gifts that are too intimate.
  • Don't make a big scene when presenting the gift as you may embarrass the recipient.
  • Do be careful about buying gifts for your boss. You don't want to appear to be currying favor. So check to see if counterparts are giving him/her gifts as well.
  • Do give co-workers something that reflects their interests, values and tastes.
  • Don't give liquor unless you know the recipient drinks.
  • Do consider giving a work-related gift, like a great pen or new planner.
  • Don't break the bank; gifts don't need to be expensive to be thoughtful.
  • Do remember that gift giving is its own reward; expecting lavish appreciation may leave you disappointed.
  • Don't regift, or pass along freebies as gifts. You may get caught and it looks cheap.

Cash-strapped workers will want to get creative in gift giving. Harvard Business Review blogger Rosabeth Moss Kanter has wonderful suggestions in 12 Gifts for Cash-Short, Recession-Weary Workplaces.  

My favorite ideas? Bosses taking a morning to serve subordinates breakfast or the priceless gift of time off. Send everyone home early one day to finish their own holiday shopping. You can't put a dollar amount on time off during the frenzied holiday season.

Finally, consider the sentiment of the season and make a donation to a charity close to the recipient's heart.

The website  makes donating to a range of charities simple.

Does your office have holiday gift-giving guidelines? Do you have creative, low-cost gift ideas? Share your thoughts here or at the Beyond Folders Facebook page.

by Carly Fadako


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