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The Rules For Exchanging Gifts at Work

The Rules For Exchanging Gifts at Work

The Rules For Exchanging Gifts at Work

Business - Gift Giving Ideas

Advice Seeker :
Dear April Masini,

The holidays are coming and I have a few co-workers I'd like to give gifts to. Are there any rules for how we should exchange holiday gifts and what kinds of gifts are acceptable or not?

Santa at Work


April Masini's Advice :

Dear Santa at Work,

Gift giving is traditional for some companies and industries, and hit or miss with others. Stick to the following rules for gift giving at work, and you'll keep your boundaries and your relationships at work in tact.

For personal gift and card giving at companies, follow the tips below:

  1. Keep religion out of gift giving at work. Don't mention Jesus, Allah, or any other religious figures in your cards or on your gifts. Keep it about the holiday season. If that's a problem, keep it about the upcoming New Year.
  2. All or nothing. Don't give gifts to only a few people at work -- if you're the employer. Give something to all or nothing to all.
  3. Employees who want to exchange holiday gifts to a few friends at work should do so outside of the office. A lunch break is a great time to do it. At drinks after work is another great time to do it.
  4. Gifts should be appropriate, and by appropriate, I mean impersonal. No lingerie, perfume, clothing, or bedroom items. In fact, steer clear of music and books, to be safe. Good gifts are plants, food items, and alcohol (and if the person is an alcoholic -- non-alcoholic drinks, like sparkling ciders).