A Guide to Office Gift Giving

The holiday season can get stressful when it comes to picking out the perfect gift. In response, the Alberta MBA office has put together a list of tips to help you cross off your office shopping list.

  1. Avoid intimacy

It is best to err on the side of caution when choosing personal business gifts. Items that would not be appropriate in a business setting include an example would be giving roses.

  1. Bribing the boss

Getting your boss a gift is a nice gesture, but you still need to keep in mind your relationship when picking out the perfect present. Try for something practical, such as a nice pen set. Always keep in mind price, extravagant gifts can come off as bribery, which may harm your career aspirations rather than help them.

  1. Be Thoughtful

If you know your office mates well enough, especially the people you work with on a day to day basis, the thought really counts. If you know they like movies, maybe get them a few movie passes or a DVD they will like. If they like sports, get them a memento with their favorite team’s logo on it.

  1. Consider the message

Avoid gifts that may give off a “something is wrong” vibe. Perfumes are a nice gift for someone you know well, but in a work setting it may give off the impression that your colleague smells. Steer clear of gym memberships or gift certificates for a salon; it could make the receiver self-conscious of their appearance.

  1. Gift cards

Gift cards are appropriate in the workplace, a standard amount would be around $20 dollars.

  1. Non-Alcoholic

To be safe, stay away from alcoholic gift options. It may be a personal, troubling subject for someone, or they just simply don’t drink. It is one of those subjects that doesn’t often come up in company conversations so it is best just to steer clear.

  1. When in doubt, ask

Especially if this is your first holiday season at the office, there is no harm in asking your colleagues about office protocol. You may even want to check and see if there are company policies in place around gift giving.

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