|Staples Offers Gift-Giving Etiquette for the Office|
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 26, 2001--Staples knows that the holiday season is filled with cheer, goodwill -- and the potential for social blunders at the office. Before you purchase gifts for colleagues, bosses and employees, don't forget to carefully consider the implications. To assist with the task, the experts at Staples teamed up with etiquette consultant Jodi Smith of Mannersmith to offer guidelines and tips on how to avoid committing an office gift-giving faux pas.
When in Rome
The first thing you should consider is the particular culture of your workplace. If you recently started a job, ask your new colleagues what the gift-giving policies are. Request specifics instead of general guidelines.
Giving to the Boss
Asking colleagues about gift giving to the boss is also advisable. Keep in mind that many offices don't encourage gift giving to superiors. Additionally, offering gifts to your boss may be seen as an attempt to curry favor, or may cause resentment by co-workers who then feel obligated to purchase a gift for their boss. The bottom line is that giving a gift to your boss is something you should consider only if it's common and encouraged at your place of work. If you're determined to get something for your boss, consider the following items:
Before buying a gift for a colleague, ask if your office has an annual gift swap. If it does, there will likely be spending-limit guidelines and a plan for assigning your "swap mate". The major error to avoid is giving a thoughtless or inappropriate gift. Any of the gifts suggested for your boss would make an ideal present for co-workers, or you can personalize the gift. For gifts for the entire office, think about personalized shirts, mugs or t-shirts.
Gift Giving to Employees
Wine or flowers are gifts best suited to employees you know well. Although wine makes a great gift (and for this reason is a popular choice), you need to make sure that the recipient doesn't have personal objections to - or problems with -alcohol. Flowers are also a popular choice, but you should be aware that they could be misinterpreted as a romantic gesture. Since different flowers have different meanings, be careful with your selection. It may be smart to send a basket of baked goods instead.
For more personal work relationships, Jodi Smith suggests exchanging gifts outside of work. Elaborate and emotional gift exchanges at the office can result in co-worker resentment.
Expanded tips on office gift giving and many other helpful holiday tips are available at http://www.staples.com under the Staples Holiday Center icon. Happy Gift Giving!