Anyone who knows me, knows I’m (very) serious about birthdays (maybe a tad much). As in, I take the whole month to celebrate mine (don’t judge me), and remind my friends and family of the BIG day ahead of time. After all, birthdays are special! Except many times, the whole birthday thing happens at work. As in, in a corner of Cubicle Land somewhere in Big Corporate…After all, for most of us, the majority of our time is spent in the office, whether it’s a formal or informal office setting.
While not everyone is open to celebrating birthdays at work, ringing in co-workers’ milestones at work can go a long way in strengthening team’s bonds and raising morale. Additionally, it just shows that despite the tight deadlines, occasional (hopefully healthy) competition, and other office shenanigans, we do care about each other.
While the focus should not be into turning the office into a giant birthday function, there are a few fun, and original ways, to say happy birthday at work. Here are some of them that will make everyone smile, without hampering productivity or raising corporate eyebrows:
How about some gifts?
Use sites like Elfster to exchange gifts at the office, without making it overly obvious. It’s an easy way to show your co-workers that you appreciate them. You can even start a gift exchange with co-workers, and even opt for a charitable cause to donate to. Just keep in mind that most gifts should be kept under $25 to avoid any connotation of potential bribery, especially between bosses and their reports.
Do It For the Cause
If the whole gift exchange idea sounds like too much of a hassle, why not make a donation to the employee’s favorite charitable cause? Not only will they be personally touched, but you will also help out others in the process.
Make It Personal
Nothing like adding a personal touch to a co-worker’s birthday to make them feel special. It could be an inside office joke, or just a sweet memory. Whatever it is, try to bring a special touch to it!
I’ve seen some co-workers get customized cards, or even make custom videos for milestone birthdays. While these are great ideas, make sure to check with your department that they do not violate any officially (or unofficial) company rules.
Invest in Alternative Cakes Or Treats
Instead of the traditional sheet cake or ice cream cake, you can opt to raise the health barometer of your office by investing in alternative cakes or treats. How about some healthier snacking options like this Healthier Indulgences box for instance? You can also pick vegetable or fruit cakes, which are basically veggies and fruits disguised as cakes. It would be a good way to get more health-conscious employees involved as well.
How do you celebrate birthdays at work?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sis.