The Bottom Line on Gift-Giving at the Office

There aren't any written rules on whether to give gifts to the boss, co-workers or anyone else for that matter in the workplace, and at this time of the year, giving and receiving, alike, can be extremely stressful.

So here are some guidelines: What is most appropriate and how should gift-giving be approached? According to a consulting firm called Eticon, common sense is the best approach, mixed with some thoughts before actions.

First, the boss. The advice provided by Eticon is to evaluate how closely you work with your boss. Overly extravagant or costly gifts aren't necessary. If you want to give the boss something, give a gift you think the person will enjoy based on his or her background. You're also under no obligation to reciprocate with a gift just because you receive one from the boss, but if you want to be prepared in case you feel the desire to reciprocate, you may want to keep a box of candy or cookies nearby.

Co-workers can be a different story altogether, especially in large offices and work teams. Eticon advises that you evaluate why you're giving the gift and come up with a suitable strategy. If you just go through the motions of giving gifts, you'll be doing what's called "gift-slinging," or just giving to get it over with. Gift-giving should be fun, not an obligation.

Eticon suggests giving something you enjoyed receiving over the years, and if you really just want the recipients to know you were thinking about them at this time of the year, consider only giving cards. They'll make a strong impact, and you can write a personalized message.

Suggested gifts that are appropriate for the workplace include small plants, gourmet cheese and coffees, fancy cookies, homemade baked goods, and gift certificates to video stores or restaurants. Alcohol is not recommended. And don't forget to take the time to wrap the gifts nicely. Such a gesture will show you really care about giving the gift.

And while you're thinking about giving holiday presents - take a look at our online shopping ideas for quick and easy shopping right from your computer.

You may like these other stories...

We've probably all worked for soul-sucking managers who expect employees to spend their workdays tethered to the office with no other life obligations or desires. But that's not what the "When Work Works"...
A recent study of lateral hiring trends in the accounting industry by the Chicago-based executive search practice the Koltin Consulting Group (KCG) has found that in the first half of 2014 firms continue to lure top talent...
Without getting into all that's been written about the jobless recovery and record high corporate profits without the accompanying hiring, there has indeed been a fundamental shift in how corporate America is working...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 21Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience’s communication style.
Oct 22This webinar will include discussions of important issues in AU-C 800, Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks.
Oct 23Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.
Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.