Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Buying Proper Office Gifts for the Holidays

If you work in a corporate office it's important to get the little things right, like buying proper office gifts for the holiday season.

There are many unwritten rules to finding proper holiday gifts in your office (only you know what they are in your office), but following general guidelines helps to avoid gift giving pitfalls for a truly happy holiday season.

1. Don't get too personal. It's just part of the corporate culture. No one wants to get a gift that might embarrass them or drag out skeletons from the closet. Stick to impersonal, neutral gift ideas like a perpetual calendar, book weight or any office and desk accessory. A basic pen stand, globe, desk clock or any other related item is never taken too personally.

2. Stay under budget. Sound familiar? This holds true no matter what you do in corporate America. More is less, and less is more. Who knows, if you find a really great gift for cheap, someone might notice this skill. While spending limits also vary based on your workplace, they'll be more if everybody makes more, play it safe and never spend more than anyone will think you can afford. This typically means about $25 to $50 for most of us. Managers could spend more but take note of the climate at that time. Is everyone slashing budgets? How will your gift be viewed in that case?

You can try to find out what others are getting or thinking of spending in a casual, non-confrontational way. "Have you gotten any shopping done this holiday season?" might lead you towards a few clues.

Stick to your instincts. If you feel it might be better not to get anything, do so, but rarely is that the case. Getting a simple gift like a key chain or even a cheap globe for the people you work with goes a fairly long way in most corporate relationships.