From Gift-Giving Etiquette to the Holiday Work Party: A Seasonal Survival Guide

Gift-Giving Etiquette

Along with decorations and baked goods, the holiday season can bring about some unique work situations. And some of these scenarios can be stickier than melted gumdrops. Here are tips to make sure the holiday happenings in your workplace don’t become office mishaps.

Observe Gift-Giving Etiquette

So your coworker got you a present, but you failed to do the same. Before you panic, remember that many people enjoy the giving nature of the season. Accept the gift graciously and let your coworker know how much you appreciate the thought behind it. Follow good gift-giving etiquette and promptly send a thank-you card. If you decide to return the favor, find an office-appropriate gift of similar value.

Watch Your Holiday Work Party Manners

Beware of falling into either of two extreme camps when it comes to the holiday work party: those who make it clear they don’t want to be there and those who end up dancing atop the reception desk. Even if the party occurs outside of normal business hours, remain mindful that it’s still a professional gathering. It’s great that you feel comfortable enough around your coworkers to let your hair down, but too many glasses of holiday cheer could lead you to say or do things that could greatly damage your professional reputation.

Don’t skip the festivities either. Many organizations view the holiday party as a team-building exercise and frown upon those who bail on the get-together without good reason. Your manager or coworkers put time and energy into planning the event. Show your gratitude by dropping by for at least an hour or two.

Be Sensitive to Differences

If you’re one of those party planners, keep in mind that the office is a diverse place and not everyone celebrates the same holidays in the same ways. Everyone’s cultural beliefs and celebrations deserve equal respect. Inclusion is the key. When in doubt, play it safe with a more neutral theme like, “Winter Wonderland.”

Have a Good Attitude (Even if You Can’t Get Time Off)

Most employees ask for at least some time off around the holidays. Help your chances of getting your time off approved by putting your request in early. That said, you might end up being one of the people asked to hold down the fort at the holidays. What do you do then? For starters go in with a positive attitude. Think of it as banking good workplace karma. You can also take advantage of an unusually quiet office to tidy up, close out the year and get a good jump on upcoming projects.

The holidays will be here before you know it. Brace yourself and make the most of it by incorporating these tips into your holiday planning.

Have tips for surviving the holidays in the workplace? Please share them in the comments section.

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