Tips for a Successful Office Holiday Season

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The holiday season can be a tricky time in the workplace. There are all manner of parties, gift giving, overeating, and celebrations that often get in the way of normal work activities. Then there’s the matter of taking care not to offend colleagues who don’t celebrate the holidays the same way as you. Here are a few simple tips that will make the holiday season easier at the office:

1. Keep Gift Giving Reasonable:

In some workplaces everyone exchanges gifts for the holiday. This can easily get out of hand. Consider starting a “Secret Santa” or secret gift exchange, where each person buys a gift for one other person instead of buying gifts for everyone in the office. Set a low price range and stick to it.

Wrapping presents
Attribution License by Dan4th

2. Keep Feeding Frenzies to a Minimum:

During the holiday season, food is everywhere, all the time. It’s hard to maintain a healthy, balanced diet when clients deliver boxes of chocolates or colleagues bring in cookies to share.  An easy way to avoid treat overload is to arrange a schedule that allows each person who wants to participate to bring something on a specific day. Furthermore, keep non-perishable gifts sent by clients for after the holidays when the cupboards are bare.

3. Don’t Let the Holidays Get in the Way of Work

As fun as the holiday season is, remember that you still have a job to do. Don’t let yourself fall behind. You might even want to try getting to the office before everyone else so you can get a head start on your day. It’s not always easy, especially at the time of year when there are more parties and events to attend in the evening, but when the holidays are done and you’re not playing catch up, you’ll be glad you did.

4. Be Mindful of your Workplace’s Holiday Culture

The holidays play a bigger role in some workplaces than in others. If your colleagues seem to be quite low key when it comes to celebrating in the office, consider that may be at the request or suggestion of your employer. If you want to get in the festive spirit with your co-workers consider getting together after work.

5. Respect your Colleagues’ Personal Beliefs

The workplace often brings together people of different religions and cultures. Not everyone observes the same holidays, and not everyone celebrates in the same way. Some people choose not to celebrate any holidays at all. Try not to offend anyone by forcing him or her to celebrate outside of their own tradition. You may mean well and just want them to “get in the spirit” the way you’re used to, but personal beliefs surrounding holidays can be a sensitive subject.

6. Behave Properly at the Office Holiday Party

Remember to behave professionally at the office party. Have a good time and relax but don’t drink excessively, dress too provocatively or party too hard. You may be friendly with your colleagues but you should still maintain a level of professionalism.

Contributor: Danielle Knowles

Danielle Knowles is a Feature Writer for Fraser Valley Pulse, as well as the owner of Red Pencil Editing Services. She loves to laugh, go on adventures and read.  Danielle lives in Abbotsford with her husband and fur babies Oogie Boogie and Mungo. Twitter: @redpencilca

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