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We often see our work colleagues more than we see our own family and friends, with the average person spending 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work. So, with it being more or less a given that you will be spending birthdays and special events in the workplace, should we buy our work colleagues gifts to mark the occasion?

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 31% of workers feel obligated to give their work colleagues gifts, with a further 40% wishing that their employer prohibited gift giving in the workplace all together.

So, the question remains, should we gift our colleagues presents for special occasions? Well, that all depends whether or not you actually consider your co-workers more than just work acquaintances.

To gift or not to gift?

While many will argue that there isn’t enough magic happy dust sprinkled around the workplace, others will state that firm boundaries need to be set between co-workers, and that the exchanging of gifts is simply going a step too far. While many organisations have clear policies and procedures about giving and receiving gifts in the workplace, many businesses and start-ups are more open minded about work colleagues giving one another gifts.

Know your friends

If your work colleagues are the kind of people that you hang out with after work for a few drinks and a catch-up away from the workplace, than they are also probably the kind of people that you will buy a gift for during a birthday or another special occasion such as Christmas. However, while showering one another with gifts in the workplace may seem like a sign of endearment, you should also be considerate of others around you, especially fellow co-workers who may feel left out.

Professionalism should always come before presents.

Ultimately, the workplace should be a place where people should feel free to work, and while it is natural for relationships to develop with people who you spend a considerable amount of time with, you should also try not to isolate those who you are less ‘friendly’ with in the working environment. Maybe gift your work colleague out of the workplace and away from your fellow co-workers who may take your gift exchanging as a sign of favouritism and preferential treatment.

Get Licensed Says

Giving unfair preferential treatment to somebody else at the expense of another is not normally our intention when exchanging gifts with a work colleague, however, being so openly affectionate in the workplace may not be the best sign of professionalism in a work environment that is supposed to neutral. When it comes to public displays of affection, maybe it’s best to keep hold of the present until after the working day.

Article Name
Should We Give Our Work Colleagues Gifts In Workplace?
To gift or not to gift, that is the question. As we spend more time with our work colleagues than we do our own family, are we obligated to give gifts to our co-workers?
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