5 Rules for an Office Gift Exchange

December 07, 2021

5 Rules for an Office Gift Exchange

These five rules for an office gift exchange provide a helpful guide for participating in holiday gift giving at work. There are many unspoken laws to corporate gift giving. Ensure you make a good impression on your boss and coworkers by following our five rules for an office gift exchange. 

What Should I Bring To An Office Gift Exchange?

Whether your workplace is doing white elephant, secret santa or has opted for another fun way to give gifts, office gift exchanges are always just a little bit stressful. Holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but the pressure to have fun and remain professional at work can feel like a tricky line to walk. We want to let loose… but not too loose, of course. 

If you’re giving gifts to employees or your boss, the rules may change a little bit the fundamentals of respect and consideration are the same. No one wants to feel out of place at a holiday office gift exchange. 

Workplace Gift Giving Etiquette

When it comes time to exchange gifts as your team celebrates the holiday season, its important to know what’s going to be expected of you. Some places may have certain corporate gift giving laws, and the first thing you should do is ensure you’re aware of what they are. Does your gift policy at work all for giving alcohol as a gift? Would that be considered appropriate in your office? If you’re unsure, double check with HR so you know exactly where you stand. 

Gift Giving At Work Guidelines

Below are our rules for giving gifts to employees and coworkers. These simple rules will help keep you on track for making a great impression at your holiday work party. 

Rule Number 1: Stick to the Price Limit 

Office gift exchanges typically set a price limit on every gift. While these limits are considered a guideline, it’s always best to match them as close as possible. Going far under the pricing limit will reflect poorly on you, and leave your recipient feeling left out and cheated. On the other hand, going far over the limit will likely make you seem like a show off. 

Rule Number 2: Give a Strong Presentation 

Gift giving isn’t only about the present inside the box, it’s also about the box itself. Don’t just dump your gift unwrapped on your recipient’s lap with no ceremony. Take the time to nicely wrap your gift and give it a little style. This extra step will go a long way. 

Rule Number 3: Don’t be a Grinch 

The holiday season, unfortunately, coincides with the end of year crunch, which means it can feel hard to pull yourself away from work at this time. Even if you’re busy, you should resist the urge the opt out of your holiday gift exchange. Taking a break to have fun with colleagues is never a waste of time. 

Rule Number 4: Stay Workplace Appropriate 

Even if you’re giving a gift to a close friend within your office, it’s always important to remember to say workplace appropriate. An inside joke between your friend and you may be funny to you, but if it’s something that will offend the rest of your coworkers, it may be better left for the weekend. 

Rule Number 5: Be Thankful 

If you’re in a large office, then the odds are pretty good you may find yourself assigned a secret Santa that doesn’t know you very well. Even if your gift is way off the mark, its important to be outwardly thankful as much as possible. These people are still your coworkers, and no one wants tension in the office because Debbie gifted you some ugly socks.




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