Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Survive the Office During the Holidays

The holiday season often brings a much-needed change of pace in most office environments. However, whether that change is a good or bad one is entirely up to you. Most holiday office traditions include a parade of parties, potlucks, secret santa gifts, and other fun, corny cliches to liven things up. The holiday season is a long one. After a while it can start to get a bit overwhelming for everybody, but don't worry. Surviving the office during the holidays is a piece of cake as long as you remember these great survival tips!

Remember to Share

Share the gift basket

The holiday season is the time for gift giving. Because of that, most offices end up receiving goodies and gift baskets from associate companies around this time of year. While it may be tempting to dive straight for the candy canes and cookie brittle, remember that you're a professional. Believe us when we say that no co-worker wants the fruit cake. Even if the package is addressed to you, chances are, the one who sent it really meant it for the whole office. You can tell yourself it isn't all you want, but refusing to share the goodies can breed hostility among friends. Sure, it sounds childish, but then again, so is hogging all the treats. Instead of being a scrooge, remember to share. It is, after all, what the holidays are supposed to be for.

Watch Yourself at the Office Party

Office Party Behavior

If only one party is held per year at your office, chances are it's around this time. While holiday office parties can be loads of fun, remember it's still a professional environment. These are the people you work with, so it's usually not okay drink more than two rounds or race the office chairs for tasking purposes into the walls. Don't smooch the cute guy from the next cubicle. Don't kiss up to your boss. And don't compliment someone on their ugly Christmas sweater unless you're positive it's "Ugly Christmas Sweater Day." Its okay to overindulge a bit on the food, but remember to leave some for the next three people. Talking about work is cool, but balance it out by talking about other things too. When it comes to the office holiday party, remember moderation is key!

The Mailroom is Not Santa's Workshop

Dont Abuse the Mailroom

There's no doubt that shopping from comfortable ergonomic mesh back chairs on Cyber Monday is way better than risking life and limb in the real world on Black Friday. However, browsing for gifts from cubicles for office and business use definitely has some rules entailed, namely, don't abuse it. Shopping during breaks and lunchtime is fine, but not during work hours. In addition, if your office allows you to use the mailroom for personal reasons, don't go overboard. The guys and gals that work down there aren't your own personal factory of elves. It's not their job to bring you ten packages from websites everyday. In fact, if you use the mailroom for personal reasons at all, it's a good idea to go ahead and get some stocking stuffers for the ones that handle your stuff as a thank you.

How to Handle Secret Santa

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is a great holiday tradition that just about everyone who knows how to navigate it loves. Unfortunately for the rest of us, it can be a bit confusing. If you don't know who the person on your name slip is, do your best to find out who they are before you buy a gift. That being said, if you don't know them that well, don't try to assume everything about their personality based on a glance at their Facebook page. Getting something too personal as a Secret Santa gift from someone you hardly know can seem a bit creepy. Instead, stick with the usual and stay close to the agreed upon price range. At a time when we all need it, finding a nice gift card to Starbucks or Amazon sitting on the office desks with modern design always makes a great treat!

Work is for Work

Work is for work

Unfortunately, work is called "work" for a reason. Setting aside some time for employees to relax and get to know one another is extremely beneficial to a work environment, but not if everyone abuses it. If no one shows up the day after the holiday party and they were supposed to, it reflects negatively on everyone missing. Even though it's the holidays, remember that work is necessary for that paycheck. Cutting loose and having a bit of fun is fine as long as nobody goes overboard. Holidays are a time for joy and getting along. Dressing up ergonomic monitor arms for computers as reindeer is super cute, as long as you can still see the screen to clock in.

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