5 Tips For Celebrating Birthdays In The Workplace

Celebrating birthdays in the office

Birthdays in the office can often end up a contentious issue. There’s always someone who is unhappy at having to give money to the collection, someone else who starts suggesting that maybe collections should just be stopped and then there is the person who always organises the birthdays with gusto.

Each workplace may celebrate birthdays differently; some may do nothing but say happy birthday while others may go all out and decorate the birthday recipient’s desk. But to try and make things easier we’ve put together some useful tips that can be used in any work environment that celebrates birthdays!

1)    Check They Celebrate Their Birthday

This may be something that simply doesn’t come into many people’s minds. The majority of people will celebrate their birthday in some way, even if it’s to simply acknowledge that it’s their birthday. But it is important to remember that some people do not celebrate their birthday at all.

This may be because of a religious reason, for example Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays. Alternatively, they may not celebrate because of personal reasons that may make a birthday painful and so they do not want to be reminded. No matter what the reason, it would be polite to simply check first to ensure that you are not accidently irritating or offending the recipient.

2)    Organise a Collection In Advance

Many workplaces like to collect money together to buy the person a present from the whole team. Whether it’s a bottle of alcohol or a well thought out present, it obviously requires money. Sometimes people may forget about a birthday and then there is a frantic whip around to raise money which can raise the irritation levels.

This can be stressful for both the person organising the collection as well as those giving. If people are only told on the day then there is the likelihood that there are people who cannot give because they don’t have money.

Make sure to organise your collection a week or two in advance and send out an email to everyone so that they have plenty of time to be prepared. This also allows for people who may have days off and also allows for a birthday card to be fully signed.

3)    Don’t Expect Sweets or Cake

While it would be nice to always find sweets or cake available when a birthday comes around, it should not be expected. There is every chance that the birthday person may forget to bring something in or they may not have the money to do so.

This should be something that is a nice surprise, not something that is expected. It can put pressure on others to have to bring items in when in reality, it’s their birthday and they should be able to enjoy their day as they want!

4)    Always Keep Track of Birthdays

If you work in an office where there are many people, there will in turn be many birthdays. It can become hard to keep track of who is having a birthday when, so setting up a calendar is an easy way to always keep track.

By having a birthday calendar you will be able to always be reminded of who has a birthday coming up so that there is plenty of time to prepare. It may also be useful to keep note of important birthdays such as a 30th, 40th and so forth.

5)    A Birthday Milestone is a Big Event

On the subject of important birthdays, it may be a good idea to make a big deal out of it. The catch here is making sure that the recipient will be okay with it. If someone is turning 50 and is genuinely unhappy over it, it may not be a good idea to make a big deal of their day.

But if they’re okay with it, then decorate their desk, post notices throughout the office letting everyone know that someone has reached the big number. Try to encourage people to give more than they normally would so that you can get the recipient something memorable for their big day.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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