All work and no play famously makes Johnny a dull boy, and the same probably applies to you. It’s impossible to remain productive for eight straight hours, or to focus your energy on difficult tasks without breaks. Office morale affects performance, so make the most of your time at work by keeping morale high and colleagues motivated… by celebrating birthdays at work.
It’s (tragically) not feasible to make every workday a party day but it’s important to make time for celebrations. Not only do in-office celebrations improve morale and performance, they also strengthen interpersonal relationships and help forge genuine friendships. And birthdays are the best celebrations of all.
But how to celebrate birthdays at work?
Here are our suggestions.
Decorate their desk
A fun and simple way to make a colleague feel special on his or her day is to dress up their workspace. If you’re tight on budget, go the DIY route – make bunting with leftover envelopes or file folders, grab a pack of balloons and make a garland. If you’re tight on time, grab streamers or pre-made signage from a party store and make your coworker’s day.
Make (or buy) a fitting cake
A sheet cake is an office classic but depending on the size of your office and its inhabitants’ dietary needs, it may end up going to waste. Instead of keeping things vanilla (lol), prepare a cake or other treat specific to the birthday guy or girl. Consider allergies or dietary restrictions. Make gluten-free treats for anyone with gluten allergies or go dairy-free for the office vegan. If you’re really bold, take a leaf out of SnackNation’s book – they made a full-on veggie cake for their CEO.
Don’t limit yourself to just celebrating birthdays at work when it comes to letting loose in the office. Appreciate your colleagues on more than just their one day. Here are a few suggestions for office-related holidays that might convince your boss to let you drink at work along with a printable office holidays calendar for you to keep at your desk.
January 28: Fun at Work Day
March 1: Employee Appreciation Day
March 8: International Women’s Day
April 24: Administrative Professionals Day
Second Wednesday in May: National Receptionist Day
Third Wednesday in May: National Employee Health & Fitness Day
Friday After Father’s Day June: Take Your Dog to Work Day
July 26: System Administration Appreciation Day
October 16: National Boss Day
First Wednesday of November: National Stress Awareness Day
November 10: International Accountant Day
Create a theme
Everyone knows the best parties are themed parties. We took this to heart when we celebrated our Accounting Manager Laurel’s birthday with full The Office fanfare – we decked the office out Dwight Schrute style, complete with ‘It is your birthday.’ banner and half-inflated balloons.
Consider something similar for your colleague’s birthday. If she’s always dreaming of a beach vacation, make (virgin) piña coladas at lunch and have everyone wear leis. If he’s a fan of murder mysteries, frame him for murder and have him solve it before it’s too late and he’s jailed.
You get the idea!
There are plenty of things that motivate success, but one of the best ways is reward. While pay raises are awesome, they’re not always feasible. Don’t let this diminish your desire to reward your team (or yourself) for hitting business milestones.
Set goals and have pre-planned rewards should you hit them. A nice lunch out paid for by the boss is always a great option, as is an afternoon off. If your team is small and you know them well, grab some gifts you know they’ll like – little things like cute stationery or a personalized novelty nameplate.
Go above and beyond with gifting
Cakes are good, themes are great, but gifts are everyone’s favorite. You can go the classic route of an office pool where everyone chips in a few bucks to get something decent they’ll really like, or… you can go with gag gifts.
The key to giving a good gag gift is to make it something that will not only amuse your coworker but be useful to them. Don’t just get them some cheap trinket they’ll chuckle at and then toss in a drawer (or into the garbage). Instead, put some effort into making your coworker laugh.
Try something in this vein.
Useful and ridiculous, just like me. This pug tape measure is from Asos.
Your coworker shouldn’t have to miss you when you’re gone. Gift them this air freshener so they can always see (and smell) you.
No one should sleep alone. Give the gift of Nicolas Cage in your colleague’s bed.
What are some of the best workplace celebrations you’ve attended? Let us know! We’re always looking for suggestions on how to have a good time.
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Great fun ideas. That Larry is pretty sharp! 😲