Depending on the size of your office your co-worker’s birthdays can happen as often as daily or as infrequently as a few times per year. Regardless of the frequency of the occasion, it’s fun to mark it with festivities. Since I entered the workforce I’ve worked in many offices and have seen all types of celebrations. Here are the top three birthday party ideas for your office:
- The Birthday Club – One of the first places I ever worked had a birthday club. Every month, the chairperson of the birthday club collected $2 from each person in the office. On one designated day in the month, the money was split amongst everyone in the office who was celebrating a birthday that month, and those people used their share of the money to purchase food for the birthday celebration. People could buy bagels & cream cheese, cakes, cookies, chips & dip, or ingredients from the supermarket to whip up some homemade specialties. This idea works best with a really large office or large department. The office where I worked had about 40 people who participated in the birthday club.
- The “Surprise” Party – Another office where I worked would throw a surprise celebration on or near the birth date of the co-worker who was celebrating a birthday. Before the actual date, an email would go around to everyone except the birthday person and people would coordinate what food and drink to bring. This was always nice but of course it wasn’t much of a surprise because the same thing was done each year for each person’s birthday, so you were always expecting it.
- The Admin Assignment – The administrative assistant is responsible for planning an office celebration for the person who is celebrating a birthday. This can be a success or a failure depending on how much of a party person your administrative assistant is. I’ve worked in offices where the admin looks at this as a tedious chore and does the bare minimum (i.e. orders a cake from the company cafeteria and passes around a lined piece of paper for everyone to sign because she forgot to buy a card), but I’ve also seen some really fun ideas. In a smaller office where my sister worked, the admin got to know a few fun things about each person and tailored each party to them in a special way. My sister’s boss was a big Bon Jovi fan, so the admin ordered a cardboard cutout of him and everyone posed next to it for a group picture. They ended up using that picture for their company’s holiday card!
As they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Since you end up spending a great deal of your time with your co-workers, it’s fun to enjoy a slice of cake with them as you mark another year on the calendar. And don’t forget the business birthday cards! It’s nice to be remembered by the people you spend most of your time with!