My business revolves around Customer Service calls for a Medical device company. Our agents have had to learn quite a bit about products that customers call us about every day. There are manuals in all their cubicles so the representatives can answer questions. Our Human Resources department is small and we all know each other pretty well. So, when they received a pamphlet last year titled “Ways to Recognize Employees this Holiday Season!” they forwarded it to the administration team, in hopes of finding some new options which would show our appreciation to all employees this next upcoming holiday season.
Our choice for the best idea was: “Give all the employees something they would really be happy to receive”. After going over all the company expenses we decided that along with the Company Christmas Cards we’d also enclose a gift card from American Express! We are using the business AMEX card to pay for everything possible through the business and in this way we will accumulate a percentage of our total spending. The grand total can then be divided up among the total number of our employees and we can have gift cards issued. We are anticipating the amounts will be a number that feels like a really good gift! This way since everyone gets the same dollar amount there are no secrets about how much each employee receives and each can feel truly valued.
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, finding time to squeeze in exercise to stay fit may seem like a monumental task. Who has the time with all there is to do?! What if I told you that you can find that extra time to exercise during the holiday season during your work day? It may sound crazy, but with some creativity and a few simple changes to your everyday routine, staying fit at the office during the holiday season is possible.
One easy way to stay fit at the office during the holiday season is to get more steps during the work day. That could mean that you start parking further away from your building to make the walk farther; if it is cold outside, then just walk faster or even jog! Either way, you are doing something good for your health. Another way to add more steps is to take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also walk over to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing or calling them. These all seem like small things, but every little bit helps!
You can also suggest that your weekly standing meetings actually become “standing” meetings by having attendees stand or walk around the room for the duration of the meeting. Another strategy for getting more steps in during the day is to take a walk during your lunch break. You can even multi-task by also getting some holiday errands done during your walks; maybe you can walk to the post office to mail your holiday cards, or walk to a nearby shopping area to pick up some gifts!
Besides getting more steps in a day, squeezing in some toning exercises is another example of ways to stay fit at the office during the holiday season. You can do isometric exercises right at your desk without anyone knowing! Here’s a few to try:
-Lift your legs straight out off the ground under your desk and cross at the ankles, push your bottom leg up against your top leg. This tones your hamstrings and quadriceps.
-Place palms flat up under your desk and push. This tones your biceps and triceps.
If you have your own office, you can get very ambitious and lift dumbbells or use exercise bands during teleconferences, or complete a strength training routine during lunch. There are also now many websites that offer free streaming workouts; workouts range from under 10 minutes to an hour, so you are sure to find something to meet your need and can stream using your smartphone.
If you follow these tips for staying fit at the office during the holiday season, you are sure to enter the New Year being “ho-ho-healthy”!
If you are thinking to yourself, should I get my boss a Christmas gift? The answer is no, no and, I repeat, a big fat no! Except that sometimes the answer is a maybe and sometimes it can even be a yes.
Ok, let me ‘splain Lucy. Let’s face it; no one really wants to buy their boss a Christmas gift. You don’t really like your boss all that much because, well, he’s the one that just keeps piling the work on you. And then you’re supposed to spend your hard-earned cash on a gift for him? I don’t think so. In my opinion, if anyone is going to buy gifts, it should be the bosses buying for the employees. I really think gift-giving in general is way over the top in most organizations and mostly unnecessary. However, it can be a nice way for a boss to show appreciation for his employees. Preferable the gift is a nice, big cash bonus but smaller gifts are certainly nice too.
There are times though when you do have a great relationship with your boss and you do want to show some extra appreciation to him with a Christmas gift. Heck, you may even love your boss! In these cases, you may want to spring for a Christmas gift as a gesture. If you are part of team that works under the same boss, it’s usually best to stick to group gifts from all of you. You don’t want to appear to be trying to score brownie points or be a brown-nose. Even if it is a group gift, keep it on the small side and preferably something that the boss can use at the office.
In the end, I guess what I am saying is anything goes but you should bear in mind both the culture of the organization and the relationship you have with your boss before you decide Christmas gift or no Christmas gift?
Happy shopping, or not!
We often spend more time with our co-workers than with our family (or at least it feels that way at times). So an office holiday celebration is a fun way to share the holiday spirit with our “Second Family”.
Some ideas for the Office party can include the following:
A personalized card for everyone. Maybe a candid photo of the group transformed into a special holiday memento for each person.
A grab bag. Keep to inexpensive gifts (set a $ limit) or gifts that have to be handmade. Or choose a theme for the gifts.
Make it a “pot luck” luncheon. Everyone has their holiday favorites that are family “secrets” or a special ethnic food. Imagine a party with fresh guacamole dip with tortilla chips, Greek spanokipita pie, baked manicotti and for desserts; Scottish shortbread and payasam (an Indian version of rice pudding). There could be so many new and delicious items to try!
And after the food, how about a Karaoke contest? We found at one office party that if people were anxious about venturing this alone, if they teamed up with one or two others, they were an instant “rock group”.
Whatever works for your team of friends in the office; just the time spent together sharing in a relaxed social event helps “ring the holidays in” for all.
Are you worried about being a part of the office holiday party because the buying of a miscellaneous gift for a mysterious person is daunting? Well, time to be creative. Buying a grab bag gift for the office holiday party can be fun. Make the most of it and be creative. I know it is easy to just run out a wrap a gift card up, but anyone can do that. Gift cards are great but presents are even better. The excitement of opening an odd shaped item or a crazy wrapped box is part of the fun.
Don’t know the sex, age, marital status or interest of the person? Not a problem! Here are some great gift ideas that almost anyone could appreciate but would not spend the money on themselves.
• Scrabble anyone? A board game is something all can enjoy. They can bring the family together to make up for all time the dedicated employee spends at work.
• Puzzles/Books? Enough with the family time. Give a book or puzzle so your coworker has a mental escape from life.
• Give a night out. These are things we seldom splurge on for ourselves. Give the gift of movie or play tickets along with a dinner gift certificate.
• Another great idea: Gift baskets. Get a decorative basket and fill it with goodies such as popcorn, chocolate, chips, candy….
• Wine anyone? How about the monthly programs out there where a person will receive a different wine, dessert, lobster, or steak every month? This is a gift that keeps on giving.
• The cold weather is now approaching so why not give gifts for the car? An emergency kit, a funky ice scrapper, snow brush, etc. will definitely be appreciated on those difficult mornings.
Don’t be afraid to dive right in and give the grab bag gift that the entire office is talking about. It is easy and fun to be part of the company grab bag. Have a happy holiday by giving a gift anyone would appreciate.
Everyone loves the company Christmas party. However, office parties aren’t what they used to be thanks to the recession, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun.
So, a great idea would be to have a holiday party during working hours. Serve a nice buffet with a variety of food so everyone is happy; no alcohol should be served. Get the entire company involved in choosing the theme and cuisine; send emails asking for votes, make the emails light hearted so no one is offended if you don’t take their suggestion. Now that you saved money on a location you can splurge on decorations, make the office festive, and get some great door prizes!
Assign a photographer or two to take candids during the party and make sure you post them afterwards. Don’t make it a job, find someone who enjoys taking pictures! Set up some board games around the office on game tables with folding chairs, nothing fancy. Games like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit are great for teams! Give prizes that have nothing to do with job performance or achievement. For instance:
- The person that complained about the heat the most
- The person who had the best suggestion in the suggestion box
- The person that brings the best smelling lunches
When the holidays are over send another email thanking everyone for attending and asking all of the employees their opinion – good or bad – so that next year you can pull off another successful office Christmas party.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go! There’s something about Christmas that brings out a jolly spirit from even the grumpiest Grinch in the office. There are so many reasons why Christmas is the best holiday to celebrate in the office. At my job, we decorate our cubes with garland and stockings. We also put up a tree that we adorn with beautiful ornaments. It really adds such a festive look to the workplace! It’s also great when you get to work to the sound of Christmas music playing. We pull out a small radio and set it to that radio station that plays holiday music all day long! I also enjoy the kind gestures I get from coworkers and vendors, especially the Christmas cards and gift baskets.
Although it’s important to try to eat healthy, how can one resist all the sweet Christmas treats around the office? Every year, I bake these delicious sugar cookies for my coworkers. It’s my little tradition! But the grandest display of treats is our annual office Christmas party! It’s such a great time to enjoy delicious food, listen to holiday music, and reflect on the year with coworkers. It’s a really great time to enjoy each other’s company.
At my job, we get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. It’s always such a wonderful gift to get a little break from work to spend with loved ones. It’s such a beautiful time of year. There’s no reason why we all can’t have a little Christmas cheer in the office!
Throwing a party doesn’t have to break your budget. There are lots of simple things you can do that don’t cost a lot, but make a great impression.
Keep decorations simple. There are probably things that you already have that can be used to decorate your space. Some ideas:
1. Fill a glass bowl with red ornaments to use as a centerpiece.
2. Hang Christmas tree ornaments around the house or space. Christmas tree ornaments can be hung on just about anything, not just the tree.
3. Holiday table cloths or runners can be used to decorate the mantel, end tables.
4. Pull out photos from Christmas’s past and hang them around the room. They will make for great conversation as well as look great!
Keep the menu simple. Finger foods are a great way to do this. There are a variety of premade options that you can buy at the grocery store or food clubs. If you want to make your own, you’ll save even more. Try to have a variety of types of dips and chips and crudite. Try to have a variety of colors. Serve the food on colorful platters.
Another thing you can do is to ask your guests to bring their signature dish. They may enjoy showing off their dish and it will help keep your costs down, while creating a varied menu.
Most of all remember the purpose of a Holiday Party is to enjoy the season with those your care about and to be grateful for the good things we have in life. Relax and enjoy!
For the first time, I have been put in charge of this year’s holiday festivities. So the big question is – What to serve at an office Christmas party? I’ve honestly not given it much thought before. I usually just show up and the food is there. Isn’t it funny how we think that this just magically happens?
As I started my planning, I was thinking that I want it to be fun and festive. However, I don’t want it to become overly complicated. With that in mind, I began to research my options. I came up with the following ideas:
- Foods that can be kept warm in chafing dishes. Baked ziti, chicken marsala, sausage with peppers, etc.
- Tossed salad (I would only offer a few different dressing types)
- Rolls (splurge for the individual butter portions, if budget allows)
- Easy to eat treats for dessert, such as cookies and brownies.
- Bottled water, coffee & tea
You can also go potluck, and ask your fellow employees if they would like to contribute. Post a sign up sheet so people can sign up and enter what they would like to bring. Otherwise you may wind up with multiples of the same thing. This will allow your fellow employees the chance to participate while showing of their favorite holiday specialty!
Ugly Sweater Parties. Secret Santa. Grab Bags. Non-Denominational Holiday Brunches. After Hours Eggnog-and-Mulled-Wine Shindigs.
At least one of those things is made-up, but the others are some of my favorite company Christmas party ideas.
Well, I say favorite but I might be fibbing just a little bit. I’m not a big believer in mandatory gift-giving in one’s place of business, unless the spending limit is hilariously low and people know to have fun with it (i.e., everybody buys a joke gift from the dollar store). Because, hey, we’ve all been in that awkward situation where there’s an office Secret Santa and it’s “To Be Taken Seriously”, but you don’t know the person you got all that well and everybody walks away disappointed.
I feel it’s best to avoid that situation altogether.
My absolute favorite kind of office party is one where there’s decent food (catered or informal pot luck, it doesn’t matter), but not a lot of formal structure. It’s supposed to be a party; let the people unwind and make their own fun. By all means, encourage silly outfits. But don’t go so far as to make anything Mandatory™.
Really, the best Christmas party idea anyone can give you is to not over-plan your company party. Just toss up some decorations, put out some food, and see what happens.