Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the office may not seem like a good idea to most people. Supposedly the day is for sweethearts which keeps most people from feeling it is a little too mushy for the office. The fact of the matter is that Valentine’s Day did not start out as a lover’s holiday, but rather as a feast day in many Christian religions. It is commonly held that in many European communities that Valentine’s Day is a celebration to the coming of spring. School children make decorations and exchange Valentine’s cards as a sign of friendship and esteem. In the US about 190 million cards are sent each year.
Valentine’s Day does not have to mean love, it can be simply a day to celebrate people we care about. Most of us spent 1/3 of our week at work. I say it is important to celebrate Valentine ’s Day in the office with some simple signs of caring to show the people we spend so much time with that we think they are special. Here are a few simple dos and don’ts for appreciating coworkers on Valentine ’s Day.
• Bring in a special treat, such as donuts or cookies. A little sweetness in will bring a smile to everyone’s face, with the added benefit of making the team just a little more productive.
• Wish your coworkers a happy Valentine’s Day with a smile or a card.
• Make suggestive remarks, that is never appropriate.
• Buy anyone an expensive gift, which may make them feel uncomfortable.
• Initiate any physical contact. Shaking hands or friendly hugs are okay but should be initiated by your coworker. Some people do not feel comfortable with physical contact and that should be their decision.
Valentine’s Day can be a great team builder in the office if it is done with an appropriate amount of decorations and lighthearted wishes. Keep in mind that celebrating in an office should always be achieved without making anyone uncomfortable but rather feel a sense of happiness to carry them through this special day.