Work can be extremely stressful. Negative feelings or low morale affect everyone. Take steps to create a positive work environment. Find out if any of your coworkers is having a birthday. Check with the boss to get his approval and give your coworker a day to remember. A simple act of kindness will go a long way in boosting morale because everyone can work together to create a pleasant and entertaining day for the entire office.
Decorate the coworker's work area, office or desk. Wind streamers around her chair and desk. Place a happy birthday banner in her office or cubicle. Wrap streamers around the coworker's wastebasket. For an even more public display, hang a birthday banner and streamers in the break room or conference room. Place birthday balloons near your coworker's work area. If you have photos of him, make a poster by gluing copies on a poster board and displaying it in his work area. Let colleagues add their celebratory greetings to the poster as a giant card.
Bring food to celebrate your coworker's birthday. The fare doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Speak to colleagues and organize a potluck lunch, asking everyone to bring one simple food item to share. Food appropriate for a potluck includes sandwiches, potato chips, cold salads, dip, cut-up fruit, crackers, candy and soft drinks. Don't forget to provide a birthday cake. Place the food in the break room or conference room at lunch and sing "Happy Birthday" to your coworker.
Bring a few decks of cards to the conference room or break room as well as board games. Employees can mingle and play games during lunch or breaks to get into the party mood. Alternatively, devise a scavenger hunt. Hide items such as hard candies, pens, staple removers, paper clips or sticky notes. Break up into teams and give clues to each. Give a prize to the team that finds all the items.
Gifts with a Twist
Ask each coworker, including the birthday person, to bring a gift to work he never used. Do not wrap the gifts. Place all the gifts on the table in the break room at lunch. Ask the birthday boy or girl to pick first, followed by the rest of the attendees. Alternatively, wrap the gifts and ask the coworker to pick a surprise gift, followed by everyone else. For a more focused approach, also ask everyone to bring theme gifts, such as chocolates, jewelry trinkets, paper items or desk accessories.
Be careful where you place streamers so that people don't trip on them. For instance, avoid putting them in cubicle entrances. Keep music and singing relatively quiet and confined to the break room or conference room so it doesn't disturb other coworkers. Use banners and streamers with simple and inoffensive remarks. For instance, incorporate banners that state "Happy Birthday" not "Over the Hill."
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