Birthdays are one of a few days a year that we get to spend solely on ourselves; as coworkers, we can choose to make this day special for others through any number of methods. By far, the most effective way to make a coworker’s birthday more than just another day at the office is to arrange a party!
Get the Okay
The first thing you should do when planning a party is to clear any festivities with your boss or manager. Some team leaders will ask that you set up a party during the lunch break, so as to not interrupt anyone’s workday. Other companies may welcome a come-and-go party with snacks and decorations set up all day. Talk to management before planning or buying anything massive.
Food and Drink
What would a birthday party be without snacks? The week before your coworker’s birthday, ask some probing questions about your friend’s favorite drinks and chips. What kind of cake would they like? Make notes of all of these things so that you can have their favorite things on hand!
Depending on the space you have to work with – break room, empty cubicle, an empty office – you can decorate an area as much or as little as you want. Even a few balloons can lift the spirits in a small space. Check your local party store for decorations that might help bring a birthday atmosphere to your venue, regardless of the size.
To Gift or Not to Gift
It can be difficult to decide whether or not to spend money on a gift for a coworker. Depending on how generous you wish to be, you can do as little as a personalized card. Even though you might be footing the bill for the food and decorations, it will be nice for your coworker to be able to bring something from the party and keep on their desk. This will remind them about how thoughtful you were to set up such an event just for them!
Don’t forget to let everyone in the office know about your intention to set up a birthday party for someone – after all, you’re not the lucky birthday recipient’s only coworker! While it may not be proper to ask others for donations to throw the party, some people may offer; this may make it easier for you to do a little bit more.
Make sure to purchase a card with plenty of space for everyone to wish your coworker a happy birthday! Some people will simply insert their own name – others may wish to write a note of their own. Purchase this shared card a week or more in advance so that it has time to make it’s way all around the office. Try your best to keep it out of the hands of the birthday guest of honor, though!
Throwing an office birthday party is an amazing way to recognize a coworker. It’s easy to feel lost in the lull of the office as if everyone is the same. What a great idea to help someone feel just a little bit more special one day of the year – on their birthday.