We spend at least 8 hours in the office and often a few hours more. It is no surprise then that we develop a relationship with our colleagues, employees, and superiors. From the socialization we have at the office we can learn about each other’s accomplishments, challenges, and new events. When random days at the office become an extraordinary day for one of your business associates, you may wonder what an appropriate gift would be.
Common gifts include:
- Office stationery (because we can never have enough pens, paper clips, and a stapler that works!)
- A coffee table book (preferably a motivational book like the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey)
- Coasters/coffee mugs (haven’t we had enough of them?),
- Laptop or PC sticker (if it’s allowed)
- Pen holder (oh look! Another pen holder for all the new pens!)
- Business card holder (please pick something that’s not black/brown)
- Coffee and tea (you gotta admit those are essential!)
- Flowers and plants (liven up that cluttered desk! Hopefully, one that’s low-maintenance)
- Gift voucher (promotional ads? Maybe. A voucher to their favorite restaurant? Why not?)
Flowers as a gift at the workplace should be completely fine when it fits the occasion. For instance, sending birthday flowers to your supervisor will certainly be appreciated. Be wary though of crossing boundaries especially when giving flowers to the opposite sex. You need to maintain a tight-knit business relationship and a professional appearance. Respect should also be maintained. As such, it is wise to brush up on knowledge of flower etiquette especially in the case of sending business flowers.
When to send business flowers?
In the business setting, it is allowed to give a hand bouquet of fresh-cut blooms where there is a suitable occasion. If not, you risk getting in trouble with your HR Manager or boss for pursuing a romantic interest. Even with the same gender, you wouldn’t want to send flowers “just because” in the workplace.
Also, corporate flowers are often sent as a corporation, a team, or a department. Giving flowers as a sole sender can be misunderstood unless of course, you are best of friends. Even so, a flower arrangement from the florist is often expensive. Even if you come across the site of a cheap flower delivery service, you will still find the need to spend a little. It is not long before people think why you’re giving gifts for no apparent reason. So only give flowers for the following reasons:
- Funeral or sympathy flowers
- Token of appreciation for a successful project/huge deal
- Get well soon
Should I give flowers to this recipient?
When giving flowers to your boss, make sure to get the whole team to pitch in. Even if you want to shell out the majority of the expense of purchasing the flowers or a hamper delivery, be sure you have a couple of senders wishing the boss with you. Think birthdays, promotion, or an anniversary. These occasions are perfectly fine to give flowers to. However, it is wise to be discreet in giving your gift.
Never publicize the gift or risk coming off as an attention seeker. Other teams may also misinterpret your gesture as asking for favors from your superiors. In any case, red roses and other romantic flowers are a big no-no. Stick with sophisticated flowers, cheery hues, and low-maintenance office plants.
Client or business partner
You may need to be extra careful when giving flowers to a client or a business partner. Your kind gesture may come off misconstrued. Occasions, when you can give corporate flowers, including flower for grand opening of a new shop, branch, franchise, expansion or relocating to a better venue in the district. Business flowers should be avoided when your business partner or client downsized to a smaller or cheaper space as this can also be misconstrued. Check out hampers offers from an online florist. You can also add a fruit basket or a celebratory banner.
When giving flowers to a client, it is best to avoid a bouquet of mixed flowers with different symbolism. Opt for safe options like orchids, daisies, or better yet choose some completely unromantic potted plants.
Be wary of giving flowers to the opposite gender. You may still give flowers or plants without sending romantic overtures. Think of a hamper, gift basket, or flowers that are not overtly fragrant or large. Be wary of the message the flowers bring such as giving flowers to a married colleague.
You can offer a token of appreciation to an employee with an outstanding performance. However, keep in mind that you wouldn’t want to send the wrong message to the recipient and to your other employees. Give business flowers for a promotion, wedding, or a new baby. Some companies give flowers on birthdays. Stay away from flowers that are too fragrant.
- Romantic Partner
You may be thinking to surprise your wife or girlfriend with a lovely hand bouquet at their workplace but be sure to check with them first. They may not be comfortable receiving flowers at the workplace. You may also have to check with the lobby receptionist to ensure the flower delivery guy can complete the order in a timely manner.
Be sure to check with florists in Singapore for the best prices when giving flowers as a gift to business associates. Stay on the safe side with friendly flowers like daisies and sunflowers. If you want to spend a bit more, orchids are truly appreciated. Air-cleaning office plants like the lucky bamboo will also be appreciated by all genders.