Americans spend over one third of their day at work–and that likely includes a fair share of birthdays. We’ve all seen “The Office,” and know just how funny co-worker birthday parties can get. But, how do you make the office a fun and professional space to celebrate? If you have a co-worker with a birthday coming up, we have an easy checklist to help you celebrate in style.
- Decorate their space: Get there a few minutes early and add some cute decorations to their cube! Crepe paper and confetti are always nice (although, you don’t want to get confetti everywhere), but feel free to get creative! Do they have a Labrador puppy obsession? Plaster the space with adorable pictures. Is there any running office joke that could be added to with some rudimentary Photoshop or crafting skills? Go for it! Make your decorations as personal as possible to get a real laugh.
- Organize the Birthday Lunch: The birthday lunch is the most important part of the coworker birthday celebration. You could always go out for lunch at a favorite spot and split the bill, but a homemade option can be just as fun. Instead of bringing in a cake, have everyone bring in sweets around a favorite theme, color, or flavor. This can be based off your coworker’s favorite foods, the season, or anything that will bring some coherence to your birthday lunch. Decorate to match! If they aren’t so much of a sweet person, have a potluck centered around their favorite type of food–be it anything from Mexican to BBQ–and have everyone bring a part! Decide if you want to surprise them or not, and organize a time at which everyone can meet.
- The Birthday Card: Decide if you want one birthday card that each co-worker signs, or if you guys want to split up and each get your own. Think about sharing a photo of the office in a photo birthday card–to add a personalized touch to your office birthday card, or getting a funny birthday card made for your co-worker. If you’re circulating a card or two, don’t wait until the last minute! Get it going the day before, so that everyone has time to write a sincere birthday greeting.
- Divide and Conquer: Don’t wait until the day before, and end up doing all the work yourself. Once you’ve decided on a fun theme or idea, circulate an email to the office, and after gauging interest, encourage everyone to sign up for a small part.
Do you have any ideas for celebrating co-worker birthdays? Or, better yet, do you have any funny stories about co-worker parties at your office?