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How To Give Better Office Gifts Without Going Broke

Office gifting

Ever been in charge of organising a group gift for a colleague? From collecting the funds, getting the card signed and choosing an appropriate gift, the task can become overwhelming. But there’s an easier way! Here’s some practical tips on navigating the world of workplace presents, using tools like GroupTogether, to make office gifting fun and stress-free…

First things first, let’s demystify the world of office gifting culture. It’s a bit like trying to decode your toddler’s drawings – puzzling at times but filled with good intentions.

In most workplaces, giving gifts to your colleagues serves as a way to show appreciation and build stronger relationships. It’s an opportunity to mark important occasions (like going on maternity leave or a farewell) and celebrate achievements (like a promotion or a new client win).

Here are some practical tips and tools to help you navigate office gifting etiquette.

Tip 1: Tackling the unspoken obligation

There’s often an implied expectation to participate in office gifting, which can feel a bit like being dragged into something you didn’t sign up for. But remember, you can make it as simple or elaborate as you’d like. If your work BFF is going on maternity leave, you’ll want to make more of a fuss than for David from finance who you’ve only emailed twice. 

Now let’s talk about something crucial: financial pressures. Yes, life can be expensive, particularly at the moment! Between school expenses, groceries, and the ding on the car you got in the shopping centre carpark, it’s easy to feel financially stretched. The good news? You’re not alone; your colleagues are likely experiencing similar pressures. 

When it comes to office gifting, the key is to keep it real. You don’t have to break the bank or dip into your savings. In fact, most people appreciate a thoughtful, budget-friendly gift more than something extravagant. So, set a budget that’s comfortable for you and stick to it. Don’t feel like you need to give to every gift, or give the same amount for every colleague.

Use a platform like GroupTogether to let everyone sign the card and only contribute if they want (and privately).

Tip 2: When you’ve been ‘Voluntold’ to organise the gift

People can sniff out an ‘organiser’ personality a mile away. I swear it’s like having a big neon sign with “I’ll do it!” above your head. Jobs just gravitate towards you. 

Firstly, THANK YOU. Sometimes (read: always) being the organiser in your life is a thankless job. And you put your hand up and go the extra mile anyway because you’re truly a good human. 

But you know the drill all too well – it’s your colleague’s wedding and you’re expected to conjure up the perfect gift and hilarious card like a magician. Everyone works hybrid so it’s hard to collect cash, and you don’t want your colleagues’ money in your personal bank account (big ick). You send a card around a week in advance for everyone to sign, but it never makes it past Darren’s desk and you have to spend two hours walking it around for last-minute signatures. Absolute nightmare!

GroupTogether is a game-changer for office gifts. It’s the secret ingredient that transforms office gifting from a headache to a joy. You might have used the website before to chip in for an end-of-year teacher’s gift, but this platform is perfect for tackling those gifts for your coworkers as well. With GroupTogether, everyone can chip in and sign the card online. Everyone can contribute what they feel is appropriate based on their financial situation and their relationship with the colleague. And no more envelope woes! 

Tip 3: How to use GroupTogether to organise gifts

Make it easy for yourself and everyone involved! Simply create a collection with GroupTogether.com (it takes just a few minutes!) then send out invitations to your coworkers via email or share a link… and ta-da! Unlimited people can chip in and sign the card online. At the end, you can download the gift and card card as a PDF to print, or share it digitally. 

If you choose a gift from their Gift Store, the whole platform is completely free. This includes 70+ eGift Cards (including Myer, DJs, Rebel Sport, JB HiFi plus more big names) and a great range of flowers and hampers. In Australia, you can also withdraw the funds for a tiny fee. 

Pro tips when setting up your gift collection:

  • Choose the option to “Let people sign the card without contributing” so it’s really inclusive for everyone. 
  • Set the end date the day before you really need it, there will always be someone who leaves it to the last minute! You can easily re-open it from your dashboard. 
  • If you’ve got strong corporate firewalls, it’s best to share the link via your own email to make sure everyone receives it.  

Tip 4: Sign the card like you mean it

Signing the card

There’s NOTHING like getting a card full of heartfelt messages and pics from your colleagues. It’s incredibly moving. So regardless of how much you’re chipping in for the gift, take a moment to write a personal message on the card.

It’s okay if you’re not a Shakespearean prodigy, here are a few tips to craft the perfect greeting card message: 

  • For a farewell, try to think of one thing in particular that you’re going to miss e.g. their sense of humour, their fantastic recipes or Tuesday morning coffee dates. Or share a funny or special memory from your time working together e.g. a favourite project you worked on.
  • Send some encouragement on their next chapter – whether that’s retirement, a new job or mum life. 
  • If you’re still stuck, GroupTogether have message inspo powered by AI to help you write the person message. So cool!

Tip 5: Don’t overthink the gift

Ever put SO much effort into a gift trying to find the ‘perfect gift’, only to later realise it wasn’t quite right? Yep, we’ve all been there. 

Honestly, most people are really (really, really) happy to receive a gift card. Forget the feeling that gift cards are not personal, they are actually the most thoughtful gift! Especially when paired with a card from the whole team.

Maybe find out if your coworker has any hobbies or interests outside of the office and get a gift card to their favourite store so they can put it towards something they really want. Or give them the GroupTogether AnyCard which lets the recipient swap it for 70+ eGift Cards.

And remember, we’re not hunting crocs here. Keep it office-appropriate, and steer clear of overly personal or potentially embarrassing gifts. 

Tip 6: Take a moment to celebrate giving the gift

Giving the gift

When it’s time to give the gift, gather everyone around (either in-person or virtual) and take a moment to share some kind words. If you’re in person, we recommend downloading the GroupTogether card as a PDF to print and give. And don’t forget to snap a pic of the moment! 

If you’re doing a virtual farewell, send the card and gift during the meeting so they can still open it with everyone around. Don’t feel the need to overcompensate with virtual trivia and other games (unless you know your team is all on board). 

Just remember to keep the sentiment light and positive.

Final thoughts on gifting etiquette in the office

So there you have it! A practical guide to gifting etiquette in the office that won’t empty your wallet or send you spiralling into a gifting-induced panic. Keep it real, it’s not a competition. Give as much or as little as you like based on your relationship with that colleague. It’s about showing appreciation and making them feel special. 

Use GroupTogether to take away the awkwardness and the hassle. Put effort into writing a meaningful message on the card, and give a gift card to let the recipient choose something they really want. 

In the end, it’s not about the gift itself but the connection it represents. So, keep being the awesome colleague you are, and know you’ve given your coworker a long-lasting memory of how much they are appreciated. 

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