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The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 12, 2024 • Issue 24:02:01


Valentines at work

Hearts. Red roses. Scrumptious chocolates. Date nights. These are typical things that come to mind when Valentine's Day draws near. In a business context, it can be easier to not acknowledge the day, rather than risk coming across as unprofessional or worse. But there are ways to celebrate this upbeat day by showing appreciation for clients, staff and partners without crossing the line into romantic territory.

It's possible to do this in a variety of ways. You could, for example:

  • Mail physical cards with personal notes to clients, staff and partners expressing gratitude for their support and collaboration. If you have a large number of people to appreciate, SendOutCards can help, www.sendoutcards.com.
  • Hold an appreciation luncheon, happy hour or special staff meeting as a way to express your gratitude for the hard work and dedication of people in your sphere. Avoid romantic themes in the decor or menu. This type of gathering can give people a boost while fostering relaxed, friendly interactions.
  • Send out personalized emails to business associates and clients who mean the most to you. Include details specific to each relationship so the people you're reaching out to know they're not receiving a generic message that could apply to anyone.
  • Set aside an afternoon for team-building activities or workshops designed to strengthen professional relationships. Focus on unity and skills development.
  • Organize a donation drive or fundraising event for a charity that is meaningful for your team. This will help all involved think of the bigger picture beyond their personal relationships.
  • Give gifts appropriate for the office: Choose gifts that are of professional utility such as desk organizers, tech accessories, branded stationery or calendars, or inspiring business books.

Something to keep in mind

It's important to be thoughtful of colleagues who, for various reasons, may have a difficult time on Valentine's Day. Here are ways people who are in happy romantic relationships can be supportive of people who might be experiencing intense feelings of loneliness coming up:

  • If your romantic partner is stopping by an office you share with others, avoid excessive displays of affection, because it can make colleagues who are going through a tough time uncomfortable. This doesn't mean to avoid being affectionate entirely; it just means don't broadcast your romantic bliss.
  • Don't brag about gifts you've received or your special Valentine's Day dinner plans.
  • Be a good listener. Sometimes all someone who's feeling blue needs is to have someone to talk to. Show compassion and be available if a colleague needs to confide in you.
  • Do something special for a colleague who has no partner to share Valentine's Day with. It could be a friendship card, a lunch or a small gift you know will appeal to their taste.

There's no question that Valentine's Day and other holidays don't necessarily make everyone happy. The fewer assumptions you make about how someone is likely to feel and the more inclusive and compassionate you are, the more likely it is you and your colleagues will make it through these days with minimal upset and stronger bonds. end of article

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