Valentine's Day Ideas and Tips for the Office
Valentine’s Day is about chocolates and roses for some employees, but cavities and allergies for others. Be sure Valentine’s Day in your office is kept in good spirits and is within yours or the offices’ budget.
As admins, a major part of our job is to keep office morale high. With massive budget cuts and layoffs this year, it would be refreshing to actually have a reason to celebrate.
Make Valentine’s Day this year less about cheesy cards and cupids, and more about respect for employees and a creating a warm and amiable workplace.
Let’s not make Valentine’s Day so ridiculous that people feel nauseous. Tone down the red and pink heart banners and balloons and focus on simple, subtle decorations.
Flowers: Buy a couple dozen inexpensive white flowers a few days before Valentine’s Day to group in small bunches around the office. Daisies or carnations are affordable and cheerful options. Place around the reception areas, bathrooms, kitchen and your desk. They don’t need to be elaborate; tight, small clusters are very elegant.
Each morning, starting with the first day, squeeze a couple drops of red food coloring into the water. Over the week leading up to Valentine’s, the flowers will change from white to pink and eventually to red. Everyone will have fun noticing the change!
Candy: Maybe it is just because I am a chocoholic, but I much prefer chocolate candy over those toothpaste-flavored candy message hearts. Plus, we are grown-ups, and we should indulge in more rich treats.
Get a mixture of classic chocolate candy – Hershey Kisses, Dove Bites, Resses – and drop in strategic places all over the office on Valentine’s Day. If you sneak in early, put a some candy on each person’s mousepad.
Decor: An inspirational, but not cheesy, poster about an admirable virtue is a unique way to view the holiday. Think of themes like love, respect, kindness, or generosity when choosing a poster. Hang it in the break room where all the employees will casually see it and hopefully meditate on it. It isn’t about shoving a Hallmark holiday down their throats but rather encouraging them to consciously think about affection in all its various forms.
Now the office won’t look like it is covered in Pepto Bismol!
Puzzle Contest: Find a Valentine’s Day themed word puzzle or crossword. To avoid sentimentality, you could even choose a standard Soduku.
Make copies of your chosen puzzle and put in the breakroom or a place where the most employees will see them. Have a note above the sheets that says, “The first 5 people who correctly finish this puzzle by the end of the day will earn a special treat” and direct them to drop off the puzzle with their names at your desk.
Whoever finishes first gets to take the flowers home from around the office. If you run out of flowers, give them the extra candy to take home. If you run out of prizes, give someone the inspirational poster!
Change for Charity: Set up a jar in the reception area with a sign on it, asking people donate their loose change. Attached a sign that informs people, “In honor of Valentine’s Day, employees are collecting money to donate to XYZ charity.” Good ones on Valentine’s Day include Battered Women’s Shelters, the SPCA, and Habitat for Humanity. If you inform your employer of the fund raising in advance, sometimes they will match the employees’ donations.
Photos: Print off photos of people from company events, around the office, etc. Be sure they are smiling (and are wanting their picture taken.)
Make a collage of these photos and hang in a special spot, like a casual meeting room, the kitchen area, or the reception.
Mix CDs: Make a bunch of mix CDs with a range of music on them – NOT just love songs. Good choices are classic oldies that cheer people up. If you are hip, put on a couple not explicit hip-hop songs, and some pop songs. If you aren’t so hip, then ask your teenager for advice or look up the Billboard’s Top 40 of the Week.