A friendly atmosphere pervades most offices these days. In fact, most professional organisations understand the importance of making a newcomer feel right at home and everyone from the departmental heads to seniors consider it part of their job to help the new guy or gal learn his or her way around the office and feel a part of the team. The most common way to make a person feel home is with this question, ‘When are you treating us?’ This one treat can smooth the way to a great camaraderie at the workplace, enabling you to not only meet everyone you will work with but also generate goodwill from the word go.
No one expects a lot from this ‘treat‘. The word itself is so vague that it can mean anything from individual pen-holders to a box of mithai being passed around to a cake to a post-office hours drinking session. It is totally up to you. However, there are some rules-of-thumb that anyone should keep in mind when he wants to start off on the right foot.
Decide your budget?
Even when it comes to a box of mithai you must be sure of how much you are willing to spend, and then pick your mithai accordingly. Do you want to give this treat to the entire office or just your department? Must you keep some extra for second helpings or stick to a strict number? Will you be buying a Rs.300/kg sweet or a Rs.100/kg sweet? If you’re taking your colleagues out are you taking them out for drinks or just a simple meal or to that flashy new restaurant that has opened around the corner? The bigger the number of people the more it makes sense to make your gift as economical as possible. With a smaller team you can afford to be more generous and perhaps even give individual gifts.
Distributing mithai is alright, but if you want your new colleagues to remember this treat more than the others, then gift them a jar of olive tapenade each or an imported cheese dip. Bring along a big box of crackers and you can all dig in together during a break. Some of your colleagues might find it unusual but at least it would stand apart from their long line-up of ‘treat memories’.
No one can have enough of these and they can be very boring actually, but with a little thought and time on your hands you can get something sweet. Make a note of everyone’s names and get pen-holders or coffee mugs with their initials on them – they’re pretty inexpensive. Or pick them out in odd shapes and colours (April is International Frog Month so you could pick out some funny frog designs too). Pens are really very passé – you can never make them interesting, honestly! And steer clear of notepads – they’re of the use and throw variety so even if you hunt down some novelty notepads like ones with animal-print covers and funky add-in decorations, they will eventually be thrown away or maybe perhaps not even appreciated by your colleagues. Other interesting office stationery could be funny desk calendars or ornate paper cutters that stand apart from the usual that one sees in workplaces.
Non-Office Stationery Gifts
If you want to give them anything other than office stationery then re-think that decision for the moment. These are people you are not familiar with and more than likely you will be going wrong with your choice. So stick to something that would be useful for the office when you are thinking of giving individual gifts.
A newcomer who skips this treat usually finds himself to be a bit of an outsider of the team. So be sure to get it right. Your gift should not be ostentatious and try and pick something humorous or dead practical. Mithai is so common that people will take it for granted and forget about it. Making your gift unusual is a great way to ensure that your colleagues feel special right from the start.
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