Valentine's Day. Quite possibly one of the most controversial holidays out there. Frankly, we're surprised that Papa Costanza didn't create the Festivus version of Valentine's Day with the crankiness and consumerism that surrounds this day. But, it's coming and there's nothing you can do about. What you can do, is decide if you will celebrate Valentine's Day in the office, and if so, how you should do it.
Do:It's possible to celebrate Valentine's Day in a professional, non-offensive way. So, if you do decide to allow Valentine's Day spirit into the office, be sure to lay out ground rules so that everyone is on the same page about what is allowed, and what is not.
Don't: If you decide not to celebrate Valentine's Day in the office, then you are risk-averse and that's fine. Just be sure you let everyone in the office know your decision, and let them know it's not because you are dead inside, but only because you want to maintain an air of professionalism in the office.
Don't: Under no circumstances can you play favorites here. You may not single one person out to give them a Valentine, or declare your undying love. This is an office, a place of business, and there's no place for that here.
Do:If you are going to give gifts, be prepared to give everyone the same, non-romantic, office-appropriate gift. We hear it now, "suggestions please!" Ok, for an office setting, we're fans of
bringing sweets into the office. Leave them in an area of the office where people congregate (lunch room, water cooler, etc.) with a nice note for everyone to have a nice day and enjoy the sweets. Safe, simple, and cheerful.
Don't: Don't buy expensive, inappropriate gifts that can be seen in any way as "romantic." No jewelry, perfume, dinners, shows, etc. If you would buy it for your significant other, then don't buy it for someone in the office.
One last don't for you, the boss: Don't be a jerk! Valentine's Day falls on a Friday night this year and most people have plans. People will be with their significant other, or they will be drowning their sorrows in booze -- either way, don't make people work late unnecessarily. Whatever it is, it can wait for Saturday Monday.