It can be quite challenging to strike the proper balance when decorating your office space for the holidays. Too much sparkle and glitter can look tacky and unprofessional; too little can leave the offices looking spartan and grim at a time when many people appreciate some seasonal cheer.
Here are some creative ideas for nondenominational decorations that will lighten your employees’ moods and bring the spirit of the season into the office space:
- Bring living beauty indoors. At this time of year, wintertime plants such as fir, pine, and holly make for beautiful decorative accents. Mini potted pine trees or varieties of poinsettias can be placed on desks or in common areas. Bunches of white flowers grouped with pine and holly and tied with a festive bow inspire thoughts of seasonal celebration without calling to mind any particular holiday.
- Choose neutral color schemes. When decorating your office space, be sure to stay away from colors that are traditionally associated with specific religious holidays. Instead of filling your workspace with the red and green of Christmas, or the blue and white of Hanukkah, go for colors such as silver and gold, which simply say “festive.” Your local art supply store should have a wide selection of metallic foils, tinsel, and ribbons.
- Fill the office with edible décor. Bowls and baskets of sweet treats throughout the office are a workplace tradition during the holidays. But many workers bemoan such easy access to the endless supply of candy and cookies that surround them at this time of year. For the health and well-being of your employees, consider filling the office space with bowls of fresh seasonal fruits, such as apples, pears, and citrus fruits, which also make for beautiful, decorative centerpieces. Oranges studded with cloves are both lovely and imbue the air with a festive scent.
- Host a kids’ art show. Whether your employees have children of their own or not, many people have kids in their lives. Consider inviting staffers to bring in kids’ artistic creations, which can range from artwork and coloring to more involved crafts. Dedicate a section of the office in which to display the children’s work. You might even consider holding a contest for the best piece in each age range, with inexpensive toys or gift cards awarded to the winners.
- Take a bow. A great way to add celebratory pizzazz to the office space is to festoon walls, furniture, and potted trees with decorative ribbons and bows. Don’t go overboard, but done in moderation this is an easy and inexpensive way to liven up the workplace.
- Help your employees lighten up. The short daylight hours during the winter season can cause employees to become glum and depressed, so bring the light indoors by filling the office space with strings of white or colorful lights. Just be sure to follow some basic safety rules:
- Never leave holiday lights on and unattended. They should always be unplugged by the last person exiting the office. Make your entire staff aware of this rule.
- Be sure that the lights aren’t a distraction. Avoid blinking or flickering lights, especially if they are visible from employees’ workspaces.
- Avoid plugging lights into outlets that are shared with other equipment, especially energy-demanding electronics such as printers, fax machines, and computers.
- Avoid candles in an office environment, as the possibility of fire is not worth the risk.
- Share the true spirit of the season. The holiday season is not only a time to celebrate, it is also a time to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. Bring the spirit of giving into your office by organizing a company food drive. Ask employees to bring in canned goods and other nonperishable food items to donate to a local shelter or other aid organization. Display the food items in a corner of the office where the growing pile will inspire employees to bring in their own contributions. You could also consider a toy drive to collect presents for area children in need.
Now that you’ve invested all that effort into making the workplace sparkle, be sure to celebrate with a well-deserved holiday get-together for your staff. Read Throw a Successful Holiday Office Party for invaluable tips on how to ensure your holiday office party is a smashing success.