Celebrating a co-worker's birthday can be a great way to make people feel appreciated at work. It is important to do so in an appropriate way for the workplace, however, and to include everyone else who works there. In addition, keep in mind that celebrating one co-worker's birthday will generally mean that every workplace birthday will need to be celebrated to avoid hurt feelings.
One simple way to celebrate a co-worker's birthday is to purchase a card and have everyone at the workplace sign it. Other employees may also choose to all chip in and bring in a treat for the office to share, such as a birthday cake, cupcakes, or donuts. If people would rather have a healthy snack, a fruit basket may be a good choice as well. Keep in mind that some people may not want to celebrate their birthday, or even want everyone to know when their birthday is, so it may be best to ask first before planning a party or event.
Some businesses choose to celebrate co-worker's birthdays all at once, on one designated day per month. For example, a monthly potluck lunch may celebrate everyone who has a birthday in that month. Each person who works there can bring in a favorite dish they have made, and then everyone can share in the birthday celebrations and not eat too many unhealthy sweets. This generally works better for larger offices where it is not practical to celebrate each individual co-worker's birthday.
For a smaller workplace where the employees are all good friends, it may be appropriate to go out for dinner, or even for all of the other employees to purchase a gift for a co-worker's birthday. Again, it is important to include everyone in the celebrations, and to practice good workplace etiquette. For instance, though it might be fun to go out and have a few drinks, it is necessary to remember that you will need to work with all of these people the next day, so planning such an event on a Friday might be better.
Celebrating a co-worker's birthday can be a good way to develop positive relationships with your co-workers and to break up the monotony of the day. Many businesses now encourage employees to develop a positive social life as well as their work life, because it is more likely to make employees happier and more productive when they are at work. Even a small gesture like a card and a small box of chocolates can be a nice, simple way to celebrate a co-worker's birthday.