How can I Celebrate a Co-Worker's Birthday?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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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.


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Post 5

Oh, I am dreading this so much. My coworkers love doing this thing, and since I am extremely private (and often seen as negative because of it) I feel like I have to let them do this -- if they intend to do it (I don't know if they will), even though I don't like that sort of thing. I have a healthy dislike of being the center of attention, being put on the spot, and the obligation to act thrilled when I am anything but.

I'd be a deal happier if all they did was sign a card for me. I don't want the fuss and attention.

Post 3

I don't like my birthday celebrated at work, and it really irritates me when my coworkers insist on doing so against my wishes. I've told them very politely on several occasions that, while I appreciate their intentions, I am a private person and really do not wish my birthday to be acknowledged at work. Their response? "Well, the more you protest the bigger will be our celebration!" I'm sorry, but that's just rude in my opinion.

Post 2

@gardenturtle: We do something very similar in my office. We have a plastic bucket that we put all of our names in. When someone’s birthday is coming up, the boss draws a name out of the hat and that person brings the cake. He draws another name out for plates, forks, etc. Once your name has been drawn, it is taken out until everyone’s name has cycled through.

We have a cake budget that the company allots. No one actually has to spend money out of their pocket. They just go and pick the cake or supplies up and they are reimbursed.

Post 1

The birthday of a coworker can be a great way to de-stress in the office. It’s also a great way for everyone to get to know each other a little bit better.

I work at a telemarketing company and many of us don’t even know each other’s names. We just say hi in passing. My boss had the idea of starting an employee birthday party.

We have a huge calendar by the time clock so that everyone can write their birthdays in.

I bought a box of birthday cards that I keep in my desk and every day I look at the calendar to see if it is anyone’s birthday. If so, I try to make out the birthday card early and leave it in their cubicle.

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