Awkward Question: Workplace gifts

Are you obligated to contribute to workplace gifts?

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From the June 2012 issue of the magazine.

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monetarygiftsQ: My co-workers are asking me yet again to chip in $10 for a gift—last week it was for a colleague’s birthday, this time for a wedding. If I decline, will I become the office pariah?

— K.D., TRURO, N.S.

A: If you’re tired of shelling out for office gifts, you’re not alone, says Linda Allan, a Toronto business etiquette expert. Overzealous office gifting has become all too commonplace, and while it’s perfectly reasonable to say no, you’re asking for trouble by doing so. “You are going to be blackballed a little bit,” Allan warns. Instead, bring it up for discussion at the next staff meeting, since it’s typically just a couple of people driving the gift requests. Keep your approach simple when you broach the topic: “I’m just wondering how everybody is feeling about this? We used to have to contribute every three months, and now it’s every week.” Chances are the majority of your colleagues feel the same way and will back you up.

Got a delicate question? Send it to ask@moneysense.ca.

2 comments on “Awkward Question: Workplace gifts

  1. Well I think this is not a obligation to your co workers so it's okay to not give.

    Reply

  2. It's your choice if you want to chip in a few bucks. Personally, I would at least share a few of my money just to make my colleague happy in his/her birthday. I don't want them to hate me because of not chipping in. If you have time, you might want to consider visiting this site "Adrenaline" for more gift ideas. I think you'll love them.

    Reply

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