valentine's day at the office

Love, the Office and Valentine’s Day: How to Heart an Emotional Holiday at Work

There’s a dirty little four-letter word out there that brings the strongest emotions out of even the most level-headed people.

No, not w-o-r-k.

The word causing all of the fuss this February is love! Valentine’s Day rolls around in the dead of winter every year, bringing with it the joy, sorrow and emotional baggage of teammates working in offices across the globe. Love it or love to hate it, there are some things to keep in mind during “Love Day” that can help keep things professional and light hearted:

Scent Sense

There’s no avoiding it, flowers and Valentine’s Day go together like desk chairs and back pain. If you’re the recipient of one of these beautiful bouquets, it’s hard to not want to show off the blossoming bulbs to all of your coworkers. However, keep in mind that not everyone reacts well to the strong scent of certain flowers. As a common courtesy, ask anyone nearby if they have an allergy to any specific plants, and be ready to accommodate their situation by moving your scented surprise. If your significant other goes a bit overboard gifting this year, consider taking home or donating larger arrangements.

“I love your Excel workbooks.”

Love comes in all shapes and sizes, from romantic kiss in the rain, to a stroll down the beach at sunset, to a perfectly crafted sales presentation. No, really! It’s time to show love for even the most mundane tasks making a difference in your office. Obviously, this doesn’t mean to you should profess romantic love for your coworker or run off and marry the Microsoft Office Suite, but why not reframe Valentine’s as a day to tell others what you love about their work. Whether it’s a compliment about a teammate’s attention to detail or a quick note thanking someone for a recent assist, share your appreciation for the little things.

Healthy or Sweet, Bring a Treat

Candy or celery, cookies or carrots – whatever your indulgence, everyone deserves a little pick-me-up on a day like Valentine’s Day. Rather than playing the dangerous game of giving some coworkers gifts while neglecting others, find a simple treat to bring in that allows everyone to share in the special day as a team. Ask ahead for a list of people’s favorite things, making note of any allergy or dietary concerns, in order to find simple, thoughtful goodies to motivate your team.

Save Most Personal Celebrations for After Work

While you can’t do much to prepare for a surprise bouquet, it’s best to save your celebrations with that special someone for after normal working hours. First and foremost, this means no planning for the big night at your desk! Making dinner reservations or ordering flowers in the middle of the work day is not only stressful, but can also lead to professional and personal mix-ups. Additionally, even if you have something to get to right after work, keep attire professional until quitting time. Maintaining the balance between love at work and love at home is key to having a successful holiday.

Find the Positive

Whether you’ve just found love at first sight or are rethinking relationships right now, it’s important to separate professional and personal troubles and tap into the positive parts of Valentine’s Day. Do you love the work you do? Are you passionate about any projects? Does the support of your teammates give you the warm-n-fuzzies? If you answered yes to any of these, then there’s reason to celebrate!

Rather than groaning about the amount of flowers blocking a desk or spending the day watching the clock until it’s time for that dinner date, consider taking small steps in order to appreciate Valentine’s Day at your office. Every team is different; how will you celebrate with yours? Share your thoughts about working during Valentine’s Day in the comments section below.

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