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Do's and don'ts when decorating the office for the festive season

Every year across South Africa offices have a go at making the workplace workplace look festive, often with cringeworthy results.
Do's and don'ts when decorating the office for the festive season
© Dmitriy Shironosov –
There are a few simple rules to follow that will give offices a warm, Christmas atmosphere rather than make people want to reassess their lives and run screaming never to return.

1. Do: Install an eco-friendly Christmas tree with lights. Artificial ones are a good option as they won’t shed needles all over the floor and are very easy to maintain. Remember to add some decorations. No-one wants a naked tree.

Don’t: Install a weird ‘conceptual’ tree - trees that just arrive in the office and no-one knows what they are. For example, I once saw a blue tree comprised entirely of blown up latex gloves. It creates "no no no" instead of "ho ho ho".

2. Do: If you want to have a Santa Claus picture or doll in the office, make it a regular one. Santa is a non-threatening fellow.

Don’t: Install a creepy Santa Claus. No Santa dolls with pants slipping down exposing his buttocks to the whole office for a month. It happens...

3. Do: Give a little, useful gift to everyone at the office chosen by the same person of equal value. And wrapped gifts can be displayed in the office as part of the decorations.

Don’t: Ask people to play Secret Santa. There is a very wide interpretation of what represents a ‘useful gift of up to R100.’ It puts pressure on people and creates dissent when one person gets a Woolies gift voucher and another novelty antlers.

4. Do: Set aside a small bowl and fill it up with Christmas treats. Just about everyone loves these treats and it makes people visiting your office and staff feel spoiled and in tune with the yuletide spirit.

Don’t: Skimp on the quality of the sweets or let the bowl get empty. It’s important to have quality choccies and sweets in the bowl and not something from a discount store you bought by the kilogram and almost tastes like chocolate.

5. Do: Use your face as a decoration by smiling more and greeting your officemates. It’s one of the best Christmas decorations you have at your disposal.

Don’t: Use the grin you use when you're at the urologist. Practice in the mirror if you have to.

About Linda Trim

Linda Trim, director at FutureSpace, a co-working joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap.

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