Do your employees like to add some festive flair to their work cubicles for the holiday season? Just like for year-round decorating, there are some rules you might want to put in place up front. This will ensure that everyone has a good time personalizing their workstation without any negative fallout. Here are some tips for making sure things go smoothly:
Unless you are having a contest to see who can do the most “over the top” cubicle makeover, it’s a good idea to set some limits on decorating. You can’t dictate taste, but you can prevent employees from littering their desk with dozens of tacky Christmas ornaments. Send out a memo inviting employees to bring one favorite holiday item from home to grace their cubicles. Or, you could buy each worker a useful holiday themed office supply item (such as a new mouse pad or pencil holder) to add some cheer while still maintaining a professional office environment.
There are over half a dozen religious holidays that occur in December. If your company permits the display of religious items in personal workspaces, make sure everyone knows that all spiritual traditions will be respected. This is a good time to revisit diversity training – particularly if you have a large workforce representing many different belief systems. Also, remember that there are plenty of perfectly neutral decorative items that can be used to turn an office environment into a winter wonderland (snowflakes, sleds, mittens, etc).
Protect Your Investment
There are times when decorating can actually damage company property or create workplace hazards. Cubicles with fabric panels are especially vulnerable and should be protected from overzealous decorating. For example, you don’t want employees stapling garlands to these delicate textiles. Then, there are the employees who like to tape holiday greeting cards all over the metal filing credenzas. Sadly, it could be March before the last remnants of tape residue are finally scraped off these surfaces. You don’t want to seem like a Grinch, but a well thought out holiday decorating policy should take these things into consideration.