The holiday season is a time filled with cheer and decorations, but making sure that every holiday is equally represented in an office can sometimes be overlooked. Some offices choose to not allow any decorations, eliminating the possibility of these issues, while others like to add a bit of holiday spirit into their work place. Whichever a company chooses, it is important that all holidays are represented equally, whether not at all or in equal amounts.
It is important to make sure Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are all represented if your office chooses to decorate. By combining all holidays into your décor, you are making sure every employee is included, whether they are the minority or not. It is crucial that the company takes this initiative on their own, without asking which holidays are celebrated as to not single anyone out. If a company does want to ask around as to what holidays are celebrated, it can be helpful to put this information to use by forming a multi-faith decorating team. This would ensure that all the decorations are appropriate to all people in the office.
Individual decorations can be for your own holiday of choice, but should not be offensive or intruding on your neighbor’s space. These individual decorations are the best when they are along the commercialization of these holidays, such as garland in the holiday colors, small decorations, etc. If you choose to represent the religious aspect of the holiday in your office decorations, make sure it is small and only for you to see. The community office space is not the place to represent religious aspects of the holidays, even if you are choosing to represent all of them.
Another way to bypass any issues around holiday decorations is to focus on seasonal decorations. This includes terms like “Happy Holidays” and “Best Wishes in the New Year”. This is another method to allow everyone to feel included, while still supporting and celebrating the holiday season.
No matter what decoration route your office chooses, make sure that no decorations are impeding work flow, productivity or employee’s safety. Make sure that no decorations are blocking doors or other exits, no candles are burning in the work place, and no decorations pose a fire hazard. Make sure that work comes first, but many companies see no problem with adding a bit of holiday cheer into the office around this time of year.
About the Author: Julia is a guest contributor from LEAP, a Lansing, Michigan organization that helps businesses get established and prosper.