‘Tis the season for bizarre workplace gifts.
CareerBuilder provides the gift that keeps on giving. Each year, it surveys the U.S. workforce in search of the most unusual gifts employees have given or received from co-workers.
If you recall, last year’s survey produced gems such as:
- A box of Hot Pockets (A man’s gotta eat, right?)
- A chess piece (That’s right, just one piece — perhaps there was some hidden meaning behind it, i.e., “checkmate”)
- A voucher for a free lawn game the gifter invented (Gotta get the word-of-mouth going!)
- Zombie action figures (Zombies were so last year!), and
- A Ziploc bag with just enough coffee to make one pot (Presumably to perk everyone up who participated in that gift exchange).
This year’s list is arguably better. To come up with it, CareerBuilder surveyed 3,602 full-time employees, and 2,326 HR and hiring managers.
Behold the 2015 list of the top 10 most unusual gifts given in the workplace:
- A squirrel toilet seat decal (Is it a decal with a squirrel toilet seat on it? Is it a picture of a squirrel that you stick on a toilet seat? Or is it a toilet seat decal for a squirrel? The suspense is killing us.)
- A pair of Christmas socks that look like elf feet (So useful!)
- A roll of duct tape (Here’s hoping it went to the IT guy.)
- A bell on a string (???????)
- A mystery bag with a coat in it (Probably someone’s clothing donation.)
- A giant heart-shaped box of candy … from Valentine’s Day (Aged to perfection!)
- A picture of a bear (What? You got a problem with bears?)
- A bowling ball (A great way to recruit for the company team.)
- Homemade sausages (Who wants turkey when you can have sales manager Terry’s basement-cured hot links?), and
- A ceramic sheep you can dress up seasonally (Perfect for regifting to the six-year-old in your life!).
Are you at risk?
So what are the odds such, ahem … “goodies” will infiltrate your office this holiday season? More than a fifth (21%) of workers say they intend to purchase a holiday gift for co-workers this year, and 20% said they plan to get one for their boss.
How much will be spent on these gifts?
- No more than $25 — said 80% of respondents
- No more than $10 — 36%
- No more than $5 — 9%
- $0 — Terry (assuming he also made his own sausage casings.)
What about cold, hard cash?
It also looks like most employees won’t get “Griswolded” by their employers this year with jelly-of-the-month memberships in place of cash. More than half of employers (54%) plan to give employees a holiday bonus this year.
Employees of other organizations may not be so lucky, but there’s a good chance they’ll get something — as 45% of employers say they’ll give employees gifts this year, and 66% say they plan to throw a holiday party.