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Workplace Advice for employees and employers from UK recruitment experts, MERJE
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Valentine's at Work: Dos and Don'ts

  • Publish Date: Posted 8 months ago
  • Author:by MERJE

Love might well be in the air, but is it a welcome addition to the workplace?

It's that time of year again, when the pressure is on to show someone you care with red roses, indulgent chocolates, balloon bouquets and Hallmark cards.

On a day that can divide the nation, it’s probably best to be mindful of is how you express your feelings. After all, we have a sneaky suspicion that delivering a singing telegram to a loved one’s place of work is more often than not an embarrassing spectacle rather than a show of fondness.

So, what can you get away with this V-Day? And what should you absolutely avoid for the good of your team mates, your office reputation and your career?

Flirting? Definitely not!

Just because this day of the week has a fancy title, that doesn’t give you a free pass to drop cheeky winks and flirty innuendos. Keep those water cooler moments strictly platonic.

PDA: Please Don’t… At all

Most people don’t care for public displays of affection at any time of the year, so it’s likely that February 14th is no exception, especially in the workplace with video calls happening at all angles. That’s not a Zoom background we want to see.

Stay humble

There’s nothing worse than going through a break up only for your colleagues to harp on about how great their relationship is. Furiously flaunting your love life or extravagant gifts in co-workers’ faces may result in dirty looks, brew time snubbing and angry emails to HR.

On the other hand…

Alright Debbie-downer, if it were 2007 your relationship status would be ‘it’s complicated’, but that doesn’t mean that other people can’t have a nice day. So you don’t want bake a giant heart-shaped cake for your team mates, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a piece when someone else does!

Sharing is caring

Maybe the back-handed comments and jealous glares have already started as you unwrap your luxurious box of hand-crafted, heart-shaped, created-with-love chocolates. Win everyone round by sharing them out, no one can resist a sweet treat!

Keep it real

Feeling left out? Scared you won’t receive something on the Big Day? Share your concerns with your friends. Confide in your family. Speak to a therapist. But please don’t resort to sending yourself a gift from a ‘secret admirer’.

Or believable

If you really can’t resist and think a little pretence won’t harm anyone, at least keep it simple. People only send 10 ft teddy bears or 72 long-stemmed red roses in TV shows.

Joking aside

February 14th can be as great for some as it is dire for others, so bear your co-workers in mind as you go about your Valentine’s Day activities.

  • Normal workplace rules still apply

  • Keep it professional

  • Celebrate in your personal time instead of work time

  • Consider your colleagues’ relationship situations

  • Exercise discretion and avoid gossip

  • Be a team player

  • Don’t make people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed

And Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be reserved for romantic love only - you can love your career and colleagues too! Show your team that you’re willing to celebrate in a positive, professional way by bringing in treats, being kind to your co-workers and respecting people’s boundaries.

If you would like to discuss this or any of the topics covered in our articles, get in touch.