Today’s offices have the camaraderie and near-casual vibe that can let you throw a simple baby shower for your cube-mate before she finally goes off for maternity leave, regardless of the gender of her baby. Yesterday's managers would have frowned and yelled at the idea, but now, they are perfectly fine with the idea of showing appreciation for an expectant coworker with a minimalist and still enjoyable baby shower.
Below are some simple, yet fun ways to make a memorable shower for your coworker while at the office.
The best time is at least 1-2 months before her due date to ensure that she still has a window to enjoy the event. Consider simply asking her when is most convenient for her to have a baby shower; she may be swamped with work, doctor appointments, and other responsibilities, so take those into account.
The best time during the day would be lunchtime so that it takes at least an hour. Throwing a shower after work hours will make everyone leave 'to get home to their kids,' which could make the bash unsuccessful.
It is also crucial to ask her whether she would like an office baby shower. Being open and honest with her could be the best way to go.
Some expectant mums may not like the attention that office baby showers bring with them, while others absolutely loathe surprise parties.
Is there someone in your staff responsible for planning office parties? This colleague holds the key to most of the amenities that will come in handy for a perfect baby shower. Like a room, tables, and chairs, among others. Work closely with them to delegate duties for the party, such as decorating, and sending invitations.
Avoid trying to force your idea on colleagues who are not interested. Instead, work with your closest colleagues and make use of their talents to make use of their unique abilities to cut down on costs and make the shower extra special.
Considering the very minimalist nature of an office shower, getting their significant other to be there is an excellent idea to make it more special and intimate for her.
Today’s baby showers are becoming more co-ed than before, and since the spouse is a huge part of the equation, why not invite them? Again, all your coworker's friends are supposed to attend the baby shower, so consider letting them in on the action.
An office shower does not automatically rule out any games. Have some incredibly exciting but tasteful baby shower games that a co-ed audience will enjoy.
Then, you can make those games competitive. Prizes for winners can include gift cards to Starbucks or gift vouchers for a convenience store.
To avoid interfering with your work environment and ending up making her feel uncomfortable and awkward, make it as short as possible. Some office showers have taken a record fifteen minutes!
The more gifts there will be, the longer it will take, so try having a massive “Congratulations” card for her, then bring your other colleagues to sign it before presenting it.
Most office relationships are usually based on mutual respect and civility, so consider that when inviting other colleagues. This is especially important if you work in a huge corporation with hundreds of employees; you do not want people who barely know her to crash her event.
Again, this will also stretch your resources. Office showers are for coworkers and spouses only; plus, there will always be a last-minute cancellation. Also, consider making it a co-ed baby shower so that she feels comfortable.
Since the party is at the office and you need to avoid hefty messes and balloons flying all over the place and into your boss’ office, keep your decorations to a tasteful minimum. Some offices may not allow you to hang lights and other things from the ceiling, but you can use strings and pins to hang photos, bibs, and baby socks. Consider using a black tablecloth; black tends to integrate well with virtually any baby shower theme. You can also use pompoms, tassels, ball jars, and cupcake tiers depending on your theme.
Visit a dollar store and pick out some lovely baby-shower-themed napkins, cups, and plates to bring in the festive aspect. You can also bring a 'Mom-To-Be' sash and place it on your colleague for the duration of the shower. Again, there is nothing better than decorations that double up as gifts. Onesies will make adorable decorations, then after, she gets to take them home!
The best food for an office baby shower would need to be filling yet portable, so consider having simpler recipes and convenience food like rotisserie chicken, olives, salami, and packed breadsticks. The cake is to be expected at every shower, however minimalist, so do not leave that out!
You can also include some simple snacks, coffee, juice, and other nibbles over which attendees can enjoy as they chat during the shower. Again, this is the office, so alcohol is a no-no. Besides, why do you have wine if the honoree cannot enjoy it?
Many companies organize potlucks to encourage cohesion and teamwork among colleagues. In addition to improving communication and other work-related affairs, a lunch potluck is a fantastic way to celebrate your colleague and her new baby.
A potluck with the baby-shower themed cups and plates will be incredibly memorable for her. Designate roles to your colleagues (who will bring dessert, appetizers, and drinks) and look forward to making her day.
What is a baby shower without presents? In addition to the office card with everyone's signature, consider making the day extra successful for her using tasteful, yet useful gifts like high-quality swaddling blankets, car seats, diapers, and bath toys. You can also have simple gifts for mum that will not overwhelm her desk at work, like a miniature statue or potted plant which she can either take home or keep at her desk to remind her of the occasion.
An office shower is one sure way to make your expectant colleague feel valued by her workmates and the organization she works hard for. Use the ideas above to make her shower even extra memorable despite the limitations the office can bring.