Exchanging gifts in the workplace can get really inappropriate, really fast — all it takes is one coworker with questionable taste to take the idea of a gag gift one step too far. While traditional holiday gifts such as ornaments, gift cards, books, and candy are still popular, some workers clearly do not know where “the line” is when it comes to holiday gift-giving at work.
CareerBuilder‘s annual holiday survey asked workers across the U.S. to share the most unusual gift they have received from a fellow employee during the holiday season. Here are some of the strangest — and most inappropriate — presents workers reported receiving from co-workers:
- Two left-handed gloves
- Coconut bra
- Jar of gravy
- A fake lottery ticket
- A real stuffed duck
- Toilet paper that looked like money
- Post-it Notes
- Dish detergent
- A pen holder that looks like a crime scene victim
- A comic book of an obscure movie
- A handmade ornament for a sports team the recipient had never heard of
- A singing chicken
- A whip
So who is actually exchanging gifts at the office? Twenty-two percent of workers say they plan to buy holiday gifts for coworkers, and 21 percent plan to buy a gift for the boss, similar to last year. Of those who plan to buy gifts for their coworkers or bosses, the majority (73 percent) expect to spend no more than $25 on each gift, 33 percent will cap their spending at $10, and 11 percent will spend $5 or less.
While 46 percent of employers plan to give their employees gifts this year — on par with last year — they are also finding other ways to get into the holiday spirit. Here’s how:
- Parties: 69 percent of employers plan on throwing a holiday party for employees this year – up 3 percent from last year.
- Bonuses: 54 percent of employers plan to give employees holiday bonuses this year – the same as 2015 – but 15 percent say the bonus will be greater than last year.
- Charity: Nearly half of all employers (48 percent) plan to enrich the lives of others outside of the office by making charitable donations, on par with last year.