It’s obvious that not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day - An individual may not be in a romantic relationship with a significant other. It’s also common for couples to avoid the hype of Valentine’s Day given its commercial value that sucks up time and money and doesn’t place actual value on the foundation of building a strong and successful relationship.
St. Valentine’s Day is a tradition that has a history based part in legend and part in fact. Believed to date back to the Roman Empire, this holiday can be a joyous occasion or a dreaded day in February each year. Whether it is considered Couple’s Day, Galentine’s Day or just plain February 14th, employees should be cautious when engaging in outward signs of affection towards co-workers on this day or any other!
Here are a few suggestions to avoid causing unwanted interaction with a co-worker on Valentine’s Day:
1. Avoid heartfelt cards. Greeting card stores are filled with long-drafted cards which express devotion and love to the recipient. These types of cards are good for giving to a close friend, romantic partner or spouse in a private setting, but not to a co-worker, especially during work hours. If you are in a consensual relationship with a co-worker on Valentine’s Day, save the gift giving and romance for after work. Your co-workers will thank you! If you must give cards to your work team, purchase an inexpensive “kiddy pack” – you know, the small cards with Hello Kitty, SpongeBob or Stars Wars. Keep it “G”!
2. Do not pledge your love. If you have long had your eye (and heart) on your cubicle neighbor, Valentine’s day (during work hours and maybe even after work) is not the best time to pledge your love and devotion. It is important to keep in mind your Company policies regarding fraternization, sexual harassment and quality workplace standards. Use good judgment and avoid a situation that will violate company policy.
3. The way to a person’s heart is not always through their stomach. Food allergies are very common! Most Valentine’s Day candy has some form of chocolate, peanuts or other nuts and products which typically contain wheat, eggs, milk or soy. Even if you are certain that your newfound cubicle romance is welcomed and consensual, you should be cautious on giving food gifts that have a high potential to cause an allergic reaction. Keep it simple – buy your work team sprinkled sugar cookies or bring a coffee-traveler and give the gift of a hot brew!