Flowers have a variety of uses in the business world. They brighten up offices and can serve as great gifts for employees, coworkers, business partners or even the boss. After all, most people spend the majority of their week at work, but like any other aspect of the professional world, sending flowers requires certain etiquette. Professionalism is a learned skill, and finding flowers to convey the right message can take a little work. Here are some tips for ordering flowers that are impactful and appropriate in the workplace:
If you're considering buying your boss flowers to celebrate an event such as Boss's Day or a work anniversary, collaborate with other coworkers in the audience to make it a group gift. Pooling together will convey the same message of gratitude and congratulations without appearing overly personal. Furthermore, if you get contributions from everyone in the office, you can buy a quality flower arrangement that costs everyone less individually. This way you can give your boss a big message without taking on an overwhelming personal cost.
Find the Right Time
Exercise discretion when ordering flowers for a colleague. If a coworker tells you in confidence that they're going to have a baby, having congratulatory flowers delivered to the office the next day is probably not the best course of action. Wait until the cause for celebration is common knowledge in the workplace to avoid any awkward tension or unforeseen consequences. This will also give you the opportunity to pool resources to invest in a more quality bouquet.
Pair Flowers with Other Goods
Sometimes flowers alone can give the wrong impression. You might want to send a client or business partner flowers as a thank you for successfully completing a project, referring more business or simply to maintaining a friendly work relationship. Pair flowers with a fruit basket or other snack foods to complement your arrangement and balance out your message of gratitude. Also, remember that flowers are ephemeral, and potted plants make a longer-lasting impact and give your business relations a constant reminder of the work you accomplished together.
Consider the Message
Professionalism can be misconstrued for flowers that are meant to send a different message. For example, roses might not be the best choice to send to a coworker as they are traditionally associated with romantic intentions. Flowers have different meanings in various cultures, so doing your research will help to ensure you don't insult or confuse business partners or clients. This is especially true when sending flowers or gifts internationally. In Asia, white flowers are associated with mourning, so gifting white daisies or carnations will send the wrong message.
Order Appropriate Numbers
In a similar vein, sending the appropriate number of flowers is important as well. In the U.S. we are accustomed to getting even numbers (generally a dozen), whereas in other cultures odd numbers might be preferred. Ordering a plant for a coworker will look professional, but gifting an individual flower could add an unwanted message of romance. On the other hand, sending a large amount of flowers might be overwhelming and off-putting.
Consider the Receiver
Think about the personality of the person to whom you are sending the gift. Generally men and women might appreciate different types of flowers, but dig deeper than simply choosing based off gender. If you have an austere boss with minimal decorations in his or her office, buying a flower arrangement wrapped up in colorful ribbons with balloons tied on might take away from the desired effect. Then again, if the desk of your executive assistant is loaded with tchotchkes and gewgaws, extra decorations might just be the ticket.