Planning a baby shower at work is a bit more complex than planning a standard baby shower. While some elements of an office baby shower will be familiar, there are a lot of aspects that are specific to this event.
General Workplace Baby Shower Etiquette
Your ability to plan a work baby shower for a co-worker and what that shower looks like depends entirely on your workplace atmosphere and rules. General baby shower etiquette rules apply to workplace showers too.
How Do You Know if it's Okay to Have a Work Shower?
If you're thinking of planning a work shower for a close co-worker who is expecting, start by talking it over with your direct supervisor. They may be able to tell you if it's okay to host a shower or they may refer you to someone in upper management. Either way, make sure you have approval from the powers that be so the shower doesn't get shut-down.
- Ask upper management personnel in person.
- Make the request at least one month before you'd want to host the shower.
- Aside from asking permission, ask about parameters for the actual event.
- If the answer is a clear "No," to any type of workplace shower, get your friend a gift and give it to them privately.
Who Hosts a Work Baby Shower?
At a traditional baby shower family members host the party. In the workplace it's not so cut and dry, but there are a few people who are most likely to host. On many occasions a small group of people plan the event together.
- A co-worker who works directly with the expecting parent on a daily basis.
- A small team of co-workers who collaborate regularly.
- The HR department who plans and schedules all work parties.
- The person at the office who has the closest personal relationship to the expecting parent.
Who Gets Invited to an Office Baby Shower?
This really depends on the size of your workplace. Keep in mind word travels fast and you'll have to continue your professional relationship with everyone who works for the company after the shower.
- Only employees typically get invited, not family members.
- If your office has about 20 or fewer employees all in the same building, invite everyone.
- If your office has 20 or fewer employees in different locations, invite only your location.
- Companies with more than 20 employees can invite only those who work directly with the expecting parent.
- If your company is massive, invite only those in the same department or on the same team.
How Do You Invite Guests to a Work Shower?
Since you all work together, you won't need to mail out classic baby shower invitations. If you do use paper invitations, save money with printable baby shower invitations that could also be attached to an email. Use a fun invitation saying that relates the shower to your workplace.
- For small companies where everyone is invited place shower invitations on each person's desk or in their mailbox.
- Whether you invite the whole company or a few co-workers at a large office, save paper and email invitations in a group message.
- If the shower is held after the baby is born, attach shower information to the email message announcing the baby at work.
- Supplement your individual invitations with a flyer in a common area like the break room to make sure everyone sees it.
Office Baby Shower Planning Advice
Like traditional baby showers, there are many types of work showers you can host. Start by asking the parent-to-be what kind of shower they'd be most comfortable with.
Where Do You Hold a Company Baby Shower?
Work baby showers are typically held at your workplace or at a local restaurant. It will be up to management to decide whether it's okay to hold the shower in the office.
- If you have a break room or conference room large enough to hold everyone, host the shower there.
- If your office is too small, choose a nearby restaurant with a small banquet room where everyone can meet.
- Look for an open, private area you can gather without being intrusive to anyone else.
When Do You Schedule an Office Baby Shower?
Baby showers are usually held when the mother is six or seven months pregnant. However, for a workplace shower it is common to host on the mom's last day before starting her maternity leave or when she returns to work after the baby has been born.
- Ask the parent-to-be when would be a good time for them.
- Make sure the space you want is available.
- If hosting at the office, do so during the hour-long lunch break or at the end of the workday.
- If hosting off-site, schedule the shower right after your workday ends.
How Do You Decorate for a Work Baby Shower?
Decorations for a work shower are not nearly as elaborate as standard baby shower decorations. You can pick a theme if you want, but usually office showers just use a pink/blue or baby theme.
- Choose one or two basic decorations like a banner and some balloons.
- Use plates, cups, and silverware in pastel colors.
- Add disposable baby shower tablecloths to one or more tables.
What Do You Serve at a Workplace Shower?
Most work showers take place on your lunch break or right after work. Consider what people might want to eat or drink at these times then plan a light and simple menu.
- If you're providing lunch, opt for simple finger sandwiches and salads like macaroni or potato.
- Buy mini cupcakes or cake pops with a baby theme for a quick and easy dessert.
- After work showers should include light appetizers.
What Games Do You Play at a Work Shower?
Work baby showers aren't as intimate as regular showers, so they don't typically include shower games. If you want to have a game or two, stick to non-invasive activities.
- Create a baby pool where co-workers can buy a spot when they think the baby will arrive.
- Have guests come up with baby names based on the company name, logo, or product.
- Place a sticker on the bottom of a cup or plate and give a prize to the person who gets that item.
- Leave printable baby shower games around for people to complete if they want.
Work Baby Shower Guest Etiquette
Office baby showers will likely include both men and women and all guests may not know each other well, which can make the atmosphere uncomfortable. Try to be a good sport and at least pop in for a minute to show your support.
How Do You Purchase a Gift for an Office Shower?
Most often all co-workers chip in to purchase one large gift for the parents-to-be or baby.
- If you are the party planner, send out a message with what the gift will be and a deadline for turning in money so no one feels pressured to chip in.
- Purchase one card and sign it from the whole company so no one is excluded.
- If the group is buying a gift together, don't purchase your own gift to stand out.
What if You Don't Want to Attend a Work Shower?
Just because you're invited it doesn't mean you have to attend. Since this is a work shower, people understand everyone might not be available. Be kind in your response to the invite and express that you are simply not available at that time. Send a quick congratulatory email or note to your co-worker in place of your presence at the shower.
Celebrate Your Co-Worker
While you don't always have close, personal relationships with co-workers, it's always nice to celebrate life's big moments since you spend so much time together. Planning a successful work baby shower involves a fair amount of planning and at the end of the day it is truly the thought that counts.