Celebrating Office Birthdays is a Good Idea

‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU – Happy Birthday to you – Happy birthday to you Dear Nikita – Happy birthday to you’ was being loudly sung amidst giggles and a smiling Niki stood coyly, looking at the delicious chocolate cake, half embarrassed with all the attention, blew out the single candle as her colleagues standing around her cheered loudly. 
Yes, it wasn’t a normal birthday being celebrated with friends and family in the intimate circle after hours. It was being celebrated in the office by the office colleagues in the organization where Niki had been working for past three months. Nothing seemed out – of – place, everyone was happy, smiling, ribbing Nikita and relishing the cake. For those 15 minutes, everyone in the organization was together as a close – knit family. From top management to the office boy everyone shared the happy space and bonded with each other with the spirit of easy camaraderie. 
Celebrating birthdays in Office is the routine office event – organized by the HR in this office which is an upcoming call centre teeming with bubbly, energetic youngsters. Every month a list is prepared by the HR Department that contains the names and dates of birth of the employees born in that specific month. The organization has a policy of celebrating office birthdays. It normally is a fifteen minutes affair. The HR Department arranges for the cake and flowers. A simple celebration, aimed at encouraging bonhomie and cheer by pampering an employee on his or her special day had indeed been a successful experiment and the organization continues happily with its tradition.
Is celebrating office birthdays a good idea? For an organization to be successful, it should have the ability to work together as one unit. It needs to have its different teams that consist of individuals with various skill-sets communicating, interacting and working towards a common goal cohesively. Celebrating office birthdays brings everyone together under one roof. That is what the HR aims at, when such events are organized in office during office hours. 
There are few, who don’t think celebrating office birthdays is such a good idea. Fifteen minutes generally become half an hour and celebrating birthdays proves to be wastage of time and resources. It is an interruption too as one’s concentration is not on the job on one’s desk for those fifteen minutes and after the Birthday celebration, regaining the same level takes time. Everyone gets distracted. 
There is merit in this argument, but for some organizations the advantages of such a quick get-together far outweighs the time and resource wastage argument. The management of these organizations feel that celebrating office birthdays in fact proves to be a much needed breather and every one goes back to their workstations fresh and recharged. A little break indeed refreshes the employees.
Of course, as a responsible employee of the organization one needs to make sure that the celebration is muted and HR department should ensure that the wastage of time and resource is minimal. Humans, working in separate cubicles as employees, segregated by hierarchies and dynamics of office need to connect, network, feel appreciated and celebrating office birthdays becomes one such medium of bringing everyone together, for those special fifteen minutes as a family.

Ryan Fyfe is the CEO of http://www.shiftplanning.com/ – An intuitive and free online employee scheduling tool for businesses of all sizes in all industries.

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