When decorating your office for Valentine's Day, it is important to stick to low-profile decorations that are fun but do not ruin the professional atmosphere. Keep decorations sophisticated and simple, and avoid large displays of red crepe paper or inflatable hearts. Keep in mind the tastes and preferences of your co-workers and tailor decorations to their tastes.
Decorate with Candy
For a decoration that everyone in the office will appreciate and enjoy, use clear glass bowls or jars to display Valentine's Day candy. Consider using conversation hearts, red and pink jelly beans, tart candy hearts or wrapped chocolates. The bright colors will provide an interesting pop of color to an otherwise drab office, and your co-workers will be able to snack on candy during the mid-afternoon lull. Make the candy jars more accessible by placing them in public spaces: on the reception desk, near the copier or on top of the water cooler.
To spruce up the breakroom or kitchen, replace standard napkins and disposable plates with Valentine-themed items. If hearts and flowers aren't your style, choose simple red, pink or purple options for a seasonal touch without the over-the-top prints. Other items to brighten the breakroom include disposable plastic cups and trays.
Use Fresh Flowers
For a natural Valentine touch, use fresh flowers to decorate the office. Choose flowers in pinks, reds, oranges and other bright colors. Place them at reception, on breakroom tables or on window sills. If you have the budget, spread the cheer to your co-workers by providing each person with a single flower in a bud vase to brighten up their desks.
Add Simple Touches
If your office has bulletin boards, add simple, sophisticated decorative Valentine touches. Using ribbon, create a border, anchored by a heart-shaped thumbtack in the corner. Look for ribbon in bright colors or with a print like hearts, polka dots or flowers. For an extra touch, you can add a cut-out heart in one corner.
Create a Love Display
Ask your co-workers to bring in pictures of them with people, places or things they love: significant others, children, other family members, pets or favorite places. Tell them that for Valentine's Day, you are celebrating the things that are special to the office and each other. This avoids excluding people who are not in relationships or who do not have close families. Post the photos on a designated bulletin board for the month of February so your co-workers will have something to smile about each time they pass.
Add a Comic Touch
On days when clients are not expected in the office, give everyone a laugh with a comical decoration or two. Replace toilet paper with heart-printed rolls, hand out funny Valentine cards or edit a photo of your boss to look like Cupid. Personalize the decorations to include office jokes, but keep it tasteful and be sure not to offend anyone.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.