Ever receive an oddball business gift? How about a stuffed piranha? Yeah, it really happened.
Especially around this festive time of year, workplace gift-giving is alive and well, though some of the items given to clients are weirder than welcome, according to research from Regus.
Around 26,000 respondents from over 90 countries revealed the strangest business gift they have ever received in the survey.
A 2011 report found that Australian businesses spend $491 million a year on Christmas gifts and parties, making corporate gifting a big business during the holiday season.
While you might expect a little wine and cheese, a company-logo necktie, or a gift card, not all businesses go the safe route when it comes to giving gifts.
What’s so weird?
The list of weird items given as corporate gifts (really) includes all of the following:
- A shrunken head
- Dried and stuffed piranha
- Dead cat
- Food-shaped earplugs
- Ship propeller
- Antacid medicines
- Tyre jack
- Antler horns
- Set of nail clippers
- Bronze handshake sculpture
Items revealed range from the ordinary and obvious to the slightly peculiar and the outright odd. So, while some of them are pretty out-there, we have to say that, compared with a lame gift card, a stuffed piranha is pretty cool.
Even more weirdness. Nice.
Weird-or-wonderful gifts presented to Australian businesspeople range from a jerry can, a remote control helicopter and a chocolate foot, to a bead necklace whose beads can be used as currency in the Solomon Islands and ceramic masks of Chinese mythological characters.
The most common yet perhaps more useful gifts range from umbrellas to pocketknives and wine.
Since Australia is known for its top-notch livestock, it’s no surprise that animal related gifts are common: tropical fish, a snake, a camel and a crocodile featured among business responses. Spirits (oh, booze) and chocolate are popular but admittedly pedestrian options, by comparison.
Regus’ CEO, Australia and New Zealand, Paul Migliorini commented, “While gifts can be a great way of networking and building relationships with business people, and for making them feel appreciated, the choice of gift can strongly affect people’s view of you and your business.
“Giving an unusual gift can be walking a tightrope in any circumstances, and even with cultural differences in mind there are clearly some gifts that many would not find appropriate in a professional environment.
“However, that said, Australian businesses are certainly showing some great imagination when it comes to corporate gifting!”
What’s the weirdest gift you’ve even received at work?
Anthillian minds would love to know.