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December 20, 2021
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December 20, 2021

It’s that time of year again! Mulled wine, carol services and… dodgy Secret Santa gifts.

We’ve all been there; the enthusiastic Christmas lover announces at the start of October that the team will once again be taking part in an office Secret Santa in December. Great, you think. If only you ended up with a decent gift each time. (And who can do that under a fiver these days?)

Hands up if it’s always you who makes a solid effort as well? We’ve put together a list of the worst types of gifts to receive at an office Secret Santa. Don’t be that person…

1. The Used Gift – Picture the moment, everyone passes their gifts round (and it’s great if your office managed to keep it all anonymous) but the anonymity of it means that there’s always someone who cuts corners. You open your small gift to find a nice bath set; a classic Secret Santa gift. But it’s only when you see the lid has been unscrewed slightly that steam starts coming out of your ears and not the bathtub.

2. Opened Food –  It’s hard to imagine that there are people who actually do this, but they exist and are expanding by the minute. An opened jar of chutney, a pack of biscuits that are soft. A very rare type of Secret Santa but one that is out there. There’s low and there’s lower.

3. The Regift – Maybe you’ve opened your gift and genuinely like it. Perhaps the person has really thought about you when wrapping it. ‘Yes,’ you think. ‘I love books!’ But it’s only when you open the first page and see the ‘love Mum 2008’ note that your skin starts to crawl…

4. The Obvious Gift – It’s time for the office Secret Santa, but your gift giver has completely forgotten about it. No need to fear, you love stationery. Everyone office worker does, right? Unfortunately, it’s the third year in a row that you’ve unwrapped a stapler.

5. The Awkward Picture – We all love a picture on our desk. But is a picture of someone else’s new turtle or baby really a good gift to receive? Yes, she was sweet when they brought her in, but you don’t need her face on your desk all day.

6. The Random Gift – The gift that screams you have no idea who ‘Joe’ is in Accounts. Everyone loves a magazine subscription, right? Or a cookery book? Don’t take the risk; stick with chocolates. (Just don’t open them first.)

7. The Smellies – It’s okay for a family member and it’s certainly okay for a friend. But giving your colleague a three pack of deodorant/ body spray just says ‘wash a little more.’ They’ll be sitting away from everyone in the New Year and won’t even know who gave it to them …

8. Homemade Gifts – Sometimes there are people who can knit really nice scarves. Or people who can bake amazingly. But a lot of the time there are people who think they can do these things. Save the quirky jumpers for your unassuming family members, folks. The accountant really doesn’t want to wear it just to make you happy.

9. Gift Cards – Gift cards can be great. Particularly for someone who already has everything but loves a certain shop. But don’t be buying gift cards for people you don’t know too well. Otherwise, they’ll be stuck with £10 to spend at a garden centre for 24 months and it’ll turn up again in next year’s Secret Santa.

10. Clothes – This is just a huge no for the office Secret Santa. You might think you know what that person likes and you may even know their size. But what if they’ve lied about their size and their love of culottes? Worst of all, they’ll feel obliged to wear their new item of clothing. Save the embarrassment.


In these cases, is it really the thought that counts? (That’s if there was any thought at all…)


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Nick Aikenhead


"I’m very pleased how they’ve gone through it all and actioned it and they’ve got good depth of resource, good depth of people, and good skilled people who work well and tightly and good communication. So I’m delighted."

Lydiard Park Academy

Our project was finished on time and to budget in what was a very short timescale, which is a credit to the team at Spaceway!

Stone Bridge United

We're very impressed with the Spaceway team and the whole project was installed without fault. We are looking forward to working with the team again.

Paul Callus

Plastimo UK Limited

We are delighted with the finished product. The space has been turned into an exceptional working environment, which will serve us well for years to come

A J Wells

Another project well done by Spaceway. As before, we're very pleased with everything from concept through to completion.


The project was designed to meet our specific requirements which included fitting in 20 more additional workstations using the existing space. The design works well and has met our expectations fully, we will continue to use Spaceway, they do a good job.

Mark Rowe

Glenmore Consultants

The office fit out is superbly finished to the highest standards and beyond our expectations.

Alan Fisher

Car Link

“I was so happy I did not get bothered throughout the extensive works and that a strict timetable was completed flawlessly. Fantastic experience all round.”

Greg Bedford


It’s no good having just an empty industrial building you need a concept for space, a design, an infrastructure and someone to build it. Designing something like this from scratch with someone who’s willing to invest in your ideas, Spaceway is your perfect partner.

Redmayne Engineering

We were delighted with the service from Spaceway.

Richard De Crausaz

Cookson Electronics

Spaceway worked with us to create the perfect environment for our staff. The completed project was fantastic and utilised the space to provide  practical, modern and attractive working surroundings.


The project was challenging to say the least with the removal of 280 workstations and fitting of 400 new ones, along with collaboration areas and 400 bespoke lockers over two weekends, but Spaceway managed to complete this along with office refurbishment works on time and to an excellent standard.


Thank you to Spaceway for the improvements that have been made to move Bodywise forward. You've done a very good job and we look forward to working with you again.
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