Green Asia

Commentary: The fraught politics of chipping in for office gifts


The process has been transformed by the likes of Collection Pot, Giftround and Thankbox – online platforms that have become an office fixture since remote working in the pandemic made in-person collecting a nightmare.

“The popularity of a service like ours just increased massively,” says Ellie Andreou, co-founder of a London-based site called Viing, which was set up in 2015.

It counts staff at banks, universities, accountants and media groups among its customers, as well as one Premier League football club office. And Andreou confirmed that users tended to collect “significantly more” than when they had to faff around catching colleagues at their desks and hoping each had enough change to hand.

Even so, it sounds as if my friend’s colleague who received more than £550 was lucky.

The average Viing collection raised about £100, Andreou said, adding one user was “astounded” to collect £200 instead of the £10 that used to be typically collected in an envelope.

Andreou had not heard of junior workers being resentful about the amount of money going to more senior staff. But she did point out that senior people typically had more connections in an organisation, so the potential donation pool was bigger.

That makes sense. And it’s true there is nothing new about whipround resentment.

Back in 2010, an indignant worker wrote in an online forum for car lovers that when he worked at a firm that tried to organise a collection for a man who was moving abroad, “I told them to xxxx off”, adding: “Guy went to New Zealand and was nearly doubling his salary.”

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