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A new way to collect for office occasions

Collection pot

November 27 2020 - Birthdays, retirements, Christmas parties, people leaving; it seems there is always an office occasion to mark and celebrate. But in the pandemic era, with people working from home and teams spread out across the country (and even the world) office gifting has got even harder. But this doesnít have to mean the end of the office celebration, as office gifting has received a digital makeover.

Group collecting platform Collection Pot was set up by founder Wendy Carter as the modern means of collecting for all kinds of occasions, but it has been particularly well received by workplaces. And itís little wonder. In 2020, Collection Pot found that a huge 89% of employees in their workplace survey found organising monetary collections in the office difficult.

The reality is that it tends to be left to the same people to instigate the collection, gather the money, choose the gift, arrange the presentation and, in most cases, give the lionís share of the money too. Making collecting easier was Wendy Carterís mission when she set up the group collecting platform, in a bid to eradicate the discontent that often arises in workplaces around office collections.

The most common reason to start a digital collection is for someone leaving a job, say Collection Pot, and the average donation given is £10 with 10 donors- so a respectable £120 as a leaverís gift. Users set up a Pot online and invite others to contribute digitally, adding their own message. Virtual Pots are then presented to the recipient who can read all of the messages left by colleagues, and redeem their digital Pot with all manner of national retailer gift cards, local Town and City Gift Cards, or to their Visa debit card.

This choice of what to receive is likely to be well received by office workers with 72% of respondents in the Collection Pot survey saying they would like to be able to select the gift given to them at work. The group collecting platformís survey also found that 75% of office workers dread opening gifts in front of their colleagues and 69% have disliked an office gift theyíve received.

And itís little wonder. Office gifts are notoriously bad, born of the fact that a) we donít know our colleagues very well and b) we donít have time to search out the perfect gift. A plastic fork, branded company items, lobster claw gloves and novelty sunglasses were just some of the worst office gifts received by respondents to the Collection Pot survey.

In comparison, the best gifts received by respondents include gift cards, a Gucci purse, tickets for a Championís League football game and a Peloton bike. A Peloton bike may well be beyond the reach of most office collections, but giving a colleague a gift they like has been made incredibly easy with the introduction of Collection Pot. Whilst, for the person arranging the collection, using Collection Pot will save them valuable time and effort.

Wendy Carter, founder of Collection Pot isnít surprised that gift cards rank as some of the most popular gifts for office workers: "If itís the choice between a novelty throwaway item and something of value, people prefer the latter. £120 is a lot of money, particularly in the tough financial times we are facing. With it, people can choose a gift card for their favourite store, support local businesses or even have the funds credited to their Visa Direct Card. That £120 could be much needed."

Collaborating with colleagues across video conferencing and digital workspaces has become commonplace in 2020. Aligning with this advancement, Collection Pot was added to the Microsoft Teams store this year- with its 80 million daily users- as the only group collecting app in the Teams hub. This has made collecting for office occasions as simple as setting up a group meeting.

Collection Pot expanded from its UK based into Ireland in November 2020. Irish collectors are now able to select Ireland when they create a Pot on the main site, allowing users to donate in Euros. Recipients of Irish Pots can redeem their Pots in a variety of ways, such as One4all Gift Cards, accepted in over 8,500†retailers across Ireland, Penneyís Gift Cards, Irish Town and City Gift Cards or to an Irish Visa debit card.

Commercial director Adam Stevens joined the Collection Pot senior management team in 2020 and said Ireland was the next step for the brand:

"Ireland was always a key market for us to develop into. Our user community is vital, we say that every Pot tells a story, and thatís what gives Collection Pot its heart- the reasons that people create Pots in the first place. We look forward to welcoming the Irish community into the Collection Pot fold.

"More people than ever are working from home. Teams often only connect virtually now so we need new ways of keeping workplaces connected and effective. Itís really important to give people a fun, easy way of collecting in the modern workplace, and thatís what we offer. This year, weíve put the foundations in place to take Collection Pot to the next level, as a strong and profitable business. The partnership with Microsoft Teams was the start and our expansion into Ireland is the next step."



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