Moms-to-be likely have no idea that they'll be instantly taking on a full-time second job after their baby's birth - and that time spent with coworkers will be cut down to a minimum. So sending them off on maternity leave with a secretly planned baby shower is a great way to remind them of a time they were able to spend a whole work day (or lunch hour) being pampered by their beloved office mates.
If you're looking to surprise an expecting coworker with an office shower, here are some steps to help you get started.
First things first - you'll need to decide on the shower location. If you plan to host the shindig in a work conference room, make sure you have permission to do so and choose a date when the space is free. If you're holding the shower at a restaurant or some other venue, you'll need to pick a time that works for the majority of the attendees (a lunch period or right after the 5 o'clock whistle, for example) and a location that is easily accessible. You'll also need time to decorate the space beforehand (don't forget - using items such as engraved glass vase centerpieces can cut down the time it takes to prepare).
Once you hammer out the important details, take the time to settle on a guest list (will you invite only the mother-to-be's closest work friends? All of the women? Everyone?). If the party is going to be held during business hours at a work venue, inviting the entire staff is really the only polite option available. Formal invitations do not need to be mailed for this type of gathering and a simple e-mail or Evite should be sent to potential attendees. Since office rumors tend to spread like wildfire, be sure to emphasize that the party is a surprise and make sure to clearly define gift expectations (group, individual or none at all) to avoid shower day chaos.
Finally, make sure to recruit the guest of honor's closest work friends, ask them to pick out baby shower supplies and decorations and get their help when choosing baby shower games to play at the bash. Remember - party favors like personalized baby shower chocolate bars will help sweeten the party memories for everyone at work the next day. All that's left to do is simply decorate and shout surprise when the glowing mama makes her way into the room.