Should you bring cupcakes to work?

Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careeriest: The New Rules for Success and columnist for The Boston Globe and Yahoo! Finance, asks whether bringing cupcakes or cake or cookies to work is a workplace no-no.

You need to be nice at work. This doesn’t mean holding the door. Well, it does, but you need to do more than that. You need to do high-profile, from-the-heart niceness. People who are popular at work do better at work. Yes, it’s true, the popularity contest never ends.

So why not try cupcakes? Wait. Stay with me here. Cupcakes are good because they are easy to make. You can leave them in a central location in the office, or even on your desk, and people can just pick one up. They will be impressed and touched that you cooked.


I bring cupcakes both to work and to parties, and I have to say, they're always a hit. Not everyone loves them but people come to know me as "the cupcake girl" and even ask me if I have cupcakes on me. I think it's a conversation starter and a generous gesture. I've worked in offices where someone has a candy jar or dish and people come to know that's where they can find candy. I don't think it should be obligatory or anything, because that defeats the idea of it being a kind gesture, and would probably seem forced if the office curmudgeon suddenly showed up with two dozen cupcakes. But to me, it's not about "getting ahead" so much as sharing my love for cupcakes.

What about you, readers?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Why shouldn't anyone? I think it is absolutely ok to bring cupcakes to work. It's always well received here in KL, Malaysia. :)
Anonymous said…
ha ha ha!!!
i just picked up a dozen from a new place in costa mesa, ca for work tomorrow.
now i feel all warm and fuzzy.
Anonymous said…
I've never taken cupcakes, but I take some type of treat every week to staff meeting. It's amazing how excited people get about the simplest things. My mom has been taking treats to work once a week ever since I can remember. She's a nice person & people like her anyway, but I think the food helps too.
Gourmet Peasant said…
I've never been good with small talk, but cup cakes have always help me make a smooth transition to a new work environment.
Couldn't have said it better. I don't work in an office anymore. But my husband does. And I bake cupcakes every so often for him to take. I did baked 2 dozen yetserday for his office bake sale to benefit a local Children's Hospital here. I say cupcakes make people smile!
Shannon in Austin
kstar810 said…
cupcakes definitely help break the ice if you're in a new office. i asked my finance department if i could bake for office birthdays and parties since they always ordered the same thing every time. so now i get the smiles and a little compensation. :)
Sarah said…
I love baking, and am often treating co-workers to cupcakes (I find that people appreciate those more than cake as they are individually packaged, so to speak.) It's always a nice pick-me-up after a long week, and people appreciate it.
Melissa said…
I have brought cupcakes to work a few times. It's a good way to get rid of them. Otherwise I'd eat them all myself :P I'm single and live alone, and I don't have enough visitors on a weekly basis to stop by and eat my baked goods. Also, I like being nice.
Miz Cupcake said…
Cupcakes at work is definitely a "do". People know I love to make cupcakes and they're always happy to see them. They're a great start to the day. They're also a nice break from a grueling worday. Everyone takes a few minutes to relax and be a kid again.
Anonymous said…
For over 10 years now, in two different offices--one the Governor's Office of my state, I have brought treats every Thursday. My coworkers have and do enjoy what I bring,are so appreciative and look forward to Treat Thursdays. Here is what my daughter wrote when she forwarded this site to me and her siblings.

"What about 7 layer bars, lemon squares, cookies, muffins, brownies....the list goes on. I think mom is the expert on "high profile from the heart niceness"& everyone likes her anyway (unless they're jealous that people like her more then them)."
Nanette said…
I often bring cupcakes (and cookies) into work because I love to bake, but I unfortunately love to eat. It's nice having a willing audience to enjoy my treats. And I tell my co-workers that my strategy is to fatten everyone else around me so I look smaller. ;)

Every now and then I remember advice in a book I have called, "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office," which suggests that you don't be Betty Crocker. But I say screw that! Let 'em eat cupcakes!
Cupcake Queen said…
I brought a dozen cupcakes to my colleagues every week for 52 weeks at the Univrsity of Maryland...they were my testing ground! They all said they loved every one. Folks began hovering around the front office every Monday morning at 9:00 so they would be one of the 12 lucky cupcake eaters! It was funny...some would eat theirs right away and other would save one for lunch!
When I make cupcakes I always want to eat them, but not ALL of them! So I often bring them in to share with coworkers and they definitely don't seem to mind, in fact I've seen a couple double-fisting them as they walk down the hall :)