Photo Courtesy Blumz by…JRDesigns in metro DetroitThis year, Administrative Professionals Week falls April 24-30, with Administrative Professionals Day on April 27.

Contrary to popular belief, Administrative Professionals Day, formerly known as Secretaries Day, was not started by the floral or gift card industries. In fact, its roots began during World War II. The National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions of secretaries and other administrative personnel to the economy, to support their personal development and to help attract people to administrative careers. The association’s name was changed to Professional Secretaries International in 1981 and, finally, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) in 1998. As the organization’s scope and name changed, so has the holiday’s name.

With the ever-changing role of the administrative assistant, the stereotypical female secretary in a typing pool is no longer even remotely accurate. The role of the “admin” encompasses anyone whose job is to provide support, office administration, administrative assistance, paper and electronic filing, supply procurement, communications, technical support and so much more. Men and women fill these positions.

So when deciding what is appropriate as a gift in recognition of the contributions made by your admin, don’t make the mistake of slipping into a gender pit fall.

Flowers are an appropriate and appreciated thank-you gift — for men and women. Research from Texas A&M University reveals that flowers and plants naturally lift moods, boost workplace productivity, and enhance creative thinking — all beneficial to any company or organization.

Photo Courtesy Blumz by…JRDesigns in metro DetroitFeatured here are a couple of cool and funky gift ideas appropriate for all admins. The designs feature containers made of twigs and filled with air plants, mosses and succulents, all easy to care for plants in an office environment.

The first, a more compact design, showcases two exotic yellow pincushion protea. Honeysuckle vine encircles the longer lasting flowers creating an interesting structure. A trio of yellow “billy balls” escapes to the right from the enclosure. At the lip of the container, to the right, a cluster of mossy-looking green trick dianthus provides a touch of bright green. On the left side, a couple of small cute echeveria are tucked in.

The second design is a bit taller. Red twig dogwood branches create a “tree” onto which air plants have been attached. At the base of the branches, a succulent plant has been wrapped in green moss and tucked in with a few stems of blue eryngium thistle and a clump of green trick dianthus. Spanish moss and seeded eucalyptus finish off the composition.

These are just the start. Your florist has great ideas and can create a custom design to fit any personality. It’s as easy as a phone call!

Show your appreciation to admins for their contributions to the success of your company with a touch of green and a lot of cool. I’m sure the recognition will be much appreciated.