Knowing the best gifts for coworkers can feel tricky, but it's not that complex once you understand the basic guidelines. Office gifts should be fun and exciting yet suitable for the workplace, in both gift type and price level. To help you determine an appropriate and well-loved gift, I'm sharing tips and answers to common questions on gifts for coworkers.
Don't get too personal: If you're not close enough to exchange gifts outside of work at your homes or a Christmas brunch, you're not close enough to do a personal gift. Gifts exchanged at the workplace should be appropriate for the environment.
Don't expect reciprocation: Relationships, especially levels of work relationships, can be objective. You may feel close enough to attend their baby shower in January, but when November rolls around, they may not feel they should attend yours. Give a gift because you want to, not because you want one when it's your turn.
No gag gifts: Even if you feel you know their personality, gag gifts could be a hit or a miss.
When in doubt go with something else: If you're on the fence about a certain item or asking other people their thoughts about it, go another route.
Should You Give Gifts to Coworkers?
Office environments can quickly start to feel like there's a celebration every day. Expectations to join in on every occasion can begin to feel mandatory and hard on your wallet. Gift-giving should be enjoyable and never forced. You should have a relationship with the person, more than the common factor that you both show up at the same office every day. Do you talk to them daily, are they someone you work with consistently, do you lunch together? If you answered yes to these, you probably want to give them a gift. If you answered no, it's safe to say you don't have a close enough relationship with them to feel obligated to give a gift.
You may have a close relationship but a modest budget, don't feel you have to spend money when it's not the right time for you. A heartfelt note or card is inexpensive and thoughtful words can be more meaningful than a mug with their name on it.
You may not know them well, but love celebrating and want that slice of cake, and that's okay. There's no harm in giving a gift to partake in the festivities.
Is it Appropriate to Give Your Boss a Gift?
Generally speaking, yes, but with everything, there are always exceptions. A Valentine's day gift is inappropriate. You most likely wouldn't do a birthday gift, unless it's a group gift for a milestone number or the office environment is big on birthdays.
Occasions that are generally acceptable to partake in are Boss's Day, Christmas, wedding showers, baby showers, and retirement parties.
When looking for gifts for your boss, don't get too personal. Try to stick to what's on their registry or generic items such as food, tumblers, gift sets, or alcohol gifts, if the workplace environment allows for them.
How Much Should You Gift a Coworker?
An average amount for coworker gifts is between $10 and $25. The gifts should be kept small, nothing too grand.
When participating in gift exchanges, be sure to understand the spending limits before you agree to take part and try to stick to the budget set.
When do I Give My Coworker the Gift?
For individual gifts, be discrete, either pull them to the side or leave the gift on their desk.
For group gifts, showers, or gift exchanges, there should be a set time for the event.
Should I Give Christmas Gifts to Coworkers?
Only give Christmas gifts to coworkers if you feel compelled to do so. It's a nice gesture to do something small for your team, but it's not obligatory.
For more details and inspiration on Christmas gift ideas for coworkers, click here.
How Much Should You Spend on a Baby Shower for a Coworker?
The average amount for showers would be around $25. Showers are a great time to pitch in for group gifts to purchase an elevated item from the registry.
What do You Get as a Baby Shower Gift for a Coworker?
For small individual gifts off a registry, onesies and diapers make great choices. They'll go through a lot of these, and most places will let them exchange diapers for other sizes, so be sure to give a gift receipt for those.
Browse our novelty onesies guide here for inspiration.
What is a Good Gift for Coworkers?
It's a common stereotype that there's little to be desired when it comes to office coffee, and most often that's the case. Pay attention to if they're a coffee or tea drinker and get something in the realm of mugs, accessories, or gift sets. Tumblers are eco-friendly and practical as well.
If their role requires a lot of business travel, travel gifts can be a good go-to. Stick to general items such as travel portfolios, a travel cocktail kit, or a passport holder.
Stationery is one of my favorite office gifts to receive. Monogrammed stationery or journals can help with organization and are personalized.
If it's appropriate for your work environment, alcohol gifts are easy to do. Read your employee handbook and channel the vibes of the office. If the company sponsors monthly mixers during work hours, those scotch caramels are probably fine.
In an intense work environment, stress relief items like bath bombs, candles, and essential oils may be well appreciated.
Gift cards are a way to get something you'll know they'll like. Get them for a coffee shop or their favorite lunch spot.
What are Good Inexpensive Gifts for Coworkers?
There's a variety of inexpensive gifts out there, including coffee or tea mugs or accessories, desk accessories, stationery, mini gift sets, and baked goods. Below are specific finds all under $25.
1. Personalized Badge Reel, $8+ at Pish Posh Pendants
This badge reel adds a personal touch to a practical everyday office item.
2. Initial Journal, $9 at Confetti Momma Party
There can never be too many notebooks in an office.
3. Mini Spa Gift, $10 at Little Flower Soap Co
This set has several scents and includes a lip balm and bath salts.
4. Novelty Tea Infuser, $15 at Amazon
A fun-spirited infuser will add some interest to their morning tea.
5. Champagne Bears, $10 at Swoozies
These will be a perfect snack for a much needed happy hour at home after a long day.
6. Essential Oils Gift Set, $9 at Amazon
This set will come in handy for high-stress days.
7. Weekly Planner, $15 at Amazon
This planner will help them keep their focus on their goals.
8. Travel Mug, $14 at Amazon
A travel mug is convenient as most offices require lids on cups.
9. Personalized Mouse Pad, $13 at Printable Sky
There are several color options for this mouse pad to fit all desk styles.
10. Gourmet Sea Salt Set, $14 at Amazon
They can try new recipes with this sampler set.
Shop Coworker Gifts Under $15
"Happiness is having a co-worker who becomes a friend."
1. French Press Travel Mug, $19 at Amazon
This mug can make that afternoon productivity jolt we sometimes need.
2. Tea and Coffee Gift Set, $23 at The Rusty Bear
They'll have the best of both worlds with the mixed tea and coffee set.
3. Monogrammed Travel Jewelry Case, $22+ at Confetti Momma Party
This simple case has a little bit of sparkle added to it.
4. Personalized Lanyard, $24+ at Ox And Pine
Add their initials to this leather lanyard for a personal and practical gift.
5. Throw Blanket, $24 at Amazon
This is perfect for offices that run cold.
6. Medium Leather Portfolio, $20+ at Birch Bark Co
This size is great for quick meetings and traveling.
7. Travel Cocktail Kit, $22 at Amazon
This kit is convenient for flights.
8. Gourmet Sea Salt Caramels, $19 at Amazon
These candies are handcrafted in Boston.
9. Spa Gift Set $17 at Amazon
This gift set will help them destress.
10. Passport cover, $23 at Marmoreal Vibes
This marble cover makes for a unique and useful gift.
Shop Coworker Gifts Under $25
I hope you found this helpful and productive in finding the perfect gift ideas for coworkers. Be sure to share your favorite coworker gifts or what you've done in the past in the comments below.
Until next time,
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