30 Thoughtful Gifts for Coworkers for $25 or Less
Shower your colleagues with personalized presents that let them know just how much you care—without having to ask the boss to chip in.
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The art of choosing gifts for coworkers
Whether you work in a stuffy office or even a more casual atmosphere, it’s important to keep gifts for coworkers fun, but not too personal. “Gifts of clothing should be avoided because the quickest way to embarrass a co-worker is with a clothing size that is either too big or small,” says Susan Hosage, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, a senior consultant with OneSource HR Solutions. “Men gifting jewelry, cologne, or other personal items to women, and vice versa, can also have unintended implications and consequences.”
Another consideration is that food items can be problematic since there are many allergies and medical conditions that restrict what an employee may be able to consume. Finally, you also want to ensure you’re compliant with any company policies. For instance, although it was very common decades ago, Hosage says it’s strongly advisable to refrain from gifts of alcohol on the company premise or outside of the office as they may be against policy and create unnecessary legal liability for the individual and the company.
The gift ideas included in this article were chosen to help keep you in your recipient’s good graces and out of hot water with your HR department—when in doubt, brush up on these 14 gifts that might send the wrong message and always err on the side of caution.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
Speks’ Super Oilslick
How does one de-stress during a hectic workday? Since martini lunches are typically frowned upon by most employers, a playdate with Speks’ Super Oilslick set of three magnetic balls could be the answer for your coworker. They can roll them around in their palm, stack them to form a desk sculpture or use them to attract errant paperclips. Soon everyone will be stopping by their office to check them out. And if you already have gifts for coworkers covered, check out these 26 corporate gifts your clients will love this holiday season.
Panasonic RP-TCM125 in-ear headphones
Some coworkers are amazingly productive despite cubicle chatter; others need to “plugin” with some tunes to drown out the noise and get their work done. The Panasonic RP-TCM125 in-ear headphones with microphone and call controller fit perfectly in any desk drawer, briefcase or work bag. Plus, these handy little headphones come in 15 different colors and with three sizes of earpads to ensure a comfy fit.
While one of the cardinal rules for gifts for coworkers is no clothing, we promise you can’t go wrong with one-size-fits-all socks—especially when they’re made out of a snuggly soft blend of baby alpaca fibers by artisans in Peru. They are lighter, yet warmer than wool, and luxuriously soft with a silky sheen. The best part? They are hypoallergenic and machine washable. Did you know wearing crazy socks is a scientifically proven way to make you more successful?
Remember the last time your coworker volunteered to drive your team to lunch? You shouldn’t have been surprised that their vehicle was as cluttered as their cubicle! Help them keep a clean car with Car Cache, an easy-to-install hammock that sits between the front seats behind the center console. It’s the perfect spot to stow your purse or bag—plus, it also has a pocket to hold things like umbrellas, sunglasses, and a first aid kit. It can even act as a dog barrier when your furry friend is in the back seat. Speaking of pets, these are the best gifts for dog lovers.
Gerber Dime Multi-Tool
You know the coworkers who chat about all the DIY projects they do at home each weekend? Buy him or her a tool that’ll help make small jobs easier: a Gerber Dime. Don’t let the size fool you (it will fit on a keychain), because it’s a fully functional multi-tool that includes scissors, file, knife, tweezers, pliers, and a few other features—including a bottle opener for when the project is done.
Sometimes, a coworker needs a little reminder that they are capable and competent. Bracelets from MantraBand are stamped with inspirational and uplifting messages to help encourage anyone who needs a little boost of confidence. They are made from hypoallergenic, lead-free, and tarnish-resistant stainless steel and adjustable for the perfect size. Consider the “You Got This” or “Keep Moving Forward” designs for a little dose of optimism and mindfulness. These 50 inspirational quotes will get her through a tough morning.
Titan Gear Stainless Steel Coffee Mug
Every office has an individual who runs out the door on Friday afternoons so they can escape to the great outdoors. Get them something they can enjoy at the office and use on weekend camping trips. Titan Gear stainless steel coffee mugs keep your coffee hot longer than ceramic mugs or plastic cups found in your office, which means no more nuking your coffee between meetings. Plus, they are shatterproof, should they tumble off your desk or out of your tent. When not in use, you can fold away the handles for easy storage. Make sure the recipient knows these tips for making the perfect cup of coffee.
Belkin Car Vent Mount
From salespeople who spend a lot of time in their car driving around their territory to office workers who take conference calls during their commutes, it’s essential to have a hands-free way to navigate and use the phone. The Belkin car vent mount secures your smartphone to your car’s air vent without the need for tools. The adjustable brackets ensure a snug fit on any phone model, and it swivels 360 degrees for portrait or landscape views. These are 20 more car accessories that will change the way you drive.
Gerrard’s Coffee Shop Scented Candle
Mmmmm, the delicious aroma of coffee without the mid-morning caffeine jitters? Yes, that’s what you’ll get with Gerrard’s Coffee Shop Candles. Inspired by creator Gerrard Larriett’s favorite pastime—spending lazy summer afternoons at a local indie coffee shop with his dog, Dada—each bespoke fragrance in this giftable candle collection will remind you of one of your favorite café treats. After burning, simply recycle your coffee mug and use over and over again. It comes ready to present to your coworker in a beautiful burlap coffee bean bag-inspired gift box.