Gift ideas for coworkers for any occasion (with tips)

Updated 30 September 2022

Employees who can express their gratitude to their coworkers are more likely to work in an environment where they feel respected and motivated. Giving gifts to your colleagues is a great way to strengthen bonds among you and commemorate special milestones as a group. It's essential to consider the occasion and the recipient before making your purchase. In this article, we list 22 gift ideas for coworkers and discover some tips to consider when giving gifts to them.

12 gift ideas for coworkers

Think about your coworker's hobbies and needs before deciding on a present for them. Then consider the occasion, the season and your personal relationship. Here are a few ideas for coworker gifts:

1. Self-care gift packages

Self-care and well-being are becoming increasingly important as more people balance their jobs and personal lives. Giving this gift to colleagues can help them unwind after a long day of work, so they can return the next day feeling rejuvenated. It's possible to buy it ready-made or to locate online shops specialising in this sort of present.

Related: How to make time for self-care while working from home

2. Jigsaws

Giving your coworkers a jigsaw of mysteries can be beneficial as an after-work pastime. Working from home allows them to take a quick break and work on a puzzle to keep their minds sharp and improve their performance and mood for the rest of their shift. You can personalise the jigsaw puzzle to each employee's interests, such as their favourite band, pastime or TV show.

Related: The best extracurricular activities to include on your CV

3. Welcome packages

Someone who has taken time off work because of maternity leave, paternity leave or health reasons may appreciate a welcome box. This shows that you care about them and have missed them at work. Some popular items to include are: branded laptop sleeves, high-quality coffee beans, water tumblers, company stickers, sweatshirts, notebooks and pens.

Related: Important workplace social skills

4. Lunch boxes

To reduce their carbon footprint, more people may be looking for eco-friendly alternatives to the products they use daily. Gifting them an environmentally friendly bamboo lunch box to bring their lunch to work could make a great gift. Make sure to include forks, knives and spoons in the package too.

5. Personalised city mugs

You can purchase drinking glasses with city maps engraved on them online, which can be used for drinking water or other beverages while at work. Use the location of the company or ask your colleagues about their hometowns and get those printed on the glasses. You could even give personalised city mugs as a token of your gratitude to the team.

6. Snack boxes

You can boost your colleagues' morale by giving them something to look forward to with a snack gift box during the day. When they leave work, they can even take the box home with them to finish off. Just make sure to tailor the snack boxes to the preferences of your colleagues.

7. Dry-erase chalkboards or whiteboards

A dry-erase chalkboard or whiteboard can be a valuable gift in the workplace or at home. Your colleagues can organise their duties for the day, week or month on it. They can also use the boards to relieve tension at work, by expressing themselves through drawing.

8. Food boxes

If you decide to hand out food boxes, such as sweets, cakes or doughnuts, print a message on the bottom of the box. Once all the food has been eaten, your colleagues can see the message left behind. You could even collect recipes from your colleagues and print them on the boxes. Sharing the narrative of how and where you gained the recipes or why you chose to share one with everyone may make for an entertaining gathering.

Related: 35 things to consider doing when you're bored at work

9. Gift baskets for the garden

Gifting a garden basket to your colleagues might give them something to do after work or on the weekend. If they're interested in it, it may even inspire them to take up a new activity. Put some gardening essentials, such as gloves and a selection of seeds, in the gift basket. You could buy the components separately or as a bundle online.

10. Gift baskets with office supplies

An office essentials gift box can help boost productivity in the workplace or at home. Make sure notebooks, pencils, webcam covers, mouse pads and organisers for office supplies are in the basket. You could buy a ready-made gift basket or purchase each item separately and put your own together.

Related: 20 fun team meeting ideas to boost engagement and productivity

11. Coffee

The best way to show a coworker that you care about them is to get them a good cup of coffee. You can even gift them a bag of their favourite beans. Whether at work or at home, they can then brew these beans to enhance their energy anytime they need it. Alternatively, shop for an assortment of their favourite flavour of coffee capsules if they prefer them.

12. Tea

You may choose loose tea, sachets or bags if your coworker prefers tea. Tea, which is rich in antioxidants, can help individuals feel revitalised and energised throughout the workday. For those coworkers who don't like the taste of caffeine, there are many herbal options available that you can give them.

10 more gift ideas for coworkers

A few additional present options to express your gratitude to your coworkers include:

  • Pen or pencil sets: Giving a set of pencils or pens is a kind gesture that the recipient may appreciate. Purchase a nice pencil or pen set they can use all day long.

  • Insulated stainless-steel water bottle: A stainless-steel water bottle is a great way to keep your coworkers hydrated. Gifting them with something they can use in the office, the gym or at home is a win-win situation.

  • Coffee cup: Coffee cups come in several colours, styles and forms, making them an excellent present for any coffee lover. Portable coffee cups tend to include a leakproof travel cover, so they're perfect for commuting to and from the office.

  • Pots for growing flowers and vegetables: Planter pots are a great way to add some greenery to your coworker's desk. For example, a small succulent planter can provide some colour and life to their workstation.

  • Cord keeper: Some of your colleagues may still use traditional headphones, even though many individuals now use wireless headphones. Invest in a lovely cord organiser to keep their cords from getting tangled up.

  • Leather mouse pad: Leather mousepads are a great way to spruce up your coworker's workstation and make using a computer mouse much smoother.

  • Wireless earbuds: Consider buying a pair of wireless earphones for your coworkers if they're still using regular headphones.

  • Laptop sleeve: Laptop sleeves can help protect laptops from damage, especially during commutes.

  • Charging hub: Consider purchasing a charging station to help your colleagues charge their various devices and phones simultaneously.

  • Letter board: Your colleagues can use this charming present to spell out messages, phrases or quotations and keep everyone entertained.

Related: Positive feedback: why it's important and how to give it

Tips for giving gifts to your coworkers

To ensure that you give an appropriate present, here are a few suggestions:

  • Make it personal: A monogrammed present, such as a mug or piece of apparel, is a really personal touch which many people appreciate. Alternatively, you could choose gifts based on your coworker's interests, including merchandise from their favourite sports team or university.

  • Enlist your coworkers: If you're looking for a gift for someone's birthday, promotion or another special occasion, ask your other coworkers for their advice first.

  • Maintain professional boundaries: Before buying or giving a present, think about what is appropriate for your workplace. Consider asking your coworker or manager for their opinion on the suitability of the gift before you buy it.

  • Research company norms: Depending on the organisation, there may be restrictions on how many gifts you can give and who can receive them. Offices may also have unspoken rules about when to present offerings.

  • Consider whether it's essential: Some occasions require a more personal approach, such as a handwritten note or a thoughtful email.

  • Give gifts individually: It may be more suitable to give a coworker a present privately or leave it on their desk rather than capture the entire team's attention at a meeting.

  • Give generously: To avoid the appearance of favouritism or bias in the workplace, be careful to give equal acknowledgement to all of your coworkers while presenting gifts.

  • Include a card: If you're sending a present, it's a good idea to include a personal remark with your name on the card.

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