Your coworker brightens up your day at work. They’re there for you with coffee in hand if you’ve had a bad day and are always available for a water cooler chat when you need it. Whether it’s for a birthday, holiday, or just to say “thank you,” you want to choose a gift they’ll enjoy – a gift that lets them know how much you appreciate having them on your team.
How to Choose a Gift for Your Coworker
Finding a gift for your coworker can be a little tricky. Despite spending countless hours each day with them, you might find you don’t really know them that well. It can be tough to hit the right note, too: you also don’t want to choose a gift that’s too expensive, and in the workplace, you need to be mindful of office etiquette. The most important thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the day, gift-giving should be a simple and fun gesture.
For your coworker’s birthday, consider a box of chocolate dipped treats like strawberries and cake-shaped pineapples dipped in cake batter-flavored white chocolate and topped with colorful sprinkles, plus chocolate covered pretzels, graham crackers, and chocolate covered sandwich cookies. A chocolate lover’s gift basket is an amazing gift for any occasion for a coworker who never says no to chocolate, whether it’s their birthday, the holidays, or another special occasion.
For a coworker who just earned a big promotion or is retiring, a box of decadent sweets and desserts like mini cheesecakes, chocolate dipped fruits topped with white chocolate “Congrats” sentiments, and fresh-baked cookies packaged in a custom Congratulations gift box is sure to please. Edible Arrangements® offers a variety of delicious office-appropriate gift ideas for any coworker, no matter the occasion. The possibilities are endless!
For more fabulous gift ideas for your coworkers, we put out a call for ideas and curated responses below. (Note: Edible Arrangements® is not endorsing any of the companies or ideas discussed below, but we asked for suggestions to get some different perspectives.) Keep reading to find out what the contributors who responded to our query had to say about the best gift ideas for your coworkers.
William Taylor is a Senior Recruitment Advisor at VelvetJobs, a global job board and employer branding facility. He has helped individuals and organizations with career-related issues, hiring, recruitment, and management strategies for over 12 years.
“A great gift for your coworkers, especially those who are coffee lovers, is a double-walled glass and/or mug. It is not just aesthetically pleasing, but it is also an effective way to keep your coffee hot. It allows you to hold the glass without a problem because it prevents heat conduction.”
Thomas Bradbury is the Technical Director at GetSongkey.
“You’re in search of a gift for a coworker’s birthday, retirement, or a holiday but have no idea what to buy… This is a common issue that many of us find ourselves in. We often do not know our co-workers at a personal level – or at least well enough to really know what they would enjoy as a gift. This can be even harder with a Secret Santa system, as you may not know which co-worker who will receive your gift at all.
Still, there are a few great ideas to keep in mind – think about gifts that everyone will enjoy, regardless of their preferences.
When you are buying for a male co-worker, consider a few tools, or perhaps a bottle opener. You could also opt for something like a can cooler, as this will help to keep their can of beer cold.
Women may rather enjoy a good fragrance that offers a bag-sized bottle, as these are easy to carry with them.
Bottom line: When gifting to your co-worker, think of things that most people will have a use for.”
Michael Kipness is the Founder of Wizard Race and Sports.
“A good gift for a coworker is any item that is compatible for both home and office use. Examples include a mug, thermos, stress ball, desktop digital calendar display, etc. Customize the gift if possible by adding the recipient’s name or job title. Think of what items your coworker might find a use for in the office but can also be taken home for use over the weekend. Consider items with actual functional use and not those that just serve as decor.”
Mollie Newton is the Editor and Founder of PetMeTwice.
“Give the gift of food (to their doorstep). In my experience, nothing brings people together better than good food. When I worked in an office, my coworkers and I would spend more time than we should have discussing our lunch choice for the day. Since food is such a hot topic in the office, it makes sense that treating your coworker would take the form of door to door food service (for free).
I often send my team (who are remote currently) Uber vouchers for their birthdays or even on sick days when I know they’d probably need it most, and I always get a great response!”
Simon Dwight Keller
Simon Dwight Keller is the Founder and CEO of SDK Marketing.
“The Airselfie Drone Camera makes a great gift for your coworker. Everyone likes to take a selfie and share it on Instagram, especially when traveling to some exotic places like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, etc. Drones can be the ultimate gift idea for travel bloggers, vloggers, and Instagrammers. And with palm-size portable HD flying cameras, it has become more comfortable for travelers to capture their most special vacation moments and instantly share them on social media.”
Simon Elkjær is the Chief Marketing Officer of avXperten, home of Denmark’s most affordable electronics.
“One of the best and safest gifts you can give a co-worker during this time are virtual gift cards from streaming applications such as Netflix and Spotify. As these services offer a wide range of options to choose from, it answers your ‘Would Alex like this gift?’ question, which therefore saves you time and gives your friend a lot of things to enjoy. You can easily purchase these from their official sites or online stores such as Target and the like, which is a huge plus!”
Edgar Arroyo is the President at SJD Taxi.
“If your coworker regularly has lunch at their desk, a lunch box or Bento box could make a thoughtful gift. Good quality coffee beans are the perfect gift for a co-worker who enjoys their daily coffee.
Bluetooth speakers or headphones will be best for co-workers who like listening to music while they work or relax at home. A portable charger is also a very practical gift if your co-worker is always on the go and can’t charge their phone often.”
Siva Mahesh is the CEO at Dreamshala.
“Here are the best gift ideas for coworkers:
- An ergonomic keyboard. There’s nothing worse for your posture than being hunched over a laptop all day. A keyboard that’s separate from the screen can help your coworker sit up straighter as they work. You can’t go wrong with this gift!
- Anniversary Heritage Crew Socks by Icebreaker. These merino wool, stretchy crew socks are a winter essential. This Canadian brand knows how to make warm, cozy socks that look great, too. If you’re not sure what to get your coworker, you can never go wrong with socks.
- A jigsaw puzzle. Although puzzles might seem more appropriate for nursing homes, putting together a puzzle can be cathartic. Especially with lockdown orders continuing, this can be a perfect gift for staying at home.”
Jeanine Duval is the Co-Founder of Edelwyn.
“Since we’re all quite close, we know what we like and what our hobbies are. Nevertheless, everyone likes a present that you can keep close to you while you work! That’s why I think personalized mugs are the best. I recommend any mug with a happy quote to cheer up your favorite coworker. Choose one that fits his or her character best.
Another option is ThoughtFulls Pop-Open cards. What I love about these cards is that they are there to inspire. Each of the 30 cards inside offers amazing quotes to make your coworker’s day a little bit brighter. And they come in different patterns and beautiful colors, too!”
David McHugh is the CEO and Founder of My Mixify.
“The Christmas season is the time to show how much you appreciate your friends, family, and coworkers, although there are other occasions when it’s appropriate to give a gift to a coworker as well, such as their birthday or retirement.
I always make a point of finding a gift that’s useful yet funny. This Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings calendar shows you tips for succeeding at work meetings without the effort of researching. As someone who knows how tough meetings can be sometimes, I definitely will be gifting this calendar this year.
Although our team is all about fitness and sport, we still have to work behind desks, and that can be stressful sometimes. The Desktop Boxing: Knock Out Your Stress desk accessory is ideal for when you’re struggling with writing or deadlines and you need to release some tension.
Despite the fact that most of our writing is done online, a pen is still indispensable. Not only does the Scriveiner Black Rollerpen look professional, but it also writes amazing. Giving a high-quality pen that’s durable will put a smile on your coworker’s face any day.”
Kristen Bolig is the founder of SecurityNerd, a home security advice website that’s been featured on U.S. World & News Report, Reader’s Digest, and NBC Better. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband.
“Give your co-workers the gift of safety with the AAA 63 piece road assistance kit. It’s a great option whether your co-workers are planning on a cross-country road trip or just a drive around town.
This road safety essential includes everything you need in case of an unexpected breakdown. It comes fully equipped with a flashlight, heavy-duty booster cable, cable ties, screwdriver, bungee cords, and more. It also comes with a 45 piece first-aid kit that can be a lifesaver in case of emergency.
At just $29.93, this cost-friendly bag is a great gift option for anyone that’s a frequent driver.”
Ian Kelly is the VP of Operations at NuLeaf Naturals.
“When buying gifts for co-workers, I think a healthy mix of novelty and practicality is a winning combination.
Of course, you want something they will like but doesn’t feel inappropriately personal. A beautiful notebook, a nice pen, and some fun office supplies are things that most co-workers can use at work but are still a bit fun. You can find so many fun office supplies at smaller stationery stores, including paper clips shaped like animals, notebooks with their favorite superheroes, or pens in any color imaginable.”
David Meltzer is the Owner of East Insurance Group, a Maryland Insurance Agency.
“Whether you’re working in an office or remotely, decorative plants for the desk are always a good gift for co-workers.
Personally, I’d go with mini succulents for this particular gift idea. Include a little pot (decorate it yourself, if you wish) to add more value to it. I’ve always found plants to be a refreshing ornament for any space, whether it’s an entertainment room or a home office.”
Jennifer Willy is an Editor at Etia.Com.
“There are a variety of gifts available in the market that you can gift your coworker with. Here are just a few amazing gift ideas for your coworker:
The first one would be family board games, as everyone is working from home and spending time with their families. Kids Against Maturity offers the tried and tested fill-in-the-blank style of game-play, a perfectly enjoyable hilarious way to bring your family together.
The second option could be for your tech-savvy and music lover employee. COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones quell airplane cabin noise, city traffic, or a busy office, so you can focus on what you want to hear and enjoy your music, movies, and videos.
Lastly, let’s not forget the classic chocolate sweets box. Ferrero Rocher Collection has a delicious combination of tastes and textures, from the fine wafer and rich velvety cocoa filling to dark chocolate covered hazelnut at its heart.”
Sam Lowy is the CEO of Life Insurance Star, a New Jersey Insurance agency.
“Coffee mugs are always a good gift because they serve multiple purposes. They can either drink from it or use it as a pen holder or a container for other office materials. But don’t give out just any mug. Find one that bears a funny/witty message that in some way portrays your friendship. The great thing about it is that you can have them personalized according to your preference.”
Amy loves to talk and write about dating, relationships, and sex on TheAbsoluteDater.com. When not writing, Amy can be found playing with her dog in Sunnybrook Park.
“Coworkers are the only people who can make your 9 to 5 bearable. You want to give them something worth remembering. In my opinion, here are a few options you can go for:
- A laptop sleeve: Not only does a sleeve help in protecting your laptop from dust, but it would also allow your coworker to go into meetings and conferences with style. And it’s economical, too!
- A work timer: A work timer makes it easier for you to set schedules and race against time. It is the perfect time management tool and the perfect gift for your coworker.”
Brian Ward is a home fitness expert and the founder of The Workout Digest. Brian is an evangelist for home gyms and enjoys training people on staying fit at home.
“If you have a coworker who is really into fitness, like me, then mini resistance bands make a great gift. I was actually given a set of these by a coworker a few years back, and I still use these things almost daily.
What makes them such a great gift for a fitness-conscious coworker is that they can actually be used at work. Plus, they are inexpensive enough to help you stay within your gift budget.
And if you’d like to add a little something else small to go with them, then a set of grip strength balls is the perfect addition. Plus, grip strength balls can also be used as stress relief balls!”
Meirav is the Marketing Manager at GoCube.
“The GoCube is an Award-Winning app-enabled Rubik’s Cube that allows ANYONE to learn how to solve the (unsolvable) classic puzzle from the ’80s in a fun and interactive way, improve skills, track progress, play different games that fit all ages and capabilities, and compete with friends online. It is a high quality, newly designed speed cube, equipped with advanced sensors that track and measure activity, as well as an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that tracks the cube’s orientation. The GoCube connects through Bluetooth 5.0 to its companion app.
GoCube encourages learning through play and fun. It is an innovative tool to teach problem-solving and practice memorization skills and helps to build self-esteem and confidence. GoCube was chosen as one of the best tech gifts for 2019 by the WSJ, one of the best STEM toys for 2019 by the WIRED, and has won the Parent’s Choice award 2020 and the Tillywig Toy Award.”
Akram Assaf is the Co-Founder and CTO at Bayt.com.
“If you work in tech (or perhaps anywhere else), I suggest gifting your co-workers with gadgets. I’m not sure about those in other professions or industries, but tech people absolutely LOVE gadgets. We’re crazy for them. My personal favorite gift is a smartwatch, but techies appreciate all kinds of gadgets. It’s nothing too big or expensive, yet it’s a very personal gift that hits the right note.”
Alex is the founder and CEO of Home Grounds, a website that helps people brew and enjoy better coffee.
“I’d recommend the Aeropress if you need a gift for a coffee-loving co-worker. It’s an easy and portable way to brew great-tasting coffee. Since it’s small, it’s great for taking with you on trips, but it’s perfect for day to day use at home, too. You can get it on Amazon, and it’s an affordable $27.99.”
Larry Sternberg, JD
Larry Sternberg, JD, is a Talent Plus Fellow and Board Member at Talent Plus, Inc.
“The best employee gift under $100 I ever gave was personalized business cards for hourly employees. This gift really made them feel important because, in our society, only important people have business cards. I know this because numerous employees told me how meaningful it was. I challenge anybody to identify a gift under $100 that will improve morale better than this gift. The best gift is something that recognizes that you pay attention and know something about an individual’s interests and things they enjoy. The more you know about someone, the better you are able to personalize and individualize a gift that’s meaningful – regardless of the dollar amount.”
Mallory Sills is the Co-founder and Marketing Officer at Cakestyle LLC.
“If you need to buy a present for a colleague, first try to find out what their interests and/or hobbies are. This gift shouldn’t be expensive, in fact, it can absolutely stay within a budget-friendly price range. What’s important is to make your coworker feel special with a thoughtful gift.
Here are some fun and clever ideas that your coworker might love:
- Succulents or plants in cute ceramic pots: A great idea to make their work desk look prettier. Fun fact: studies suggest that looking at plants can increase our level of happiness!
- Fun socks: Find out if your coworker loves a specific cartoon, movie, or character and gift them a sock box set with that theme.
- Custom pet portrait: For a sweet and thoughtful present, an illustrated or printed portrait of your colleague’s pet will be just perfect.
- Personalized fun mug: If your colleague enjoys a good laugh, you can upload a fun meme or silly picture onto a mug to brighten their mornings.
- Gift card: Try to stay away from generic shops and try finding them a gift card from their favorite coffee, makeup, or book shop.
- Cute scented candle sets: Who doesn’t love a nice smell? If possible, find out their favorite scent to make them feel extra special.
- Coffee mug warmer: This is a great gift idea for coffee lovers. A mug warmer will prevent their coffee from ever getting cold!
- Portable battery: Something everyone should have, a portable battery is a best friend when spending the day outdoors.
These are fun and unique gift ideas that your coworker will enjoy (and most probably doesn’t already have). Again, what’s important isn’t how much you spend, but how your present makes them feel. Nothing can beat a thoughtful gift!”
Lisa Sanchez is the fashion editor of The Nines, a site that features celebrity fashion exact matches and “buy it for less” versions of every outfit. Lisa has been working in various roles in the fashion industry since graduating from the University of Colorado in 2012.
“Gifts for coworkers can be tricky because you want them to be helpful, but not overly personal. Plus, you want to keep within a budget. I’ve found the perfect gift! How many times have we gotten a mug of coffee, only to have it go cold because we’ve been sidetracked or swept into another meeting? It’s actually become a common gripe among my coworkers. I was so happy when I found the Mr. Coffee mug warmer as a solution! It actually works for any kind of liquid you want to keep warm, including soups and teas. Additionally, it doesn’t keep you guessing; an indicator light goes off when your item has been thoroughly warmed. You can find it on Amazon here.”
David Cusick is the CSO and Executive Editor of House Method.
“For your coworkers who keep on missing a healthy lunch, this Home Chef gift card is perfect. For $65, they can quickly make three meals for two people in one week. If you’re feeling more generous, there’s $125 two-week plan gift card and $250 gift card that’s good for four weeks.”
Chris Laan is the Founder of Designer Sheds.
“Coworkers appreciate receiving work-related gifts from their colleagues, but no one needs another mug. Instead, try finding a gift that will actually boost their enjoyment or productivity in the workplace. For example, a coworker who types on a laptop every day may appreciate a high-quality computer stand or keyboard that can help their posture and make working more enjoyable.
With the switch to remote work, try to think of what your coworker most appreciated when you were still in the office. The employee who always stopped to admire the plants may enjoy getting a smaller one for their home as a gift, or the worker who always brought in fresh-baked cookies may enjoy having someone else send the treats for once.”
10 Amazing Gift Ideas for Your Coworker
If you’re in need of some inspiration, check out our picks for the top 10 gift ideas for your coworker. All of these gift ideas are under $25.00 and are sure to bring a smile to the face of any coworker who makes the workweek grind more bearable.
What better way to treat your coworker than by showing up to the office with a half dozen delicious fruit donuts from Edible Arrangements®? That’s right, these donuts are made from fresh slices of Granny Smith apples, hand-dipped in real, gourmet chocolate. They’re coated with deluxe toppings, including tasty coconut shavings and delicious caramelized hazelnut crunch.
This paperweight is the perfect gift for the decision-maker in your workplace. Instead of agonizing over what to do, they can simply spin the dial and have the decision made for them – even if that decision is simply to “pass the buck” to someone else. It’s not guaranteed to make the smartest decisions, but it does provide an amusing distraction, and it makes a great office conversation piece, too.
For a coworker who’s never without a cup of coffee this travel mug is a gift they’re sure to use. With vacuum insulation and a leak-proof sealing lid, this coffee mug also features a nifty built-in cork coaster base to keep your surfaces protected.
You and your coworker can tackle any work problem that comes your way – provided you’ve had your daily dose of caffeine first. This rustic, hand-crafted sign will let everyone in the office know that coffee is of the utmost priority.
Cost: $10.80 (sale price)
Your coworker has a lot of appointments, to-dos, and goals to keep track of, and this planner makes keeping a busy schedule simple. Filled with year, month, and week views, artwork, and stickers, this planner is the ultimate accessory for getting them (and keeping them!) organized.
This playable art cube is like the adult version of the fidget spinner. Your coworker can manipulate the elastic cord-connected wood pieces into whatever structure they want. Then, start over and turn it into something completely different. The best part? It’s a great quick distraction when they need to blow off steam or hit “pause” on their busy day.
If your coworker deserves a big thank you for being your work friend, treat them to this delightful thank you gift box featuring an assortment of home spa items. You can completely customize the gifts included in the box, and with choices like goat milk soap, bath bombs, and a bubble bath scoop, you can’t go wrong.
Cost: Starting at $12.71
If your coworker’s cubicle needs a little pick-me-up, these adorable dinosaur-themed bookends make a fun and light-hearted gift. Sporting a duffel bag in its tiny arms, this T. Rex is ready to hold up whatever your coworker may throw at him – be it important paperwork, file folders, binders, or a novel.
Dress up your coworker’s cubicle or office with two of the trendiest design features out there: geometric shapes and succulents. This succulent planter box features a faceted polygon design that’s both eye-catching and beautiful, adding a little bit of style to any space.
If your coworker is always asking you for today’s date, surprise them with this wooden block calendar they can keep at their desk. Featuring a distressed, rustic look, this gift effortlessly pairs functionality with style.
Your coworker is sure to be thrilled with any of these thoughtful and office-appropriate gifts. They might even file that paperwork for you so you can head home early on Friday.