You spend a lot of time with your co-workers, maybe even as much as you do with your family.
And over that time, you’ve undoubtedly formed friendships, shared inside jokes, and created treasured rituals, like after-work drinks on Thursdays. So when it comes time to celebrate your co-worker, you want to find a gift that lets them know how much you appreciate them.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, retirement, promotion, or another milestone, your co-worker will treasure a gift that plays to their personality or interests. And while you may know them well, that doesn’t necessarily make it a breeze to find an apropos gift. I know this to be true based on the countless hours I’ve spent searching for gifts that would make my co-workers tear up (in a good way!), laugh, or pay homage to their practical side.
To help you in your quest, I’ve put together a list of gift ideas that your co-worker will love.
Whether you’re on the hunt for an affordable gift or getting the gang together for an extravagant surprise, I’ve got you covered. Practical, whimsical, sentimental, funny – you name it, there’s a gift or three on this list that your co-worker is likely to adore.
Gifts for Coworkers Ideas
1. Personalized Leather Mouse Pad
An affordable gift that’s equal parts sophisticated and practical, this mouse pad will be appreciated by any co-worker that spends their day in front of a computer. Personalize it with their initials and they’ll be reminded of your thoughtfulness whenever they glance down at the pad.
2. Personal Development Subscription Box
by Crate Joy
Every office has at least one person that’s obsessed with personal betterment. You know who we’re talking about:
- The one with framed posters of mountains overlayed with motivational quotes
- The one who sends you links to the latest Ted.com talks
- The one who tries to encapsulate Tony Robbins spirit in whatever he does
Show this co-worker that you appreciate their dedication to self-development with a monthly subscription to Muse Illuminate. This personal development box is packed with bookish times, workbooks, and a motivational New York Times bestseller.
At approx. $30/month, you may want to bring the whole team on-board and gift them with a year-long subscription.
3. Going Away Gift Set
Goodbyes can be tough, especially when you’re super fond of your departing co-worker. Make sure they know how much you’ll miss them with this sassy-yet-sentimental gift set that’s well suited to a coffee lover.
4. Creative Live Course
Encourage your co-worker to explore their creative side with a pass to access over 1,5000 classes on Creative Live. This is the perfect gift for a co-worker entering retirement or going on sabbatical – they’ll finally have the time to learn some new skill and feed their passions.
Get a few co-workers together and spring for this gift, as it’s about $150 for an annual pass.
5. Feel-Good Tea Sampler
by David’s Tea
Does your co-worker love tea AND have a sweet tooth. This feel-good tea sampler from David’s Tea is the perfect way to treat your co-worker, without falling back on the ever-predictable box of chocolates gift.
6. Novelty Notepads
Is there anything better than the gift of laughter? Bring a lighthearted note (pun intended) to your coworkers’ workspace with a set of novelty notepads that feature funny and apt observations of office life. This inexpensive gift is perfect for a co-worker’s birthday or a Dirty Santa exchange at Christmas.
7. Portable Foot Hammock
Does your co-worker like to take off their shoes and kick up their feet? This portable foot hammock is a great way to let them know that you appreciate and support their need for a comfortable workspace!
8. Happy Socks
by Happy Socks
Speaking of foot comfort, here’s a gift idea for your fashionable, colorful workmate. Featuring a wide range of unique and inspired sock designs, the folks at Happy Socks are clearly committed to bringing happiness and style to the world through fun and functional footwear. With socks featuring rock n’ roll bands, furry animals, geometric patterns, fruits, and much more, you’re bound to find the perfect match for your co-worker!
9. Nordic Modular Stacking Boxes
This affordable gift is ideal for the co-worker that cherishes a minimalistic style and likes to keep their workspace in order. Who doesn’t love the simple elegance of Nordic design? If you want to go all out, pair these stacking boxes with other office accessories that celebrate pared-back design and practicality.
10. Mini Buddha Board
by Buddha Board
Forget the standard whiteboard, this fancy Buddha Board is the fun way forward. Perfect for the Zen-minded and eco-conscious co-worker, it lets the user write notes using a paintbrush and water. The note then disappears after the water has dried. Yes, it’s basically the first iteration of the Etch-a-Sketch.
This low-tech gift is great for brainstorming sessions (use an iPhone to capture ideas before they disappear), sharing of-the-moment words of inspiration or creating fun doodles. Your co-worker will thank you for upping their ‘cool’ factor at the office.
11. Trio of Succulents
Succulents have definitely been on-trend for the past few years and why not? They’re basically little pots of living joy. And you know what’s better than a succulent? Three succulents, of course!
Gift this trio of fresh, green succulents in white pots and help your co-worker achieve a modern au naturel look with their workspace.
12. Stress Less Cards
Mindfulness and meditation are made easy with this inspired deck of cards with easy exercises to relieve stress and help with insomnia too. Created by a Finnish mindfulness teacher, they’re recommended by health care professionals and make a thoughtful gift for any high-performing co-worker prone to stress.
13. Personalized Wooden Desk Clock
Yes, we live in a digital world, but have you noticed how ‘vintage’ items like watches and record players are making a comeback? Analog technology can be refreshing AND stylish, as is the case with this smart and simple wooden desk clock. Best of all, you can personalize with a sweet or funny message for your coworker.
14. Poster Inspired by ‘The Office’
Do you and your co-worker share inside jokes and quotes from The Office (a.k.a. one of the best tvs shows of all time)? Surely you’ve slipped a ‘that’s what she said’ into office banter on occasion! This cheeky poster is a nod to the adolescent in all of us and features every single ‘that’s what she said’ quote made by the character Michael Scott.
Just make sure you’re in tune with the culture at your workplace as this poster might be considered a bit ‘risqué’ in some circles.
15. Foxy Eyeglass Stand
This is quite possibly the cutest practical gift ever!
As every glasses wearer knows, it’s easy to misplace your frames, especially if you only wear readers or switch been glasses and contacts often. This adorable fox eyeglass stand offers a permanent at-work home for your co-worker’s glasses and is sure to spark a smile from anyone walking by their desk.
16. Personalized Flask
Look, we’re not suggesting that drinking on the job is acceptable, but a personalized flask is a great way to celebrate a co-workers’ promotion, retirement, or even a new job. If you work for a casual start-up or small company with a Friday tradition of going out for drinks, this gift won’t be considered out-of-place. Pair it with your coworker’s favorite bottle of spirits for an extra special touch.
Shopping for a male co-worker? This Etsy seller also carries a more masculine-style flask in their shop.
17. Snarky Mug
If your co-worker isn’t exactly themselves until they’ve had their cup of coffee, this snarky mug may just become their new favorite office accessory. As an added bonus, it’ll be a helpful reminder to steer clear of ‘chit chat’ with them first thing in the morning! Pair it with a package of gourmet ground coffee for extra brownie points.
18. Himalayan Salt Lamp
Treat your coworker to the gift of fresh air with this hand-carved Himalayan salt lamp.
How does it work?
Apparently the lamp’s heated salts release negative ions, which are known to clear the air and dilute odors. As an added bonus, the lamp gives off an ambient soft light that makes for a cozy and welcoming office space. This is a very affordable gift that will add a little luxury to your coworker’s days.
Now that you’ve got the perfect gift sorted for your co-worker, you can relax and go back to your regularly-scheduled workplace antics. Oh, but don’t forget the all-important card that everyone in your office has to sign without your co-worker noticing – that’s always a fun dance!