Choosing Gifts For Co Workers

Finding gift ideas for co-workers can be a tricky business. Obligatory gift-giving occasions can pop up when you least expect them. For example, maybe a longtime employee has put in her notice and you need to scrounge up a few going-away gifts. Or perhaps you need ideas for inexpensive Christmas gifts for an office Secret Santa exchange.

It’s not always easy to find gifts that are actually useful, are within the specified budget (typically $10 or less) and won’t mess with office politics. But with a little thought and careful planning, you can find office gifts that will make your co-workers happy.

Office Gifts

You don’t have to spend a lot to find charming gifts for co-workers. If you know the employee well, try to find a small token that reflects his interests. In the event that you’re only casual acquaintances, ask around or take a peek at his office to glean clues about his personality.

Items that spruce up a desk or cubicle make great office gifts. For example, plants are inexpensive and can brighten up a drab office—just make sure the recipient isn’t allergic. If your co-worker is a big sports fan, pick up a bobble-head replica of his favorite player to sit on his desk. Decorative picture frames are also inexpensive and can add personality to an office.

Unless you know the co-worker very well, shy away from fragrance-related gifts like soaps, bubble bath or scented lotion. Some people are allergic to such items. Worse, they may take offense to such gifts because they think you’re insinuating that their personal hygiene is lacking.

Boss Gift Ideas

Finding inexpensive Christmas gifts (or other gifts) for a boss requires careful thought and delicate planning. Choose something that looks cheap or hastily bought, and you risk looking unappreciative; choose something obviously expensive and lavish, and you look like you’re trying too hard to get into your boss’s good graces. In fact, many companies have policies against “gifting up” (i.e., buying gifts for anyone higher than you on the corporate ladder) for this very reason.

However, if you’d like to give your boss a small token of your appreciation and your company permits it, great boss gifts are available. If you’re close with your boss and know her likes and dislikes, finding boss gift ideas is easy. You can surprise her with a DVD season of her favorite TV show, for example, or a music collection she’s been eyeing.

If you’re less chummy with your boss, however, you can still find office-friendly boss gifts. If your boss enjoys his daily cup of joe, consider giving him a temperature-controlled commuter coffee mug or a gift certificate to a coffee shop near the office. A bottle of good wine also makes a great gift, provided your company doesn’t frown on it. If you’re at a complete loss, consider getting other people in the department to chip in for a gift certificate to a classy restaurant so your boss can enjoy a night out.