by Ray Alonzo

Buying your coworkers gifts can be an incredibly difficult process. In these days of remote or hybrid working, things can be even more confusing. Do normal office rules and traditions apply now that people are working from home or in a hybrid model?

The holiday season already being in full swing compounds these stresses. Thankfully, we’ve compiled some of the dos and don’ts of buying gifts for coworkers, as well as some appropriate and fun gift examples.

Dos and Don’ts

Do – Stop and think

Before you go out and make a gift purchase on an impulse, take some time to stop and think about the following:

What would your coworker enjoy? How would they react to whatever you’re buying for them? Are they going to use the item you purchase? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself before buying anything.

Do – Stay professional

Remember, these are your coworkers. Whether or not you’re actually in the office with them, you have to remember to stay professional. They might be your close friends, but remember to save anything that may not be office-appropriate out of your work culture and environment.

Do – Remember to stay inclusive

When buying a gift, keep inclusivity in mind. Remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays or has the same traditions. If you’re participating in an office game of Secret Santa, purchase gifts that are gender-neutral and non-holiday-specific. This ensures that nobody at your work is automatically excluded.

Don’t – Gift at inappropriate times

You don’t want to give out your gifts at inappropriate times. Mostly, this means around any performance reviews. If you give a gift around these times, it may be seen as an indicator of performance. They may end up wishing for a raise or bonus instead of a gift. So, if possible try to steer clear of these dates. A good rule of thumb is to give gifts at least two weeks before or after reviews. 

Don’t – Overspend on a gift

It can be very awkward if there’s a large disparity between gifts’ prices. This can easily be avoided by setting a price ceiling for any gifts given at work. Nobody wants to deal with the awkwardness that can arise from this, so it’s best to avoid it completely.

Don’t – Dis-include anyone

Your gift giving should reflect your work environment. You may not intend to exclude anyone, but you might inadvertently do so. Try to avoid any gendered or holiday-specific gifts if you can. Remember, not everyone celebrates the same holiday and not everyone has the same identity!

Gift Examples

1. Desk Mat

If your coworker’s desk space could use a little livening, consider getting them a new desk mat. With this, they won’t need a mousepad and their desk will be protected from any spills or other mishappenings. 

2. Succulent/houseplant

A houseplant or a succulent is a perfect gift that anyone can appreciate. You’ll be helping with improving their mood and home decor. 

3. Coffee

Almost everyone loves a good cup of coffee, especially if they find themselves struggling to get up in the morning for work. Buy your coworker some artisan coffee beans, or an assortment of different beans and flavors in a box. They’ll appreciate you fueling their mornings and work.

4. Remote work gear

If any of your coworkers are working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, they’ll love some gear to help them get through working at home. This could be anything, from blankets with sleeves to a phone charging station. Anything that improves their lives while working from home is guaranteed to get a great reaction.

5. Tote bag

A tote bag is a great gift because almost anyone has a use for one! Just make sure that the bag you’re buying is sturdy enough to carry a fair amount of goods and that it’ll last. Nobody wants a gift that they’ll just have to replace soon after they receive it.

If you need more tips for buying your coworkers gifts, or some other ideas of what to buy, check out this infographic from Redbubble.


About the author:

Ray Alonzo is a content writer and creator from Phoenix with a passion for storytelling and sharing information. 

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}