Matching Coworkers to Gifts: First things first: when you’re giving gifts to coworkers, you want to make sure what you’re giving is something the coworker in question will want. Avoid gag gifts as a general rule, unless you really know what you’re doing—here are some more tips on ways to think about gifts in the office.
With that in mind, in this article, we’ll cover ideas for a variety of coworkers in a variety of professions that you may not have considered before. Regardless of what you choose, at least try to match the gift to the person.
Anyone who has received something that the buyer really bought for themselves, and gave to you, understands how unappealing it is to get a gift like that. So do try and buy gifts that the coworker for whom they’re meant can enjoy. With that in mind, consider the following suggestions.
Flowers: They Can Say A Lot
Depending on your industry, there’s a lot to be said aboutworth considering. Male or female, a fine bouquet with a hand-written note of some variety is sure to liven up anyone’s day. Granted, ladies tend to prefer this sort of gift over men. That isn’t the case with all men or all ladies, though.
Also, it’s worth noting that a gift of flowers could well communicate a sort of deeper regard for the person than some other gifts. This may or may not be the gift-giver’s intention. Still, a fine floral arrangement says a lot, it means a lot, and it’s relatively affordable. So this is definitely something to consider if you haven’t.
Especially if a fine floral arrangement is given to a coworker “from everyone”, or something like that, it can be very positively impactful. Flower gifts could consist of a finely arranged flower bouquet, but need not always be of this variety. For example, a single rose or a corsage says a lot as well. What about a wreath of flowers in a little crown?
If you’re working at a bridal boutique, this could be how you recognize the employee of the month. So be creative with flower gifts. Bouquets are fine, but they’re not the only option.
Sweets and Snacks
Who doesn’t like a bag of beef jerky? Who is going to turn down a donut? Will anyone in your office say “no” to a chocolate cake? A nice dessert or snack food item that’s more ample than a single snack represents a fine little gift. It’s casual, it makes the day go by easier, and the coworker will appreciate it.
Some offices will provide snack food in the break room, so if you go this route, make sure whatever sweet or snack food item you give is a bit more substantial than something that could be snagged out of that area. If you’ve got donuts or little beef jerky sticks in the break room, then as a gift get the coworker a cake or a whole box of their favorite snack.
You can get little drones or remote control cars for $5, $10, $20—depending on where you shop, of course. They’ve got radio-controlled cars that are $10, and the size of a matchbox car. Stuff like that isn’t meant to last, it’s meant to be a fun diversion for a little while. Especially in a sales office, knick-knacks like these can be a lot of fun.
More Serious Gifts—Like Time Off, or Schedule Changes
Some sales offices will make as an incentive a choice for employees. Say a certain sales threshold is hit; the employee who achieves those numbers might get the choice of extra time off, bonus pay, or the ability to choose their own schedule. Perhaps “remote work” options are available for employees who have passed certain levels of training.
The point is, you don’t necessarily have to give a physical gift, if you’re in management. Now this is something harder to give to coworkers, but there are similar things you can do. Say you’ve got a coworker who is in a dispute with you over one of the tables in the on-site cafeteria, or a storage locker. Perhaps you’ve got a specific tool in your cubicle that works better than one in theirs.
A gift can be transferring such storage, dining, or productive items to the coworker in question. Maybe you’ve got a parking spot they like. Well, change it up for your coworker. If you’re strapped for cash, and you want to bless somebody, think about what you can give from your daily grind to your coworker.
Identify a Need and Fill it
A lot of remote work is done on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) equipment these days—essentially, laptops can be used for remote work that may not be as “qualitative” as traditional company equipment, owing to the fact that such devices were previously owned by employees to begin with. Maybe you give your coworker a new laptop.
Identifying and filling needs tends to be a little bit more expensive, and sometimes there can be an “onus” that is transferred with gifts of that magnitude, so be careful. However, this can also be a fine way of showing you value your coworkers, and want to see them succeed at the job.
Making the Working Environment Better One Gift at a Time
Whether you’re identifying and filling needs, giving gifts of features defining the workplace, distributing knick-knacks, giving out snacks, or showing appreciation through a fine floral arrangement like a bouquet, corsage, or rose, there are plenty of coworker gift options out there your peers will love. At the end of the day, give the gifts you know those you’re giving to will appreciate.