work gift ideas

Workplace Gift-Giving: Considerations and Work Gift Ideas

The workplace is a professional environment; as such, gift-giving should be approached with some thoughtfulness and consideration.

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to give a gift to a colleague and if you do decide to give a gift, what kind of gift is appropriate.

In this article, we’ll discuss some general considerations and gift ideas (gift cards that can be sold at a Gift card trading app) for the workplace.

Considerations for Workplace Gift-Giving

1. The working relationship

How well do you know the person you’re thinking of giving a gift to? Are they casual acquaintances or someone you work closely with? The nature of your relationship will generally dictate how personal the gift can be.

If you’re on good terms and consider them a friend, then a more personal gift may be appropriate. But if your relationship is more formal, it’s best to stick with a work-related gift.

2. The work culture

Is gift-giving common in your workplace? If so, what’s the general tone? Are gifts usually humorous or serious?

Gift-giving is more common in some workplaces than others; if you’re unsure whether gift-giving is encouraged, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and not give a gift. You don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

3. The work budget

If you do decide to give a gift, how much money are you willing to spend? Typically, work gifts shouldn’t cost more than $20 or $30.

If you want to spend more, that’s fine, but be aware that it may send the wrong message to colleagues. It’s important to avoid coming across as showy or trying to buy favor.

4. The work occasion

Is there a specific work occasion that you’re buying a gift for? Common occasions include holidays, work anniversaries, and retirements.

If the occasion isn’t work-related, it’s probably best not to give a gift. For example, if you know someone is going through a tough time outside of work, a work gift may not be appropriate.

On what occasions is it okay to give gifts in the workplace?


Typically, holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s are occasions when work gift-giving is acceptable. Many companies hold holiday parties during which gifts are exchanged, so this is usually a good time to give a work gift.

If you don’t celebrate the same holiday as your colleagues, you can still participate by giving a generic holiday gift, like a gift card.

Work Anniversaries

Another occasion when work gift-giving is appropriate is when someone reaches a work anniversary, like a 5- or 10-year work anniversary. Gifts on these occasions are usually given by the company, but it’s also common for colleagues to give small gifts as well.


Whenever someone retires from a company, it’s customary to give them a work gift. Even if you didn’t work closely with the person, a retirement gift is a nice way to show your appreciation for their years of service.

Can you give a gift to your boss or supervisor?

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The question of whether or not you can give a gift to your boss or supervisor is a tricky one. In general, the ethics of work gift-giving dictate that you should not give a gift to someone who has authority over you, as it could be perceived as an attempt to buy favor.

However, some people argue that giving a work gift to your boss is perfectly acceptable, as long as it’s not too personal or expensive. If you’re considering giving a work gift to your boss, err on the side of caution and avoid anything that could be perceived as inappropriate.

10 Appropriate Work Gift Ideas

1. A gift card

One of the best work gift ideas is a gift card. It’s always appropriate, and you can choose a denomination that fits your budget.

There are lots of different gift cards to choose from, so you can pick one that’s work-related (like a gift card to an office supply store), more general (like a gift card to a restaurant), or in line with their likes (Steam gift card, Sephora gift card, etc.).

And the best part of giving gift cards is the recipient can always sell it for cash using card trading apps. All they have to do is download the app, enter the gift card info, and receive an offer.

Once they accept the offer, the money will be deposited into their PayPal account (or whichever method they choose). Easy!

Related: Top 10 Best Gift Cards With Highest Rates To Sell in Nigeria 

2. A book

Books are great gift ideas because they’re relatively inexpensive, and there’s such a wide range to choose from.

You can find books on any topic, so you’re sure to find one that’s work-related and useful for the recipient. For example, if they’re trying to learn a new skill, you could get them a how-to book. Or, if they’re looking for a new job, a book on networking or interviewing would be perfect.

Note: Be careful not to buy books that can be misinterpreted or seen as offensive. For example, avoid books with racy covers or titles or those that could be sending the message that the recipient isn’t good at his job.

3. An office plant

An office plant is a great work gift idea because it’s both useful and decorative. It can help spruce up a colleague’s work area and improve the air quality in the office. Certain office plants can even help reduce stress levels!

Some of the best office plants include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Snake plant
  • Bamboo palm
  • Boston fern
  • Rubber plant

4. A work-related gadget

If you’re looking for a work gift that’s both useful and unique, consider giving a work-related gadget. Some examples include:

  • A standing desk converter
  • An ergonomic mouse
  • A noise-canceling headset
  • A self-stirring mug
  • A portable charger

Of course, these gift ideas involve a budget that’s a bit higher than $20 or $30. But a work-related gadget is a great option if you’re looking for an impressive work gift that will be used and appreciated.

Note: Be careful not to give a work-related gadget that’s too expensive. This can come across as showy and may make the recipient uncomfortable.

5. A work-themed mug or water bottle

If you’re looking for a work gift that’s both practical and inexpensive, consider giving a mug or water bottle with a work-themed design.

For example, you could find a mug with a funny work-related saying or a water bottle with the recipient’s favorite emoji.

You can find work-themed mugs and water bottles at most stores, or you could even make your own. Either way, this is a gift that’s sure to be used and appreciated.

6. A neck massager or pillow

Those long hours at work can take a toll on the body, so a neck massager or pillow is a great work gift idea. It’s practical, affordable, and can help the recipient relax and de-stress.

From electric massagers to pillows filled with lavender, there are lots of different options to choose from. And with prices starting at around $20, it’s a work gift that won’t break the bank.


Showing appreciation for your colleagues can be tricky, but it can be worth the effort. After all, our work lives are a big part of our lives, and the people we work with can impact our day-to-day happiness.

If you’re looking for work gift ideas, consider one of the options on this list. From gift cards to office plants, there’s sure to be something for the occasion. Your work gift may even be the start of a friendship.

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