Choosing gifts for coworkers can be challenging. It seems as if it is always someone’s birthday, anniversary or a major holiday. You certainly do not want to spend everything you make on gifts, but the occasions for gift giving can pile up. Many times, you do not know coworkers as well as you do the other gift recipients in your life, but you can find ways to determine what to give and what to spend.
Give a Gift As a Group
One of the most often chosen methods of gift giving at a work or office is a group gift. A designated person gathers the money from everyone in the office and purchases a chosen gift. This can work well for several reasons. No one person carries a large financial burden for the gift. You may be able to get a nicer gift as a group than you would on your own because of a larger dollar amount available. Most important, no favoritism is shown because everyone participates.
Giving Individual Gifts
If your workplace doesn’t do group gifts, you may feel obligated to purchase a gift for your coworkers on special occasions. Many times, you may be genuine friends with your fellow worker and want to give a gift, but other times it may be due to obligation. When this is the case, you will want to keep the gift simple. For birthdays, anniversaries or similar occasions, a greeting card may be all that is needed. A card signed by everyone in the office does the job as well as ten different cards.
Keep in mind, while there are etiquette rules you may want to follow, you are not obligated to buy everyone a gift. You do not have to purchase a gift for the new guy you never met who works two floors below you.
When giving personal gifts to coworkers, you can choose a gift that is small but says you thought about that person, such as engraved pens, stationery, a book, lotion, something they need for their desk, flavored coffees or unusual tea with a cute mug. It takes little time and effort to personalize a gift by adding a handmade card, thoughtful note or colorful ribbon.
Here are some other gift ideas for coworkers that they’ll enjoy:
Flowers. Flowers are one of the most popular gifts for coworkers. They are perfect for a man or woman, they add color to an office space and they lighten up any room. Arrangements can be simple or elaborate, ranging from a single rose to a potted plant that will continue to grow.
Gift Baskets. You can purchase gift baskets or put them together inexpensively. If doing a gift basket as a group, you have two options. You can designate someone to gather money, purchase the supplies and put together the basket, or you can have everyone bring in something that fits the theme of the basket. Every coworker has a hobby or activity that they enjoy. Ask around, and find a theme for your basket. Suggested themes include coffee or tea (a mug, coffee or tea bags, cookies or chocolate), gardening (a trowel, seeds, a gardening magazine or small yard items) or golf (tees, towels, golf balls or green passes).
Gift Certificates. These can be for a local retail store or market, a favorite book store or video rental place, a restaurant or a local museum. What’s nice about gift certificates to stores is that you can’t go wrong. The person actually chooses their gift so you know they will like it.
Scrapbooks. Why not take some fun pictures throughout the year and present a scrapbook to a special coworker? Unique picture frames with a group picture are nice as well.
Stay Within Your Budget
When purchasing gifts for coworkers, remember to stay within your budget. If your coworker is merely an acquaintance, there is absolutely no reason to spend an excessive amount of money. And, even if they are a good friend, there are ways, such as the mentioned gift baskets, to make a lovely personal gift inexpensively. At the holidays, such a limit is usually set on the amount of money to be spent on holiday or Christmas gifts for coworkers. Stick to the guidelines. There is nothing worse than buying a $5 gift for a coworker and be given what you know is a $50 gift.