It’s that time again: Holiday shopping season has begun. And as if it weren’t already stressful enough (seriously, what do you get your dad?), the office environment adds a whole new level of complexity to gift-giving.
What’s appropriate for your boss? Your co-workers? Your intern? What do you get the people you spend 8+ hours each day with, but yet don’t really know on a deeply personal level?
Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Our office-friendly holiday gift guide takes the guesswork out of the professional gift exchange and will ensure smiling faces in every cube (or office, or desk, or remote work station).
When you work with a group of peers, it can seem daunting to try to find gifts that seem equivalent and yet still meet many different tastes—all without seeming too personal. But, everyone loves office supply upgrades, so we recommend picking out some great hand-made notepads or sticky pads from Etsy.
Budget permitting, pair them with fun USB drives like this 4GB clothes pin memory stick from Amazon.com.
For Your Boss
During the workday, you do everything you can to help your boss get more done. So give her a gift that keeps the giving in the same spirit, with a gift card from TaskRabbit.com. The site provides a safe way to connect busy folks with reliable “assistants” who can lend a hand with everyday tasks like grocery shopping or picking up the dry cleaning. And as an added bonus, you can send the gift card via email, a discreet method to avoid the potential awkwardness if your co-workers aren’t giving gifts in the office.
(Note: TaskRabbit is only available in San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles for now.)
Even if you aren’t the type of supervisor who regularly sends your intern on tea and coffee runs, this tipping teacup from Uncommon Goods makes for a thoughtful gift that she can enjoy at home or at the office. The unique design keeps soggy leaves out of the tasty tea.
Feeling generous? Package it with a gift card to Whole Foods so your hardworking intern can pick out the loose leaf tea she likes best.
For Remote Co-Workers
Thanks to the digital revolution, we now have co-workers with whom we communicate throughout the week, but rarely, if ever, get to see in person. But don’t let that distance keep you from sharing your holiday cheer and appreciation for remote members of your team. Whether they’re across the country or overseas, online gift cards for global retailers like Amazon.com/.uk/.eu/.fr/.ca are a great way to include your faraway colleagues in wintertime gift-giving.
White elephant gift exchanges are notorious head scratchers—you want to give something fun and unusual, but you don’t want to throw money away on a random piece of kitsch that no one will use. This year, order a puzzle calendar from ThinkGeek. It’s a toy, it’s a calendar, it’s a fun piece of desk décor, and—best of all—it’s gender-neutral. An added bonus: at less than $10 (not including shipping), you can come in under your gift exchange budget limits.
What are you giving your co-workers this year?
Photo courtesy of cuttlefish.
Claire J. Dunn is a native Austinite who spends her days breaking the internet through SEO. She moonlights as a writer and has previously worked for top universities in the US and UK, as well as for The Daily Muse as a marketing associate. Claire’s side-projects include academic research on teen television and improving her completion time for the NYT crossword.More from this Author