If you’re lucky, you work with at least a few people you genuinely like, even if you aren’t really close enough for gift giving. Maybe you’ve worked together for years, or they made a key contribution to some shared work this year. Or, perhaps, maybe there’s someone in the office who seems uncomfortable, so you’d like to do a little something to make them feel like they belong and that you notice them.
Giving office gifts is the kind of thing you do just because you genuinely love the act of gifting. You want to find a way to make everyone in your work environment cheerier. And besides, you know they all have desk space, so a silly trinket could help liven the place up a bit. These are the folks for whom you really don’t have to get anything, but you want to show them that you appreciate their presence in your life.
If you’re shopping for your coworkers for any occasion, consider our list of the top 20 best office gifts.
1. Sugru Moldable Glue
The modern office is a jungle of cables for every manner of device. Many folks have two monitors, all their computer peripherals, and a phone charger. If any of those wires is starting to look frayed at the seams, this is the simple office gift to give. Sugru is self-setting rubber that bonds to metal, ceramics, glass, wood and even some fabric. Once it sets, it becomes a dishwasher safe and is a good insulator for electric cords. You can also use it to hang things on the wall by forming it into adhesive hooks. It comes in black and white, seen here, as well as a multi-color pack.
2. Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook
At least once a week, I’m in a meeting away from my desk where I need to take notes. Be it a client handoff call or a brainstorming session, I usually have to jot a few things down. This notebook belongs to the next generation of writing things down. By using the companion app, you can use your smartphone to instantly beam your handwritten notes to any cloud-based service like Dropbox, Google, or Evernote. Then, once you’ve stored and shared them, you can pop this notebook in the microwave to erase it and start fresh. That’s only possible if you’re using Pilot FriXion pens, but it’s still a pretty amazing innovation.
In a similar vein, there’s also the Evernote edition Moleskine that will also easily transfer your notes to your devices.
3. Blomus Notepaper Roll Holder
If the above approach is too involved and high-tech for your office mates’ note-taking purposes, consider this simple idea. I tend to use Post-It Notes for jotting down little reminders, but this often leads to running out of space quicker than I’d like. With this, notes can go on for as long as they need to and more writing room is always on tap. Grab a few rolls of calculator paper and they’ll be good to go. This device is also wall mountable.
Price: $23.93 (9 percent off MSRP)
4. Parker Urban Black and Gold Fountain Pen Kit
If the above two items reminded you that we’re still doing a lot of writing even in this digital age, you’re probably thinking about writing implements now. And while you could leave your coworker to rely on whatever they can find in the supply closet, giving them a nice pen is also an option. Parker is the standard-bearer for worthwhile pens and this one comes with an entire kit to make the most of it. The implement itself is a matte black and gold fountain pen with excellent balance. It comes with four ink cartridges, extra ink, a bottled ink converter for easy refills, and a cleaning cloth.
Price: $35.66 (14 percent off MSRP)
5. Moodycards Mood and Practical Flip-Over Messages
Speaking of scribbling messages, these desktop mood cards serve the dual purpose of being practically useful and amusing. The set comes with 30 pre-made cards including “Out to Lunch”, “Longest Day Ever”, “Save Me” and more. They also include a few blanks and a dry erase marker so the recipient can craft their own clever messages. I’d use mine to indicate if I was on vacation or perhaps what work cycle I was in, like final deliverables or production or something along those lines. Although, I have to admit, the simplicity of the pre-made “Super Busy” one almost always applies.
Price: $9.95 (33 percent off MSRP)
6. Choose Your Own Misery: The Office
Surely you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books from your childhood. You read them with one finger stuck in the page you turned from, just in case you made the wrong decision and had to go back. Okay, well, I read them that way, anyway. This book is a “Choose Your Own Misery” tale. Filled with adult and sometimes gross outcomes, you can use this to choose your miserable fate when things are slow at work. The writers used to contribute to The Onion, so you know this will be worth your while.
Price: $12.23 for paperback, $7.99 on Kindle
7. Knock Knock Fortune Dispenser
While you could go the fairly standard route of giving a joke deli number ticket dispenser, or even the classic number grenade, this silly little gift offers something to the person waiting for your attention. This ticket-taking box is full of 100 fortunes for anyone who may stray past your desk. Give this to someone who is either too busy or too clueless to give a real answer when folks visit their desk, so at least they’ll come away with something.
8. ProCase 14 – 15.6 Inch Laptop Sleeve
These days, most of us have a company-issued laptop we’re toting around from work to home daily. If your office is anything like mine, they didn’t send you with a laptop bag for it, so protecting the company’s property is entirely up to you. If someone in your office is in this situation, consider gifting them this lovely, lightweight laptop sleeve. This particular size will fit the vast majority of corporate-issued laptops out there, but you can also choose 12 and 13 inch sizes, if you prefer. It’s very slim, and made of Earth-friendly water and dust resistant materials. It can also be opened fully, so the laptop can be used without ever leaving the case. Color options include the pictured Dark Grey, Black, Light Grey, Teal, and Turquoise.
9. Verilux HappyLight Liberty Personal, Portable Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp
Office dwellers tend to get depressed in the darker months of the year, owing in large part to the lack of UV light to keep the body operating at peak. If you’ve noticed a coworker’s mood or productivity dipping, you might be able to give them a boost with a personal natural spectrum light. This one, called the HappyLight, emits 5,000 LUX for moderate UV output in daily use conditions. This will also help to combat jet lag, too, so give one to a salesperson who travels all the time. A really excellent way to combat the 2:15 productivity dip, too.
10. Vector Cup Holder
It’s happened to all of us at some point: spilling a totally full cup of beverage all over the desk. Depending on what you do for a living, this could be a real disaster, nevermind the normal threat of potentially destroying your computer. This high-end clip-on cup holder will remove the threat of that all together. Good for mugs, cans, cups of various sizes, and travel vessels, this little foldable device will keep your liquids out of your way. It folds down when not in use and can be clipped with one hand, similar to a guitar capo. You can also get much cheaper versions, but they aren’t quite as elegantly designed.
11. Lasko 6435 Designer Series Ceramic Oscillating Heater with Remote Control
Have you ever noticed that no one in an office can agree on a comfortable temperature? Partly this is down to biology, but there also seems to be no good setting for a large, open office space. People by the windows will always be too warm or too cold, while people in the middle tend to be the opposite. In my office, plenty of people use space heaters to regulate the temperature of their desk area. This one is particularly nice and includes the touch of design, as well as oscillation. There’s a seven hour timer with automatic shut-off, which, wouldn’t you know it, just about covers a workday. If you don’t want to spend quite this much, there are, of course, cheaper options.
Price: $45.99 (13 percent off MSRP)
12. LovethePrint Botanical Print Set
Especially good for new employees, a little bit of art helps to warm up the office environment and personalize it a bit. Even better if you can remind someone of the outdoors while they’re staring at spreadsheets all day. This four print set is based on botanical illustrations of pine cones from 1887. They’ve got kind of a mid century feel and give off a calming vibe. These come without the frames, but you can grab those cheaply enough.
13. Collar Perfect – Compact Multipurpose Touch-Up and Travel Iron with Deluxe Travel Bag
Work in a suit-and-tie kind of establishment? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve or your coworkers have been taken off-guard by an emergency meeting with a client or higher-up that requires you to appear perfectly pressed on short notice. This little device will make that possible. Usable in the folded or flat configuration, you can hide this little guy in your desk until you need to work out that crease that formed while you sat at your desk all day. There are six different heat settings: linen, denim, cotton, wool, silk, and polyester. Just as good for keeping on hand in the office as it is for the moment you step off the plane. No need to look disheveled when this is available.
14. Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bag
Whether for a single person’s lunch or to clean up after the office parties, these innovative silicone food bags help to cut down on the waste of traditional sandwich bags. They’re freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe, so they work even better. Available in both 4.5 inch and seven inch sizes, you can also choose among eight different designs and colors. You can also write on them with dry erase markers to indicate exactly whose food someone else will likely steal later in the week.
15. You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job.: And Other Reminders of Your Awesomeness
Know someone in your office who just destroys their workload every week? Get them this book to acknowledge their productivity prowess. Filled with 200 quotes and words advice hand lettered by 20 artists and designers, this book will help promote office morale and let your coworkers know you see their effort.
16. RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar
Do you have a coworker who is constantly forgetting breakfast? One of this chronically-late types, perhaps? I’m not usually late, but I am usually hungry and have traditionally been the worst at breakfast. Give the gift of sustenance with these RXBAR protein bars. They’re very limited-ingredient, containing no added sugar and no gluten, soy, dairy, or GMO ingredients. You can choose either an assortment pack or one of the following flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, Coconut Chocolate, Coffee Chocolate, Maple Sea Salt, Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter, or Pumpkin Spice.
17. Just Chill Rio Berry
Is your work, like, very stressful? Continue in the sustenance arena for a minute and consider these calming beverages. The point of these is to reduce stress and improve focus, which is excellent for those big projects on tight deadlines when things are bound to get heated. Flavors include Rio Berry, Jamaican Citrus, Ginger, and Tropical and come in 12 packs. If you wanted to up the ante on this gift a bit, you could throw in a Koolatron six-can mini fridge, so your office mate could keep a few cold and handy right at their desk.
18. reCAP Mason Jars Lid
For whatever reason, we millennials love canning jars. Not for canning, mind you, but for drinking out of. Don’t ask me why. If you’ve got someone in your office that feels the same, get this cheap gift for them, which will convert their beloved kitschy glass into an everyday water bottle. Like the cup holder above, this will keep them from accidentally spilling their beverage all over their desk. They make regular and wide mouth versions in black, blue, white, red, silver, light blue, and yellow. Cheap and charming, just as a gift for acquaintances should be. You could also grab a 12 pack of jars and a dozen of these and gift them to your entire team.
19. HOMEIDEAS Clear Glass Pyramid Tabletop Succulent Plant Terrarium Box
Like the prints above, plants make the office seem friendlier and more inviting. They also provide the obvious benefit of improving the air quality, which benefits everyone. Succulents are super popular right now, so this terrarium makes a great gift for someone who is really into them. It comes in both black and gold and stands just a little over eight inches tall. The plants are not included, but you could always buy some of those, too.
Price: $19.99 (60 percent off MSRP)
20. SimplePosture Lower Back Pain Relief Lumbar Support Pillow
While no one would ever claim that office work is anywhere near the difficulty of construction or other intensely physical task, it is true that long hours in a computer chair will destroy your back. Most workplaces are springing for especially nice chairs, so if you know one of your coworkers is aching at the end of each day, maybe this gift will help. By providing extra lumbar support, this cushion can alleviate lower back pain and even make the user feel more relaxed. It’s a simple idea, but a good one.