Our Designer's Thoughts on Finding the Best Office Gift:
The best office gifts hit a relevant note with your recipients. In other words, when they open it, they immediately understand why you gave them this gift, and the context behind it. Then [hopefully], they love the gift and actually use it, which leaves a lasting positive impression. Giving a relevant, thoughtful, and unique office gift is hard to do (even if you know your coworkers and employees really well) so we’ve put together this resource to help you give a unique gift they’ll love, no matter the season.
One note – it’s difficult to come up with an innovative office gift idea – even more difficult if you’re buying coworker or employee gifts in bulk. If you’re buying 10 or more gifts, we recommend you work with a curated gifting consultant so they can leverage their group gifting experience to find gifts that are unique, and memorable (and appropriate for the workplace!) If you’re buying fewer than 10, our team of consultants and designers have put together 10 suggestions for unique office gifts, listed below. These are the best gift ideas for your coworkers, as of 2022.
What Can I Gift My Office?
Here are 5 unique office gift ideas for your co-workers and employees:
1. Self-Care or Wellness Kit
This is the perfect gift for your co-workers or employees who work nonstop. Encourage them to take a moment for themselves and show you appreciate their work with a thoughtful self care gift box. Some of our favorite wellness gifts for employees feature spa essentials such as a face mask or a candle. We all deserve a moment to ourselves, away from the stress and pressure of our jobs, so this is a universally appreciated gift no matter the occasion. Whether you’re shopping for a retirement or farewell gift, a work anniversary, or a holiday gift – each occasion calls for a moment of peace and relaxation!
2. Desktop Accessories
Although desktop-themed gifts don’t sound fun, we believe that if you approach it with a fresh perspective, a desktop gift can still be one of the most appreciated office gifts for coworkers. How to keep it fresh? Great question! We recommend focusing on what you know about your co-worker / employee and going from there. Do they love hot coffee? Maybe a new mug. Do they love iced coffee? Maybe a set of coasters. Think about things they will use in their daily routine – an artisan notepad, a modern hydro plant, or a unique set of sticky notes could fit this bill, and also add a memorable touch to their home office.
3. Indulgent Snacks
Even though we don’t recommend giving food-only office gifts (we encourage gifts with at least one lasting / memorable element), there are many food-centered gift options that are sure to delight your co-workers and employees. Similarly to a wellness gift for your employees, an indulgent, foodie-centered gift offers your recipients a treat-yourself moment. We love giving an indulgent moment, because it shows the appreciation you have for their work and results. One key note for giving food-based gifts is that it’s important to think about allergy inclusivity. It doesn’t feel good to open a gift and realize that you can’t partake in the deliciousness – definitely look into any recipient allergies and dietary restrictions prior to selecting food-based office gifts.
4. Seasonal Gift Box
This is one of our favorite recommendations. It immediately hits a relevant note, and shows your recipient that you put time into planning a gifting moment that fits this unique season. If you choose to give a seasonal gift box to your officemates, we recommend you give the gift slightly before the calendar season begins. In other words, if you’re hoping to give a “Summer” themed gift box, we recommend giving this gift in May, as this is a perfect moment to build on seasonal excitement and apprehension for the upcoming months. It also gives your coworkers or employees plenty of time to actually *use* the seasonal products you give them. Gifting Fuzzy Socks at the end of March (depending on where you live, of course) doesn’t give your team much time to enjoy their gift.
5. Gifts Rooted In a Company Theme or Value
When the goal of an office gift is uniqueness and relevancy, this category is a guaranteed win. Gifts that emphasize company values speak for themselves by delighting employees and emphasizing genuine commitment to the company mission. For example, if your company is working on a new sustainability initiative, an eco-friendly gift could be a great fit for your office gifting moment. Looking to celebrate diversity in the workplace? Sourcing a gift from an underrepresented community could add momentum to your mission and garner support from your team. We’ve found that gifts that do good make people feel good, it’s as simple as that.
What office gifts are trending?
As we adjust to a post-COVID world, most trending office gifts strike a balance between being value-centered, functional, and fun. As the Etiquette Expert Dianne Gottsman states, office gifts are becoming more thoughtful as we adjust to our “new normal”:
“Office gift giving has changed considerably this year due to financial fluctuations, job loss, working remote and personal budgets. Many companies are focusing on spending holiday dollars, doing something good for the community rather than sending out the standard boxes of candy or bottles of wine. While corporate gift giving isn’t becoming completely obsolete, it is certainly taking a turn for the more thoughtful approach.”
– Diane Gottsman, Link
What makes an office gift relevant in today’s workplace (updated 2022)?
1. Value-Centered Gifts:
Office gifting is an up-and-coming opportunity to live out your values. As employees and consumers’ expectations increase, they are drawn to companies that act on their values. Employees want to work for companies that share their priorities, and they’re increasingly holding their employers accountable when they suspect they aren’t putting their money where their mouth is. Office gifts should, at minimum, be in sync with what your company cares about and if this is done in earnest, the office gift can actually serve to bolster employee morale and belief in the company’s mission.
2. Functional Gifts
Gone are the days of single-use corporate “swag”. Trending office gifts are functional and meant to be used, not thrown in the back of a closet until it’s time to move to a new apartment. Coworkers and employees appreciate gifts that are sustainable – keepsakes that can be enjoyed for years to come. When thinking about the right gift for your team, think about things they might use on a weekly basis.
*A big question that comes up frequently within office gifting is company branding. People ask: Should I give a branded gift? While branded gifts have been around for years, we’ve found that recipients are less likely to appreciate gifts that have branding on every single element. After all, the best gifts aren’t about the giver, they’re about the recipient. We recommend tasteful and light branding on your packaging, so that it’s clear who this gift is from. We think the best gifts include unique products that remain unbranded, so employees and clients have full flexibility with how they want to use it. And if they use it, they’ll think about your brand anyway.
3. Fun Gifts
Enjoyable, exciting gifts never go out of style. What makes a gift “fun”? Most fun gifts include an experiential element that the recipient remembers with a feeling of joy. One way to add an experiential element to your gift is through a detailed and layered unboxing experience – this builds anticipation for the gift itself and makes the gifting moment feel really special. In the gift itself, playful products that encourage fun-loving, communal activities (such as an artisan deck of cards or an upscale desktop toy) are trending among coworker gift exchanges. We can all use a little more fun during the workday and when done right, an office gift is a great way to spread joy.
Overall, there are many things to consider when planning your office gifting strategy, but when you hit the right note, an office gift can show true appreciation for your coworkers and spread joy among your employees.
If you’re looking to read further resources, we recommend CNBC’s Do’s and Don’ts of office gifting.
If you're looking for an expert's help, you can read more about Sunroot's Office Gifting Services Here. We have a team of experts waiting for your call.