Workplace Gift Guide


'Tis the season of gift giving. Maybe you feel an obligation to give holiday gifts to your dedicated clients, your boss, employees, or important co-workers; or maybe it's just something you'd like to do. However, when giving in a professional environment, there are some guidelines. Here some gift ideas that won't break the bank or cause professional turmoil.

Your Boss or Manager

Should you get your boss a present? Well, maybe. If you work in a big company, it might be a way to stand out or it might make you look like the teacher's pet. Or perhaps it's perfectly common and even expected. To find out, it may be wise to ask co-workers what they plan to do first. Even better, go in on something with a group or the whole office, that way you'll be able to pool your money and your best ideas. Whatever you decide, make it professional and not over-the-top. Some ideas include, a coffee gift card, digital magazine subscription, one-cup beverage maker, a multiple use pass to something your boss would enjoy, like a film series, yoga class, or ski resort, or a gift certificate to a nice restaurant. A good bottle of wine or spirits can make a classy gift, but make sure your boss drinks alcohol first. And if you're still unsure, a lovely holiday card is always a safe gesture.


You're probably not obligated to get a thing for the people you work with every day, but still, you might be inspired to give thanks and let them know how much you appreciate their help and willingness to listen. If If you really want to buy a gift, try these a nice hand lotion, a pretty ceramic to-go coffee mug and a certificate for coffee, a gift card for lunch, or one of those small aromatherapy diffusers to make the office more pleasant. If you want to be generous without excluding anyone, bake cookies or bring in a crockpot meal.


Many successful companies regularly send holiday gifts to their best clients, so make sure your company doesn't already have something in place and find out whether there are any limitations on gift giving before you go spending money. Unless you're wooing a special client, strive to show your appreciation equally to everyone you serve. Try these ideas: A small, luxury food item--like hot chocolate or jam--with a nice note; a box of holiday chocolates from a local shop; a unique, company-related ornament (that they won't mind actually hanging on the tree); or a classy notebook and pen adorned with the company logo. Unless you have a huge number of clients, be sure to personally write the card that goes along with each gift--that's the most important part!


If you're an employer, employees get a special gift from you every couple weeks: paychecks. Still, many companies try to give bonuses or gifts around the holidays, which, if you can afford to do so and the employees have worked hard for it, is a great way to boost morale. The most important thing is that you don't exclude anyone, so shoot for a standard, generic gift, such as a massage gift certificate, a coffee card, or a catered holiday lunch, that will be appreciated by most anyone.

Accepting Gifts

In many industries, accepting gifts from clients is a no-no. Be sure you understand your company's policy and, if this is the case, practice saying "no thank you" before it comes up.

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