Whether you're searching for the perfect white elephant gift for the office holiday party or wanting to show your work bestie how much you appreciate them, it's always fun to think outside the box while shopping for co-workers.
From useful office and tech gear to indulgent food and skin care sets (and some unconventional finds along the way), Shop TODAY has rounded up several unique gifts for co-workers that'll win you some major brownie points. Best of all? Most of our finds are under $50!
Shop TODAY editors’ gifts for co-workers
Since we’ve returned to the office in 2022, it has given us ample opportunities to get to interact and collaborate with our co-workers outside of a screen.
We’ve shared laughs, created inside jokes and have enjoyed many happy hours together. When it comes to gifting during the holiday season, one or two things come to mind for these friends of ours.
More specifically, those who cannot survive the workday without a caffeine drink, or who are very particular about which pens they use in their planners.
Several Shop TODAY editors shared what they plan on getting their co-workers with the picks below.
If they can’t seem to make it through an eight-hour workday without a little kick, gift them with this coffee mug that displays their initial. Commerce editor Amanda Fama received a cute mug during an office Secret Santa and agrees it is one of the most useful gifts for any coworker.
Editorial assistant Sierra Hoeger knows there is no shortage of tote bags around the office, so she suggests gifting this reusable one from Baggu. Not only is it sustainable, but it is also “affordable and adorable,” Hoeger says. This bag comes in over 20 unique shades and patterns to help find the color that best matches your work bestie’s personality.
Social media editorial assistant Annie Shigo has gifted these in the past, which she dubs as the “best pens.” It’s easy to see why — it boasts a wide color variety and smooth writing capabilities that help it stand out amongst others. Plus, it’s less than $15 for a pack of 10 gel pens, making it an affordable and practical gift.
Senior SEO editor Jess Bender recommends gifting this to the foodie in your office who is constantly spicing things up with their homemade lunches. If their lunch could use a little kick, this chili sauce (which has been featured on the viral interview series Hot Ones) is perfect as it packs nine times the amount of heat as their traditional chili oil.
Commerce writer Jannely Espinal thinks gifting a personalized ornament is very special. Whether your officemate is sports fanatic or an international foodie, an ornament unique to their interests will surely make them smile. This glass croissant ornament hangs from gold string and will make an elegant addition to any Christmas tree.
If you’re anything like us, once you hit the afternoon slump there’s no coming back from it unless there’s a snack involved. Help them survive the afternoons with this nut variety pack that includes almonds, cashews, dark chocolate sea salt almonds, trail mix, wasabi peanuts and more.
If there’s one thing Shop TODAY editors are good at aside from our jobs, it’s making our office smell like a kitchen with our homemade lunches. This portable electric lunchbox from Crockpot eliminates the need to microwave your meal, warming it up at your desk instead.
The tight-sealing lid promises that the contents of your lunch will stay in place and not at the bottom of your work tote.
Holiday editor Nina Bradley recommends this Moroccanoil fragrance mist if your office buddy is obsessed with beauty products. This scented spray features argan oil and vitamin E to help hydration and has over 4,500 verified five-star reviews on Amazon.
If your office suffers from “women’s winter,” or cold temperatures no matter what it feels like outside, gift them with these temperature-regulated slippers.
They work to keep your feet comfortable, no matter if it’s 8 or 80 degrees outside. Flannel lining wraps the top and interior, and your feet will feel supported thanks to the included memory foam layer. Even if they just wear them while they work from home, business casual has never felt more cozy!
Production coordinator Camryn Privette recommends her “favorite body lotion” for those who suffer from dry, cracked skin once winter rolls around. Made with ceramides, this gift will surely keep their hands hydrated.
Hoeger is a big fan of this gingham blue lunchbox from Ascot and Hart. She says it is totally worth the splurge for the co-worker who loves to pack their lunch for the office. This insulated lunch tote features a recycled ripstop nylon exterior, polyester interior and zip closure for safely storing all your healthy snacks.
What can’t Stanley do? If you have a co-worker who can always be seen doting their oversized emotional support water bottle, gift them with one that’s sure to become their next obsession.
Enter: Stanley’s “Deco” collection. Perfect for the holidays and available in three different colors, Stanleys are adored by many due to their ability to keep water cold for up to 40 hours.
Shigo also recommends these sauce packets for the co-worker who loves to add spice to any meal, yet doesn’t have enough pantry or fridge space for multiple bottles.
“These packets are a savior to any dish,” she says of this 15-pack that includes savory chili garlic sauce, savory lemongrass marinade, tangy miso sauce, smoky K-BBQ marinade and Thai chili citrus sauce. Our stomachs are growling already!
Best tech and office gifts for co-workers
If their job requires a lot of jotting down notes, they deserve a writing utensil that has their comfort in mind. This Shop TODAY-approved pen was recognized for its ease of use by the Arthritis Foundation, so they'll be in good hands with this option.
The work environment has drastically evolved over the last few years, which means your co-workers might need to bring their laptops to and from the office regularly. Fortunately you'll have them covered with this padded sleeve, which has over 41,000 verified five-star ratings!
Set them up for success with this weekly planner from Papier, available in seven color combos and customizable for added personalization. The brand also offers patterned planners like this striking tropical compilation for making a bigger statement.
For the co-worker who's always making the most of their lunch break, we'd opt for this delicious desk calendar. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, this is a genuinely useful gift. It also comes in a nature-themed option with floralscapes from around the globe if you're looking for meaningful gifts for your most wanderlust-stricken colleagues.
They'll never forget their to-do list again with this bestselling acrylic desktop dry erase board. Ideal for daily mantras, reminders or meeting times, it can be personalized with their name and favorite color.
While you’re at it, help them get their important memos across with a special set of stationary from Rifle Paper Co. We suggest opting for a monogrammed or personalized design to add an extra special touch.
One of the hottest tech gifts around is a smart plug — and for good reason. For starters, you can turn on and off lights and appliances thanks to its Alexa capabilities.
This Anker speaker with over 77,000 verified five-star Amazon ratings is a great gift for the colleague who has taken on the role of office DJ. The tiny speaker is portable and can play up to 24 hours on a single charge.
Ensure they don’t miss a beat — from office meetings to happy hour hangs — with a wireless charging station. This pick from Courant (available in several finishes) will look sleek sitting on their desk and can be stashed in a bag for business trips.
Give them the gift of a personal assistant with a voice-activated Amazon Echo Dot, which can be used to change the lights, check the news and more without ever having to leave their seat. We especially love this idea for remote employees who are balancing work and home life from afar.
This practical seat cushion with over 65,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon is designed to provide lower back and tailbone support, the brand says, making it perfect for the co-worker who's glued to their office chair.
Best beauty and wellness gifts for co-workers
If your co-worker is looking to lower their stress levels, this jade roller is the ultimate gift for them. Rated Amazon's Choice in facial skin care sets and kits, this relaxing tool is designed to help relieve puffy eyes and wrinkles.
This top-rated essential oil diffuser also doubles as a humidifier, adding another calming layer to their aromatherapy practice.
If they rant about the office's ridiculously dry air, this curated Laneige gift set includes a quartet of nourishing skin care products loaded with hydrating (and buzzing) ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and squalane.
Best food and beverage gifts for co-workers
For the office Keurig or whenever they may need a boost of energy while working from home, these coffee pods from Chamberlain Coffee are the ticket. Made from their family blend, this medium roast tastes like "biting into a chocolate-covered cherry," according to the brand.
The co-worker who's always initiating happy hours will probably get some use out of these handy and ridiculously cute wine stoppers. They help to extend the life of your wine and other bottled beverages, keeping any unfinished drinks fresh for longer while acting as excellent conversation starters.
Fast casual bowls and salads can add up very quickly! If they joke about spending $50 every time they have to head into the office, gift them this stackable, bento box-style food storage container that comes with its own utensils.
A winner of SELF's 2023 Pantry Awards, these loaded energy balls are perfect for the snacky deskmate who's always talking about their gains or newest favorite workout.
If your co-worker can never say no to a dessert, these soft amaretti cookies will definitely put a smile of their face. These delicious treats are a staple of Italy and come in a stunning Rome tin for a nice presentation.
Enjoying coffee at their desk just got a whole lot easier with this double-walled coffee mug. Rather than carry around a piping hot coffee mug, the double-wall feature ensures that the inside stays warm rather than the outside. "These mugs keep my drinks at just the right temperature from start to finish, and they look great," said one reviewer.
Shopping for a group of co-workers? Treat them to something sweet with this set of bestsellers from Magnolia Bakery, which now delivers nationwide. The family pack contains four of the bakery's large-sized banana pudding bestsellers and six cupcakes to indulge every office's sweet tooth.
This is a great gift for the boss or co-worker who's a health nut. Elegantly displayed in handwoven bags, this five-bag set of ethically farmed quinoa is as beautiful as it is tasty. The food comes directly from farmers near Lake Titicaca, Peru.
If you’re not sure what to get the office foodie, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to Goldbelly, which can be redeemed for a delectable assortment of iconic eats from near and afar.
Best clothing and accessory gifts for co-workers
If you're looking for gift ideas for employees on a budget, here's an under-$10 gift idea. The stylish co-worker is going to love this trendy scarf that has over 8,800 verified five-star ratings. They can use it to tie back their hair or as a statement piece on their computer bag.
For the colleague who dreams big beyond their cubicle, this understated Tory Burch bracelet might serve as a physical reminder of their potential. Several reviewers also note that this subtle piece pairs well with other accessories!
Nobody knows what you're wearing if you're working from home, so why not rock the bestselling Comfy during video calls?
Unique gifts for co-workers
Looking for the purr-fect gift for your cat-loving colleague? Consider your search complete. They’ll proudly carry Redbubble’s cat mermaid journal into meetings and get lots of compliments on it, too. It comes with 128 pages and is available in ruled, graph or blank pages.
That co-worker that's always tasked with taking care of the office plants will have fun putting their green thumb to use with this grow-your-own herb kit.
Stress balls are a classic office standby for good reason. Perfect for fast-paced, high-anxiety work stretches, each ball in this set is infused with essentials oils meant to calm the senses and inspire focus, according to the brand.
True crime lovers will flip for this board game that lets players channel their inner detective to solve a mystery. You get to investigate evidence, witness testimonials and alibis and more to find out "who done it."
This mini sand garden comes in handy on stressful days and adds a certain something to an otherwise sterile desktop. Let this employee gift idea serve as peace of mind (and a reminder that you have their back on tougher days).
This candle is for the co-worker who deserves a little something to help them unwind. Along with the candle's selection of inviting and pleasant fragrances, the OOO message on the exterior is a cheeky reminder to slam that laptop shut and really clock out.
What better way to wish them a prosperous year than with a mini money tree? This pick from Bloomscape is available in five different pots and proves the perfect plant-mate for office and home setups alike. It’s also pet-friendly for any nearby ‘fur workers’!
If they like a good challenge, consider giving them an unconventional game set that will stand out in their office and keep their mind sharp. This multitasking pick from MoMA doubles as a chess and checkers set (and triples as a piece of modern art).