Navigating the ethics of gift-giving in the workplace can be difficult. Gift-giving is often practised around the holidays, and it’s an important way to show the people you are working with that you appreciate them. However, interpersonal dynamics in most workplaces are more formal than the ones that you would find among friends and family, so it’s sometimes hard to know what is appropriate to give.
Whether you are preparing for Christmas or just want to show a colleague that they are appreciated, here is a guide to gift ideas in the workplace.
The Perfect Gift Ideas for the Workplace
For Your Boss
Knowing what to give your boss is difficult since this is the person on whom your working situation depends the most. You want to make a good impression without overstepping.
The quality of the gift matters more than the type of gift for bosses. Whatever you purchase, make sure that you show some thought went into your gift and that you did not just visit the nearest shop in a hurry.
When in doubt, work-related gifts are simple yet show appreciation. Little presents that can make your boss’s office more comfortable are appreciated. Opt for chic pieces of office décor, such as tasteful vases or personalised nameplates.
Office supplies are also safe presents for bosses, but make sure that they are of good quality. Examples include a good fountain pen, personalised stationery, or a laptop stand.
Finally, you can’t go wrong with tasteful food or drink choices. A high-quality bottle of wine or cheeseboard from a respected local cheesemonger can go a long way.
For the Receptionist or Secretary
When choosing gifts for those in your workplace, don’t forget about people in the company who are often overlooked. Receptionists and secretaries often get forgotten in office gift exchanges, but their work is crucial for the whole office. Even the simplest token of appreciation is vital.
A gift that rarely goes wrong is a flower delivery. You can get flowers delivered for your esteemed colleague from services such as Direct2florist. You can choose from different types of bouquets and arrangements from services like these. Flowers are also a good choice when anyone in your office is going through a difficult period, such as sick leave, or just reached a major milestone, such as a new child.
Another simple gift that is almost always appreciated is a sweet treat. Purchase a box of chocolates or some sweets from a favourite local sweet shop as a present for the person holding the office accountable. It will be much appreciated!
For a Colleague
When choosing a present for a colleague, there are a few things to keep in mind. One is how close you are to the colleague in question. If you do not know each other very well, then you can put together a group gift with some others from the office. You can get gift certificates to a local business for products or a service such as a massage.
If you know each other better, then you can get something tailored to your colleague’s interests. For example, a foodie may appreciate a snack box subscription from abroad, while someone who adores reading in their free time will love the latest from their favourite author. When in doubt about what to get, check out this gift guide with ideas for people of all interests.
For a Visiting Colleague or Client
If you are preparing for an important meeting with someone visiting from a different town or even from abroad, a small gift can help welcome your visiting client or colleague and ensure you make a good impression.
Choose a gift that is unique to your locality, such as a favourite local snack or a local craft. For example, Londoners hosting visiting clients may want to gift tickets to West End theatres or to other local attractions. Anything that will be a unique experience for someone new to town is a great gift idea.
In business, there are several situations that may come up where you could find it appropriate to give someone a gift. Depending on your work relationship and degree of familiarity, the type of gift you give may be different. Hopefully, this quick guide can make deciding on gift ideas easier.