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45 Gifts for Every Type of Employee

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

If you’re the boss, you might want to give gifts to employees around the holidays or when an employee is promoted or has a major work accomplishment. But finding the right gifts can be fraught with questions: How much do you spend? Should you spend the same amount of money on each person? And if you don’t know someone well, how do you make sure they like the gift while still keeping it professional?

If your team is working remotely, that can complicate things, too. It might be harder to ship gifts to people since you’ll have to get everyone’s home addresses (not a huge obstacle generally but something to consider).

To be clear, managers don’t ever have to give their staff members gifts, but it can be a nice gesture if you want to do it. (Keep in mind, though, that managers should never expect or encourage gifts from employees. Because of the power dynamics involved, gifts at work should flow down, not up.)

If you decide to buy gifts for your staff, the question of how much to spend will vary by office. If you’re a partner at a big law firm, you’ll be spending more than a manager at a nonprofit. So know your office (and if you’re unsure, ask other managers what they’re doing), but whatever you spend, keep it roughly equivalent for each person on your team. Don’t play favorites; people will notice if one person gets a pair of Apple’s AirPod Maxes and another gets a scented candle.

So what should you actually gift? Below, we’ve rounded up 45 gift ideas for everyone on your team.

Best Gifts for Employees Under $25

For the employee who prefers things to be neat and tidy

Finelnno Desktop Vacuum Cleaner
From $12
From $12

Whether you’re having lunch at your desk or on your sofa, this mini-vacuum picks up crumbs, dirt, and lint and can even be used to suction dirt out of a keyboard.

For the employee who keeps saying they want to bring lunch from home

Bentgo Classic Lunch Box

Make it easier to bring lunch with this stackable bento-box set from Bentgo. Equipped with multiple compartments, plus adjustable dividers and a cutlery holder, it’s dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe.

For the employee who travels for work


This Bluetooth tracker tag will ensure your employee knows where her luggage is at all times — and it will even send an alert to her phone if the luggage is outside of a safe distance. The tag can double as a phone tracker or keys tracker too.

For the employee who always looks dapper

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Yes, socks are a great gift.

For the employee whose mani is always impeccable

They’ll surely appreciate this essentials kit from Essie.

For the employee who has an aromatherapy mister at their desk

Pink Himalayan salt is supposed to be known for its therapeutic, stress-relieving, and air-purifying properties. Plus they’re really cool-looking and would look nice on your wellness-loving employee’s desk.

For the employee who runs the office book club

Photo: retailer

This account of the massive fraud perpetrated by Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is riveting — and the ultimate tale of office dysfunction.

For the type-A employee

This self-inking stamp can be customized with up to three lines, 11 colors, and 17 fonts, making sending out mail and organizing paperwork incredibly easy and stylish.

For the employee who always brings in homemade baked goods

Not only is this rolling pin beautiful, but because it’s made from solid marble, it helps keep dough cool, and won’t absorb odors from food.

For the employee who loves their pet

What animal lover wouldn’t want a custom portrait of their dog or cat hanging up at home? We like the options from PawtraitDesignCo on Etsy … or for something more fun, these custom portraits of animals dressed up like royalty from TinyFluffyPaws.

For the employee who drinks the strongest coffee of anyone

This is strong coffee. One reviewer calls it “1300’s Europe in a cup,” and another says it’s “darker than the night before the coming of Ragnarok.”

For the employee who’s dreading the end of daylight savings

Bring the party inside with a disco ball that fits on a desk and will make Zoom meetings way more interesting

For the employee who just did Toastmasters

This compilation of 292 great speeches in history goes back to ancient Greece and all the way up to 1997.

For the employee who thinks making popcorn is high-level cookery

This popcorn seasoning variety pack lets you top your popcorn with the flavors of white cheddar, caramel, kettle corn, sriracha, cracked pepper asiago, and even dill pickle.

For the employee who’s always got good gossip

Speaking of gossip … this memoir about the author’s time undercover in the CIA is full of fascinating details about how she was trained, how she created her cover, and the risks she took to do her job.

For the employee who’s always cracking everyone up

This oral history of Saturday Night Live is a fascinating, detailed account of the show from the beginning, including fights with censors, rivalries among its stars, gossip about celebrity hosts, and how the writing happens.

For the employee who’s excited for the next phase of the MCU

This Baby Groot key chain makes a great stocking stuffer for anybody who loves binge-watching all things Marvel.

For the employee whose cat has its own Instagram account

As someone with too many cats myself, the key to a good gift for a cat lover is to give something to the kitties rather than to their owner. This kit will grow a bundle of grass that cats are weirdly drawn to.

For the person who’s always suggesting a game night (and already loves to host)

You need at least seven people to play, which makes it a great option for offices. Players are assigned roles and need to work together to find the werewolf.

Best Gifts for Employees Under $50

For the employee who loves news about the British Royals

This official companion to Netflix’s The Crown is written by the show’s historical consultant, details the real history that inspired show, and includes archival photos and show stills. (There’s a second volume, too!)


This flask functions as a tea infuser, hot beverage thermos, fruit water infuser, and more. It’s got a stainless steel filter to brew both hot and cold tea, with a removable sleeve for insulation.

For the employee with a green(ish) thumb

Bonsai Tree Starter Kit

This kit contains everything you need to grow four different types of bonsai trees (one is flaming red!), including biodegradable growing pots, soil discs, organic seeds, markers, and step-by-step instructions.

For the person who slips off their shoes under their desk

These hand-knit slipper socks with soft fleece lining will keep their feet toasty warm this winter.

For the employee who always wishes for snow

This faux fur throw is crazy soft and cozy, and feels like being wrapped in luxury. I have my own, and everyone who comes to my house goes straight to it and then wants to buy one themselves.

For the employee who’s always cold


This cup warmer auto-activates when you place your cup on it and will keep your beverage hot.

For the intern

Help your intern feel more professional with a really nice portfolio, like this zippered one that can hold a tablet, phone, notepad, and pens.

For the employee who just went fully remote

No home office is complete without a scented candle that smells like fresh air, water lilies, and amber (and not corporate carpet and air-conditioning).

For the employee who’s always late to work

Philips Wake-Up Light

This alarm clock will wake them up gently but effectively with gradually increasing light, mimicking a sunrise in their bedroom — and with a choice of nature sounds to replace the jarring traditional beeping.

For the employee who likes to be right

This advanced game comes highly recommended by the Strategist. Challenging and absorbing, it’s ideal for someone with time on their hands to dig in to ten different cases (alone or with other players) and untangle them like Sherlock himself.

For the employee who does yoga on lunch breaks

This stylish and durable bag fits two small yoga mats, or it can be used to carry towels and other yoga accessories.

For the employee who’s always quoting movies

Roku Media Player

A Roku makes it easy to stream video content to a TV from the internet so that you can watch movies from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other video providers. Your employee may never leave her house again.

For the employee who bikes to work

Crank Brothers Multi Bicycle Tool
From $23
From $23

This is the Swiss Army knife of bike repair! It includes 19 tools for common roadside bike repairs, including multiple hex wrench sizes, open wrenches, and screwdrivers, a Torx driver for disc breaks, and a universal chain tool, all made of high-tensile steel and enclosed in a lightweight aluminum case.

For the employee with the crazy long commute

A long commute (when we have those again) can seem much shorter when you’ve got something interesting to listen to. An Audible membership gives your employees a free audio book each month (she chooses the title) — and if it turns out she already has an account, it’ll add those credits to her existing membership.

For the employee who’s always on their phone

These cozy, stylish gloves are designed so that you can text with them on — meaning your employee won’t freeze when she’s texting outside this winter.

For the employee who organizes your office’s March Madness bracket

This is a basketball hoop in mug form! Toss marshmallows or other toppings through the net like a champion.

For the employee who has everything

Everyone needs a portable charger. This high-speed, pocket-sized one holds a charge for seven days, so your employee can easily recharge her devices while she’s on the go. It can charge an iPhone almost seven times before it needs to be recharged.

For the employee with a celebrity obsession

Photo: Reid, Hilary

Commission a personalized video from an enormous range of stars, from athletes to comedians to Real Housewives. You could send a video of Sonja Morgan congratulating your employee on their promotion or Tommy Chong sending them off into their retirement.

For the employee with a beautifully decorated workspace

This elegant five-in-one rose gold desk organizer set includes a hanging file organizer, mail tray, pencil holder, letter tray, and paperclip holder.

For the new employee you don’t know yet

When you really don’t know an employee yet, and don’t have a sense of what kind of gift they’d truly appreciate, a gift card with a wide range of applications is a good choice. (“Wide range of applications” means: don’t get the person a gift card to, say, a wine store, since it might turn out they don’t drink. Online shopping meccas like Amazon are a safer choice.)

Best Gifts for Employees Under $100

For the employee whose phone is always dying

This bamboo charging station can charge multiple phones and tablets all at once.

For the employee who misses home

From $1

Goldbelly will ship food from iconic restaurants in every region of the country, so your employee from New Orleans can have authentic po’ boys flown in (or cheesesteaks from Philly, or cioppino from San Francisco, and on and on).

For the employee who’s always hot

Give your overheated employee the gift of personal climate control with this mini-fan, which can sit atop a desk.

For the remote employee who misses the office coffee

This single-serve coffee maker will keep your remote employee stocked with coffee without requiring them to brew up an entire pot (or continue spending $7 on their daily cup of joe).

For the employee who loves to host

For the colleague who follows food trends, this high-quality maple cutting board from legendary brand John Boos will be perfect for a butter board, charcuterie, or actual cutting.

Find even more career advice from Alison Green on her website, Ask a Manager. Got a question for her? Email (and read our submission terms here.)

45 Gifts for Every Type of Employee