12 Practical and Affordable Gift Ideas for Coworkers


The holiday season is approaching, and employers are gearing up to prepare for holiday parties, white elephant gift exchanges, and more. If you've been on the receiving end of an unwanted gift, you've probably put it in the back of a closet or regifted it the following year. So, what is one practical and affordable gift idea for a gift that you can give to a coworker that they won't cringe at?


To help you decide on the best affordable gifts that are appropriate to give your coworkers, I asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From candles to milestone bracelets to indoor plants, there are several gift ideas that you could explore when deciding on a practical and affordable gift that is just right for your coworkers.

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Here are 12 practical and affordable gift ideas these leaders follow in choosing gifts for their coworkers:

Candles Help You Unwind and De-Stress After a Hard Day

Candles are an affordable idea and always make a great gift. They help you unwind and de-stress after a hard day or get in the spirit of holiday festivities. Each candle has its own unique aroma, and they're a great decoration for any part of the house. It also adds a level of personalization as you can choose the candle that's best for them.


Chris Vaughn, CEO, Emjay


Milestone Bracelets Create Lasting Memories

Gifts to coworkers should be personalized based on what you know about that individual. If you give them a gift basket or bottle of wine, it will be shared with their family, forgotten, or regifted to someone else later. Gifting a milestone bracelet can help them celebrate the occasion and remember who gave it to them and when. If someone's celebrating a milestone birthday, getting married, or graduating, a personalized bracelet will forever keep you, the gift, and the occasion in their memory.


Annette Harris, Founder, Harris Financial Coaching


A Podcast Subscription Offers the Opportunity to Expand Knowledge


Podcasts have become all the rage given how easily digestible the episodes are — they don't demand a lot of your time, and there's a world of topics you can gain insight on. From picking up a new forte to staying on top of industry trends, gifting a podcast subscription to your coworker won't just help them expand their knowledge but also reignite their long-lost interest in a hobby or skill.


Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street


High-Quality Headphones Are In-demand


It's not a popular opinion, but a practical gift you can give a coworker is a set of high-quality headphones. Headphones are a great gift because they are affordable, practical, and in demand, yet many people don't want to spend money on high-quality headphones. I recommend the Sony WH1000XM2 headphones because they are among the best headphones on the market right now, as well as very affordable.


Matthew Ramirez, Founder, Paraphrase Tool


Common Gift Cards Aren't too Personal and Need No Gift Wraps


Gift cards are easy. They're a common gift, practical, and not too personal. Plus, you wouldn't need any gift wrap for something so small. Furthermore, go for gift cards from places most people could appreciate, such as Starbucks, Target, or Apple Music. It may seem a bit peculiar if you give them a gift card from a local shop they have never heard of.


Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing & Communications, Carvaygo


Reusable Carrier Bags Are Always Needed for Groceries


Reusable carrier bags are an excellent gift idea for a coworker. Everyone needs a grocery or carrying bag for extra supplies or a shopping trip after work. For states with plastic bag bans, these bags are a lifesaver at stores. Finding affordable, customizable bags is not too far off the same low price point if one wanted to make it unique for a teammate.


Gigi Ji, Head of Brand and Business Development, KOKOLU


Sunglasses - There Are Never Enough to Have


You can never have enough pairs of sunglasses — making them an excellent gift for a coworker. For example, if you sit on your sunglasses at the beach, forget them in the car, or leave them at a restaurant — having a backup pair is necessary. You can find sunglasses in various styles and colors at affordable prices to find a pair that suits your coworker's fashion.


Cesar Cruz, Co-Founder, Sebastian Cruz Couture


Your Coworkers' Favorite Snack Shows You're Thoughtful


Snacks — especially our favorite snacks make the work day so much brighter — so why not gift your coworker their favorite snack? For example, if you know a Snickers bar is your colleague's guilty pleasure, it's an affordable gift that you know they will enjoy and can even provide a little humor to your day. The best gifts are thoughtful and show you pay attention to what they want.


Patricio Paucar, Co-Founder + Chief Customer Officer, Navi

Quote and Image from Patricio Paucar


Lemons — Inspire Them With the Popular Lemon-Lemonade Quote


Lemons are a funny and interesting gift to give to a coworker. The common saying is, "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade." Give a colleague some lemons and relay the quote back to them. It's a positive outlook on any situation and encourages optimism. For example, if a coworker is leaving the company, they can make the best out of their new role.


Jodi Neuhauser, CEO, Ovaterra


Frame a Picture of You With Them to Show Happy Times


Wouldn't it be nice to store some memories with friends from work? They can keep it to remind them of your happy moments with them. It will be an invaluable gift for anyone. They can treasure this for a long time. It is an inexpensive way to show how much you appreciate them. Things like this can last to remind you of your friendship. Choose a frame in a color you know they would like. You can also decorate the borders with arts and crafts to make them more unique. Personalize the gift wrapping as well. They will thank you for this wonderful gift. It is rare for someone to put effort into giving this kind of gift. Years may have passed, but each time they see this gift, it is sure to paint a smile on their lips.


Laura Martinez, Consultant and Content Writer, PersonalityMax


A Personalized Water Bottle Can Be Used in Both Summer and Winter


One great gift for a coworker is a nice water bottle. You can personalize a water bottle with your coworkers' favorite themed designs. A sturdy water bottle that doubles as a thermos can be a great gift because it can be used in the summer to keep a drink cold or to have a warm cup of coffee all day long in the winter. Most employees keep a cup or water bottle at their desks, so getting one for a coworker will be practical. Typically, you can find a water bottle anywhere from 10 to 30 dollars, so this gift is affordable for any budget.


Liz Hogan, Career Expert, Find My Profession

Liz Hogan image and quote from article

An Indoor Plant for Their Home Adds Value to Their Life


Plants are an easy, affordable gift to give a coworker, and it's certainly something that will add value to their life. If you know what their space is like, buy a plant that suits them and is easy to care for. It makes for a thoughtful gift and one they can care for and nurture, and it will remind them of you.


Asma Hafejee, Senior Marketing Executive, CMR Surgical


I'm sure these gift ideas will be helpful for your future holiday purchases. Or, they may even inspire you to find other choices for the coworkers you find near and dear to you.

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