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Affordable Gifts for Colleagues

The relationships we have with our colleagues are quite unique and different from the relationships we have with anyone else. Often our colleagues are our friends, though that doesn’t mean we’d necessarily consider them as such, or invite them over to play board games. Colleagues are friends at work and they’re people that we occasionally go for drinks with. Once a year, we see them make complete fools of themselves at the office Christmas party.

So they’re friends who you have great times with, but they’re also not your friends. You spend more time with them than with any of your other friends, but you probably also don’t talk to them as much.

And it gets more complicated still when you consider the colleagues that you really don’t get on with, but who you need to pretend to get on with for the sake of an easy life.

When Christmas or birthdays come then… what on Earth can you get them??

Here are a few affordable ideas that should be appropriate. These are the ideal gifts for “friends you’d never invite over for dinner”.


gifts for the office

A mug might seem like a rather dull gift but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, a mug can be a perfect gift for work because it’s something that will actually get used in the office. In most offices, employees each have their own mug and this means you’ll get to see them enjoying it.

Mugs can also be funny, or better yet: personalized. Why not go online and get a mug printed with an inside joke, or even a picture of the team?

Things for the Desk

gifts for co-workers

In the same vein, things for the desk can also be a great choice. That might mean ornaments, or it could mean useful tools and organizers. How about a fancy faux-leather pen holder for instance, or a picture frame so that they can keep a picture of their family close? Another fun option is a plant – something they can look after and that will help to make them feel more at ease while they work.

Of course there’s plenty of opportunity for novelties here too. Lego men, cuddly toys or furry hands for the monitor can all make the desk a little more interesting.



This might not be ground-breaking but it’s a very safe bet. When you have to buy something for the manager you’ve actually said two words to, edibles will always be appreciated. Boxes of chocolates are a good option, as are nice bottles of alcohol. And another great advantage of this is that you can find something to work within any budget – from a stick of rock to an expensive champagne.

Another great thing about edibles? You might get offered some!

Experience Days

special occasions

Experience days don’t have to be expensive but they offer something that’s a bit different from the usual affair. This could be something as simple as a concert or comedy, or it could be a little more unique – like a hot air balloon ride or a spa day. The latter is a great choice when things are getting stressful in the office!

Alternatively, how about a night in a hotel? This is another good way to force someone to relax and they can take their partner too if they have one.

Gift Basket

gift basket

A gift basket or hamper is a great choice when you’re not sure what to get someone. This way, you can just put together a few items that anyone would appreciate – like some edibles, scented candles and bath products – and the presentation will show that you put a bit more thought into it.

Just be careful that the selection isn’t too romantic or your colleague may think that you’re hitting on them!


personal gifts

Another fun option is to cook. This is like bringing in food, except with the added benefit of again showing time and care went into your gift. If it’s someone’s birthday, then going to the trouble to bake them a cake is something that will always go down well.

Board Games


A great gift that’s relatively safe but that doesn’t get given often enough is the humble board game. Everyone can enjoy a board game and they are available at a range of prices. If you have a jokey environment in your office then you can be a bit risky with a game of Cards Against Humanity , while the more sedate office could appreciate Banagrams Like all the best gifts, this is also something that the recipient can use with you right away – bringing some fun to any Xmas party! 


gift certificates

Vouchers are about as uninspired as gifts for colleagues go, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t well received. In fact, most colleagues will really appreciate getting vouchers as it means they can buy whatever they actually want instead of having to put up with your lame attempts at humor (sorry).

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