Here, we’ve put together a list of suggestions for the different kinds of coworker you might have to provide a present for.
Let’s face facts – the desk jobs that are typical of the office aren’t exactly the healthiest ones in the world, so there are plenty of gifts that are intended for the office worker who wants to fight the battle of the bulge.
From numerous standing desk and converter options, to chairs that require active sitting (like those big inflatable balls you sit on) or are specially designed with ergonomics in mind, to elliptical machines that fit under a desk, you have your choice of means to help decrease sedentary behavior in the naturally-sedentary office environment, or at least minimize its impact.
Want to take the more affordable route? Look into posters with yoga positions or rolled up yoga mats that can be stowed away. If your office has an outdoor space, a few outside gifts like frisbees, jump ropes, and hackysacks might be a big hit.
While you may not be able to give your coworker the ability to avoid the snacks in the break room, or the extra cupcakes that Susie from Human Resources brought in from her daughter’s 7th birthday party, you can at least help them fight off their effects.
We all have that coworker who likes to keep themselves as organized as possible, as the more organized they are, the more productive they can be. There are many gifts that may be perfect for such a person, especially with the new year following so closely behind the holidays. For instance, a personal calendar or planner is a popular tool that many people use, especially those who prefer to find it easier to remember their responsibilities if they record them in analog, rather than digital format.
Alternatively, you might consider getting such a person a means of keeping their space uncluttered and organized, such as an attachable storage shelf for their desk, or a case to help them keep their various peripherals, dongles, and doodads organized and easily portable.
Of course, one of the most common ways to boost productivity is to add an additional display, so you always have the option to invest in any of a variety of products that can accomplish this. There are additional monitors for both desktops and laptops, of course, but there are also docks that can turn a mobile device into an additional, interactive display. Of course, these can be pricier than a gift for a coworker should perhaps be, but there are also options with a much less considerable price tag – like a wireless phone charger or similar device.
We all have that coworker who tends to think with their hands – that person who needs something tactile to help organize their thoughts. This is a fairly easy person to buy a gift for, as there are plenty of “desk toys” out there that you can find – fidget spinners, levitating tops, and magnetic balls just being the start.
One word of warning – unless your coworkers are always listening to music while they work, or are exceptionally patient, you will probably want to make sure whatever tchotchke you decide to give someone is minimally disruptive. Otherwise, your gift may result in issues down the line.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to give gifts that are just for the office. It’s always fun to get a more personalized gift for someone to use in their personal life, as it means that you have really gotten to know your coworkers.
What was the best gift you ever got from an office gift exchange? What would you hope to receive now? Share it in the comments – you never know, someone might see it and give it to you!