How to Gift Proper Gifts In the Office

colleagues giving gifts

Giving gifts at the office is a common occurrence, whether it be between employees or as rewards from the management. However, are you sure you’re giving the right type of gifts? Find out here.

Gift-giving at the office should be an enjoyable experience for all parties involved, so don’t make it awkward by giving inappropriate gifts. Unfortunately, some people are still tone-deaf about the right type of business gifts. If you’re one of these people, take the time to read through these gift-giving etiquettes at the office:

Gifts to subordinates

If you’re the boss, you may want to show your gratitude to your employees by giving them gifts. However, be sure to remember the following etiquette rules:

Be fair when giving gifts. If one person gets employee discounts for achieving something, make sure other people who have similar achievements get the same reward. There’s no need to play favorites.

Abide by the rules of the company when it comes to gift-giving budget. Don’t get a gift that is too expensive unless it is a special award. For regular occasions, stick to simple gifts like gift cards, gift baskets, or desk items.

Gift sparingly. It’s okay to give gifts once in a while, but don’t give out gifts every time something is achieved to “motivate” your employees. This can lead to your staff expecting something in return for their work, which is going to be a problem if you fail to give them something.

Gifts between coworkers

It is common to want to give gifts to coworkers, especially if you work closely with a small group of people. When giving gifts to your coworkers, here are some things you need to remember:

Only give gifts during an office party if you have a gift for every coworker. Otherwise, give these gifts before or after the party and in private.

Be wary of other people’s religion when giving holiday gifts. If you are not of the same faith, find out if they would be okay with receiving a gift.

Give personal gifts during breaks or after hours. If it is a coworker’s birthday, avoid giving gifts in front of the other people in the office. This can make them uncomfortable if they don’t have a gift for that person, too, or don’t even know that it’s their birthday. Stick to the birthday greetings for the meantime until you can give them your gift.

Give business-appropriate gifts like desk items, food, or gift cards. If you consider the coworker as a close friend, feel free to give them more personal things like clothes or jewelry.

Gifts to the boss

employee giving gift to his boss

The last thing you want to do is to look like you’re sucking up to the boss, so make sure your gifting is appropriate. Take note of the following rules when giving gifts to your boss:

Avoid personal items. Again, don’t give personal gifts that might be inappropriate in the eyes of others. Go with safe gifts like neckties, food baskets, or stationary.

Ask other coworkers if they want to pitch in for the gift, so you don’t look like you’re hogging all the credit.


Gift-giving in the office can either be enjoyable or awkward. And with these tips, you can avoid experiencing the latter.

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