Whether you've got an office birthday coming up or are starting to tackle your holiday shopping, deciding what to buy for your co-workers is rarely easy. This task presents a string of unspoken rules and questions: Who are we supposed to get gifts for in the office? How much should we be spending? What kind of message should the gift send?
To help you navigate these choppy waters, we made a master guide of 24 items broken down into niche wish lists based on who you're shopping for, from your work wife to your team members to your boss. Each item falls within a price range of $6 to $100, so you can make a good impression without overspending, and we're also explaining the general rules of thumb for all the co-workers you may be shopping for.
Scroll through for the full list below to get some gift ideas for co-workers based upon your relationship dynamic.
For the Random Co-worker
First of all, we're not saying you have to gift everyone in the office. It's not like that elementary school rule in which you have to invite everyone in the class to your birthday party. But if you're gifting you're entire team and leave someone out, that probably won't be very well received. Here are some options for this scenario.
Who wouldn't be happy to get some more shut-eye (or at least a better-quality sleep)? This soothing eye mask has a layer of binchō-tan charcoal to stimulate blood flow, so it's a thoughtful gift even though it's low-touch on your end.
This night treatment is a kind gift if you have the budget to spend a little more money on your fellow team members. The bright hue and pretty packaging won't lead you astray.
It's hard to find someone who doesn't love chocolate, especially when it's stylishly packaged and inspired by the beauty of botanicals.
If you can think of even just one interaction you had with this person that helped you out or taught you you something, write it down on a cute letterpress card and call it a day.
This adult-friendly puzzle is a fun gift for anyone who likes design or challenging games.
The pretty packaging of this distilled water and essential oil mist is the perfect calming accessory to keep on a desk.
For the Work Wife
You probably won't need as much guidance when shopping for your work wife, since it's like shopping for a friend rather than a co-worker, and you can more easily strike the balance between office etiquette and fun.
Help those near and dear to you smudge away any bad vibes following a long workday. Jokes aside, this is a beautiful gift for anyone who doesn't want to spend a ton of money while still sending a nice message of appreciation.
Here's another affordable gift, except this time it's wearable. We love the playful, low-key cool of this patch.
Don't want to just gift your work wife one item? This set of hand cream, fragrance, and oil is a great way to give someone a collection of goodies with going over budget.
Though we can't spend every day at the beach, it's a nice sentiment. This "good vibes only" towel will serve as motivation.
This is for the co-worker who loves to accessorize. This open-neck collar is sleek, chic, and versatile, so it'll satisfy a variety of styles.
For the Entry-Level Employee
Something thoughtful will go a long, long way for anyone who is new to the office or who has worked tirelessly in an entry-level position. Show them you appreciate their hard work with a few of the meaningful pampering gifts below.
Nobody puts together a luxe and indulgent set of goodies like Simone Le Blanc. This is an incredibly well-curated option: We love that it includes chocolate, lip polish, and a candle, among other lovely little things.
Help them keep their work area clean and chic with a wood-and-brass pen organizer.
Anyone who loves reading and décor will greatly appreciate these fun bookends. They also function well as paperweights or doorstops.
Giving someone jewelry can be a risk, but if you feel like they'd appreciate something stylish and edgy yet wearable enough to wear every day, these earrings are a serious treat.
Do they love art and language? This Phaidon book is super inspiring to flip through (no matter what stage of your career), since the pages are filled with creative, motivational, and empowering quotes from celebrated artists around the globe.
Does your co-worker run on coffee? This glass French press is architecturally stunning and sophisticated while also being totally usable.
For the Boss or Mentor
When shopping for your boss or mentor, the goal isn't to blow them away with some extravagant gift, so shoot for something that will be meaningful for them and expresses your appreciation and gratitude for guiding you in the workplace instead.
This gorgeous, cheerful coffee table book is a beautiful item to brighten up an office, but it's particularly special for anyone who loves flowers and has a green thumb.
You're the first person to see how hard your boss works, so reward them by encouraging them to make time for self-care and relaxation with this sample trio of bath and skincare treatments. The packaging itself is a gift.
When in doubt, find a mug. They can work as pencil and pen organizers, or help your mentor meet their daily coffee-and-tea quota.
Do you and your boss have a good relationship and share a sense of humor? If so, considering going the funny route with a semi-gag gift. This blue floral porcelain dinner bell will do just the trick accompanied with a note that says "you rang?"
You can't go wrong with a candle. And if you'd like to invest in something super unique, look no further than this praying-hands candle inspired by German artist Albrecht Dürer and infused with sage essential oils for an earthy scent.
This golden fortune cookie makes for a whimsical and personalized gift for pretty much anyone. It opens with a little hinge so you can write your own fortune in it.
Tell us: Do you have any go-to gifts for co-workers?