Guide To Gifting In The Workplace

After another round of holiday cheer, you're probably pretty sick and tired of gifts right now. Aren't we all? But you should remember gift-gifting is a social signal every bit as much as it is a personal gesture. The message you send to a family member with a gift could be vastly different than the one you send to a colleague, employee, or supervisor.

Guide To Gifting In The Workplace

If you didn't participate in this prior to Christmas, there's still time before the New Year, which in the professional world can be a much larger event. Here's a quick post-Christmas guide to gifting in the workplace:

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets can be ideal for just about anyone, especially a colleague you may not know on a personal level. The thing that makes these gift baskets so perfect is the fact that they can be customized to meet the preferences of each person on your list. Plus, gift baskets are available in various sizes and prices. In fact, you can easily create a gift basket from scratch. This allows you to tailor the gift basket precisely to the likes of the recipient.


People that enjoy indoor gardening are sure to appreciate a houseplant or even a small tree as a gift. Keep in mind that unique plants arrangements and things like bonsai trees make especially nice gifts. This is something about a living plant that will add a new dimension to the recipients' cubicle or workstation. There are a lot of options when it comes to the world of horticulture though, so before rushing out to the nursery you should do a little research and maybe check out the variety of different kinds of plants at Some of he best gifts can come in the form of workplace compensation. For example, if you're an employer or a supervisor consider the following:

Ergonomic Chairs

This one would work great as a colleague to colleague gift too, especially if someone has particular back pain. Incorporating ergonomic practices into the workplace keeps people healthier and happier. Ergonomics means “designing the job to fit the worker and not forcing the worker to fit the job.” When this premise is adhered to there is less physical stress put on vision, bones, joints tendons, muscles, nerves, hearing and health in general. What an amazing gift!

Provide Healthy Food

One of the best gifts you could possibly get for an employee is to provide healthy food options at the workplace. Instead of potato chips and coffee in the rec room, set out fruit, tea, and kombucha. If you build it, they will come - meaning if you provide healthy food options, people will consume them. Eating healthy food can go a long way toward helping employees and workplace associates stay healthy over the long-term. Another great option is to have lunch catered once a week by a whole or organic foods vendor.

Allow Time For Rest

When you want to promote health and your employees, it's important to allow plenty of time for rest. This is one of the best gifts of all. When you try to overwork your employees, they'll eventually perform poorly. Overworked individuals often tend to get sick as their immune systems weaken. Consider letting your employees off early every now and then. Give them days off and work with them when they need time off. Having time away from work is important to be able to keep your mind fresh and stay healthy. You could also look into providing resources to those who are trying to stop smoking or lose weight. Perhaps you could even offer incentives, which is a step in the right direction toward workplace wellness. The preceding gifts run the gamut, from traditional gift baskets and plants to more long-term gifts like ergonomic support and physical and mental health. The need for these kinds of gestures can't be overstated. Most people spend the majority of their waking life at the office. Make this space and your career trajectory a positive, giving atmosphere. Are there any other etiquette tips you can think of for gifting in the workplace? Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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