Your job just wouldn’t be the same without those few coworkers who really understand the importance of teamwork. They’ve probably bailed you out of a tight spot in a meeting, submitted a request for you at the last minute or took the time to help you with a tough project.
When a coworker has completely wowed you with their helpfulness, or you just want to say “thanks” – it only makes sense that you want to let them know how much you appreciate what they’ve done, and there isn’t a better way to express that than with a great thank-you gift.
This list of gift ideas will help you find inexpensive thank you gifts for coworkers that are thoughtful, useful and even a little quirky.
Top 16 Inexpensive Gifts Ideas for Coworkers in 2021
1. Collectible Books
Whether it’s today’s bestsellers or classic literature, you can shop your favorite authors at ThriftBooks and brighten a book lover’s day! More than 13 million titles to choose from makes it easy for you to pick gifts for your favorite coworker.
ThriftBooks also sells book collectibles, like rare, out-of-print titles, first editions, and signed copies—all of which are excellent retirement gifts for a coworker who likes to read.
Earn up to 7% cash back on ThriftBooks purchases as a Giving Assistant shopper.
2. Knight Pen Holder
Acknowledge a coworker’s greatness with this decorative desktop pen holder which features a kneeling knight with outstretched hands, ready to hold their most powerful weapon. The perfect gift to let a colleague know their help has not gone unnoticed, this desk accessory is a wonderful thank you gift for a boss as well.
Available in blue and red, this fun gift will give their cubicle some added flair and keep their favorite pen or pencil nearby.
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3. Bento Lunch Box
The PACKiT Freezable Blanket Stripe Bento Box offers a practical solution for transporting lunch. This bento box features a zip closure to lock in cold, dry air to keep contents fresh and an easy-carry top handle. This is a nice gift for the healthy co-worker who loves to bring their lunch.
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4. DIY Terrarium Kit
Plants are the kind of thank you gifts for bosses and cubicle mates that simply can’t go wrong. While this one doesn’t include the plant itself, the kit has everything else they need to make a unique terrarium. Along with the glass vessel and lid, it comes with soil, moss and hydro-stones.
Colorful and playful, it livens up any environment, making it a great appreciation gift for teacher coworkers especially.
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5. Reed Diffuser Oil Gift Set
Offset the extra hours your collaborator spent helping you with the thoughtful gift of an oil diffuser. The scented sticks come in over 20 scents and the apothecary glass, decorative cap and beautifully packaged gift box make the whole experience feel super luxurious.
When they’re furious scribbling meeting notes in their notepad, a whiff of this relaxing diffuser will help them stay calm and focused.
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6. Thank You Wine Tumbler
Emblazoned on this tumbler are the words “thank you for being awesome” – thank you gifts for coworkers that explain exactly how you feel are a definite big win.
A fun gift that perfectly appreciates and inspires, the tumbler comes in 5 vibrant colors, is vacuum insulated and BPA free. A wonderful thank you gift for Christmas and any other holiday, they’ll think of you ever time they kick back to have a drink.
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7. Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
With a modern, unisex design, convenient handle and vintage aesthetic that adds the right amount of camp, this 16 oz. cup will be their favorite new travel mug. It keeps drinks hot for up to 5 hours and cold up to 10, more than enough time to get them through their crazy commute.
One of the best gifts to say thank you while making their days more enjoyable, this is one they’ll value.
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8. Foster Monitor Organizer
Thank you gifts for a teacher, and similarly always-on-the-go colleagues, that acknowledge just how busy they are make for thoughtful gifts.
Make it easier for them to keep track of meeting memos, reminders and other important info with this memo board that attaches directly to the left or right of their computer. The clip holder can even hold their smartphone so they never miss another message or email again.
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9. Tea Scented Erasers
Give the gift of lightly scented erasers as thank you gifts for coworkers who never fail to fix a mistake and appreciate the relaxing aromatherapy of tea.
Packaged in tea cartons, they can enjoy light smells of jasmine, green tea, chamomile, black tea and peppermint as they correct math computations or simply correct a spelling error on their to-do list. Either way they’ll love this fun gift.
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10. Zen Garden
Gift ideas for coworker sanity, like this mini Zen garden, are going to be much appreciated because they can make the day a little less stressful.
It comes in a black container and includes sand, a rake and smooth pebbles. It’s the perfect size for a desk or tabletop and looks great with any décor. This Zen Garden is a great way to reduce anxiety, relieve stress or start a conversation.
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11. Desk Fan
Finding gift ideas for a coworker that are actually useful is truly an accomplishment that will also earn you major brownie points.
Your coworker will love you forever for helping them stay cool with this awesome looking personal desk fan. USB-powered, it ensures maximum comfort by providing two speed settings and adjustable airflow.
Quiet and sturdy, it won’t disturb the office vibe.
12. Felt Letter Board
Not just one of best retirement gift ideas for coworkers, this felt letter board is perfect for all occasions.
340 characters (letters, numbers and punctuation) come with this board, allowing them to say whatever is on their mind. Bonus points if you write a message when you present it to them.
The premium oak frame can be hung or kept on the desk and the beautiful black felt has strong grip for the letters.
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13. Mini Desk Vacuum
Tiny dust balls and crumbs can plague the surrounding desk space, but this battery operated mini vacuum is powerful enough to clean it all up.
Available in three different farm animals, a cow, pig and cat, its one touch operation is easy and convenient.
When you need Secret Santa gift ideas for coworkers you don’t know that well, this mini desk vacuum is super helpful, super cute and there is no one who won’t get a laugh, too.
14. Sunrise Alarm Clock
No one will think you are telling them to get to work on time once they see this beautifully designed clock that simulates the sunrise. They will be grateful.
It wakes you up gently and has a night light with six changing colors and natural sounds.
Some gift ideas for a coworkers Christmas present can leave a bad taste. This alarm won’t be one of them.
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15. Desktop Mug Warmer
There’s no rule that says small gift ideas for coworkers can’t be just as good as a pricier item. With this gift they can keep their coffee or tea steaming hot, just the way everyone likes it, all morning.
The sleek, low profile won’t clutter their office space and it will look great even if they decide to take it home to use by the couch instead.
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16. Flip Over Mood Messages
Helping your coworker get something off their mind is what makes this flip-over message board one of the best gift ideas for coworkers.
They can greet clients and customers with humor or simply tell everyone that they are out for lunch, so don’t expect anything from them.
It comes with 30 unique messages as well as blank cards and an erasable pen so they can communicate their personal musings.
17. Cozy Blanket with Arms
For the co-worker who is always cold! this Premium Fleece Blanket with Sleeves by Pavilia | Warm, Cozy, Extra Soft, Functional, Lightweight (Charcoal, Kangaroo Pocket).
Coworker Thank You Gift Guide: The Dos and Don’ts
You may not know if it’s okay to give a thank you gift to someone you work with, even if you really want to.
If you do decide to go ahead and give your boss, assistant or colleague a gift, make sure it is an appropriate coworker gift by keeping in mind the tips below.
1. Make a list
Getting a thank you gift for someone at work is a personal gesture, so don’t feel pressured to buy a gift for anyone to whom you cannot offer sincere appreciation.
Write the names down of the people who you’d like to thank and check it at least three times to make sure you haven’t overlooked anyone.
2. Thoughtfully select a gift
Saying thank you, even if it just the words, should be done with appreciation and respect.
Don’t express thanks with a gift you found last minute at the gas station or downstairs gift shop. If they love tea, don’t buy a gift card to a coffee shop and if they use public transportation to commute, a gift basket is better off delivered to their home instead of brought to work.
1. Give gifts in front of everyone
Imagine if everyone but you got a gift; don’t make anyone feel that way. Thank you gifts for coworkers disguised as holiday gifts are a great way to get your message across without making anyone uncomfortable.
You can always have a gift delivered to their home or give it to them before or after work, too.
2. Get too personal
Yes, your coworker saved your butt with their amazing presentation skills, but be careful of crossing the line with your thank you. It’s easy to think of coworkers as friends, but this can lead to gifts that are too intimate or imply something you may not have meant.
Avoid gifting flowers, perfume, and products that make their question their hygiene or appearance unless you’re certain they already love the product.