Gifts for the Coworker

Getting gifts for coworkers is a delicate art that, if done wrong, could result in negative feelings on both sides. The last thing you want is to be dubbed the office cheapskate, or the office weirdo when you buy a work acquaintance an expensive piece of jewelry. Be it for a Christmas shindig or a birthday, you should always follow the same rules when it comes to buying gifts for coworkers.

If you think it's too much, it generally is

The worst thing you could do when buying a gift for a coworker is getting something too expensive. While your family members might become annoyed when their gifts are less than they expected, coworkers often have the opposite reaction. If too much thought, money or effort has seemingly gone into a gift, it could look like you're trying to get something in return for your present. This could leave the recipient feeling uncomfortable, especially if your relationship is strictly that of coworkers. It's a bit like a movie scene in which a head-over-heels guy gives the girl he just started dating an over-the-top necklace, and she freaks out.

Keep it simple

The best present for a coworker is one that requires minimal effort and thought as far as selection. For instance, a gift card to his or her favorite store or even just a greeting card is far better than an expensive watch for a fellow worker. It's not expected that coworkers spend lavish amounts of money on each other, so meet those low expectations and keep it simple. Something generic that's easy to get is generally the best gift. Good examples are a comical mug or a desk toy. That being said, even those inexpensive and generic gifts should be done tastefully. You probably shouldn't get a stack of identical dollar store cards and give them to everyone. Such moves will label you a cheapskate.

The overall goal of interoffice gifting is to bring a smile to someone's face without focusing too much negative attention on yourself. For example, there isn't much to discuss when it comes to gift certificates, but something a little more expensive or a little more personal can trigger all sorts of reactions. Unless you're friends or interact other than at work, keep gifts for coworkers simple.

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