gifts they might actually want

20 Gifts for Every Type of Boss

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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If your team partakes in gift-giving, there’s a pretty high chance you might find yourself in the daunting position of having to shop for your boss. You want your present to show your appreciation for their leadership — but it can’t read too generic. You might also want your choice to reflect that you’ve gotten to know them a bit as a person — but it also can’t feel too familiar.

“Tricky” doesn’t even begin to describe this scenario, but we’re here to help you avoid a faux pas. Ahead, I’ve brainstormed 20 tasteful and appropriate (and, dare we say, fun) gift ideas for every type of boss, whether they’re a dog lover, still struggling to figure out WFH, or successfully working remotely from more time zones than you. All these standouts have been pulled from our archives, and many are tried-and-true Strategist favorites — some even come recommended by actual managers and employees. To make your search even easier, I’ve organized everything by price, plus every product below can be found on Amazon.

Gifts for bosses under $25

For the boss who’s bored of Maldon

Their packed lunches will taste better (and feel fancier) with a sprinkle of smoked sea-salt crystals. With a light-as-air texture, the crunchy flakes can finish almost any food, from scrambled eggs to chocolate-chip cookies.

For the boss who takes Zoom calls on mobile

Omoton Adjustable Cell Phone Stand
From $11
From $11

This sleek-looking stand will turn their smartphone into a second monitor that can be adjusted for vertical and landscape viewing. It’s a favorite of Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness.

For the boss who prefers tea over coffee

$17 for 2

A tea infuser will let your recipient unlock stronger flavors while eliminating the waste produced by single-use bags. The lid also serves as a drip tray so they can brew into a mug directly at their desk.

For the boss who only wears stilettos

Their footwear choices will no longer end in blisters and numb toes with these ultracushy foot pads, which make walking in high heels easier and more comfortable. We heard about these from a fitness influencer’s assistant, who buys them in droves for her high-heel-loving boss.

For the boss who cranks the office AC …

If your boss constantly complains of sweating through their dress shirt, this USB-rechargeable neck fan has bendable arms and three speeds so they can adjust the breeze (and aim it wherever they like). It can also be converted to tabletop mode if the office starts roasting them for wearing it.

… and the one who’s on the 72-degree side of the thermostat wars

Get your manager this small-but-mighty space heater that’s also highly portable. It’s compact enough to fit under or on top of a desk, plus the ceramic coils are designed to heat up in seconds.

For the boss whose blood pressure you’re worried about

While you work on persuading them to start a meditation practice, help them relax in the meantime with incense from the Tokyo-based company Nippon Kodo, a Strategist favorite for years. There are plenty of scents to choose from, and each 40-stick box has a colorful striped sleeve that’s too pretty to hide with wrapping paper.

For the boss whose pet keeps chewing through their loafers


Redirect their dog’s energy to this plush lamb, which I can almost guarantee they’ll still want to play with even when the stuffing’s ripped out. But when it finally does needs replacing, it’s very affordable for a squeaky toy — and it happens to be the one an assistant to a best-selling novelist purchases on repeat for her boss’s pandemic puppy.

Gifts for bosses under $50

For the boss who hates being weighed down by their work computer

Portability is this folding keyboard’s key feature, which makes it a great gift for a boss who hates lugging around their company laptop. It also has a kickstand for propping up a smartphone horizontally and using it as a small screen.

For the boss who wants a new productivity hack

This 60-minute timer could be a nice motivational tool for a boss who wants more structure to their work-from-home day. It’s completely disconnected to other devices, which will eliminate the temptation to check notifications (or doom-scroll).

For the boss who needs a break from Bluetooth

After accidentally washing my AirPods, I purchased these lightweight, retro-looking headphones, which I highly recommend for anyone tired of glitchy pairing connectivity. Porta Pros receive an analog signal, which allows them to reach higher volumes than most wireless earbuds.

For the boss who’s working on their posture

Ease their chronic back problems with this S-shaped massage tool that’s designed to relieve tension in hard-to-reach spots without twisting or straining. Ottessa Moshfegh and Daniel Kwan are fans.

For the boss who’s also a cyclist

This cheery (and durable) bike lock is the perfect gift for a boss who enjoys biking to work. It uses a three-digit combination so they don’t have to worry about keeping track of a key.

For the boss who has PTO planned this month

Upgrade your boss’s next travel experience with this loop-shaped pillow that can comfortably support their neck or be propped behind their back for lumbar support. It’s made from soft, antibacterial nylon bamboo that always stays at just the right temp.

For the boss who owns a walking pad

These monochromatic Bala weights, which can be worn around the wrists or ankles, are a simple way to add resistance to your boss’s daily lunch-break walk. Available as a one- or two-pound set, the slim bands are highly adjustable thanks to ultrastrong velcro, making them easy to hide under a pair of work pants.

For the boss who needs to work on their hydration

It may seem like an uninspiring gift, but Sam Sanders, host of Vulture’s culture podcast Into It, says this Yeti water bottle changed his life. It has two spout options — one for gulping and another for sipping — making it perfect for chugging water at the office (or transporting a beer to the park after work).

For the boss whose desk is under there … somewhere

Declutter their workspace once and for all with this storage bar from Strategist-favorite Yamazaki, whose clean lines are practically a work of art. The floating arm is ideal for propping up pens or glasses, and the base tray can house smaller odds and ends, like keys or their favorite mints.

Gifts for bosses under $100

For the boss who forgets to download a film before business trips

This adapter will allow your manager to connect their Bluetooth headphones to any in-flight entertainment system so they’ll no longer have to ask for an airline-issue wired pair. The nifty gadget also eliminates having to unplug their entire setup when a seatmate inevitably gets up to use the toilet.

For the boss who’s never not at 2 percent

If your boss keeps stealing your charger, get them this multi-device charging station that unfolds to give their phone — plus their AirPods and Apple Watch — some extra juice. And because there aren’t any cords or plugs involved, they can charge on the go.

For the boss who tries to be the company photographer

A boss with an office wall full of photographs will appreciate this digital frame that can be used to display images and videos (with sound) from their camera roll. Connecting to the device only requires a USB stick or MicroSD card, and they can work the included remote to adjust the screen without having to get up.

The Strategist is a new site designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best notebook, black T-shirts, fashion-editor-approved jeans, toothbrush, and apartment décor. Note that all prices are subject to change.

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20 Gifts for Every Type of Boss