Coming up with gift ideas for co-workers — whether they’ve been a longtime desk-mate or you just see them onscreen every week — can be challenging. But the general principles remain the same as with any other gift: You’re looking for items that are thoughtful (and affordable) and that they’ll enjoy using. We did the legwork for you and hunted down the best gifts for less than $50 for every type of co-worker, broken down into six categories (and if you’re shopping for something specific, jump ahead using the table of contents). Whether they’re a foodie, an amateur skin-care scientist, or constantly trying to improve their desk space, we’ve found a tried-and-true Strategist favorite they’ll enjoy. We also have guides for the rest of your list — including everyone from tween boys to grandparents.
Food and drink
For the co-worker who’s two coffees in by 9 a.m.
Because their first cup shouldn’t be cold by the time they log on.
For the co-worker who likes to bring lunch from home
For the environmentally conscious co-worker
A good-looking container for stowing scraps.
For the co-worker who loves to cook
For the co-worker who has a stash of rare teas
For the co-worker whose homemade bakes are Great British Baking Show–worthy
For the co-worker who brings instant ramen for lunch
Help them level up their noodles.
For the co-worker whose favorite food group is chocolate
This pack comes with six different flavors, including nougat, caramel, and sea salt.
For the co-worker who likes their coffee piping hot
This insulated mug’s handle makes it the perfect companion for a commute or walk across the office, and it comes in many fun colors as well as stainless steel.
For the co-worker with a secret condiment stash
Self-care and beauty
For the co-worker returning from parental leave
This roller will help them perk up and refresh their eyes after a sleepless night.
For the co-worker who’s always complaining about their aches and pains
For the co-worker battling winter dryness
This moisturizing cream — which has been recommended to us over and over by makeup artists and celebrities — has an ultrarich texture that will help keep their skin dewy and nourished.
For the co-worker who’s training for a marathon
For the co-worker who spends their weekends on the trails
For the co-worker who’s a frequent flyer
This Dopp kit has plenty of room for even the most rigorous skin-care routine, and it has a nice handle for lugging around.
For the co-worker who bikes to the office
This compact, powerful steamer can de-wrinkle their shirt while they’re changing from their commute attire to their office wardrobe. It’s travel-friendly too.
For the co-worker who always asks to borrow your charger
They can carry this one with them to lunch.
For the co-worker who does everything on their phone
Their fingers will thank you.
For the office karaoke star
They already have a go-to song, so give them a go-to mic to belt their tunes with. This one has a simple cordless design.
For the co-worker who multitasks
A stand that lets them watch videos or read the news while they eat lunch.
For the co-worker who eats at their desk
A pen-sized brush that will help them clear crumbs from underneath their keys.
For the co-worker who still uses their trackpad
This mouse is tiny enough to carry in a bag on a daily commute, making it a suitable companion for their office desk and work-from-home days.
For the co-worker with a tangled nest of cables
These clips come in a variety of colors to make it easier to tell which cable goes with which device.
For the co-worker who travels light
Having a wallet attached to their phone means one less thing to worry about at the TSA checkpoint.
For the co-worker with some faulty keys
Its keys are comfy to type on, it comes in enough colors to match any desk decor, and it won’t click and clack as they type.
For the co-worker who’s always running late
An old-school watch they can flash when they walk into their next meeting (on time).
For the co-worker whose phone is always running low
This charger also acts as a stand so they can watch videos or keep an eye on their feeds while their phone gets a boost.
For the co-worker who stays up late reading
Now they won’t have to get up and turn the light off before bed.
For the co-worker who desperately needs a new work bag
For the minimalist co-worker who likes to stay organized
This wooden desk organizer has a large drawer for them to stuff all their office supplies. “Plus, the bamboo helps bring a bit of nature to a sterile office area,” says Daniel Loya of Spaces Transformed.
For the co-worker whose meeting notes are a work of art
Every page of this notebook has a different grid design, so they’ll never run out of inspiration. “This pattern is simultaneously a constraint (because grid) and a mild creative prompt (because variable),” says Strategist contributor Molly Young.
For the co-worker who likes to send a handwritten note
For the co-worker who likes to decorate their desk
A vintage-inspired vase that’s a conversation starter.
For the co-worker who needs to kick their feet up to think
For the co-worker who prefers to keep an analog calendar
For the co-worker cutting down on kitchen waste
They’re better at cleaning up messes than paper towels, and the cheerful lemon print will brighten their day.
For the co-worker who likes their office green
Even the beginner plant parent can care for this plant, which will look great on their desk. It even comes with a pot.
For the co-worker who just got a dog
For the co-worker with a playful kitten
This catnip-filled toy can keep their furry pal busy for hours. Nora Wood, adoption event coordinator for Anjellicle Cats, calls the Yeowww! the “best catnip toy” because it’s a great shape for kicking around, sniffing, and snuggling.
For the co-worker who’s taken up birding
They’ll be able to spot the difference between a sparrow and a house finch in no time.
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