During the holiday season, a gift can be a way for you to express your care and appreciation for someone. The same applies to a co-worker. By getting a special gift for them you will show that you are grateful for your shared work relationship. If you decide you want to buy your co-worker a holiday gift, however, there are a few things you should keep in mind before purchasing one.

Holiday gift box wrapped in plain brown paper, with ribbon, pine needles, leaves, baubles, twine, and scissors

Photo by pinstock on Getty Images

Be Aware of The Rules of The Office

What you should investigate beforehand is whether gift-giving in the office is allowed. Although this may sound silly, there might be a specific reason for your boss to ban gift-giving. This is especially important to know if you are new to the office, so make sure you ask office management first if it is allowed before spending your money.

Personalized Gifts

Now that you know whether you can proceed with your idea, the next thing you need to know is what you should be getting for your co-worker. Items such as clothes, perfume, or jewellery may be too personal for a professional relationship. However, any gift that reveals your thoughtfulness can be acceptable. Keep in mind that some may have dietary restrictions or food allergies if you are wanting to gift them food items. You should also not gift alcohol to someone who is a non-drinker as it may be for religious reasons. A safe choice can mean that you choose to purchase something office appropriate such as stationary or office décor.

Price Limits

Although you are expressing appreciation, do not go overboard with buying expensive gifts. In contrast, do not buy anything too cheap as it may come across as thoughtless. A good price range to consider is $20-$50. 

Meaningful Shopping

A meaningful gift does not have to be expensive. A good place to start can be by making a list of your co-worker’s likes or dislikes. This will guide you when shopping for a thoughtful gift acceptable to a co-worker.

Gift Cards and Cash

Gifting money will be inappropriate for a co-worker unless it is towards a charity fund. Gift cards, however, are a good choice once you’ve established what their likes or dislikes are. This will give them the free reign to buy what they need without mistake. A good example would be if you noticed your co-worker always had a cup of coffee from a café, then gifting them a gift card for that café would be appreciated.

Your Intentions

Your intention is what is the most important, the point is you shouldn’t buy a gift as a bribe or to win favour as this will be exposed. Instead, it should be given with genuine affection without wanting anything in return.

Although there might be a lot to consider before buying a gift if your intention is just to show appreciation – their appreciation of your gift is what you will be aiming for.

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