Buying Holiday Gifts for Coworkers When You Work Remotely

Buying Holiday Gifts for Coworkers When You Work Remotely

With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about holiday gifts for your coworkers! Whether they’ve given you entertainment, a helping hand, or just made work a bit easier over the past year, you can let them know you’re thinking about them. However, you don’t have to spend a bundle to find a thoughtful gift. As the popular saying goes, it’s not what you buy, it’s the thought that counts. So if you’re worried about what to get for your remote teammates, here are some ideas to get the ball rolling.

How Much Should You Spend on Holiday Gifts for Coworkers?

Before you dive into gift ideas, you should first set a spending limit for each of your coworkers. This will vary greatly depending on how many coworkers you have and who you interact with, but a gift in the $10 to $20 range should suffice while still giving you plenty of options. However, you can increase the amount you spend based on the recipient or if you have more expendable income this year than you expected.

Just don’t stretch your finances too thin. Gifts for clients, bosses, friends, and family should take priority, especially if you don’t have a ton of money for gifts. If you’re on the fence about giving a gift due to monetary restrictions, a simple holiday email or something for $5 or less should do the trick.

Who Should Get a Gift? Does Everyone Get a Gift?

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to buy a gift for everyone. This depends on your finances and whether you consider someone gift-worthy. As a general rule, someone you interact with daily or those within your department would fall on your gift list. If you’re new to a company, you may also want to ask a trusted coworker or boss what the gift-giving policy is and whether the company has unwritten rules about gifts.

An unwritten rule might be a money limit on a gift, buying a gift for everyone, or gag gifts only. Moreover, you may want to see if you can give gifts to supervisors and bosses, as some companies prohibit this simply due to perceived favoritism or quid pro quo. Gifts and gift-giving vary in different work environments, so adjust your budget, expectations, and gift-giving accordingly.

Virtual Holidays Gifts for Coworkers

In the spirit of a virtual workplace, giving virtual holiday gifts to coworkers just makes sense. Thankfully, virtual gifts today are more than just the ubiquitous Starbucks or Amazon gift card. Not that there’s anything wrong with those gifts (who doesn’t love coffee and a marketplace with almost everything?). But you now have more options than ever to provide a meaningful gift based on your coworkers’ interests, an inside joke between you and them, or something else they might find amusing. Here are just a few gifts to consider:

Entertainment Subscriptions

Every day, more and more television and movie services continue to pop up. While these were once expensive, the battle for more viewers has led to a bidding war for new subscribers. That’s where you get to cash in.

Companies like Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV+, and Discovery+ all start between $5 and $10. You don’t necessarily have to pay for an entire year, but just getting a subscription for a few months is a novel way to give the gift of film and television to the perpetual movie lover or semi-couch potato.

Online Classes

Not every person on your gift list will want something that directly pertains to work, but providing a virtual option for self-improvement is a great holiday gift for coworkers. Companies like Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare all provide worthwhile classes that can improve a person’s on-the-job performance and productivity.

Browse Around

If you’re not exactly sure what to buy, trying a company like Hoppier might give you some insight. With more than 1 million virtual gift options and the ability to choose the monetary amount for your gift, you can easily tailor an online gift to the interests or liking of your coworker.

Bonus Tip: If you have another remote worker in your life, such as a spouse, friend, or significant other, you can always get them something that makes their job just a little bit easier. If you want to become a gift-giving legend, check out a few of these remote work-friendly ideas.

Inexpensive Holiday Gifts for Coworkers

If virtual gifts aren’t a concern, or you want to provide something more tangible while sticking to a budget, you have plenty of inexpensive options. Even for just a few dollars, you can give something that’s sure to give them a chuckle or work its way into their daily routine. When money’s tight, or you need to buy several gifts at once, try a few of these inexpensive holiday gifts for coworkers.

Work-related gifts are the perfect holiday gifts for coworkers — especially those who you don’t know as well as others. Plus, you can buy a gift on the cheap that’s still useful. Some options for cheap work-related gifts might include:

  • Humorous memo pad
  • Small houseplant
  • Wine tumbler or coffee mug
  • Pen/pencil holder
  • Motivational book
  • Calendar
  • Luggage tags
  • Custom bobblehead

Essentially, anything that goes on a desk, accompanies a person on a work-related trip, or makes the home office a bit more enjoyable is in fair play.

Health and Wellness Gifts

Nothing is more important to a remote worker than health and wellness. Although remote work gives many people more time for work-life balance and better mental and emotional health, some additional holiday gifts for coworkers can provide another tier of wellness that will come with appreciation in return. Some of these gifts may run a bit higher, but at about $30 or less, you can still give a useful present:

Coffee or Tea

If there’s a virtual worker who doesn’t like coffee or tea, they’re in the severe minority. That’s what makes the gift of caffeine (or just a bit of flavor) so appreciated in the remote world. Shopping around for exotic flavors, Keurig cups from small-batch companies, or just giving a flavors-of-the-world type of gift can lift spirits and heighten focus all at the same time!

The Best Gift: Praise Where Praise Is Due

Everyone loves getting a gift, but if buying gifts puts a strain on your holiday finances, don’t feel obligated to buy something for everyone. In many cases, a holiday greeting card or a thank you is enough to show your appreciation for a coworker. Praise where praise is due is an undeniable way to lift a person’s spirits, just as you would enjoy hearing that you make someone’s job just that much easier.

No matter what you decide to buy, the gesture of keeping someone in mind during the holidays is an act of pure generosity. Around the holidays, you might just be surprised how much a holiday gift for coworkers can make all the difference.

What do you think are the best gifts for remote coworkers? How do you reward your virtual team? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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