18 Small, Inexpensive Thank You Gifts for Coworkers

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A coworker isn’t always someone who merely shares an employer. Because your job may be a major part of your life, your coworkers can also play a significant role in both your professional and personal life.

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You may want to show certain coworkers you appreciate them with small, affordable thank you gifts. You could give a thank you gift to coworkers after you’ve completed a major project, when they’re retiring, or any other instance you want to express your gratitude.

These ideas will help. If you’re trying to think of the best thank you gifts for coworkers, keep these gifts in mind.

Homemade Thank You Gifts for Coworkers 

A gift you make comes from the heart. It tells coworkers you value their hard work and friendship so much you wanted to make something for them yourself. Check out these options.

1. Desk organizer

The right thank you gift is often something your coworker can use at work. For instance, you might help a busy and hardworking coworker stay a little calmer on the job by making a desk organizer for documents, office supplies, and similar items.

2. Unofficial award

A simple but fun way to say thank you to a coworker who played an important part in a major project is to draft up an unofficial certificate or customize a trophy as an award for their contributions. Bonus points if you attempt humor as you describe the role your coworker played!

3. Leather cord roll

In our digital world, there’s a good chance your coworkers use plenty of devices that require charger cords. Help a coworker stay organized with this easy DIY gift.

To make it, buy a piece of leather 12 inches long and six inches wide. Cut one end into a pointed shape (like the end of a tie), with each side of the point about four inches long. Then, cut four sections of small parallel lines an equal distance apart from each other on the underside of the leather, creating notches.

A coworker can insert bundled up cords beneath these “flaps” to hold them in place. Your coworker can wrap the leather into a scroll shape for a highly convenient cord holder.

4. Relaxation basket

You don’t need stellar arts and crafts skills to create a homemade thank you gift for a coworker.

For instance, maybe you want to show a coworker you deeply appreciate their hard work on a long and demanding project. If so, you could tell them that they've earned some relaxation time with a basket featuring bath products, candles, and more.

Delivery-Friendly Thank You Gifts for Coworkers

It’s easier than ever to send thank you gifts via delivery services. Here are a few examples a coworker might enjoy.

5. Subscriptions

Show coworkers your appreciation with a gift that aligns with one of their interests. A delivery-friendly gift is worth considering.

This type of gift can be an annual magazine subscription, a subscription box, or anything else coworkers can receive by mail (or email) on a regular basis.

6. New home office supplies

These days, you may not share a working environment with all (or any!) of your coworkers. You may have to give a thank you gift to a coworker who works from home.

In a traditional office, an office manager is typically responsible for purchasing new office supplies. However, you can surprise remote colleagues with new office supplies if you suspect they’re running low.

7. Groceries (during a difficult time)

Often, thank you gift ideas for coworkers can also function as sympathy gift ideas. For instance, maybe a coworker continues to help your team work toward its goals and at the same time, must plan a funeral or memorial service.

In this case, grocery delivery may be the perfect gift. Maybe your coworker could use some help buying food for a post-funeral service at their home. Maybe they're so busy making arrangements and trying to keep up with work that you suspect they don’t have time to buy groceries for themselves right now. Either way, if you have good reason to believe this type of gift would help them during this difficult time, it’s an option to consider.

(Just remember, as with celebration of life etiquette, sympathy etiquette involves making sure you know a coworker will have the time and space to accept this type of gift when it arrives.)

8. Surprise meal

Surprise your hardworking coworker with a meal if you know that one of their favorite restaurants in the area delivers. You can also consider giving them a restaurant gift card so they can treat themselves to a meal during their free time.

Store-Bought Thank You Gifts for Coworkers

As convenient as delivery gifts may be, that doesn’t mean a classic store-bought gift can’t still be the perfect thank you.  

9. Houseplant

Don’t reject this idea simply because it’s not the most original! A houseplant often makes an ideal thank you gift for a coworker not only because it can be affordable, but also because research has shown that keeping even just a little bit of greenery in your workspace can have a major positive impact on your mood and productivity.

10. Quality coffee thermos

The most practical items often make the best thank you gifts for coworkers. For instance, maybe you’re giving a coworker a thank you gift because they're the type of colleague who can stay motivated, productive, and focused, even when working long hours.

If your colleague is also the type of coworker who uses coffee to help maintain that work ethic, they're sure to appreciate a quality coffee thermos that will keep their favorite brew hot all day long.

11. Snacks

Sometimes you want to say thank a coworker for your mutual friendship. Other times, you want to spontaneously thank a coworker if they came through during a particularly stressful day at work.

On these days, you may be able to quickly run to the store and pick up your coworker’s favorite snacks as a surprise gift.

12. Electronics organizer

Are you trying to think of a thank you gift for a coworker who manages to keep the entire team on task (while also staying on top of their own tasks) despite having to travel for work often? If so, get them an electronics or tech organizer case.

In this day and age, anyone who travels frequently for work probably needs to bring along quite a few digital devices. This type of gift will help a coworker stay organized on the road.

‘Goodbye and Thank You’ Gifts for Coworkers

People often give thank you gifts to coworkers when they’re retiring or leaving to start other jobs. Consider one of these gifts.

13. Thank you video

A thank you gift for a coworker doesn’t always need to be something you spend money on. For instance, sometimes a celebration of life ceremony includes a video showing clips of a person who’s passed on.

Fortunately, you can show this type of video on many other occasions, including going-away parties for coworkers. The video can include clips and images from throughout their career, along with thank you messages.

14. A weekend getaway

Yes, this list is technically about small and inexpensive thank you gifts, but if your team at work is large enough, surprising a retiring coworker with a weekend getaway could be affordable if you split the cost among all team members. You’ll simply need to make sure everyone is comfortable with the expense.

15. ‘Thanks for the memories’ framed photo

Is your coworker leaving to start a job elsewhere? If so, show your appreciation with a relevant photo in a “Thanks for the memories” frame they can keep at their new desk.

16. Retirement goals book

A quick Google search reveals there are plenty of books that allow retirees to list their various post-work goals, helping them focus much in the same way a bucket list works.

17. Thank you message book

Like a sympathy message card, a small booklet or scrapbook in which you and your officemates write thank you letters to a retiring coworker could help your coworker realize just how much you’ve always cared.

18. Online class

Sometimes being a good coworker means not spending as much time focusing on your own passions as you might like, because you spend much of your time focusing on your job.

When a coworker retires, help them explore their interests and gobs of free time with an online class, like a language learning course.

Thank You Gifts for Coworkers: Showing Appreciation On the Job

There are many reasons to say thank you to a coworker. Whether you’re showing appreciation because they helped you learn the ropes as a new hire, thanking them for their hard work on a major project, or sending them off to enjoy retirement, consider these gift ideas.

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