It can be hard to know how to give a gift to your male coworker.
On the one hand, you want to "make nice" and genuinely show kindness to the fellow employees you like/care about on their birthday, work milestone, or other special event.
On the other hand, you don’t want to do anything that could be misinterpreted or misconstrued. The last thing you want is for people to think that you’re using gifts to work your way up the company/corporate ladder.
Which is what makes choosing gifts for a male co-worker so hard.
Below, we’re going to share with you a list of the best gift ideas for your male co-workers, items they’ll love but that are “safe” enough to give to someone you work with.
As you peruse the list in search of a good gift, remember:
For 2022, we've outlined a selection of gifts every coworker will enjoy. Our Gifts for Coworkers Guide is one of the many gift guides available at WERD. Tapping into our 12 years of gear & gadget experience, we've hunted down the best finds for every type of guy, giving you the confidence to gift like a pro.
You don’t want to hand out gifts at official company/group events like holiday parties or office milestones.
Instead, keep your gifts for personal events:
Unless you interact with that coworker outside of work, the office is likely the only place you’ll be able to give them a gift.
There are some exceptions to this. For example, let’s say you’re going out for drinks after work, or there’s a company party planned off-site at a restaurant. In these cases, you can give your coworker the gift once you’re away from the office.
However, if there’s nothing planned, you’ll have to give the gift at the office. Make sure to check your company’s office gift policy. If there is no official policy, check with your boss or HR just to be safe.
Even if your company’s office gift policy is that gifts at the workplace are welcome, make a point of being discreet in your gift-giving. You’re not doing it to show off, but to show the recipient how much you care. You can do that more effectively in private than making a public spectacle out of it.
Note: Ideally, you should just give gifts to the coworkers you interact with most frequently, or those on your team. Don’t worry about getting everyone at the office a gift (unless it’s a small company with only a few employees).
Again, you’re not giving a gift to show off to your coworkers how thoughtful you are or how much you can afford to spend. Money is a sensitive subject, and gifts can make a lot of people feel bad.
That’s why it’s critical that you give your gifts privately—either outside the office, or someplace no one sees you. Don’t make a show out of it or flaunt your generosity. That’s gift-giving in the worst way!
And keep your gifts reasonable. Try to spend no more than $50 on a gift for your coworker. They have others in their lives to give them gifts; yours is just a nice "bonus".
Gift-giving to coworkers is already enough of a minefield, and trying to give a gift to your boss or manager will all but guarantee that something goes wrong. Someone will think you’re trying to use the gifts to "get in good" with your boss or bribe your way up the ladder.
Sherri Athay, who authored the book Present Perfect: Unforgettable Gifts for Every Occasion, advises against giving gifts to your boss or manager. Better to steer clear and avoid any misunderstandings or misconceptions.
However, if you really want to give your boss/manager a gift (as a way of thanking them for being so great to work with, or for any special professional consideration/attention/support they may have shown you), something small and personal like baked goods is considered acceptable.
If a co-worker gives you a gift, it’s not necessary to reciprocate with a gift back. However, it’s definitely imperative that you send a thank-you card to appreciate the gift—and to show that you’re a well-mannered person who respects the time and money that went into getting you that gift.
If you really want to get them a gift, make sure to do so on the next occasional where it is acceptable to do so, rather than reciprocating immediately. Sending a "thank-you gift" can create obligations where neither of you wants any.
Business gifts can be a great way to keep your company in the minds (and hearts) of your best clients, vendors, and suppliers. They can actually help to establish stronger ties and improve on your relationship.
The great thing about client gifts is that they’re welcome any time of the year, and there’s no need for any excuse of an occasion. However, it’s always a great idea to send gifts when your clients, suppliers, or vendors celebrate important milestones (the company’s anniversary), or on the client/boss/CEO’s birthday.
Gifts aren’t going to be the best solution to build a relationship with clients and vendors, but it can improve on an existing relationship. Make sure your gifts are relevant and appropriate to the person receiving the gift and show how much you value them, specifically.
At WERD, we spend every day of every year uncovering the latest in men's gadgets and gear. Try going through some of our categories for more gifting inspiration. A few to try: Gear for Men, Cool Gadgets, Books for Men, Stuff for the Home.
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