Best Cheap Gift Ideas for Coworkers

Expert Contributor

Rose Annemarie

Whether it has become an obligation or you have been blessed with some hard to replace work friends it can be a hard daunting task to choose gifts for your co-workers, with a lot of pressure and stress coming with the task.

Although you may not be fortunate enough to choose you colleagues and co-workers you can take full ownership of what gift you are going to buy them and it doesn’t have to be something that is really expensive in order to show someone that you have put some thought and effort into their gift.

In our guide below we are going to show you 10 of the best gifts you could buy, whether you are looking for something for your boss, an assistant, male or female, we have got you covered with our selection of amazing gifts that are not going to break the bank too much.

The 10 Best Cheap Gifts for Coworkers

1. Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself

This is an image of a box full of affirmation cards with title "Affirmators" with a unicorn print on the black cover.

Best Features: 50 different cards so won’t feel repetitive. Made to be subtle and not too ‘Self-Helpy’. Matt finish is sleek.


The Affirmators! affirmation cards are amazing gifts for friends and coworkers. They are 3.75 x 5 inches in size and come with 50 different cards plus an instruction card. the idea of these cards is to cheer yourself up or give you a little guidance with some self-help work without being too ‘Self-Helpy’.

These kinds of cards can be great for someone who needs that little bit of encouragement throughout their day when sometimes their own worries take control.

Created and conceived by Suzi Barret and published by Knock Knock, these affirmation cards are the perfect gift ideas for anyone at work, not setting too much of a tone and really showing that you care for the person. There is an Affirmators universe that shows you how other people have been using the cards in their own lives may be sparking some ideas for yourself.

SPECIFICATIONS

Item Dimensions: 1.97 x 0.44 x 1.5 inches

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2. Cleaning Gel Universal Dust Cleaner for PC Keyboard

This is an image of a hand holding a cleaning gel in lemon-yellow and a keyboard behind it.

Best Features: Practical office coworker gift ideas. Leaves a lemony fresh smell. Not too expensive.


If you are looking for a gift that is practical then the Keyboard Cleaning gel by ColorCoral could be one of the best gift ideas you could think of for your coworkers. It works on home and office electrical devices such as keyboards, cameras, printers, telephones, speakers, air conditioning, and other appliances by getting into those hard to reach areas where dust and debris form.

It is made out of a safe biodegradable material not leaving your coworker with sticky hands, only a sweet-smelling lemon fragrance that has no stimulation to the skin. It is really easy to use, simply take a piece of the cleaning gel, knead it into a ball, then press the cleaning gel slowly into the keyboard and then pull away. As you pull away all of the dust will be carried away too with the cleaning gel leaving a tidy workspace.

This cleaning gel can also be used again and again, simply stop using when the gel starts to turn a dark color and replace with a fresh piece, never try and wash in water as it will damage the cleaning properties. These gift ideas are great as they smell good and are really practical in any office environment.

SPECIFICATIONS

Package Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.56 x 2.44 inches | Net Weight: 160g

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3. Moleskine Classic Notebook

This is an image of a notebook in hardcover with garter closure.

Best Features: PA practical gift for coworkers. Thick ivory paper. Leather-like Moleskine cover material. Available in a softcover or hardcover. Available in lots of different colors.


If you are looking for practical gift ideas for your coworker friends then the Moleskine classic notebook may be the perfect gift. They are the best notebooks for writing journals, a daily diary, taking notes in school, or in meetings. They are a simple gift idea but bring a sense of sophistication to the workplace and are sure to be used rather than set aside to never be thought of again. These Moleskine notebooks are loved by travelers and journalists due to their slim sleek designs.

There is an elastic closure band that lets you contain any notes and loose pieces of paper, which are all protected by the durable, leather-like Moleskine cover. The ivory pages that are inside this notebook are thick making them the perfect choice for fountain pen users with no ink bleeding through the paper.

These notebook gift ideas for your fellow coworker come with both soft or hardcovers in lots of different colors such as red, black, blue, gree, and brown. The binding is durable and has been developed for everyday use whether that is writing or sketching.

Deluxe quality pages make up the inside of the Moleskine notebook. They are dedicated to culture, memories, imagination, personal identity, and travel both in a physical and digital way. This ethos is brought to all of the Moleskine products ensuring the quality is always of the highest regard.

SPECIFICATIONS

Item Dimensions: 5 x 8.25 x 0.5 inches

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4. USB Cool Mist Humidifier

This is an image of a humidifier in white body with green-colored cactus detail on top.

Best Features: Quiet operation. Stops cold and flu germs from infecting anyone. Supplies moist airflow preventing any dryness to the skin. Automatic shut off time.


These USB Cool mist humidifiers are the perfect gift for your co-worker, work spouse, boss, assistant, pretty much anyone who is feeling the heat when they are stuck in the office on a warm summer day. It is completely powered by USB so can be connected to a PC, Laptop, Car charger, or any other USB outlet.

It has a 280ml volume with a 50ml spray volume. This cool-mist humidifier can moisturize your space preventing any stuff, dry air while also stopping any cold/flu germs from infecting your loved ones. The ultrasonic technologies and ultra-quiet design stop from annoying the person sat next to you while also preventing any dry and chapped skin in the dry seasons. They can also be used when you are trying to get a comfortable night’s sleep with the super quiet running time making for a much more comfortable sleeping environment.

The humidifier is safe with the automatic power-off protection that comes into place after 4 hours of use. This is a great feature if you fall asleep and don’t want it running all night. Always remember to make sure there is enough water in the device before every use. Also, it is worth noting that if your power source is lower than the 5V1A power supply needed these amazing coworker gift ideas may not work as intended.

SPECIFICATIONS

Package Dimensions: 5.6 x 4 x 3.9 inches | Power Supply: 5v1A | Volume: 280 mL

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5. Cute Portable Cartoon Mini Desktop Vacuum

Best Features: Ornamental design. Cartoon Ladybug Gag Gifts. Suitable for lots of different tasks.


If you have coworkers who are known for enjoying a snack or two at their desks, these Crumb Sweeper Desktop Mini Vacuum Desk Dust Cleaner with a cute beetle design could be the gag gifts you have been looking for which is also pretty practical. It can remove dirt from eraser marks, dust, crumbs, and cigarette ash. It can even clean your coworker’s car interior.

This mini keyboard vacuum comes with the best brush you could want when looking for a desk dust cleaner for your keyboard keeping everything safe and in working order. Simple and easy to use the mini vacuum requires 2 x AA batteries to run and the cute ladybug cartoon battle design will make your coworkers laugh every time you use it in the office.

A portable and handheld design let you clean with no strain at all being really easy to carry from crumb to crumb. Batteries are not included in the package but a red color mini desktop cleaner little helper is contained. The mini desktop vacuum is a lot more powerful than it looks and when it is not in use it makes the perfect desk ornament, the perfect gift for any coworker.

SPECIFICATIONS

Item Dimensions: 0.39 x 3.15 x 2.76 inches | Batteries: 2 AA

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6. Savvy Infusion Water Bottle

This is an image of an infusion tumbler with fruits around it.

Best Features: Money-back guarantee. Made from shatterproof material. 100% leak proof. Slim size makes it easy to carry.


For one of your female coworkers, this gift will be absolutely perfect, the popular Savvy infusion water bottle makes for the best gift for your coworker. Forget the business card holder, this water bottle has been designed with a unique handled cap with a silicone seal that provides superior quality overall. when screwed on tight it is 100% leak-proof and is also carbonated water-friendly.

The main problem with other infuser water bottles is that they are made from cheap materials that break easily and are hard to clean. With the Savvy Infusions Bottle, you will receive a shatterproof Tritan plastic that ensures they are built to last.

These gifts for women are made better because they are also practical so will get a lot of use out of them. Some other bottle designs are bulky and not nice to hold but the Savvy Infuser is sleek and stylish making it the perfect size to carry around with you, fitting easily into cupholders. Cleaning is also made easy as they are completely dishwasher safe.

These Savvy Infuser bottles are reusable and provide you with a healthy alternative to fizzy soda cans and sports drinks, and also helps to not waste so much plastic. There are lots of benefits that come with infusing water with fruits too, such as keeping energized and hydrated, suppressing appetite, burning fat, and improving skin. All you need to do is simply add fresh or frozen fruits along with your still or sparkling water to provide a fully infused flavor that is completely natural. They can also be used with tea infusions giving you that caffeine kick you have been craving.

The perfect companion for the gym, yoga, hiking, beach, office, and wherever life takes you, which is why it is such a good gift idea for your coworker. A warranty is also included in your purchase making this infuser bottle all the better.

SPECIFICATIONS

Item Dimensions: 10.4 x 3.3 x 3.4 inches | Capacity: 24 oz.

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7. Headphone Stand Headset Holder

This is an image of a headphone stand with headphones hanging on it.

Best Features: Small and Lightweight design. Stylish finish. Supports nearly all headphone types. Made from strong durable materials.


With the Headphone stand headset holder, you now have the perfect place to store your headphones in a safe place with less damage occurring like that could occur when placed inside a bag or in your jacket pocket. the holder will support most sized headphones such as Sennheiser 202 II HD598 HD 650 HD700, Dre Beats Beats Solo, Hyper X Cloud II’s, Astro A50’s, AT M50’s, and TB 420x, Audio-Technica, Koss PortaPro, Sony MDR7506, Philips, AKG K612, and loads more.

The stand is made from sturdy aluminum combined with TPU rubber that helps to provide a safe and stable foundation for your headphones. Always remember to ensure your desk is flat and dust-free in order for the stand to be fully safe and secure.

The stylish design is sleek ad unique looking amazing in any home, office, studio, or bedroom. If you have been looking for a gift for a coworker who is a real music fanatic then this could be a great option. The small size of only 8.85-inches in height, 3.7-inches in length, 3.7-inches in width, and lightweight make it so it can be taken with you wherever you go. Stylish and unique gift ideas that any of your coworkers would love.

SPECIFICATIONS

Item Dimensions: 8.85 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches

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8. FinalStraw Collapsible Reusable Metal Straw with Case

This is an image of a collapsible metal straw with case.

Best Features: Comes in a protective case. Camoes with a telescopic cleaning brush. Environmentally friendly. Dishwasher safe.


If you are looking for the perfect gift for your coworker then the Collapsible Reusable Metal Straw by FinalStraw may be the gift you have been looking for. It is a practical and self-sufficient gift that if your coworker is keen on being eco-friendly and saving the planet would absolutely love.

The straw is easy to assemble with no screwing necessary, and just like that your straw will be air-tight for hot or cold drinks, and even works great with lukewarm beverages if you are into them! Each FinalStraw comes with a telescopic cleaning brush that stores in the protective case that the actual straw can be fitted into. This allows you to clean on the go, but if you are home it’s good to know that these straws are completely dishwasher proof.

Traditional metals straws are rigid and bulky items to carry, but the FinalStraw folds up into a small case that can be attached to your keychain. These items are also TSA friendly meaning they can be taken anywhere in the world, no longer will you have to succumb to the wasting of plastic just because you have gone away on a trip, or even worse have to use one of the soggy cardboard straws.

They are designed to last a lifetime, so the price tag is actually really worth the money. These straws have been specifically designed to be completely eco-friendly whilst still using the highest quality materials in order to hold that lifetime lifespan. This may seem like it could be a gag gift for your colleague but after they have used it for a while there will be no turning back.

SPECIFICATIONS

Package Dimensions: 4.29 x 2.4 x 0.71 inches

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9. Single Steeps Loose Leaf Tea and Kati Tea Cup with Infuser and Lid

This is an image of a teacup set with tea infuser and lid.

Best Features: Cute Snowflake design. The large cup holds 12 ounces of liquid. Comes with 10 pre-portioned pouches of tea.


This the loose tea starter kit from Tea Forte are great gifts for coworkers who have a passion for tea. The double-wall ceramic tumbler has a beautiful snowflake design and the newly integrated stainless steel infuser makes steeping loose tea by the cup full a whole lot simpler.

There is an innovative double-wall construction with a matching lid that helps to keep the tumbler cozy and the tea inside hot, just how tea should be drunk. The set includes 10 pre-portioned loose leaf tea pouches, 2 of each of the 5 Winter Collection Blends available, brilliant coworker gift ideas.

The tumbler is a generous size being able to hold 12 ounces of liquid, and cleaning is made easy as the cup and lid are both dishwashers safe plus they are microwave safe too. If you are new to making tea in this infused way, here is a step by step guide that will show you exactly how to get the perfect cup of tea every time:

Pour the tea into the infuser – Rip open the specific tea pouch and pour the tea leaves into the infusing basket that comes with your cup.

Pour water over leaves – Place the infuser inside the cup, pour hot water over the leaves, and let it rest and brew for a while. There is information on the back of the packaging that tells you the optimum water temperature and steep time.

Sip and enjoy – After you have steeped the tea, place the infuser basket onto the upturned lid so that you can capture any excess.

SPECIFICATIONS

Package Dimensions: 6.1 x 5.4 x 3.7 inches | Capacity: 12 oz.

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10. Antner Color Changing Coffee Mug

This is an image of a heat-sensitive mug in blue color with earth print on one mug.

Best Features: Color changing ability. Perfect gifts for friends. Great thank you gifts.


Our final gifts for coworkers are the Antner Color Changing Coffee Mug. The space theme is really cool and your coworkers will think it is out of this world. The coffee mug is activated when a temperature of hot liquid is poured inside over 70°C. When your coffee mug reaches that temperature it should begin to change color revealing a blue earth design.

We only have one home, and the earth that we live in cannot be replicated, but the color-changing earth coffee mug will become more and more beautiful with every cup full. This mug is only suitable for hand washing as the heat of the dishwasher can cause color-changing technology to stop working over a period of time.

Really cool coworker gift ideas and anyone who is a lover of anything astrological or environmental. This color-changing technology is also a great indicator of whether your drink has begun to go cold. If you see that the original design has appeared on your coffee mug, you know that your coffee or tea is now cold helping you avoid a cold drink that you weren’t expecting.

SPECIFICATIONS

Package Dimensions: 6.4 x 5.5 x 4.3 inches | Capacity: 12 oz.

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Buyers’ Guide: Considerations for Buying Gifts for Your Co-workers

Jokes vs Genuine

In whatever work you are in, it is likely that most of your colleagues have a good sense of humor, but it is important to keep your gifts thoughtful, useful, or at least reflective of the person you are buying for. I suppose a white elephant styled gift could be funny in certain moments but that may not always be the case.

You never know how someone may react to a joke gift, even if it wasn’t meant to be serious at all, you could end up offending or insulting your colleagues which would be an office disaster.

Try and stick to what you know and possibly who you know. Knowing the person always makes gift-giving much easier in your office or workplace. Always remember you are not obliged to purchase gifts for your work friends but if it is culturally, and religiously inline with your beliefs then it can be a fun endeavor.

Try To Be Inclusive

No matter what the scenario, whether it is the school playground, going for a drink with friends, or buying a gift for a colleague, no one likes to be left out. If there are mention and interest of gift-giving for something like a secret Santa then invite the entire office to get involved. Remember that some people may not hold the same beliefs as you so will naturally decline and some people may just not be interested, but even a simple invitation can go a long way in keeping your work friends feeling included in the group.

On the other hand, though don’t force people to join as that can create pressure and some unwanted stress that they may have been trying to avoid. Always let people know that participation is optional, not mandatory. The last thing you want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable.

Make a list

If you work in a large office it is likely that you don’t know everyone on a first-name basis. So if you are buying gifts, don’t feel obliged to buy a gift from the guy upstairs who you bumped into on your first day on the tour of the building. It all really depends on the relationship you have with the people in your office.

If you do plan on giving gifts then stick to those people that you see day to day, not the people you see very rarely. Gift-giving is a personal thing anyway so it is always better to have some sort of relationship with the person you are buying coworkers gifts.

Set a Spending Limit

Before you begin buying your Christmas gifts or anything for your co-workers do yourself a big favor and set a spending limit. This will keep you from buying an extravagant gift for a certain co-worker that you may know a little bit more than another.

Try and keep the cap at a reasonable price, and if you try and take advantage of the holiday sales you can make your money go a lot further. $10/$20 per gift should be more than enough and a good place to start.

Give Some Thought

Thoughtful gifts go a long way, whether it is a boss, colleague, or an assistant that personal touch can be amazing. Try and take the time to think about what your co-worker may need or want. For example, a bookworm may love something like a novelty bookmark or a clip-on light, while the IT guy you know may appreciate Fist Aid Sticky Notes.

If you are not sure about what you can buy and your colleague works a similar or the same role as you try to think of something you may need for work, this could be a great way to spark some creative gift ideas.

Try and be Discrete

when the gifts have been bought and wrapped it is time to hand them out and when this tie comes never make a song and dance about it. You may end up alienating one of the co-workers who were missed from your shopping list.

A good idea is to arrive to work early and leave the gifts on a colleague’s desk or arrange a time after work or at lunch that is specifically for exchanging gifts. This way no one is going to feel left out and the people you have bought presents for won’t feel any kind of awkward environment either.

Keep it professional

You may feel that the relationship you have with a few of your co-workers is really close and you are more like friends, but this doesn’t mean that you should go too personal with your gift ideas. A colleague could misinterpret your intentions with a gift that is maybe a little more immature.

You should also try to avoid any gifts that could be subtle implications on that specific person. For example, if you bought someone smellies and body washes they could see that as an indication that you think they smell and feel offended by the gift, even if it was an innocent purchase from yourself.

Forget the booze

A nice bottle of red always goes down a treat if someone is hosting you but it may not go down as well in the workplace. You may not know someone’s personal life completely and they could be a recovering alcoholic or be abstaining from drinking any alcohol for a medical, personal, or religious reason.

What to you may seem like a generous gift could come across as offensive and create a bit of an awkward atmosphere in a working environment.


FAQs

What are good inexpensive Christmas gifts for coworkers?

Inexpensive gift ideas for a coworker at Christmas can come in different shapes and sizes. Novelty gifts seem more acceptable this time of years such as a personalized mouse pad or a screen cleaner. If this person is a little closer to you then a picture frame could be a great choice as it adds more sentiment too, it makes a thoughtful gift that will last for a lot longer. Remember with the jokey gifts to try not to offend anyone, so if the joke is the white elephant then you may be okay but anything other than that which could upset anyone is definitely worth avoiding.

What is a good $5 gift?

A $5 gift may seem like it will be hard to come b, but there are lots of gifts that can come under this low price tag, and some very handy ones at that. If you are working in an office and you need to take notes or need reminders a lot of the time a note pad or a pack of sticky notes could be a great gift. Something cheap and practical will always godown a treat. A desk accessory could be a great choice or even some ergonomically designed paper clips.


 

About This Expert

Rose Annemarie
Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!