Inexpensive Gift Ideas for a Coworker

by Kathy Adams

Buying -- or making -- gifts for your coworkers need not be an expensive affair. Opt for gifts that are useful around the office or at home, such as earbuds, or whip up a batch of your favorite homemade treats for workmates who enjoy snack breaks.

Beverage Boosters

For the coworker continually complaining that her coffee gets cold too quickly, offer a USB-powered mug warmer. The device plugs right into the computer and provides a mug-sized hot plate ideal for coffee, tea, cocoa or even a cup of soup. A thermos helps ensure your coworker has enough warm drinks to last throughout the day, whether you work in an office or on an outdoor job site. Offer a spill-proof mug or travel mug for an office friend who has spilled her drink ... more than once.

Earfuls of Audio

If the guy at the desk next to you blasts a genre of music that makes you want to cringe, offer a set of earbuds or headphones, so he can keep the music to himself as the rest of the office breathes a sigh of relief. Offer USB-powered travel speakers, suitable for both phones and computers alike, to a coworker more mindful while enjoying his favorite jams. A bluetooth headset comes in handy for a coworker inclined to talk on his phone while driving, or who wrangles numerous calls each day at work.

Homemade, Handmade Goodness

If you enjoy crafting, baking or cooking, whip up batches of a few of your favorite creations to give to your coworkers. A homemade disinfectant spray or room refresher with a hint of lemon, orange or peppermint essential oil adds a nice fragrance. Spiced nuts or homemade granola provides tasty treats for when hunger hits; just be sure to ask about food allergies, concerns and sensitivities before giving out edible gifts.

Useful Gift Cards

If unsure what to get your coworker -- or if you know his favorite place to pick up lunch -- offer a gift card. Cards for restaurants, coffee shops or even a gas station all serve as gifts that your coworker may find useful and convenient. Create your own decorative gift card holders by recycling old greeting cards or gift bags, cutting them to fit around the gift cards. Tie decorative ribbon around your homemade card holders for an added touch.

Photo Credits

  • Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.