Spending time with our coworkers looks a little different in 2020. While some of us have been physically going into work, other have only interacted with our coworkers via a screen on Zoom or chatting on Slack. That means it has been harder than ever to get to know our office companions this year, making holiday gift shopping especially challenging. And how do you tastefully adhere to a price limit?
We’re here to help. Whether you’re shopping for your cubicle buddy, your boss, or the stranger you got for virtual Secret Santa, we’ve got great gift ideas across a range of prices to help you nail the exchange. Here are the 17 best gifts for coworkers this year.
1. For the one who needs coffee 24/7: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
Best coworker gifts 2020: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug (Photo: Ember)
If your busy boss is constantly running back and forth between their office space and kitchen to heat that one massive coffee they sip on all day despite being home, there’s a mug for them. With the stainless steel Ember mug, they can keep that cup of coffee set to a specific temperature for hours, adjusting it via their phone as needed, and even receiving reminder notifications of its status within the app.
It’s pricey, yes, but it actually works, and comes in a range of stately colors. There’s even a travel mug version for on-the-go sipping.
2. For the one with perfect makeup: Mario Badescu Facial Spray
Best coworker gifts 2020: Mario Badescu Facial Spray (Photo: Urban Outfitters / Sephora)
With over 5,000 5-star reviews on Ulta, the classic Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray is one of the most popular beauty products ever—and it’s only $7. Whether your coworker is known for their gorgeous makeup looks or tends to complain of dry skin and dullness, a bottle of this spray will certainly brighten their day and keep them looking fresh. You can also grab the lavender and green tea sprays for the complete package.
3. For the one with a green thumb: Philodendron Green Potted Plant
Best coworker gifts 2020: The Sill Plant (Photo: The Sill)
Plants are proven to increase happiness and productivity around a workspace, so why not brighten your coworker’s day with something green? We love this simple, easy-to-care-for philodendron from The Sill, an online plant retailer that we tested and loved. You can have it delivered in a stylish pot right to their home or office, depending on where they’re working these days.
4. For the one who wants to save the turtles: Hummingbird Glass Straws
Best coworker gifts 2020: Hummingbird Glass Straws (Photo: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar)
Straw bans and single-use plastics have been all over the news for the past few years, so we tested the best reusable straws to help you make the right, environmentally-conscious decision. Our favorite, the Hummingbird Glass Straw, is beautiful, durable, and easy-to-clean, making it the perfect gift for your work buddy who’s ditching plastic.
5. For the one reading the “Call Me By Your Name” sequel: Tony Moly Peach Hand Cream
Best coworker gifts 2020: TONYMOLY Peach Hand Cream (Photo: Soko Glam / TONYMOLY)
Everyone should have hand cream with them at work, particularly in dry environments during the winter months. So why not make the hand cream adorable and peach-scented? This highly-rated cream from Tony Moly is moisturizing without being heavy, and we love the cheeky container design. It’s the perfect small gift, whether your recipient is a fan of Call Me By Your Name and Parasite, or not.
6. For the one who’s always anxious: Tealyra Matcha Startup Kit
Best coworker gifts 2020: Tealyra Matcha Set (Photo: Wholesale Supplies Plus / Tealyra)
Matcha tea has existed for centuries, and it’s as popular as ever across Japan and the States. If your coworker loves the relaxation that comes from green tea and wants to graduate into more advanced tea-drinking methods, we recommend a matcha starter kit like this one from Tealyra.
With a matcha whisk, bowl, strainer, and introductory bag of matcha powder, this kit can teach them how to prepare matcha the traditional way. They might even keep it by their desks at all times (even if they;re working from home) like our cooking writer Valerie does, who wrote our guide on all things matcha.
7. For the one who needs to bring work home: Evecase Diamond Foam Neoprene Sleeve
Best coworker gifts 2020: Evecase Diamond Foam Neoprene Sleeve (Photo: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser)
No one likes taking work home with them, but for some people, it’s part of the gig—especially during these times. With our best affordable laptop sleeve, at least they can tote their computer in style. In addition to its stylish design, it has a decent amount of padding to protect it from any rigorous bumps if they’re traveling or from kids who get a little too touchy in their parent’s home office. Since you haven’t been in the office in a while, it’s a good way to say you miss seeing them IRL, too.
8. For the one with who loves hot coffee: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
Best coworker gifts 2020: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug (Photo: Zojirushi)
When we were testing travel mugs, our tester accidentally left a Zojirushi full of hot coffee in the car overnight and it was still piping hot the next day. So it’s ready for those who like nursing one cup of coffee throughout the day in their home office or want a midday pick-me-up during their afternoon walk. Plus, its sleek design fits into any cupholder, messenger bag, or backpack with ease.
9. For the one who goes through a lot of tissues: Como Trash Bin
Best coworker gifts 2020: Como Trash Bin (Photo: West Elm / Urban Outfitters)
There’s always a sneezing, sniffling person in the office who can’t go through a box of tissues fast enough—I’ve been that person! Get them a sweet and stylish trash bin that will fit right alongside their desk at home. This bin comes in three trendy colors and is also great for anyone who is constantly scrapping paper, opening envelopes, or lusting after cute design-y items online all day. Plus, they can bring it into the office for a more in-reach trash big whenever it does reopen again.
10. For the one who is way too into candles: Diptyque Feu de Bois Candle
Best coworker gifts 2020: Diptyque Feu de Bois Candle (Photo: Diptyque)
Diptyque candles are the standard-bearer of fancy candles for a reason: They’re French, they’re elegant, and they smell absolutely amazing. If your colleague or manager is a little bit posh and into smelling great, you can never go wrong with gifting them one of Diptyque’s signature scented candles.
This time of year, we particularly love their Feu de Bois scent, which means wood fire. It smells warm and inviting like a crackling fire, it’s totally gender-neutral, and the jar comes in a range of designs, from the classic glass with white logo to more seasonal green and black glass jars.
11. For the one who used to be a barista: Krups Fast Touch Electric Coffee Grinder
Best coworker gifts 2020: Krups Fast Touch Electric Coffee Grinder (Photo: Reviewed / Ben Keough)
While we prefer burr grinders to blade grinders when it comes to making the best cup of coffee possible, blade grinders are smaller, more affordable, and ideal for use at-home. So if you have a coffee snob coworker who only uses fresh grounds, they would surely appreciate having our best blade grinder from Krups on hand. They can store easily store it in their tiny kitchen cabinet and bring it to the office later in life for some fresh grinds at work.
12. For the one who’s always up for happy hour: Corkcicle Insulated Wine Tumbler
Best coworker gifts 2020: Corkcicle Insulated Wine Tumbler (Photo: Corkcicle)
If you’ve got a coworker that’s who used to suggest drinks after work (when that was still a thing), introduce them to the Corkcicle, an insulated tumbler for wine, cocktails, beer, and more. Of course, they can also just use it for water, but what’s the fun in that? This tumbler comes in a range of playful colors, and it’s spill-resistant lid and insulated body will keep cold drinks cold for hours. It’s perfect for the beach and after-hour celebrations.
13. For the one who remembers to pack lunch: Monbento Original Bento Box
Best coworker gifts 2020: Monbento Original Bento Box (Photo: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser)
While we’ve dubbed the Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler our favorite lunch cooler in testing for its utility, we can’t help but swoon over the adorable Monbento bento box for meal prepping throughout the week. For your coworker who feels like they waste time making lunch during office hours this is the perfect gift. We love the Monbento for its ability to keep foods separate (even hot and cold foods!) and pack up neatly at the end of the meal.
14. For the one complaining about dry skin: Airomé Serenity Medium Diffuser
Best gifts of 2020: Airomé Serenity Medium Diffuser (Photo: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser)
You can’t suddenly humidify your entire dry office or home office space, but you can help save your coworker from the plight of dry skin with our favorite diffuser from Airomé. A steal at less than $30, this diffuser passed our testing with flying colors. In addition to diffusing moisture and calming essential oil mists into the air, it’s available in several color options, so you can find one that matches your coworker’s style.
15. For the one with too much stuff to carry: Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag
Best coworker gifts 2020: Baggu Reusable Shopping Bag (Photo: Baggu)
I don’t go anywhere without one of these reusable shopping bags from Baggu stuffed into my purse. Why? They’re lightweight, beautifully designed, and sturdy enough to carry any random things I remember I need when out and about. Pick a design to suit your coworker who never has a free hand—they’ll appreciate the help.
16. For the one who’s always cold: DII Rustic Farmhouse Cotton Chevron Blanket Throw
Best coworker gifts 2020: Chevron Throw Blanket (Photo: DII)
Everyone who works in an office (or from home, for that matter) should have a throw blanket or massive scarf on hand in case the heat breaks or it’s just freezing in the winter. This oversized chevron throw is gender-neutral, lightweight, and just cozy enough to keep your most temperature-sensitive coworker warm throughout the day. Plus, they won’t be embarrassed to bring it into the office when it does reopen.
17. For the one with a major sweet tooth: Cheryl’s Happy Holidays Gift Tin
Best coworker gifts 2020: Cheryl’s Happy Holidays Gift Tin (Photo: Cheryl’s)
The issue with food gifts is that—more often than not—they taste like something you picked up from the grocery store. But after snacking on these cookies from Cheryl’s, we found that they legitimately taste homemade. This holiday tin, which features its famous buttercream frosted cut-out cookies, is the perfect way to deliver some well-deserved cheer this season without attempting to bake yourself.
Written By: Cassidy Olsen and Courtney Campbell