Sometimes, finding the perfect gift for your coworker is as easy as saying, “Billy! I got you a fresh pound of cheese powder” with a convivial pat on the back and a hefty New Jersey accent. Other times, you won’t really know the person behind the desk [cue corporate Batman soundtrack] and what little treats they may enjoy. That’s what can make shopping for a coworker or boss so tricky and so fun at the same time: The possibilities are endless.
First, try to learn about your coworker’s hobbies, and proceed accordingly. If they microdose mushrooms and worship the moon, then perhaps they’d enjoy a guide to the trees of New York City; a vinyl nerd might love TASCHEN’s 1,000 Record Covers art book; and design junkies could always be dazzled by an amorphous, groovy blob candle. And while you may not have the budget to spoil your employees or colleagues with the giant pineapple-shaped stool from Urban Outfitters, we don’t think that means you should compromise any of the spice from your present—especially when gifting fancy drinks and luxurious olive oil. Whether you know your coworker well or not at all, there’s always a way to pin down a gift that feels thoughtful, whether it's coffee accessories, CBD gumdrops, or mugs that absolutely no one else in the snack room will “mistake” for their own.
From a budget of $15 to $50-and-then-some, here are some of the best presents to buy a coworker that we would totally love to receive.
Personality socks FTW
Everyone is gifted socks at least once in their life, but have you ever received socks disguised to look like your favorite sushi? Not only are these comfy, but the designs look cool and abstract once unfurled. I get compliments on the mushroom “slice” of my pizza set all the time.
Socks really do let you peep your personality at work—even if you’ve got a stuffy office gig—and these pairs will act as a Bat Signal of sorts for finding other Deadheads and microdosing buddies.
A pen designed for outer space
The Fisher Space Pen is probably the most interesting pen on Earth (and off it). Originally designed in 1968 by the inventor Paul Fisher to be taken aboard the Apollo mission, the Space Pen used a patented technology in order to work even in pressurized environments and in anti-gravity conditions. According to Fisher, it can also write over grease, in extreme temperatures, and even underwater—no wonder it’s been on every NASA space mission since its inception.
You just know they drink coffee
The thing about coffee drinkers is that they’re almost always coffee addicts—no judgment—which means you can’t go wrong by giving them a coffee subscription or a really nice bag o’ beans. Equator Coffees has been in the roasting game since it was founded in the Bay Area in the 90s, and the cult-fave company now offers a gift set of some of its best-selling brews.
Bean there, done that? Give your coworker one of those fun milk frothers that’s been taking the internet by storm, or a mini French press from a quality brand such as Bodum.
They’re obsessed with food
Is your coworker always bringing in an enviable snack? Have you gradually swiped most of their skeleton-themed Flamin' Hot Cheetos? Then consider giving them a selection of treats you might not always find in your average grocery store, from rotisserie chicken-flavored Pringles to any number of snacks from our favorite online Asian grocery stores—and you can't go wrong with matcha Kit Kats.
While we don’t yet have the hard science to back up this statement, we can assure you that sauces just taste better when they come from miniature bottles and glass jars—and how many times have you overheard your coworker say, “Damn, I forgot my ghost peppers today” at lunch?
Don’t underestimate the power of the mug
Mugs as presents have the potential to be forgettable, but not if they look like a mushroom or stack of rainbow-sprinkled donuts.
This coveted, non-alcoholic apéritif
“For those who like earthy, complex cocktails, with a balance of bitter, sweet, and tart, Ghia really hits all the right notes,” writes Hilary Pollack in her review of the herbaceous, non-alcoholic apéritif that we can’t stop drinking with a splash of Topo Chico. Whether you’re trying to drink less booze or just to offer up a delightful cocktail alternative for guests, Ghia really does stand a cut above the rest, but it's the gorgeous packaging that makes it one of the most kick-ass, work-appropriate gifts for a colleague. Plus, NA spirits allow you to crank a few cocktails at work and still spell “circle back” correctly.
Beanies fit everyone
A classic. One size fits all, and you just can’t go wrong giving people of all genders a fresh Carhartt beanie—it’s one of the most important winter-to-spring transitional pieces, after all.
They’re always sipping boba
Same—so why not gift them a boba kit? “Other bubble tea kits seem to contain flavored powders with loads of artificial ingredients,” writes one reviewer of Uncommon Goods’ best-selling bubble tea kit. “[But] not this kit! Brewing your own tea makes it so much healthier and more authentic.”
If your coworker can’t be bothered to do anything in the kitchen, they’ll enjoy this ambient milk tea light from Smoko (hallowed makers of the potato light) that would look great on their desk or as an accent light at home.
A swanky bottle of olive oil
These olive oils come in stunning vessels that your coworker will want to save for spring wildflowers once they’ve dripped their last drop. Plus, olive oil is a great present for vegans and sausage-munchers alike.
CBD to massage and bon voyage
The gift of relaxation never gets old. If your coworker digs CBD and other leafy greens, consider giving them a mini-sampler of Molly J. gumdrops in flavors that include sparkling pomegranate, lemon lavender, plum cardamom, elderflower grapefruit, and more.
Look, if the cast from The Lord of the Rings can get matching Elvish tattoos, then your team can at least indulge in some temporary smiley face finger tattoos or a few butterfly back tats for some quality team building time.
This skeleton dragon chalice
There’s no better way to raise one’s spirits than by raising a glass—no, chalice—filled with slivovitz, and encrusted with a dragon skeleton.
This pillow of Nicolas Cage
To be gifted with a cursive note reading, “You’re a national treasure.”
See? That was easy.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.