Gift giving in the workplace is a thoughtful gesture, one that fosters a positive and harmonious work environment. For HR professionals and team members wanting to express gratitude or spread cheer at work, selecting the right gift is crucial.
And in a world thriving on customization and individual expression, it’s important to find unique, personalized gifts that echo the recipient’s personality and preferences, all while maintaining professional boundaries.
Sounds tricky, but that’s where on-demand services come in.
On-demand production allows you to create excellent gifts for coworkers that are one-of-a-kind, ensuring a sense of exclusivity and personal touch, and making them memorable for your coworkers. From a custom-t-shirt to a coffee cup inscribed with a motivating quote, a thoughtful gift means adapting to various preferences, occasions, and budgets.
Whether you’re an HR professional looking for new company swag ideas, an employer wishing to acknowledge your employees’ hard work, or a team member eager to surprise your work bestie with a special souvenir, embracing on-demand gifts will help you out.
Let me give you some gift ideas that will bring a smile to your colleagues’ faces!
Customization shows individuality and thoughtfulness, highlighting a person’s identity, likes, dislikes, and style. Adding that personal touch shows real care, especially in a professional setting, where it’s less expected.
And the numbers back this up! A survey found that 62% of Americans would rather receive a personalized gift than a ready-made retail item. Their reasoning likely differs from person to person, but below are a few ways in which custom gifts are just better.
Customized gifts show a deeper level of understanding and connection. They reveal that the giver has put thought into choosing a gift that reflects the recipient’s personality, interests, or preferences, forging a meaningful bond.
The uniqueness of personalized gifts makes them stand out. A custom-made item, whether it’s a mug with a personal message or a notebook with a specially-designed cover, is likely to be cherished and remembered for years to come, while generic gifts might be easily forgotten.
Personalized gifts carry emotional weight, making the recipient feel special and valued. The extra effort and thought invested in creating a custom gift can evoke feelings of appreciation and gratitude, strengthening professional relationships.
Custom gifts open the door to endless possibilities, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. On-demand services have hundreds of items that can be personalized, from apparel and office supplies to decorative items, providing a wide array of options to suit different personalities and needs.
Contrary to popular belief, customized doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. On-demand services offer a wide range of prices, letting you create unique-yet-inexpensive gifts to fit any budget constraints, making personalized gifting accessible to everyone.
In a professional environment, receiving a gift that was made just for you can significantly lift your spirits and boost morale. It can convey appreciation and recognition, enhancing job satisfaction and motivation among coworkers.
For HR professionals, gifts need to align with the company’s values. Custom gifts can be designed to fit the brand vision, mission, and culture, reinforcing an organization’s identity and promoting a sense of belonging among employees.
In a sea of generic, impersonal gifts, a custom-made present is a beacon of individuality and thoughtfulness, ensuring your gesture is valued and remembered.
Now that we’ve established why custom gifts will make your coworkers happy, let’s get into some great gift options.
And don’t worry if you’ve never designed custom gifts before! Print-on-demand services like Printful are easy to use and are perfectly suitable for orders of any size, whether you’re getting gifts for coworkers in your entire department, or just for your work bestie.
Apparel items like personalized hoodies or t-shirts are an obvious choice as gifts for coworkers. If you can access someone’s size and fit preferences, you can create a great gift for your most fashion-forward team members.
A custom t-shirt is a versatile gift that strikes the perfect balance between personalization and professionalism. It’s a thoughtful choice for coworkers that allows them to express their unique style while keeping up the team spirit in the workplace.
T-shirts are also an affordable apparel option, making them one of the most popular gifts for coworkers in the history of company swag ideas.
A custom hoodie is a warm and heartfelt gift choice that combines comfort with personalization. It’s a thoughtful way to show appreciation for coworkers while adding a touch of individuality and coziness to their everyday attire.
Whether you’re trying to celebrate a specific team member or creating matching fits for all your coworkers, a personalized hoodie is a great option.
If you don’t want to bother with sizing but still want to stick with apparel gifts, a fun hat is a great option. Whether you go for a snapback or a beanie, hats are an easy way to boost team spirit with a versatile fashion item.
Hats are not just stylish but also practical. They provide protection from the elements, making them suitable for outdoor events, company outings, or even daily wear.
For more special and personal occasions, you could go for a more premium option, such as a customized denim jacket. Like other standout pieces, your team member might appreciate it more than other company swag items, especially when coupled with a deeply personal message.
Ideal for work anniversaries or promotions, a special gift like that is sure to excite people.
If you and your coworkers work in an office, complete with desks and coffee machines, you can’t go wrong with some custom essentials to brighten their daily routine.
A personalized coffee mug is an evergreen, versatile option that marries functionality with personal sentiment, making it an ideal gift for coworkers.
Gifting a coffee mug with a tailor-made design, message, or photo adds a dash of uniqueness and personal charm, transforming a regular item into something special and meaningful. Great mug ideas will echo individual personalities, interests, or an inside joke shared within the team, adding a layer of intimacy and camaraderie to the workplace.
A custom notebook is a classic, timeless gift, blending utility with personal touch. Gift one to an office friend to add a hint of personality to their everyday note-taking and brainstorming sessions.
A notebook offers ample opportunities for customization, allowing the cover to be adorned with a variety of designs, quotes, or images that resonate with the recipient. It can be personalized to reflect a coworker’s interests, aspirations, or sense of style, turning a simple notebook into a canvas of creative expression.
For coworkers who are always on the go, their own personal drinkware is a practical and eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bottles.
The best gifts are ones that bring the recipient joy while saving them some time or trouble. Gifting a custom reusable bottle provides an easy and eco-friendly way to get their daily coffee fix or keep up with healthy hydration habits.
Much like a personalized mug, custom bottles can also be adorned with company logos, colors, or mottos, reinforcing a sense of unity and shared identity among employees, and serving as a portable representation of the brand.
Much like the mouse pad, a great coaster is a true office desk essential. Often forgotten during gift shopping, coasters are a charming and practical gift that brings a splash of personality and care to any desk, making them an excellent choice for coworkers.
Coasters are small-yet-effective accessories for maintaining a clean and tidy workspace, protecting desks from stains and spills. It’s a subtle, delightful way to brighten someone’s day, becoming a daily reminder of thoughtfulness and consideration from the giver.
Regardless of work location, most people in modern workplaces have to use technology on a daily basis. Adding some personality to team gadgets is usually a foolproof gifting strategy.
If your coworker works with a computer, one of the best gifts can be a custom-made mouse pad. Perfect for the giftee who keeps their desk free of clutter, a mouse pad can be a functional addition to any workspace. It combines utility with aesthetics, offering a smoother navigation experience while adding a splash of individuality to their daily grind.
For a digital-dominated workplace, mouse pads can be the perfect gift for onboarding new recruits or celebrating an important company milestone. A mouse pad customized with inspiring quotes, amusing designs, or team logos can serve as a daily morale booster, subtly contributing to a positive and cohesive work environment and reinforcing team spirit.
Safeguard your coworker’s valuable tech in style by creating sleek-yet-creative laptop sleeve designs to give out as gifts. Whether or not your team members work in an office, a laptop sleeve will be a welcome addition even if they’ll only use it to carry around their work computer.
Decorate it with vibrant graphics or relaxing images, all based on the personality of your giftee. As far as gifts for coworkers go, you can’t go wrong with a laptop sleeve (as long as you get the right size).
A custom phone case is a modern and helpful gift choice, adding a unique and stylish flair to your coworker’s everyday tech companion. It not only shields a valuable device from scratches and bumps but also reflects the recipient’s personality, interests, or style.
Design a phone case with a motivational quote or your coworker’s name to add a touch of personality, but avoid going for company logos or branding if the phone is a personal device.
When considering tech enthusiast gift options, you can’t forget about earphones and headphones. Most people these days have switched to some type of wireless earphones, presenting a neat gift opportunity—a personalized earphone case.
Find out what earphones your coworker uses and create a funky and colorful case to make them feel appreciated and cared for.
We all spend thousands of hours at work throughout our lives, so it’s smart to make the experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Pick one of these ideas to show that you care about the mental and physical well-being of your giftee.
A custom blanket can be a symbol of comfort, warmth, and thoughtfulness, making it a special choice for a coworker. This cozy gift can be a gentle reminder to rest or a sign of appreciation in the workplace, bringing together utility and sentimental value.
For teams looking to strengthen their bonds, custom blankets with team or company logos, mascots, or motivational quotes can serve as a unifying symbol, fostering a sense of belonging and shared identity among coworkers. A blanket can work for team members of any age, gender, or personality type—all that matters is that you care about their comfort in the colder months.
Creating a candle with your own custom message on the label is an affordable-yet-visible reminder that you care. It’s a subtle, elegant way to convey appreciation and acknowledgment to coworkers, illuminating professional relationships with its gentle glow.
Candles also have the added benefit of just being impersonal enough, in case you’re giving it to someone you don’t know well. Just make sure it’s unscented or has a pleasant natural scent! You never know who hates pumpkin spice or vanilla.
One of the best gifts for coworkers to express simple gratitude or appreciation is a genuine and personal postcard. In addition to a sweet message, creating a custom design for your gift will take it to a new level.
It’s also a great option for your remote team members or coworkers who work in other countries. The small size of a postcard makes it perfect for a gift box to send out to coworkers around the holiday season or important company milestones.
You can also send one that gives access to virtual swag bags, perfect for remote employees!
Another considerate idea is creating a custom yoga mat. It’s a unique and health-conscious gift that shows how much you care about the physical well-being of your teammates.
Whether it’s used for exercising, stretching, or meditating, it will serve as a reminder of team unity and friendship. Combined with motivational messages or energizing designs, it can inspire even the hardest workers to take a break and focus on their health.
Our environment at work and at home plays a huge role in how we feel on the daily. Use decor items as gifts for coworkers to remind them about their achievements and brighten up their days.
A custom flag might seem like an unconventional gift, but it could work as both a funny decorative item and a powerful symbol of unity. Either way, it’s a great way to bond with your coworkers.
Use it as a canvas to create decorative office gifts, complete with shared values, goals, or team spirit to make your workspace more personalized. Alternatively, you can design an extra-special gift for a fun-loving teammate by using a funny visual with their main catchphrase or an inside joke.
Stickers may be small in size, but they pack a big punch when it comes to personalization and creativity. They work great if you’re giving gifts to an entire team as part of a bigger celebration.
Affordable and versatile, stickers are a smart gift choice for coworkers, offering a wide range of possibilities to add a touch of individuality to their workspaces and personal belongings. They can be designed with unique artwork, motivational quotes, inside jokes, or even personal photos, all forging a creative way to reinforce company culture and brand identity.
While you may not know much about some of your coworkers, you can still base your gift shopping on their work environment, office personality, or even coffee consumption habits. A great way to highlight their quirks is with a custom poster that matches their energy.
The best gifts for coworkers make them feel seen and recognized, not just for their professional achievements but for who they are as people. If you’re looking to celebrate someone’s milestone or promotion, focus your gift theme on something more personal, showing you really care and want to celebrate them.
When recognizing bigger achievements or team efforts, you might be better off with a unique item like a metal print. The material stands out among other wall art, making it one of the best gifts for coworkers’ achievements to be put on display at the office or in another workspace.
Modern and sleek, a metal print is an extraordinary gift that adds a touch of sophistication and personalization to any workspace. They’re also highly durable and resistant to fading, ensuring that they remain a lasting and cherished part of the office decor for years to come.
It’s no surprise that bags of all types are some of the most common gifts and goodies handed out to coworkers at conferences or office events. But there are many options available to you that can work for different people and occasions.
Tote bags are classic coworker gifts, and for good reason. A custom tote bag is a versatile and thoughtful gift that combines practicality with personalization. It adds a touch of individuality to their daily routines while offering a convenient and eco-friendly way to carry essentials.
Company-branded tote bags are also portable billboards, allowing coworkers to boost employee branding with little to no effort.
If a tote bag is too small and simple for your giftee, consider going for a duffle bag. It’s an especially useful idea for your sporty coworkers or those who have to carry equipment around with them.
Custom duffle bags can be designed with team or company logos, helping to foster a sense of unity and belonging among coworkers. It reinforces team spirit and the shared identity of the organization.
Choosing a custom backpack is not just a gesture of appreciation, it’s a gift of adventure. If your coworker bikes to work or likes going on long walks, this should be your gift of choice.
A custom backpack can be designed with special artwork, quotes, or images that reflect the recipient’s personality, interests, or professional identity. It transforms an ordinary backpack into a personalized travel companion that coworkers can carry with pride.
The work gift classic—a drawstring bag with a custom design. It’s one of the safest and most affordable options, especially when you don’t know much about the coworker yet. This makes the drawstring bag the perfect gift for someone’s first day of work, as well as for those who are visiting your office for events and conferences.
You don’t have to know someone well to make them feel appreciated, so until you know their coffee order and music preferences, stick to a tried and true option.
If you’ve decided to give customization a try when creating your gifts, make sure to consider your company image and culture when making your choice. Getting gifts for coworkers can be sensitive, especially if you’re not very close.
Fun-loving and friendly teammates can be easier to shop for, but even the most professional and distant coworker would appreciate being cared for and considered. Choose a gift that wouldn’t make anyone uncomfortable but still do your best to inject some of their personality into the design.
In one team you could easily find a minimalist, a sports fiend, a homebody, and a fashionista. Consider these characteristics when creating your gifts for coworkers. The best gift ideas depend on the person, and what would be ideal for one may not work for another.
Custom gifts can work for very different budget constraints—the important part is your design and care, not how much you spent on the item. If your funds are limited, go for items like stickers, coffee mugs, or coasters.
Bigger achievements and milestones mean bigger gifts. While custom coffee mugs can be a great idea for a team party, someone’s 10-year work anniversary calls for something bigger, more personal, and more special. Consider creating a metal print or a denim jacket.
Ordering gifts for larger groups of coworkers is already time-consuming, and it only gets more complicated if sizing is involved. If you’re getting gifts for a team or a whole company, take advantage of Printful’s MerchShare service.
All you need to do is design the gift and share your link with the giftees. They’ll be able to order the right size and color for themselves, which you’ll then confirm and pay for through your Printful account.
Have you made your choice? It’s time to start designing.
Create your free Printful account and use our Design Maker to create the perfect items for your coworkers in minutes. Good luck and happy gifting!
Elizabete is a Content Writer with an affinity for brand building and strategic communication. She's an eager communicator with a mindful approach to adapting content for a diverse range of audiences and platforms.