This year I have rounded up a selection of presents that would make suitable gifts for managers, colleagues and project teams.
There are also a few extra-special (i.e. too expensive for a Secret Santa office idea) presents that you could either club together to buy, or as gifts for managers to give employees – not the boring kind of hampers!
My own experience of gifting for colleagues has been mixed. I took part in the office Secret Santa one year and I didn’t get it right. I knew the person I had been allocated in the draw professionally, but not well enough to know what they would really like.
They weren’t a UK national, so for fun I got them a mug with “I love London” on. To make up the rest of the money I bought some wool and crocheted a scarf.
I enjoyed making the scarf, it turned out nicely, it was a thoughtful present that I put a lot of effort into. But I think they were disappointed. Actually, I know they were disappointed because as they opened it, they said, “I don’t wear scarves.” Oops.
Everyone else got and gave hilarious novelty gifts. I’d got the tone of Secret Santa all wrong. I don’t think I’ve taken part in a Secret Santa since then. Buying gifts for managers and project colleagues is just too stressful! If that ex-colleague is reading, they’ll know now that it was me.
OK, on with the gifts!
Practical Gifts for Managers
You’re on mute mug
This is perfect for people working from home! And the great thing about Etsy shopping is that you are supporting local businesses AND they ship all over the place so no worries that you won’t see your boss at the office.
This mug is from ChickenCraft Studio.
USB Rechargeable Batteries
These would make a great stocking filler or Secret Santa gift.
Perfect to ensure that the clicker for your presentations is always topped up or for any of the children’s toys I seem to find in the bottom of my handbag.
Diaries and Planners
What’s not to like about getting a new notebook or a lovely planner for next year?
There’s a Paperchase in one of the London stations I used to visit quite often and it’s a treasure trove of fantastic stocking fillers and stationery to covert.
You can personalise this notebook with text on the spine and the front cover. Perhaps “Best Manager Ever” would be taking it too far, but I’m sure you could come up with something! I think their name would look classy.
It comes in a large number of colour choices and you can get it lined or unlined. I love a notebook with many options.
Fun Gifts for Your Team
Colour Chart Mug
Back before lockdown my lovely colleagues regularly offer to make me a cup of tea. Maybe it’s because I have moved desks and now the closest one to the kitchen so they have to pass me on their way to make their own drinks.
More often than not I say no. I just prefer to do it myself so my tea is perfect. If I had one of then maybe I could help my colleagues get my tea just right.
Erasable Memo Pad
Did your kids have wipe-clean books for handwriting practice? How about a grown up version for your desk?
This has had mixed reviews on Amazon so you’ll have to assess for yourself whether it would be worth the investment. I think it could be a fun Secret Santa gift for the person who has everything, plus if it works like they say it does, you could cut down on paper waste by reusing one notebook for years.
This is not that expensive, and would be a fun gift for a project manager. Turn your mobile phone into a projector and share your video clips, training materials and so on with your team on the wall.
Plus it’s a make-it-yourself thing so it will be fun to put together in the office or at home. It doesn’t look particularly travel friendly though.
If you are working from home, I can still see it being useful for projecting things behind you so everyone else can see them big on Zoom.
Coffee to Grow
Want to impress the coffee drinker in your office? Get them this coffee plant to grow kit so that they can grow their own coffee plant. Start it on your desk — whether they end up getting enough beans to use remains to be seen!
This plant is from StupidEgg Interiors.
Movie Scratch Poster
Do you have a movie buff on your team? Get them a movie scratch poster. There are lots of varieties to choose from so you can tailor your purchase to the recipient. They scratch off the titles they have seen.
The movie experts on your team probably watched quite a lot of TV during lockdown, so it’s time to update their list of top films!
Online Escape Room
Looking for something you can do as a team? This online escape room might be exactly the right thing.
This is from Escape Games UK (although you can play it anywhere).
This looks awesome. The Logitech K480 keyboard lets you switch between devices on the same keyboard.
Up until now I was just looking for a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad so that I could type more easily on the train. But now I’ve seen this, I want it.
The only downside is that at about £50 it’s too expensive for a Secret Santa present. This would make a great gift for a boss who is leaving.
I hope that’s given you some ideas of gifts for your manager and teams!