business gift

Sponsored by Quill


By Rieva Lesonsky

Do you like to give business gifts to your employees at the holidays? Even if you’re handing out holiday bonuses or other cash gifts, giving something personal as well can be a nice touch. As a small business owner, you probably have a pretty good idea of each of your employees’ hobbies, interests and passions, making it fairly easy to choose something that strikes the right note.

Of course, there’s a fine line between a personal gift and a gift that gets too personal. Plus, when you’re dealing with your staff, you don’t want to do anything that suggests favoritism (like giving one employee a better gift than another).

To avoid any awkward situations, one good option is to get your employees gifts for the office. Choose presents they can use every day at work, but take ordinary office supplies or equipment up a notch. You can tailor these gifts to your employee’s preferences without worrying about offending anyone. Here are some ideas:

Water bottles: Everyone’s toting water bottles these days—and that’s a good thing—it helps your employees stay hydrated (and keeps you from having to buy tons of paper cups). Look for bottles that keep drinks cold and are spill-proof to eliminate keyboard disasters. Check out this QTumbler, which actually helps you pace your liquid consumption, is sized to fit in cup holders and is BPA-free.

For Star Wars fans:  Got a super Star Wars fan in your office? He or she will appreciate a box of Star Wars copy paper from The reusable, Star Wars-themed box features the iconic characters from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. It’s a real collector’s item; the lid even turns into a poster for the fan’s office or home. Inside, each ream of paper is wrapped in a different, eye-catching Star Wars design. (The actual paper isn’t printed with Star Wars, so it can still be used for business purposes.)

Notepads: Personalized notepads imprinted with employees’ names are a useful gift. You can even choose ones with your employees’ interests in mind like these for dog lovers or these colorful ones. Or you can get personalized sticky notes like the set shown here. Put your employees’ names on them, and everyone will know who left the note.

Coffee and tea accessories: The caffeine junkies on your staff will appreciate getting Starbucks whole bean coffee in its famous medium roast or dark expresso roast flavors. Herbal tea lovers will flip for this variety pack of herbals teas.

Colorful file folders: Why stick to boring beige? You can find all kinds of cool file folders in bright shades, pastel colors or pretty patterns. These beautiful floral print file folders from designer Cynthia Rowley will appeal to the fashionistas on your staff.

Engraved pens: Lost or stolen pens will be a thing of the past if you give your employees personalized pens engraved with their names. There are a variety of pens to choose from, but this gunmetal one is my favorite.

Plants: Greenery adds a touch of the outdoors to even the darkest cubicle. Look for a no-mess, no fuss plant in an attractive container. For the ultimate in easy-care, give this air plant terrarium from Pottery Barn. It needs no soil or water and is totally self-contained.

business giftDesk accessories: Depending on how much space your employees have on their desks, perpetual date calendars, inbox trays and desk organizers can be great gifts. For that employee who’s always quoting the movie Office Space, how about a red Swingline stapler?

Picture frames: Everyone loves displaying friend and family photos at work. Getting a picture frame engraved with an employee’s initials is a nice touch. Or, choose a frame that matches their office or cubicle color scheme. You can’t go wrong with a classic silver picture frame like this one.