Whether you’re in the office or just CC’ed on a million email chains, you’ve spent a lot of time with the people you work with. It’s always bittersweet when a longtime co-worker or supervisor leaves the company — perhaps you’ve bonded over the shared highs and lows of work life, or maybe you just appreciate everything they’ve done for the company during their time there.
In any workplace situation, one great way to show a little gratitude is with a small but thoughtful thank you gift. Celebrate your departing boss or coworker by sending them off with a token of your appreciation. Below, we’ve rounded up a few affordable, timeless thank you gifts that will bring a smile to your colleague’s face on their last day in the office.
What better way to show your appreciation than with a beautiful bouquet of flowers? This gift is classic enough to please any departing coworker, and the wide variety of options means you can cater this gift to your location, price range, and more. Your local flower shop is sure to have a lovely selection, but if you’re on a time crunch, companies like 1-800-FLOWERS offer a wide range of bouquets and other floral gifts. While any type of flower will do, it’s best to stay away from red roses and other flowers associated with romance — this bouquet of Assorted Roses and Peruvian Lilies should do the trick.
You may no longer be grabbing lattes together or catching up by the water cooler, but a clever mug can remind your boss or coworker of all the good times you shared over a cup of joe. Mugs are a great gift because they’re so versatile. In fact, websites like Zazzle will let you customize your own mug, so you can remind your coworker of an inside joke, a happy workplace memory, or a favorite team photo. If you want to go a bit more general, you can choose from a huge variety of humorous mugs that will brighten your coworker’s last day and remind them of you with every sip.
There’s nothing sweeter than your last day in the office, but chocolate might come close. Appeal to your coworker’s sweet tooth with tasty treats like this Goo Goo Clusters Variety Pack, which offers a perfect assortment of all three classic Goo Goo Clusters: two Original, two Pecan, and two Peanut Butter. If you’re lucky, they might even want to share with the office before they go!
After all these years of hard work, your boss is probably looking for a little rest and relaxation. Treat them to some much-needed R&R with a gift certificate to a local spa! Gift certificates are a great way to shop local and give the recipient an experience rather than a physical gift. Since most spas will let the recipient choose from a variety of available services, gift certificates are a good buy for pickier coworkers who are ready to leave the stress of the office behind.
Novelty wine glass
Much like a quirky coffee mug, fun glassware like a novelty wine glass can make your coworker smile while also serving a practical purpose. Corporate gifts sometimes have a reputation for being stuffy or impersonal, so try pairing the glass with a bottle of local wine to show your coworker you know their taste and want them to celebrate a job well done! If they aren’t a wine drinker, a stylish whiskey glass or coupe glass will also do the trick.
If your coworker is moving on to somewhere new, chances are they’ll need some fresh decorations for their next office. How about a fun desk sign to let their new team know they’ve got a sense of humor? Not only do office gifts show how well you know your coworker, but they’re also a gracious way of showing your support for their next professional endeavor.
If your departing office-mate might prefer a desk accessory with a little less flair and a little more utility, they might enjoy a small desktop zen garden. Long days in the office can be stressful, so give your coworker the opportunity to unwind by raking the sand in this beautiful 7x11 in. garden, complete with pebbles, green moss, and orchid bark. They’ll be in the zone in no time!
A thoughtful book
Whether your boss or coworker is switching companies or entering retirement, the right book can show them you’ve been paying attention to their hobbies, their career, and their future. Is your cubicle-mate headed to the classroom? Try a book on mastering grad school. Are they finally leaving the workforce after a long and successful career? Give them a book offering tips on a happy, fulfilling retirement.
An online course
Retiring from the corporate world doesn’t have to mean giving up learning! Treat your departing boss or coworker with an online course in an area of their interest. Masterclass offers a huge selection of fascinating courses, all taught by industry experts — from voice acting to woodworking, you’re sure to find something for everyone.
A signed card
At the end of the day, the best gift might just be the most personal one. Instead of shelling out money for something flashy, bid your coworker a heartfelt farewell with a homemade or store-bought card signed by everyone in the office. Depending on how much space you have, you can even add a personalized note sharing happy memories or thoughtful compliments. After all, workplaces may come and go, but the meaningful connections we make in the office will last a lifetime.