Workplace Gift Giving Etiquette

Ever wonder if you should be giving gifts to your co-workers or boss? And, how about your clients? Here are some simple tips that will help you navigate gift giving with ease.

Workplace Gift Giving Etiquette for a Co-worker or Boss:

  • Make sure there are no HR policies against gift giving.
  • Don’t give anything too personal (a massage certificate or nose hair clippers).
  • Don’t give anything that is too expensive that would in any way seem inappropriate or like you are trying to “brown nose’ someone (expensive Bluetooth sound system for office).
  • Think about home-made gifts and whether or not the person would like it or just feel obligated to use it (Christmas sweater or scarf)
  • Include a personal hand-written card and give the gift in person if you can.
  • If you give a gift that others see to one person in a particular position or office, you may want to give the same type (value) to the others. Or, just give the gift away from the office.


Workplace Gift Giving Etiquette for a Client:

  • Check corporate policies. Check if any limitations on gifts.
  • Determine wants. Know client’s likes and hobbies.
  • Consider cultural differences.
  • Go for quality. Any gift reflects image of your firm.
  • Give with a hand written card.
  • Spend on packaging and deliver personally if you can.
  • Know your tax deductions. Between $25-$75 deduction per person.


Safe choices for everyone are gift cards to restaurants or places they like, tickets to an event they might want to go to, food items, nice bottle of wine if they drink, something for their office, or something related to their hobby or interest. Follow these simple guidelines to ease the stress of finding the right present for a co-worker and achieve appropriate workplace gift giving etiquette!

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