Work Relationships

4 Great Going Away Gifts for Coworkers

Written by Peter Jones

Ever wonder what to get a coworker who’s leaving your office? This person may have become a real friend outside of work. Or he or she might be a face to nod and smile at in the hallway, with whom you’ve spent very little time outside the office. Either way, it’s nice to commemorate the time you’ve spent working together. It’s just very often hard to think of what to get for the going away gifts.

Maybe the most appropriate thing to do is band together as a team and chip in a little (say, $5-10) for a larger, more expensive group gift. If that turns out to not be the best option, you can consider individual gifts. Just keep in mind that whatever gift you give should be something they’d be comfortable with unwrapping in public, in a professional setting.

Here are some great ideas for departure gifts.

Gifts for the Coworker Moving Away

If your coworker is relocating, particularly somewhere new where they don’t have roots, consider a gift related to their new locale: a book about the history or food culture of a place, a local guidebook or restaurant guide, etc. Or, you could try the sentimental route and get a commemorative photo or book or trinket from where you are currently, so they can take it with them to their new life somewhere else.

Gifts for the Coworker Changing Creers

Maybe your coworker is switching fields—or even careers. A gift to commemorate the new job is a lovely gesture of support. A little gift bag of useful items, trinkets, or aspirational things suited for their new job or role can be very much appreciated—particularly if you add a little note of support to send them off with confidence!

Gifts for the Coworker Who Found Success on the Job

Was there a particular achievement you shared? Consider having your team find an object or souvenir that symbolizes your work together. Then frame it, or put it on a stand, and make sure to all sign it in permanent marker. Wherever your coworker goes, they’ll have the memory both of the accomplishment and of your team to brighten their office.

Gifts for the Coworker You Don’t Know That Well

If you don’t have the time or energy to put together one of these more specialized gifts, the old standbys are always available! Try a bouquet of flowers and a group-signed card on their desk. A bottle of champagne or their favorite wine. Or even simply slap a bow on a box of chocolates. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.


About the author

Peter Jones