22 thoughtful gifts your coworkers or boss will love

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Fri November 22, 2019

The people you work with can become some of your closest friends without you even knowing it. After all, you can spend 40 hours a week tackling major projects, chit-chatting around the water cooler, racing to the kitchen when there's free food, and most importantly, working together as a team.

But even though you spend all this time together, finding just the right holiday gift for your boss or coworkers can feel like a minefield. You want a gift that's thoughtful and professional, but not too pricey or personal. And that often leaves items — like candles or gift cards — that are either too boring or destined to be regifted.

To help you strike just the right balance, we've found 22 gift ideas that are thoughtful, professional and affordable. (And if all else fails, there's always the "Game of Thrones" sock Advent calendar.) Shop our best gifts for coworkers. (We've also got everyone else on your list, covered, too.)

Hallmark Flowers 3-Piece Succulents ($43.03; amazon.com)

A low-maintenance desk plant can do no harm. We love this set of three, which comes in neutral, textured planters that can compliment any deskscape.

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JLAB Fit Sport 3 Wireless Fitness Earbuds ($30; jlabaudio.com)

Commutes are made so much easier with the help of a great playlist to pass the time. That's why coworkers and bosses alike will appreciate Bluetooth headphones, like this pair from JLAB that has over six hours of playtime and features booming audio quality.

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Tea Forte Organic Loose Leaf Tea Sampler ($15; amazon.com)

For the tea lover on your team, this affordable sampler will let them taste test five different tea blends, which include Lemon Lavender, Darjeeling Quince and Mountain Oolong.

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Kehoe Salt Lamp ($26.99; wayfair.com)

A salt lamp is said to provide cleaner, allergen-free air, all while casting a lovely, warm light either in the office or at home.

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Zella Tech Gloves ($25; nordstrom.com)

Every winter, we constantly ask ourselves a troubling question: Do we keep our gloves on and fingers warm or succumb to freezing temperatures in order to use our smartphone? Now you don't have to choose with this pair of cozy, touchscreen-friendly gloves.

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Lupa iPhone Wallet ($18.99; amazon.com)

For the coworker who loves Marie Kondo-ing their life, this minimalist wallet and phone case has just enough space for their essentials (office badge and credit cards among them) while also keeping their pockets and handbags clutter-free.

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Ban.do Big Plans Annual Planner ($28; bando.com)

This is your team's year. Give your colleagues this fun planner, chock-full of bonus features like exclusive artwork, stickers, personality quizzes and notes of inspiration and gratitude to help them tackle 2020.

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Kinto To-Go Tumbler ($38; needsupply.com)

For the caffeine addict in your department, this Kinto stainless steel mug will help keep their beverages toasty warm from the time they leave their house to their first meeting. Plus, it's dishwasher safe.

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Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player ($24.99, originally $29.99; target.com)

For the coworker who has streamed every episode of "The Crown" and can recite every line of "The Office," a Roku streaming stick will help take their Netflix binge watching sessions to the next level. With the device, they can display all their favorite video content straight onto their TV.

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Takenaka Bento Box ($29; anthropologie.com)

There's always at least one person in your company whose New Year's Resolution is to pack their lunch more often. Give them this sleek bento box from Takenaka, which comes with a two-tiered container that can securely store their lunch and afternoon snacks.

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Amazon Echo Dot, 3rd generation ($34.99, originally $49.99; amazon.com)

Want to really impress your boss this holiday season (and for not much money at all)? Gift them Amazon's 3rd gen Echo Dot, a powerful speaker that lets them do everything from control their smartphone to play popular Spotify playlists with their voice.

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Ivory Diamond Cotton Throw Blanket ($27.99, originally $39.99; worldmarket.com)

For the colleague who is always cold, gift them this plush blanket they can drape over their shoulders at the office or cuddle up with at home.

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T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial Mask ($28; sephora.com)

This has been a hectic business year. Needless to say, the upcoming holiday break is an ideal time for a little TLC. If your coworkers need a spa day, give them this Babyfacial Mask, which can help brighten dull complexions in the comfort of their home.

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Wild & Wolf Table Tennis Set ($38; nordstrom.com)

Turn any flat surface, including an office desk, into a bonafide table tennis setup with this handy set that comes with two paddles, pingpong balls and a grip vice net. Talk about a fun way to break up the workday or kick-start the team's in-office happy hours.

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Baggu Shopping Bag ($10; amazon.com)

Schlepping your lunch or gym clothes can be a burden, but with this reusable, unrippable tote bag in adorable prints that include everything from daisies to apples to lox, it becomes downright enjoyable.

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Rocketbook Erasable Reusable Notebook ($31.97, originally $34; amazon.com)

For the person who's always jotting down notes and reminders, here's a notebook with an eco-friendly twist. Much like a portable whiteboard, this notebook can be wiped down with a cloth, leaving you with a fresh page whenever you need it.

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Osaka Glass Cold Brew Maker ($20.49; amazon.com)

We all know that one person who's devoted to their cold brew, even when the temperatures plummet. With this surprisingly chic cold brew maker, just pour your coffee grinds into the stainless steel filter, fill the pitcher with water and set it in the communal refrigerator overnight. By morning you'll get to sip on your icy beverage without stopping at Starbucks.

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Bedside Smartphone Vase ($32; uncommongoods.com)

For the person who's always looking to jazz up their desk, this vase holds your phone upright so you see any and all work notifications while also showing off your latest blooms.

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Speks Set of Magnetic Balls ($24.95; amazon.com)

Though desk toys may seem silly at first, trust us when we say that these moldable magnetic toys are seriously addictive. Mush it around your fingers for a bit and you'll get it.

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K+M Extra Virgin Chocolate Bars (starting at $45; food52.com)

Sometimes the best way to your boss's heart is through their stomach. And if they're a particularly tough person to shop for, this set of K+M Extra Virgin Chocolate Bars (which are made from combining single original cocoa beans and organic extra-virgin olive oil) crafted by renowned chef Thomas Keller are sure to wow.

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"In The Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs" ($18.50; amazon.com)

This compendium of inspiration and career advice will inspire any person — man or woman — to tackle their goals come 2020.

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Aesop The Humorist Cleanser & Balm Set ($57; nordstrom.com)

Help your coworkers feel refreshed before they hit their morning commute with this vegan cleanser and balm set. This duo works together to cleanse your face and neck and then lock in moisture (making it especially great for the winter months). Plus, it smells absolutely delicious.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.