In some ways a company of friends is not that different to a commercial company. Sure, the latter involves getting a salary and waking up early, but both have you close together with other people, sharing big and small moments, helping and encouraging each other, and (hopefully), having fun while doing so.
In some very real way, your employees are a kind of extended family — which makes Christmas the most festive of all festive seasons, the best time of the year to celebrate this bond and show your staff that you really care about them.
But not with the usual, tired trinkets a lot of companies pass around at the year’s end. Armed with, and inspired by, our handy gift guide, you’ll be beating this Santa guy in no time, all the while surprising your employees with presents they will actually like.
1. Amazon Echo Dot ($29.99)
The Echo Dot is Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant that plays your favorite music, controls your smart home devices, places calls for you, reads you the news, and does much more.
It’s the smaller sibling of Amazon’s Echo, which drops the embedded speakers (but can connect to any speakers or headphones you already have lying around), and gives you most of its bigger brother’s functionality at a much smaller price.
It’s one of the hottest items for this holiday season, and, being on the right side of geeky, it appeals to all kinds of people, regardless of age or tech background. This makes the Echo an excellent gift for your employees, and one that many of them will be eyeing for themselves anyway.
2. Fields Notes Notebooks ($12.95)
Calendars, notebooks and such are long-time staples of corporate gifting lists. They are also usually subpar quality products that nobody is really excited about receiving.
Why not then surprise your employees with the premium quality US-made Fields Notes notebooks? Their RESOLUTION line is just what they need for writing down their New Year’s resolutions — or for writing down their notes down in style at the next company meeting.
3. Think Geek gift card ($10-$250)
If you’re running any kind of technology company or startup, your staff must be, well, stuffed with geeks. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, we’re all geeks here, too. Which is why we think your employees will appreciate a gift card that gives them access to Think Geek’s wonderful catalog.
This lovely website, in case you’ve never heard of it, is chock-full of gadgets for your inner geek, pop culture artifacts, and amusing collectibles, offering everything from clothes and coffee mags to quality mechanical keyboards functional and Star Wars replicas.
4. Bodum BRAZIL Coffee Maker ($13.99)
Who likes coffee? Or, better, who needs coffee? Since most of your employees will raise their hands on both questions, we are certain that they would also appreciate an elegant and sturdy French press — especially if it’s the one that NYT’s own Wirecutter review site picked as “best in class”.
What’s even better? It won’t cost you much either, as it’s only $13.99 from Amazon.
Since the corporate world pretty much runs on coffee, this one is a no-brainer gift, except maybe if you work at Lipton.
5. A Fischer space pen ($16.81)
A pen is another staple corporate gift. But instead of picking a run of the mill rollerball or fountain pen of the boring variety, why not gift one that comes with a nice backstory?
We’re speaking of course for the Fisher Space Pen. It lets you easily write upside down, sideways, or in any other angle, including underwater, and was co-designed by NASA so that astronauts could write in zero gravity environments (and, no, contrary to the popular myth, the Russians didn’t just “use a pencil” instead, as graphite from a pencil’s tip can wreck havoc in a spaceship).
With a distinctive design that won it a place at MOMA’s permanent collection, it makes for an excellent gift to your employees, especially for companies in the tech sector. Plus, in this era of renewed interest in space exploration (what with plans for a manned mission to Mars in the horizon), it also serves as a great conversation starter.
6. A good book
Book reading has been going out of style (what with Netflix, and Amazon Video, and so on). Still, a good book always makes for a great gift, and, besides all its other advantages, it will keep working even when there’s an internet outage.
This time, we won’t be suggesting any particular book, as book choices can be very personal. You could either go with a gift card good for book purchases or with some particular book (or books) that you’ve appreciated yourself and you would like your employees to read.
Books are an excellent way to foster a particular company culture and influence the way your employees think about their job and your industry in general. You could even arrange for discussion sessions based on the books you’ve picked, or books your employees might suggest, and take this beyond a mere Xmas thing.
7. Extra day off
This one costs nothing, especially if you schedule each employee’s day off so that there are still enough others around at all moments to handle your regular workload.
Announce the gift of an extra day off around Holiday time, and have your employees pick their desired date. Or have them add it to their regular vacation time. Either way, this gift won’t go unappreciated. After all, outside of police detectives in the movies, no employee ever said no to an extra day off.
We hope our post serves as a good starting point for your corporate holiday shopping. From all of us at eFront, happy holidays and a Happy New Year!