34 Return to Office Gift Ideas to Welcome Employees

Sep 21

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Managers, take note – if you’re getting ready to welcome employees back to the office after an extended WFH stint, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.  

It’s likely that this transition will come with a mixed bag of emotions – for everyone. 

For some employees who prefer WFH, there may be more than a little bit of reluctance.

Even for the more extroverted employees, there will be a period of major adjustment as everyone settles back into the office routine. 

Fortunately, there are specific things that managers can do to help ease this transition. Giving back to office gifts is a wonderful way to show your employees that you’re excited to have them onboard and eager to make their return comfortable and pleasant.

Here’s a list of 30+ of our favorite gift ideas to welcome the team back to the office

  1. Coffee Box

One of the perks of WFH is the lack of commute – more time to sleep in before the workday takes off. 

Help your employees get back to the morning grind with a curated coffee box. Nothing like some freshly roasted beans in your favorite mug to get your day going!

Investment: About $85 per person

You can order curated coffee boxes for your team on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Fitness Planner

Returning to the office means that your employees might struggle to fit in some of the routines they’ve come to rely on. 

One of those routines is exercise, and managers will be well-served to ensure that team members prioritize workouts in their new schedule (the mental benefits are as significant as the physical ones!).

A fitness planner makes a great welcome back to office gift idea, especially if you know you work with a population that enjoys a challenge. 

Investment: Starts at about $20 per person

You can take your pick of fitness journals on Amazon or Etsy.

  1. SWAG Pack

There’s nothing like some high-quality SWAG to get your team feeling proud about their company.

These days, SWAG is so much more than cheap tee-shirts and pens. There’s no limit to  what can be branded, so you can feel free to choose the very best (and most practical) pieces for your team.

Investment: Starts at around $30 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

The Thriver marketplace providers allow you to create custom SWAG packs to meet all of your employees’ needs. 

  1. Wellness Box

Employees who are returning to the office will need to be proactive about self-care. Why not treat them to a wellness box to help them toward that goal?

Wellness boxes come in all shapes and sizes; common items include things like sleep masks, simple exercise equipment, facial care products, or luxurious toiletries. 

Investment: About $40 per person

Curate a custom wellness box for your employees through the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Candle

Aromatherapy is a tried and true favorite for relaxation, and candles these days are often a symbol of trendiness and luxury. 

Your employees can keep their candle on their desk at work (unburned, of course), or take it home to fully enjoy the scent. 

Investment: Starts at $5 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

There are many beautiful and affordable options on Etsy. For something a little higher-end, check out The Editorialist’s opinion on the matter. 

  1. Beauty Box

It’s likely that your employees will need to rework their getting-ready routines as they gear up to come back to the office. 

A unisex beauty box that includes high-end skincare and other personal hygiene luxuries is a great return to office gift idea. It will help your employees start their day on the right foot, and show them that you care about giving them the resources to pamper themselves.

Investment: About $25 per person

Buy beauty boxes for your employees on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Tea Box

Coffee usually gets the lion’s share of votes when it comes to caffeinated beverages, but make no mistake – tea lovers are a force to be reckoned with. 

After all, there’s nothing quite like a hot cuppa to get you through the afternoon slump.

A tea box is a lovely and unique return to office gift that will give your employees the pep they need to power through the work week. 

Investment: About $88 per person

You can grab tea boxes for your whole team on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Insulated Mug

One of the perks of getting back to the office is finally getting back to socializing in the break room.

Help your employees keep their cups filled – literally and figuratively – by gifting them with insulated tumblers or mugs. Bonus points if you choose one that fits into car cup holders.

Investment: Starts at $10 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

Amazon has a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and price ranges. 

  1. Custom Gift Basket

For employees with varied interests and preferences – or for an employer who has that “special something” in mind, but can’t quite put their finger on it – a custom gift basket might be the way to go. 

There’s no limit to the kinds of goodies you can put in baskets like these; from snacks and booze to SWAG and skincare, there’s truly something available for everyone.

Investment: Varies depending on customization 

Browse our marketplace for a wide variety of custom welcome back gift baskets for your employees. 

  1. Retreat in a Box

Even for those eager to get back to the office, the level of stimulation in the workplace environment may come as a shock to the system. 

Give your employees the time-out they might be craving with a spa box. These are a great option because they allow for self-care, while also minimizing exposure to potential germs. 

Investment: About $105 per person

Get luxurious spa boxes for your team on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Cookie Decorating Kit

If you’re looking for a welcome back to work gift idea that can also serve as an engagement activity, why not try a cookie decorating kit and contest?

You can give your employees the cookie decorating kit as a gift, and then create a fun contest around it. You might even offer an additional prize to the winner. Feel free to team up or get creative in other ways. 

Investment: About $40 per person

Order cookie decorating kits for your whole team on Thriver. 

  1. Flowers and Plants

For such a simple detail, some greenery in the office sure can go a long way in cheering up the place.

A small indoor plant for each of your employees’ desks is a really thoughtful and easy return to office gift idea. 

There are many online nurseries and flower shops that can easily accommodate any size order of small indoor plants. Local nurseries will also be happy to guide you in your selection.

Investment: Varies; wide variety of price ranges available

  1. Snack Box

Just because you’re back in the office doesn’t mean your employees should be stuck with vending machine snacks. 

Treat your team to a gourmet spread with a deluxe snack box. These are perfect for employees to tuck away in their drawers and break out when they need a moment to escape. 

Investment: About $160 per person

You can find gourmet snack boxes for any dietary restriction or taste on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Champagne and Chocolate Box

For a return to work gift idea that’s equal parts “business” and “party,” try a chocolate and champagne box. 

Returning to the office signals at least some return to normalcy – and after the couple of years we’ve all had, that’s more than enough reason to celebrate with a bubbly-themed gift.

Investment: About $35 per person

Order champagne and chocolate boxes on the Thriver marketplace. You can splurge on your team by also including a bottle of bubbles with the box. 

  1. Wine Gift Box

If you (or your employees) are into booze-themed gifts, you could go all out with a wine gift box. 

Wine boxes make fabulous gifts: fun, stress-relieving, and generous! And they usually come with some pretty yummy snacks, too. 

Investment: About $80 per person

Find high-quality wine gift boxes for return to office gifts on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Journaling Kit

For better or for worse, returning to the office will likely make your employees’ to-do lists a bit longer. Between car maintenance, dry cleaning, and all the other everyday tasks that come with leaving the house more than, say, twice a week, your employees will surely appreciate a place to keep all of their thoughts in one place.

A high-end journal and accompanying accessories will show your employees that you’re serious about helping them manage it all.

Investment: About $85 per person

Buy journal kits for your team on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Lunch Box Kit

Brown bag lunches are out, and full-scale, packed-from-home-with-love lunches are totally in. 

Compartmentalized lunch boxes and meal containers are a foolproof way to show your employees how happy you are to have them back. Not only are they super functional, but there’s great opportunity for personalization and/or branding.

Investment: Starts at about $30 per person

  1. Cocktail Kit

There’s no reason why welcome back to the office gifts have to be for in-office use only.

Although a cocktail kit isn’t something you typically use in an office, it makes an incredible gift for employees who will be looking to exercise some creativity (and imbibe) during off-hours. 

Investment: About $98 per person

Buy cocktail kits that can be shipped to home or office on Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Wireless Earbuds

By now, most of your employees will be used to working solo. With that in mind, there may be some bumps along the way while your team relearns how to coexist and share the same workspace.

Wireless earbuds make for a wonderful return to office gift; they allow your employees to get some reprieve from outside stimulation and focus on their tasks at hand. 

Investment: Starts at about $30; wide variety of price ranges available

There are many well-known earbud brands to choose from; Amazon also has a wide selection.

  1. Game Night Gift Box

With the return to the workplace will also come the return of office social events.

Why not gift your employees their first one?

A “game night in a box” kit has all the makings of an incredible game night. Plus, many of the included games can be played either solo or in a group – they’re perfect for a night out together, or curled up at home alone.

Investment: About $88 per person

Buy game night in a box kits on the Thriver marketplace. 

 

  1. Mini Blender

Many of your employees will be back to eating breakfast on the run when they return to the office. 

You can make their morning routine faster and easier with a portable individual blender. The blender can be stored either at work or at home, making it ultra-convenient. Plus, many can be branded with your company name or logo.

Investment: Starts at about $20 per person

You can find a blender in just about every color of the rainbow on Amazon.

  1. Chocolate Box

It was Forrest Gump who famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.” 

Even in all his wisdom, we’d guess that Forrest had no idea that we’d one day face a global pandemic that shut the entire world down for over a year. 

For a team that’s up for a little bit of irony, welcome them back to the office with some delectable symbolism: a deluxe box of chocolates. 

Investment: About $55 per person

You can buy gourmet chocolate boxes for your team on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Office-Wide Wellness Program

If you’re looking for a splurge-worthy return to office gift idea, you could treat all of your employees to an all-inclusive wellness program.

This kind of gift is certainly an investment of time and money, but it will pay off in spades. With things like team challenges, weekly check-ins, and coaching sessions, your employees will start off on a fantastic foot together as they return to the office.

Investment: About $1580 for a group of any size

Book your office wellness program on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Robot Vacuum

Now that your employees are coming back to the office, they’re going to have less time on their hands to take care of their household responsibilities. 

A robot vacuum may seem random, but it’s actually a great welcome back to the office gift. To your employees, you’ll be taking something off of their plates.

There are, of course, the very well-known brands that run on the higher end of the price range. For the full scope of what’s available, check out this list of reviews from the New York Times

Investment: Starts at about $100 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

  1. Yoga Kit

Even for offices with outstanding workplace culture, it can sometimes be hard to find a moment of zen when the office is buzzing. 

For a return to office gift that’s focused on mindfulness, you might consider a yoga kit. It’s the perfect way to encourage your employees to take a time-out when they really need it. 

Investment: About $35 per person

Get yoga kits for your team on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Subscriptions

For certain industries, or managers who know their teams extremely well, subscriptions could be great options for gifting your employees as they return to the office.

If, for example, you work in the music industry, you might pay for your employees’ music-streaming platform accounts. Employees in the beauty industry might appreciate a yearlong subscription to a beauty box. 

Movie or TV streaming services are also a great option, if you know of one that’s universally liked by your team.

There are also wine, beer, coffee, and beef jerky subscription boxes on the market today – the possibilities are truly endless for any interest or preference. 

Investment: Starts at about $12 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

  1. Cozy Kit

One of the hardest parts about returning to the office will be giving up access to some of our favorite creature comforts at home.

Despite old-school thinking to the contrary, employees are actually more productive when they’re comfortable. Employers can encourage their team members to get comfortable in the office with a cozy kit. 

Investment: About $45 per person

Buy your team cozy kits on the Thriver marketplace to help them relax as they return to the office. 

  1. Catered Lunch

Eating a meal out is as much of a gift as anything during a pandemic, and your employees would surely love to be treated to one. 

That being said, it may be hard to find a common time to hit the town once everyone’s schedules are back in full swing.

A catered lunch is a great compromise, and a really generous and exciting way to welcome your employees back to the office. 

Investment: Starts at about $25 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

Check out the wide variety of corporate catering options that you can book on the Thriver marketplace. 

  1. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

There are some offices that lean on the more free-spirited side, who don’t necessarily mind an office-wide jam sesh. 

If your employees like to keep the energy up, or if you work in a certain industry – music, for example – a portable bluetooth speaker is a fun return to office gift that can be used at work and at home.

Investment: Starts at about $25

Take your pick of shapes, sizes, and price ranges on Amazon.

  1. Workspace Overhaul

There’s just something about redecorating a space that adds a bit of extra motivation and energy to the environment. 

For a knock-your-socks off return to work experience, you could consider gifting your employees with a complete office/cubicle refresh.

There are companies that will meet with your team members, virtually or in person, to hear about their workspace needs and design wishes. They can then turn those ideas into visual renderings that you and/or your employees can use to redesign your space.

Investment: Varies; wide variety of price ranges available

  1. Gift Card

If you’re at a loss for the perfect gift, don’t let anyone convince you that gift cards are tacky. The truth is, everyone loves a little extra money in their pocket to spend. 

Even a small amount goes a long way when it comes to a gift card, and there are several options that are sure to be virtually universal favorites.

Investment: Varies; recommended at least $10 per person; wide variety of price ranges available

  1. Subscription Gift Box

Building culture can be challenging – especially when you have a mix of in-office, hybrid, and remote employees. Chocolate Soup’s subscription gift box service helps companies celebrate important employee milestones like birthdays and anniversaries – all year round. All you need to do is provide Chocolate Soup your employees’ milestone date and they take care of picking, packing, and shipping. Each gift box includes a personalized hand-written note too!

Investment: Their service starts at $15 per employee per month with gifts for birthdays and anniversaries. Significant other, children, and pet birthdays gifts are also available. You can even add a personalized figurine for each employee with their Build-Your-Career add-on. 

  1. Handwritten Note

For businesses that took a hit during the pandemic, a full team gift might be a big ask. 

Don’t let that deter you from gifting anything at all; a hand-written thank you note can go a really long way in letting your employees know how much you’ve appreciated their dedication through the pandemic, and how excited you are to have them back in the office.

If you go this route, you need to write a card for each employee. Don’t skimp on that part. High-end stationary is a bonus, but not necessary. 

Investment: As little as $0.50 per person (plus the investment of time it takes to write them)

There are tons of gorgeous stationery options available on Amazon and Etsy

  1. A Gift of Time

If you’re really hard-pressed for ideas, consider giving each of your employees a gift of time.

With a gift of time, you offer each of your team members a certain amount of paid time off. It may be 4 hours, a day, or even a week, if you’re feeling particularly generous. 

Keep in mind that this time should be on top of their regularly-allowed PTO.

Investment: Free

Remember: no matter how eager we all are to get back to “real life,” this transition will be challenging for most. Even a small gift can go a long way in helping your employees understand how excited you are to have them back.

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