gifts they might actually want

34 Gifts for Every Type of Boss

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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If your team partakes in gift-giving, there’s a pretty high chance you might find yourself in the daunting position of having to shop for your boss. You want your present to show your appreciation for their leadership — but it can’t read too generic. You might also want your choice to reflect that you’ve gotten to know them a bit as a person — but it also can’t feel too familiar.

“Tricky” doesn’t even begin to describe this scenario, but we’re here to help you avoid a faux pas. Ahead, I’ve brainstormed 34 tasteful and appropriate (and, dare we say, fun) gift ideas for every type of boss, whether they’re a dog lover, still struggling to figure out WFH, or successfully working remotely from more time zones than you. All these standouts have been pulled from our archives, and many are tried-and-true Strategist favorites — some even come recommended by actual managers and employees. To make your search even easier, I’ve organized everything by price, plus every product below can be found on Amazon.

Have a more specific gifting question? Try our new gift search tool here!

Gifts for bosses under $25

For the boss who’s bored with Maldon

Saltverk Birch Smoked Salt
$9
$9

Their packed lunches will taste better (and feel fancier) with a sprinkle of smoked sea-salt crystals. With a light-as-air texture, the crunchy flakes can finish almost any food, from scrambled eggs to chocolate-chip cookies.

For the boss who color-codes everything

If their spreadsheets tend to be rainbow hued, they’ll love these brightly colored, extra-large Extreme Post-its. They’re ultrasticky, don’t leave a tacky residue behind, and stand up to moisture, so your boss can even label their lunch in the break-room fridge.

For the boss who swears by the Pomodoro Technique

Help your boss stay on task with the Mooas Dodecagon Mini Timer, which New York Magazine editor-at-large Choire Sicha tipped us off to. He says it’s super-straightforward to use — just flip the polygon so that the desired time increment faces up (there are 11 options, ranging from 1 to 90 minutes).

For the boss who already owns a few fruit-shaped candles

Charm them with our favorite lemon-shaped soap (Lynda Carter is a big fan too).

For the boss who plays pickup basketball

If they spend Saturdays on the court, this basketball encyclopedia — written and illustrated by Ben Detrick and Andrew Kuo, the co-hosts of the podcast Cookies Hoops — will be right up their alley.

For the boss who takes Zoom calls on mobile

Omoton Adjustable Cell Phone Stand
From $11
From $11

This sleek-looking stand will turn their smartphone into a second monitor that can be adjusted for vertical and landscape viewing. It’s a favorite of Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness.

For the boss who prefers tea to coffee

Finum Tea Brewing Basket
$12 for 2
$12 for 2

A tea infuser will let your recipient unlock stronger flavors while eliminating the waste produced by single-use bags. The lid also serves as a drip tray so they can brew into a mug directly at their desk.

For the boss who only wears stilettos

$16 for 3

Their footwear choices will no longer end in blisters and numb toes with these ultracushy foot pads, which make walking in high heels easier and more comfortable. We heard about these from a fitness influencer’s assistant, who buys them in droves for her high-heel-loving boss.

For the boss who cranks the office AC …

If your boss constantly complains of sweating through their dress shirt, this USB-rechargeable neck fan has bendable arms and three speeds so they can adjust the breeze (and aim it wherever they like). It can also be converted to tabletop mode if the office starts roasting them for wearing it.

… and the one who’s on the 72-degree side of the thermostat wars

From $18

Get your manager this small-but-mighty space heater that’s also highly portable. It’s compact enough to fit under or on top of a desk, plus the ceramic coils are designed to heat up in seconds.

For the boss whose blood pressure you’re worried about

While you work on persuading them to start a meditation practice, help them relax in the meantime with incense from the Tokyo-based company Nippon Kodo, a Strategist favorite for years. There are plenty of scents to choose from, and each 40-stick box has a colorful striped sleeve that’s too pretty to hide with wrapping paper.

For the boss whose pet keeps chewing through their loafers

Redirect their dog’s energy to this plush lamb, which I can almost guarantee they’ll still want to play with even when the stuffing’s ripped out. But when it finally does needs replacing, it’s very affordable for a squeaky toy — and it happens to be the one an assistant to a best-selling novelist purchases on repeat for her boss’s pandemic puppy.

For the boss who prefers handwritten notes to the Notes app

If they still write in ordinary black ink, make brown their new signature shade with this lightweight, quick-drying Pigma Pen. The slim barrel is designed to fit neatly in their hand, and the ultraprecise tip will keep their cursive consistent even as they scrawl down their notes.

For the boss who’s bicoastal

These compression socks, described as little corsets for your feet, are tightest around the ankle but gradually loosen from the calf to just under the knee. With a no-slip cuff and a seamless toe box designed to eliminate blisters, they’ll help your boss sit through long-haul flights and touch down without heavy, achy legs.

For the boss whose cubicle could use some greenery

Horti
From $28
From $28

Get them a gift that keeps on giving with Horti’s plant-of-the-month subscription box, which will start your boss off with hardy, beginner-friendly species (like snake plants) and then slowly introduce more exotic varieties. You can find more subscription-based gifts here.

For the boss who’s trying to start a workplace book club

If they’ve mentioned they prefer thrillers to romance novels, this book, the first installment in Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series, follows a group of retired seniors who come together once a week to investigate unsolved murders. R.L. Stine calls the storyline “really top-notch.”

Gifts for bosses under $50

For the boss who watches TikToks during their lunch break

They can use this snap-on tripod stand for taking FaceTime calls or recording hands-free, but it also works great for watching videos while sitting at a desk. “It won’t help them cut down on screen time, but it’ll give their hands a nice break,” says our tech writer, Jordan McMahon.

For the boss who dreams of having their own wine cellar

Any self-professed wine aficionado would appreciate this handsome electric opener that chef Shimi Aaron recommended when we asked him about the best ones on the market. “This one definitely sparks a conversation,” he told us.

For the boss who hates being weighed down by their work computer

Portability is this folding keyboard’s key feature, which makes it a great gift for a boss who hates lugging around their company laptop. It also has a kickstand for propping up a smartphone horizontally and using it as a small screen.

For the boss who wants a new productivity hack

This 60-minute timer could be a nice motivational tool for a boss who wants more structure to their work-from-home day. It’s completely disconnected to other devices, which will eliminate the temptation to check notifications (or doom-scroll).

For the boss who needs a break from Bluetooth

After accidentally washing my AirPods, I purchased these lightweight, retro-looking headphones, which I highly recommend for anyone tired of glitchy pairing connectivity. Porta Pros receive an analog signal, which allows them to reach higher volumes than most wireless earbuds.

For the boss who’s working on their posture

Ease their chronic back problems with this S-shaped massage tool that’s designed to relieve tension in hard-to-reach spots without twisting or straining. Ottessa Moshfegh and Daniel Kwan are fans.

For the boss who’s also a cyclist

This cheery (and durable) bike lock is the perfect gift for a boss who enjoys biking to work. It uses a three-digit combination so they don’t have to worry about keeping track of a key.

For the boss who has PTO planned this month

Upgrade your boss’s next travel experience with this loop-shaped pillow that can comfortably support their neck or be propped behind their back for lumbar support. It’s made from soft, antibacterial nylon bamboo that always stays at just the right temp.

For the boss who needs to work on their hydration

It may seem like an uninspiring gift, but Sam Sanders, host of Vulture’s culture podcast Into It, says this Yeti water bottle changed his life. It has two spout options — one for gulping and another for sipping — making it perfect for chugging water at the office (or transporting a beer to the park after work).

For the boss whose desk is under there … somewhere

Declutter their workspace once and for all with this storage bar from Strategist-favorite Yamazaki, whose clean lines are practically a work of art. The floating arm is ideal for propping up pens or glasses, and the base tray can house smaller odds and ends, like keys or their favorite mints.

For the boss who spends hours on their feet

This acupressure mat — a Strategist favorite since 2018 — has plastic spikes that activate points across the body to alleviate tension and pain. It also comes recommended by actress Kat Dennings, who says it soothes her back after being on set all day.

Gifts for bosses under $100

For the boss who finally made the switch to a standing desk

This standing-desk mat will be a welcome addition to their work-from-home setup. It doubles as a balance board, which encourages users to adjust their posture and engage their leg muscles — plus, it features a rolling massage ball and raised points that relieve foot tension.

For the boss who tries to be the company photographer …

A boss with an office wall full of photographs will appreciate this digital frame that can be used to display images and videos (with sound) from their camera roll. Connecting to the device only requires a USB stick or MicroSD card, and they can work the included remote to adjust the screen without having to get up.

… and the one who shoots everything on film

For the hobby photographer: director Sofia Coppola’s go-to Kodak film. She told us that she loads hers into a Contax T3 camera, and that it gives photos a soft color that never looks overly contrast-y.

For the boss who can’t keep track of their keys (or charger)

“Piles of paperwork” may be their office aesthetic, but this sleek-looking linen-wrapped tray will get at least one corner organized by both sorting out their essentials and wirelessly powering their device. And by cutting down on unsightly cords, you’ll also basically be saving them from a tripping hazard.

For the boss who owns a walking pad

These monochromatic Bala weights, which can be worn around the wrists or ankles, are a simple way to add resistance to your boss’s daily lunch-break walk. Available as a one- or two-pound set, the slim bands are highly adjustable thanks to ultrastrong velcro, making them easy to hide under a pair of work pants.

For the boss who forgets to download a film before business trips

This adapter will allow your manager to connect their Bluetooth headphones to any in-flight entertainment system so they’ll no longer have to ask for an airline-issue wired pair. The nifty gadget also eliminates having to unplug their entire setup when a seatmate inevitably gets up to use the toilet.

For the boss who’s never not at 2 percent

If your boss keeps stealing your charger, get them this multi-device charging station that unfolds to give their phone — plus their AirPods and Apple Watch — some extra juice. And because there aren’t any cords or plugs involved, they can charge on the go.

The Strategist is a new site designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best notebook, black T-shirts, fashion-editor-approved jeans, toothbrush, and apartment décor. Note that all prices are subject to change.

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34 Gifts for Every Type of Boss