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Best gifts for co-workers under $50

Sure, your office-mates might love to get a PS5, but that's not going to happen. Here's a few more wallet-friendly options.
Written by Elyse Betters Picaro, Managing Editor on

It's time to play secret Santa.

Whether you're anonymously swapping gifts with a few of your co-workers or simply want to get your work bestie something neat to show your appreciation of them, it can be hard to find great gifts for the people you clock in and out with every day. For starters, you don't want to go over the top and spend too much. Sure, your office-mates might love to get a PS5, but that's not going to happen. This is why we've come up with a list of the best gifts under $50 for co-workers.

What makes the Echo Dot a perfect gift is its versatility; it can squeeze into any space and comes with built-in Alexa. It's so darn cheap and an overall great smart speaker for any room. This particular model is the latest one, ball-shape and all.

This is a multicolor smart bulb that comes with a wide range of colors and dimming capabilities. Your co-worker can choose a light for everything from a dinner party to a late-night spreadsheet session. No hub required. Plus, it works with Google Assistant or Alexa voice commands.

This single cup coffee maker from Hamilton Beach is the perfect gift for the office coffee addict, and you'll probably be able to score a cup of joe yourself if they decide to use it at work.

The Fire TV Stick will let your office mate watch all their favorite streaming apps in Full HD with Dolby Vision. The Fire Stick 4K is also on sale for $29.99 if you want to give your co-worker the 4K treatment. 

These wireless Bluetooth headphones from Sony will let your co-worker cancel out the world with smart noise cancellation. They feature a 30-millimeter driver, hands-free calling, and support for voice assistant commands with the built-in microphone. They're over-ears, too, so they won't be easy to lose. 

This coffee mug warmer is a great way to make sure your favorite co-worker never has to drink cold coffee again. It can also work to keep soups warm for lunch. 

This label maker from Brother is extremely versatile, thanks to its wide range of options. It has 14 different fonts as well as 97 different frames for the border of a label. If your work bestie is an A-type person, it's honestly one of the best gifts for them.

Regularly $50, this smart clock from Lenovo has a 4-inch LED display and works with Google Assistant. It'd be a great gift for that person who's always clocking in late. If they're more of an Alexa person, the Echo Show 5 is just $45 right now and works very similarly.

This 5.9-inch desk lamp is modeled exactly after the moon, craters and all. It uses a rechargeable battery for power and has three different color lighting options: Nature white, warm white, and cool white. It's a niche gift, but it's beautiful when lit and might make your space-loving friend light up themselves when they see it.

We mentioned the Fire TV Stick earlier, so we feel obligated to mention an alternative: Roku. It will provide access to all of your co-worker's favorite apps, from Hulu to Netflix. Sadly, there's no HBO Max yet. 

Ok, this is $1 over your budget, but it is the original Fisher Space Pen that was used on the Apollo 7 space mission in 1968 after two years of testing by NASA. It has been used on all manned space flights since then. It writes at any angle, even in Zero Gravity, and it works in extreme temperatures from -30F to 250F. Each Fisher Space Pen also carries a lifetime guarantee. 

Coming in at just $50 is Amazon's super popular Fire 7 tablet. Want Alexa on the go? Check. Want easy access to Kindle books? Check. Need to surf the web or check your socials? Check. Your co-worker can do it all from this inexpensive slate. What's not to love?

Sure, we're not in the office anymore, but everyone has that one co-worker who complains about the heat. Maybe make them laugh a bit this Christmas by getting them a flexible, versatile fan. It'll shut them up and cool them off. It has a built-in battery, too, so they can bring it just about anywhere while working remote.

Have you ever carpooled or gotten a ride from a co-worker who has a disgusting car? Like, they can't seem to keep the inside clean? Maybe help them out and get them this handy trash can for their vehicle. It can fit into a cup holder or car door pocket. It's also great next to a computer. 

Need more gift ideas?

Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration. 

Our sister sites also have the following gift guides: 

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