The Perfect Going Away Gifts for Coworkers

By Priya Jain

Published:

Workplace Culture & Morale

Priya Jain

Priya Jain

Writer & Career Coach

Saying goodbye to a coworker is a chance to show them you appreciate working together. It’s more than just a “see you later” – it’s a moment to say, “Thanks for the good times, and good luck on your next adventure.” 

Thoughtful gifts matter because they’re like little reminders of the good times you shared at work. 

In this article, we share insights into meaningful and personalized gestures that go beyond the usual office gifts.

Personalized Going Away Gifts for Coworkers

Choosing a personalized going away gift for a coworker can be a thoughtful way to show appreciation and wish them well in their future endeavors. Here are some ideas:

1. Wine or Whiskey Glasses

Consider gifting personalized wine or whiskey glasses adorned with your coworker’s name, a significant date, or a heartfelt farewell message. This thoughtful touch adds a personal element to the gift. 

To complement the glasses, you could include a bottle of their favorite wine or whiskey, creating a complete and indulgent package.

2. Custom Caricature

For a lighthearted and memorable gift, hire an artist to craft a custom caricature of your coworker. This unique and humorous keepsake can capture their personality and the spirit of your time together. 

Frame the caricature or print it on canvas, turning it into a cherished piece of art they can take wherever they go.

3. Farewell Time Capsule

Create a heartfelt farewell time capsule by gathering colleagues’ notes, trinkets, and mementos. You can encourage team members to contribute personal messages, predictions for the future, and inside jokes.

4. Customized Mugs and Coasters

Personalized mugs make for a practical yet sentimental gift. Add your coworker’s name, a humorous quote, or an inside joke to bring a smile to their face with every sip. 

Coasters can be customized with a memorable photo collage or a special message. For a thoughtful touch, pair the mug or coaster with their favorite coffee or tea selection.

5. Personalized Wall Art

Select personalized wall art to commemorate your coworker’s time with the company. This could include canvas prints featuring a memorable quote, a significant date, or a group photo with colleagues. 

Another idea is to create a photo montage capturing key moments from their journey at the company. Alternatively, you can opt for artwork that aligns with their interests or aspirations, ensuring a meaningful and visually appealing gift.

Practical Going Away Gifts

Practical gifts are thoughtful and versatile, making them suitable for individuals who may not have a close or personal relationship with their coworkers. Here are some practical going away gift ideas:

6. Professional Planner or Notebook

A professional planner or notebook is a practical and thoughtful gift for a coworker. Opt for one with a sleek design or customizable features. This allows your coworker to stay organized and smoothly transition into their new professional endeavors.

You can add a personalized note inside to express your best wishes for their future success.

7. Engraved Pen

An engraved pen adds a personal touch to a going away gift. Choose a sophisticated pen and engrave it with your coworker’s name, a special message, or last working date. 

This timeless and functional gift makes a statement in professional settings and serves as a lasting token of appreciation. Pair it with a stylish pen holder for an extra touch of elegance.

8. Coffee Mug, Tumbler, or Water Bottle

A personalized coffee mug, insulated tumbler, or water bottle is a versatile and practical gift. Customize it with your colleague’s name, a favorite quote, or a design that reflects their personality.

9. Paperweight

A stylish paperweight can add a touch of elegance to their new workspace. Choose one with a meaningful engraving, such as a motivational quote or a company logo. Beyond its practical use, the paperweight becomes a decorative item that symbolizes your coworker’s contributions to the team. 

You can include a handwritten note expressing gratitude for their dedication.

10. Cookware or Kitchen Gadgets

Cookware or kitchen gadgets make for a thoughtful and useful farewell gift. Consider selecting items that align with the coworker’s culinary preferences and daily cooking needs.

This gift embodies the idea of creating a home wherever they go and reflects the shared moments in the workplace. Include a handwritten note with a favorite recipe or cooking tip, imparting a personal touch and sharing a piece of the team’s culinary spirit.

11. Coffee or Tea Subscription

Gift a subscription to a premium coffee or tea service. This gives your parting coworker a delightful treat and a moment of relaxation amid their busy schedule. Choose a subscription that aligns with their taste preferences.

This ongoing gift shows consideration for your coworkers’ preferences and serves as a constant reminder of their previous workplace. 

12. Experience Gift

An experience gift is a unique and memorable way to show appreciation for a departing coworker. Choose an experience that resonates with their interests, whether a spa day for relaxation, a cooking class for culinary enthusiasts, or tickets to a show for those who appreciate the arts.

This thoughtful gesture goes beyond material possessions, allowing them to create lasting memories in their new chapter. 

Accompany the gift with a personalized card detailing your well-wishes and expressing gratitude for the shared experiences. 

13. Travel Map

A travel map is a meaningful and decorative gift, perfect for someone about to embark on a new journey. Choose a map that allows them to mark the places they’ve visited and dream about future destinations. 

This thoughtful present adds a touch of wanderlust to their space and becomes a visual representation of their life’s adventures. 

Enhance the gift by including a set of vibrant markers or pins, encouraging them to personalize the map with their unique travel stories. Attach a heartfelt note expressing your best wishes for a journey filled with exciting experiences and discoveries.

Funny Leaving Gifts for Coworkers

When bidding farewell to a close coworker with a shared sense of humor and a strong bond, light-hearted gifts can add a touch of levity to the goodbye. These might not be suitable for more sensitive coworkers or those with whom you don’t have a close relationship. 

Here are some light-hearted going away gift ideas:

14. “Out of Office” Sign

A humorous “Out of Office” sign can make for a playful and amusing farewell gift for a coworker about to embark on a new adventure. Choose a sign with a witty message or a clever twist on the typical out-of-office response.

Here’s an example:

Office escape in progress!

The office chair is now hosting auditions for a replacement.

15. “Goodbye and Good Riddance” Card

For a coworker with a great sense of humor, a “Goodbye and Good Riddance” card can add a touch of light-heartedness to the farewell. Look for a card that combines a funny illustration or design with a witty farewell message. 

This cheeky gesture communicates the playful side of your relationship and acknowledges the bittersweet nature of goodbyes. Customize the card with a personal note, perhaps recounting a humorous anecdote or inside joke that encapsulates your time together. 

16. “Don’t Forget Us” Calendar

Create a personalized and humorous calendar as a farewell gift for your coworker, serving as a delightful reminder of the shared moments in the office. Populate the calendar with memorable photos, inside jokes, and important dates from your time together. 

Label significant days like their last day at the office or even quirky team traditions. This funny and nostalgic calendar is a practical tool for organizing days and a heartfelt keepsake that encourages them not to forget the fun and camaraderie you’ve shared. 

17. Office Survival Kit

As a parting gift, create a playful “Office Survival Kit” to help your coworker navigate their new professional journey with humor and resilience. 

Include items that represent the quirks and challenges of office life, such as a “Stress Relief” squishy toy, a “Patience Pills” dispenser, and a miniature guide on “How to Survive Meetings.” Add a touch of personalization by incorporating inside jokes or references specific to your shared experiences. 

This light-hearted and comical kit will bring a smile to their face and serves as a fond reminder of the friendship you’ve enjoyed together. 

18. Funny Socks

Give your coworker a quirky and amusing gift with funny socks. Look for designs that reflect their personality or interests, whether socks with goofy faces, hilarious quotes, or playful patterns. 

This gesture adds a touch of humor to their everyday wardrobe and reminds them of the shared laughter within the office.

DIY Ideas for Going Away Gifts

Creating a DIY (Do It Yourself) going away gift adds a personal and thoughtful touch to your farewell gesture. Here are some creative DIY ideas for going away gifts:

19. Memory Book

Crafting a DIY memory book for your departing coworker is a touching and personalized farewell gesture. 

Steps: 

  • Decorate a blank scrapbook with vibrant paper, stickers, and personal touches that capture the essence of your shared experiences. 
  • Arrange photos chronologically or based on specific themes, adding captions and notes to provide context and share funny anecdotes. 
  • Encourage colleagues to contribute personal messages, creating a collaborative and sentimental keepsake.
  • Present the memory book with a personal note expressing your gratitude and well wishes.

20. Baked Goods

Sharing homemade baked goods is a delightful and heartwarming way to bid farewell to a coworker. Whether you’re an avid baker or a novice in the kitchen, this DIY gift will leave a lasting impression. 

Steps:

  • Choose a selection of your coworker’s favorite treats or opt for various cookies, brownies, or muffins.
  • Package them in a decorative box or tin, adding a personal touch with ribbons or tags. 
  • Consider including a handwritten recipe card for one of the treats, allowing your coworkers to recreate a taste of the office whenever they wish. 

21. Inspiration Jar

Create an inspirational jar filled with uplifting messages and notes for your coworker. This heartfelt and personalized gift is a continuous source of inspiration, reminding your coworkers of the supportive and encouraging team they are leaving behind. 

Steps:

  • Choose a jar or container with a lid to put the inspirational notes in.
  • Collect various written inspirational quotes, motivational messages, and personal notes from colleagues, fold the notes, and place them inside the jar.
  • Attach a tag to the jar, explaining its purpose and encouraging the recipient to open a note whenever they need a boost of positivity. 

22. Handmade Card

Crafting a handmade card with personal messages from all coworkers is a touching and collaborative way to bid adieu. 

Steps:

  • Begin by selecting quality cardstock or paper for the card, ensuring it’s large enough to accommodate messages from everyone.
  • Decorate the cover with a design that reflects the coworker’s interests or the team’s shared experiences.
  • Encourage coworkers to write heartfelt notes, share memories, express gratitude, and offer well-wishes.

23. Photo Collage

Crafting a personalized photo collage is a heartfelt and visually appealing way to create a memorable farewell gift for your coworker. This DIY photo collage is a visually stunning and sentimental keepsake, celebrating the coworker’s time with the team and the bonds formed.

Steps:

  • Collect photos capturing special moments, events, and shared experiences with your coworker.
  • Choose a large, sturdy board or poster as the base for your collage, and add photos and decorative elements like ribbons, stickers, or quotes. 
  • Consider framing the collage or placing it in a stylish photo album for a polished finish. 

New and Unique Going Away Gifts for Coworkers

A thoughtful and unique going away gift can make the farewell more memorable. Here are some new gift ideas for coworkers:

24. Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Gifts

Embracing eco-friendly and sustainable gifts not only demonstrates thoughtfulness but also aligns with a commitment to environmental consciousness.

Here are some eco-friendly and sustainable gift ideas for coworkers:

  • Reusable Coffee Cup or Travel Mug: Gift a sustainable bamboo or stainless steel coffee cup.
  • Bamboo Utensil Set: Offer a lightweight and durable bamboo utensil set for on-the-go meals.
  • Seed Bombs: Promote green spaces with the gift of biodegradable seed bombs.
  • Solar-Powered Charger: Keep your coworker connected sustainably with a solar-powered charger.

25. Virtual and Augmented Reality Gifts

Virtual reality (VR) gifts involve immersive experiences facilitated by VR headsets. These gifts provide users with simulated gaming, education, or entertainment environments. Augmented reality (AR) gifts leverage technology to enhance the real-world environment, often through smartphone apps or AR glasses. 

Here are some virtual and augmented reality gifts:

  • VR Headset: Gift a virtual reality headset that allows your coworker to experience immersive virtual environments, games, or educational content.
  • AR Smart Glasses: Augmented reality smart glasses, such as Microsoft HoloLens or Google Glass Enterprise Edition, provide a hands-free AR experience.
  • VR Meditation Apps: Help your coworkers relax and unwind with VR meditation apps that transport them to serene and calming landscapes for guided meditation sessions.
  • Online VR Classes or Workshops: Provide access to online VR classes or workshops that can enhance their skills or introduce them to new virtual experiences.

26. Personalized AI-Generated Art

Gift your coworker a truly unique and personalized piece of art generated by artificial intelligence. AI can create stunning digital artworks based on various inputs and styles.

Consider the following options:

  • Portrait Art: Generate an AI portrait that combines the facial features of your coworker with artistic elements. 
  • Name or Initials Art: Input your coworker’s name or initials, and let AI create visually appealing and personalized artwork.
  • Abstract Art Based on Preferences: Ask your coworkers about their artistic preferences, colors, and themes. Input this information into an AI art generator to produce an abstract piece tailored to their tastes.

27. AI-Generated Songs

Surprise your coworker with a personalized AI-generated song, a truly innovative and creative gift. AI-powered song generators can create unique compositions based on various inputs. 

Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Provide the AI with details like your coworker’s name, interests, and preferred music style. 
  • Specify the mood, tone, and any significant events you want the song to reference. 
  • Choose the desired length and instrumentation, and include a personalized message. 
  • Review and edit the song before delivery. 

This innovative gift merges technology and creativity, offering your coworker a truly unique musical experience.

28. Socially Responsible Gifts

Show your commitment to social responsibility by gifting your coworker items that contribute to positive social and environmental impact. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Fair Trade Products: Choose ethically produced goods like fair trade coffee or chocolate.
  • Ethical Clothing or Accessories: Opt for clothing or accessories from brands with sustainable and fair practices.
  • Donate to Their Chosen Charity: Donate to a charity on your coworker’s behalf, supporting a cause they care about.
  • Sustainable Beauty and Skincare Products: Select beauty and skincare products made from natural, organic ingredients in eco-friendly packaging.
  • Eco-Friendly Tech Accessories: Gift tech accessories made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled fabrics.

Priya Jain

About the Author

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