Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Shopping for Co-Workers

Nicole Setzen of, a Web site offering personal gift ideas and customized items, said when buying gifts for co-workers remember to follow company policy. And use what you know about them.

“Be creative. People are becoming bored with the standard gift -- books, pens or a gift card. Give a gift that is useful and personal,” Setzen said. “Think about the recipient's likes and taste when choosing their gift.”

Especially during these hard economic times, avoid overspending, because you don't want to make others uncomfortable.

Give your co-worker something he or she can enjoy and get use out of at work, like personalized Notepads or Post-its.

“Spice up your co-workers desks with these fun notepads and post-its,” Setzen said. “There are so many designs and colors to choose from that there is sure to be something here for all styles and tastes.”

Author and etiquette-expert Jacqueline Whitmore also recommends “tailoring to taste” when shopping for fellow employees.

“If you know your co-worker loves or collects a particular thing, use that information,” Whitmore said. “For example, a cookbook is a useful and inexpensive gift for someone whom you know likes to cook. The best gift is a functional one as opposed to one that just looks attractive and collects dust and a few compliments.”

Visit, where you can find a selection of low-budget, top-rated books.

Give something that your co-worker can enjoy with family or even everyone at the office, such as a personalized bin filled with yummy treats.

Giving money is a definite no-no in the office. But Whitmore said a more-specific gift card can be perfect. Pick up one from any of his or her favorite places to shop.