Best Leaving Gifts for Colleagues – Ideas for the Perfect Work Present!

It can be an emotional and even stressful time when a co-worker moves on to the next challenge. It can seem a tricky task to convey just how grateful you are to them. Saying it with a thoughtful gift can help with this. Nothing says thank you quite like a gift from everyone they are leaving behind. But what are the best leaving gifts for colleagues?

Our guide will help you choose the perfect farewell pressie!

Choosing Great Leaving Gifts For Colleagues

Sometimes it can be difficult to convey with a leaving gift just how much you appreciate a colleague. But with some careful planning and browsing, there are a great deal of options. It becomes easier if the colleague is also a friend. In this situation, you know their personality and can use this as your base to c.

However, some colleagues are just colleagues. This can make buying a specific gift more challenging, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find something special to mark the end of their employment.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing

Being responsible for buying a gift can be a daunting task. Whether you’re buying on behalf of the whole team, or giving a personal gift to a co-worker, it can be difficult to hit the right sentiment with a gift.

There will be heightened emotions if the employee has been there long term. This is why it is important to keep in mind some key points before hitting that buy button.

  • Think about who you are buying the gift for. Judge how well you know them before choosing a leaving gift.
  • Perhaps ask another colleague to suggest something if you feel they know them better. They might be friends which makes the process easier.
  • Choose your budget wisely. Leaving gifts hopefully don’t come around so often so perhaps the budget can stretch a little.
  • Also, think about whether you want to buy individually or do an office whip around and buy a collective gift.
  • If in any doubt at all then go from something practical and shy away from something very personal.
  • Bear in mind the reason for the departure as this might influence the gift you select.
  • Keep your co-workers culture in mind so as not to offend with their leaving gift.

Top Gifts for Colleagues When Leaving Work

You have a great deal of options when it comes to leaving gifts. However, your search will be based on the reason they are leaving. Therefore, for convenience, we have broken down the gift categories into different leaving scenarios.

Retirement Gifts

Retirement can be an emotional time for all. Saying goodbye to someone who has worked alongside you is never easy. With retirement, they have likely been your co worker for many years.

Retirement Hamper

Why not either buy or make up a hamper with lots of goodies inside? You can buy sweet, savoury or a drinks hamper.

With the right presentation, these make a good choice of gift. The recipient will see how much they are valued and how much they will be missed. Hampers can be so versatile and can be adapted to suit any occasion.

Wine Glasses

Quite a traditional retirement gift is some wine glasses or champagne flutes. These can be personalised with a message for that extra touch. It doesn’t have to be alcohol glasses.

You can buy some nice normal glasses or some fancy coffee mugs. These can be used day to day but also make a lovely keepsake gift.

Retirement Plaque

A plaque has the advantage of being personalised to suit the situation. It is also something that can be kept for many years to come.

This option is great if you aren’t too sure what to get but still want to make it meaningful. Someone given a sentimental plaque will feel appreciated and valued which is so important.

Maternity Gifts

A colleague who is about to embark on motherhood will be feeling so many emotions. You can make this time even more special by gifting them before they take their maternity leave.

This will remind them of their value and also show how much they will be missed. It gives them something to take away and still feel connected to the workplace.

Baby Essentials Hamper

One of the most purposeful gifts you can buy an expectant parent is some baby essentials. Newborn nappies, baby grows, talc, cream, newborn clothes and bibs are all useful items.

Things like this will never go to waste. This kind gesture shows the colleague has a supportive network and is excited to share this journey.

Mother To Be Pampering Kit

For expectant mums, that period between finishing work and giving birth can seem a little daunting. Tiredness and the inability to be as mobile as usual also play a key part.

By giving a colleague some luxury items, they can take some time for them. This gift is thoughtful because you have the colleague at the forefront of your mind.

Gift Card

Never underestimate the usefulness of handing a pregnant colleague a gift card. They can choose how to spend the money this way.

They might treat themselves or buy something practical for the baby. It allows them to pick the perfect gift themselves. A gift card is an ideal way to show an employee how respected and appreciated they are.

Gifts for Colleagues Leaving for a New Job

It can be a bittersweet moment when a colleague leaves for pastures new. It is always sad to say goodbye to a colleague.

However, you know they are doing what they need to do for themselves. Buying the perfect new job gift can give them a confidence boost and make an emotional day more meaningful.

Work Bag or Laptop Case

New job, new bag! Any colleague would appreciate a new work bag to begin their next chapter. It symbolises the ending of one job and the beginning of another.

It is a gesture that will touch the employee who is leaving. At the same time, they will have this gift to treasure as they start their new role.

Motivational Book

A nice little gesture for someone moving on is a book full of motivational thoughts. It is something they can refer to at any time and keep close by.

A book of calming thoughts can help with those first day nerves and any anxieties they have. It is a thoughtful gift, one that considers their mental well being. They will leave feeling loved and appreciated.

Canvas or Other Artwork

Why not give them a canvas they can put in their new office? It will add a homely feel and brighten their new workspace.

Keepsakes like this can bolster someone’s mood when they are having a low day. It is also quite a personal gift so will display just how much of an impact they had while working in their previous role.

Gifts for a Colleague Leaving Due to Illness

An unfortunate reason for a colleague deciding to leave for good might be long term sickness. Sending out a gift reflective of this is a nice gesture that will be much appreciated by the recipient.

Many gifts can be adapted for this scenario.

Bath or Shower Set

Brighten someone’s day with some posh toiletries. Being ill can feel isolating and frustrating so this gift can bring some comfort to the recipient.

This can be a thoughtful gift for any colleague that you know enjoys a bit of pamper time in the bath or shower.


Book or Magazines

The days can seem long and never ending when you are poorly for days on end. Sending someone some books or magazines will lift their spirits.

Little gestures sometimes mean the most in these sorts of circumstances. A good book can help someone escape reality for a little while. It is also a nice way to show that their employees are thinking of them.

Adult Colouring Book

Relaxation techniques such as mindful colouring can help ill health. It can also help occupy those long hours when unable to work.

It can help with mental health struggles such as stress and anxiety. Purchasing this sort of gift will help strengthen those working bonds and make them feel included. This will help with the transition back to work.

Tips for Presentation

Take pride in the wrapping and presentation of the leaving gift. It is the first thing the recipient will notice and it is such an easy thing to do. Even the smallest of gifts can be prettily packaged. When someone is leaving it is nice to have everyone together for the presentation too.

  • Match the wrapping paper to the occasion where possible.
  • Colour coordination is everything when it comes to gift wrapping.
  • Hampers can be wrapped in clear cellophane and then bows and other accessories added on.
  • Buy a matching card for the occasion – this is something that will be treasured.
  • Make a big fuss about handing the gift over. Tell people in advance so they can be prepared with their cameras.
  • Don’t forget the tissues – saying goodbye will be emotional!

Do’s and Don’ts When Choosing Leaving Gifts for Colleagues

Being aware of some of the common gifting etiquette avoids making any awkward decisions. The gifting experience should be smooth from start to finish.


  • Match the gift to the occasion so as not to offend or make things awkward.
  • Decide a suitable budget for the occasion. You might spend more on a leaving gift than you would a get well soon gift, for example.
  • Add some nice words or a card to the gift. Emotions run high at times like this and you might forget to say the things you meant to.
  • Pick a convenient time to hand over the gift. This way the experience can be enjoyed and fully absorbed.
  • Get another opinion before making the purchase, ideally someone close to the colleague.


  • Overspend. Stick within the budget or opt for a group collection instead.
  • Choose the first thing you see, and shop around a bit first.
  • Buy something completely impersonal – with generic gifts add a note or message.
  • Forget to respect any cultural differences.
  • Leave it all to the last minute.

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