Affordable gifts for your employees

Affordable gifts for your employees
Credit: Vinnstock/Shutterstock
Your employees deserve appreciation and reward for their hard work. Whether it's in celebration of a promotion or holiday (or just a pick-me-up for their exceptional performance), buying a gift for your workers shows them that you care as their employer.

But finding a unique gift can be tough, especially if you're on a budget. Here are 15 unique gifts for your employees, all for less than $40.

Laptop bag ($14.99)

Amazon laptop bag
Credit: Amazon
If your employees are required to carry their laptop to and from work, gifting them a laptop bag is a great way to show your gratitude. Backpacks and purses might be too small for their bulky devices. With this messenger, they'll have plenty of room for their laptop and charger, which will be protected from bad weather or coffee spills. For instance, check out the AmazonBasics 15.6-inch Laptop and Tablet Bag.

Desk organizer ($14.99)

Mindspace desk organizer
Credit: Mindspace
With the amount electronics, paperwork and office decor residing on them, desks can get messy. With a desktop organizer, your workers won't feel as cramped or overwhelmed. It will eliminate clutter while still allowing them room for all their items. The Mindspace Office Desk Organizer comes with six compartments, a drawer and a space for storing a pen and pencil.

Dwight Schrute bobblehead ($39.95)

Dwight Schrute bobblehead
Credit: NBC Universal
For those employees who love "The Office," there's no better gift than a signature Dwight bobblehead. This humorous gift will make workers feel right at home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and remind them not to take themselves too seriously. (Just warn them about Jim's Jell-O prank.)

Touchscreen gloves ($16.99)

MeriWool unisex gloves
Gloves are often a necessity in the winter, especially if you commute to work and walk a decent distance to your office. However, it can be frustrating to use the phone with your mittens on, not being able to activate the touchscreen. If you work in a cold climate, consider purchasing the $16.99 Meriwool Merino Wool touchscreen gloves for employees, so they can answer calls and texts, shuffle music, browse social media or type an email while keeping their hands warm.

Earbud holder ($6.99)

TopHome earbud holder
Credit: TopHome
Earbuds always get tangled in bags and pockets. But with the $6.99 TopHome Earbud Holders Cord Organizer, your employees can secure their headphones and protect them from damage. It measures 6 x 3 x 1 inches and weighs 0.2 ounces.

Weeknight Dinner Cookbook ($12.55)

The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook by Mary Younkin
Credit: Barnes & Noble
After a long workday, the last thing most employees want to do is come home exhausted to cook an elaborate meal. With The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook by Mary Younkin (Page Street Publishing, 2016), employees can experiment with simple recipes meant specifically for busy weeknights. Each chapter is split into cook times of 15 to 25 minutes, 30 to 40 minutes and 5 to 10 minutes of prep time.

Mrs. Meyer's soy candle ($17.89)

Mrs. Meyer's Candle
Credit: Mrs. Meyers
What better way to brighten someone's day than gifting them with a calming and comforting candle? Mrs. Meyer's is known for its clean scents and natural products; the company's candles are no exception. This two-pack soy candle should burn for up to 35 hours and is free of animal-derived ingredients.

Succulent plants ($15.95)

succulent plants
Credit: Plants for Pets
Biophilic design is a great way to reap the benefits of the outdoors without being outside. Succulent plants are low maintenance and add a touch of greenery to your employee's workspace, which can boost their mood and promote better health. This five-pack come fully rooted in two-inch pots for just $15.95.

Essential oil diffuser ($18.99)

Essential oil diffuser ($18.99)
Credit: Wonderful Scents
Essential oils can encourage tranquility and offer a sense of comfort in your personal space. Employees can use the VicTsing 300ml Cool Mist Humidifier natural diffuser in the office or at home to clear their mind and unwind. It powers off automatically when it runs out of water, or it runs for up to 10 hours.

Portable power bank ($29.99)

Anker Power Bank
Credit: Anker
Many employees commute to work and spend at least eight hours in the office or at the job site. It's not uncommon for phone batteries to drain during the day, which can lead to panic. With a portable power bank, like the Anker PowerCore 10000, your workers' lifelines can be recharged whenever and wherever they need it.

Three-compartment meal prep containers ($13.99)

NutriBox meal prep
Credit: NutriBox
Meal prepping has become a popular project for many health gurus and frugal individuals. Get a 15-pack of these Nutribox three-compartment meal prep containers for employees who like to plan ahead and bring their lunch. They are BPA free and can be reused.

SELF journal ($33.99)

BestSelf SELF Journal
Credit: BestSelf Co.
BestSelf Co. SELF Journals allow people to record their to-dos and appointments in one place, decreasing stress and increasing productivity. With all the details organized and in front of them, your workers will feel inspired to reach their goals. It features monthly, weekly and daily spreads, without actual dates to constrain you to a year.

Bubble umbrella ($29.89)

Totes Signature umbrella
Credit: Totes
Especially for workers who commute by foot or bike, an umbrella is a must-have – but not just for anyone. Try the $29.89 Totes Signature bubble umbrella that protects you from both the rain and the wind, covering your face but allowing you to see out.

Buy at Amazon.

YETI Rambler ($29.99)

Yeti Rambler
Credit: YETI
YETI thermos bottles are renowned for their ability to keep fluids hot or cold, depending on your beverage's original temperature. On a damp winter day, your workers will appreciate their coffee's heat burning hours on end. And in the summer, their ice water will still be refreshing by the end of their shift.

Buy at Amazon.

Coffee gift card (price varies)

Coffee gift card (price varies)
Credit: Chaloemphan/Shutterstock
Your caffeine-addicted employees likely spend a chunk of their salary purchasing coffee throughout the workday. The next time they head over to their favorite coffee house, tell them it's on you with a gift card.