People from your workplace can sometimes serve as your second family. Showing appreciation to your bosses or co-workers could go a long way in terms of building rapport. You can do this by exchanging pleasantries, but nothing says you are grateful for their help and mentorship like giving them a present.

Choosing a gift for your boss could be perplexing, and there is a fine line between giving a thoughtful gift and looking like you are seeking favors from them. Fortunately, there are many "neutral" gifts for you to choose from.

1. Day Planner

Day Planner Day Planners are great to let your boss know you care about their schedule Photo: Agiftpersonalized

A desk calendar or planner is not only well within anyone’s budget, it also shows you notice their hard work and that you’ve got their backs in planning their days out. Your “always busy” boss will now have the perfect accessory to schedule appointments or set reminders for important tasks. Every time they look at the planner, it reminds them of you.

Agiftpersonalized has some of the best customizable day planners that look professional and feel classy enough to give to your boss. The planners come in various colors, but neutral ones such as this one here will make a perfect gift for them. You can even have your boss’s name printed on it to make it extra special.

2. Gift Baskets

Gift basket Gift baskets are great for special occasions Photo: Pixabay

With gift baskets, you have the freedom of picking the items you feel would make an impression on your boss or co-worker. These are great regardless of the occasion -- be it a promotion or a birthday celebration. Gift baskets can include an assortment of exotic fruits, cheeses, chocolates or a combination of all these items. 

Gift baskets also come pre-made, such as the ones here in GiftsnIdeas. These guys help you send the perfect corporate gift basket anywhere in America. You can choose from a bouquet for your boss’s first day back at work after a vacation or a basket of gourmet snacks for a colleague’s farewell. Try one of these out and see how well they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

3. Wine

Wine Nothing displays class and good taste like a bottle of wine Photo: The California Wine Club

This is a splendid gift, especially for celebrating promotions. However, make sure that your colleague enjoys a glass or two before you decide to give them wine or any other kind of alcohol as a gift. Notably, wine is convivial and is usually enjoyed with company: what better gift to celebrate a long-lasting friendship, right?

The California Wine Club has a selection of premium wines made in the U.S.A. Its Pacific Northwest Series features two bottles of hand-selected artisan wines from Oregon and Washington’s best wineries. You can place your order and have the wine shipped to your colleague's desk. Congratulations! You just made somebody's day!

4. Personalized Pens

Engraved Pen A personalized pen is a timeless gift Photo: Agiftpersonalized

Though this may sound banal, an elegant and handcrafted pen set remains an ideal gift especially for professionals. You can get a pen set made that has your colleague’s initials engraved for an even more personal touch.

Go to Agiftpersonalized for a personalized rosewood pen and carrying case set. This stylish pen is a perfect gift to say thanks to your colleague for helping you out on a difficult project or to congratulate them for completing milestones at work such as finishing ten years of service. 

5. Tickets to Sports Events or Concerts

Sports event Treat your boss to a sports event Photo: Pixabay

Nothing says "thank you" or "I appreciate your mentorship" like treating your boss or co-worker to an evening of baseball or a relaxing concert. Even better, give two tickets to them so they can take their loved one along. A game or concert is a memorable event and your colleagues will appreciate your gesture for as long as they can remember.

You need not wait for a special occasion to give them these tickets. Do your research and find out about your boss’s favorite sports team or musical act before making the purchase. If you are unsure about asking them directly, speak to some colleagues who are already familiar with their tastes.

6. Online Shopping Gift Certificates

Gift Certificate Gift certificates are great when you're out of ideas Photo: Pxhere

Gift certificates give you the freedom of choosing what fits your budget and the ability for the receiver to buy whatever they like with it. You can get gift certificates in many online stores, including Amazon. They may not be the most elegant gift, but they are great if you are not sure of what your co-worker or boss's interests are.

Gift certificates are also available for spa sessions or restaurants, so you have those options if online shopping does not sound the best to you.