Too few of us have the pleasure of working with a good boss. 3-in-4 US employees report that the most stressful part of their job is their boss. 65% would choose a new boss over a raise. Employees who don’t get along well with their managers are 60% more likely to suffer a heart attack. Yeah. So it’s not just your day-to-day that’s impacted by your boss — it’s your life. So, if you’ve been lucky enough to have worked with a good boss, one whom you like and respect, you should certainly show your appreciation before parting ways.
What to Get Your Boss When You Leave
It can be hard to decide what to get your boss when you leave the office for the last time. You probably wouldn’t get your boss the same gift you would a spouse or relative, right?
It would be a bit odd to get your boss a bouquet of flowers or buy them jewelry — instead, you’ll want to opt for something that is friendly, office-appropriate, and ideally suitable for one of the categories below — something fun, something cool, something relaxing or something useful. Down below we’ll run you through a quick crash-course on what to get your boss when you leave so the two of you can part ways as good friends if no longer co-workers.
Best Farewell Gifts for Your Boss
Down below, we’ll run you through a few ways to frame your thinking when looking for the best farewell gift for your boss you can get — along with a few examples. If, by the end of this article you still haven’t found the right gift for your boss, well, you’ll need to put your thinking cap on. Luckily, we can help you with that too. At the end of this article, we sign off with a few notes about how to pair whatever you do get with an earnest goodbye that tells your boss how much you appreciated working with them.
Just because you’re in the office doesn’t mean you need to be bored. During the in-between moments when your boss isn’t chasing down a deadline or meeting with clients, something small to fiddle with can be an effective guard against burnout.
- Price: $49.99
The Magnetic Levitating Pen has to be, pound-for-pound, one of the best office gifts of all time. It stands perfectly at the intersection between a cool desk toy, an actually useful pen stand, and a thinking aid. While a little pricey for a desk item, you can expect your Boss to be genuinely curious about it and expect to see it on their desk (if you ever happen to stop by the office again!).
Suspended entirely by magnetism, you can flick and tap the pen and watch it roll and bounce around over its platform like something out of Star Wars and, when a thought hits you, pop the cap and start writing because yes it’s a real pen.
- Price: $23.99
One of the #1 best-selling brain-teasers on the market, the award-winning Shashibo has been featured on daily news segments like the Today Show and is the fastest-selling puzzle toy on Amazon. So you know you’re in good shape already — and it’s at the perfect price point where it won’t have you wincing when you open your wallet nor make you feel like a cheapskate when you gift it to your boss.
The cube is constructed of 36 rare earth magnets that can be rearranged into over 70 three-dimensional configurations (and combined with other shashibos!), giving your boss something to fiddle with when killing time or working through a problem-solving session.
- Price: $29.49
For centuries, sand pendulums have been studied and revered for the inexplicable ways they create dazzling, seemingly magical patterns in the sand as if guided by some external force. While science has caught to the mechanics of the sand pendulum, they remain no less alluring and mysterious.
All your boss has to do is give it a tap or pull and sit back while the sand pendulum goes about its business, slowly etching an incredible, geometric pattern in the sand. A safe, respectable and low maintenance gift that anybody would appreciate.
It might be a little cliche, but if your boss’ desk isn’t inundated with kinetic sculptures and doodads already, getting them something artistic and pleasing to look at can help spruce up their workspace and make hard days a little easier.
- Price: $29.95
You’ve seen it somewhere — whether in a movie, a meme about supervillains or on the desk of somebody who holds a lot of power lunches. This alone makes it a great gift for your boss, its minimalist beauty and calming perpetual motion mechanics aside.
It might be one of the most well-known of such devices out there, but that doesn’t make it any less special. Anybody and everybody’s desk wears a Newton’s Cradle well, which is why it continues to stand as one of the best farewell gifts for your boss.
- Price: $98
The Swinging Sticks miniature version might be the most expensive item on this list, but the dash of upscale class it adds to any office environment lasts forever — just like its unassisted, perpetual motion mechanics.
The Swinging Sticks’ dual pendulums spin and rotate, slinging momentum with slow, expert grace. In silence they spin, endlessly, making it a beautiful kinetic sculpture that a boss of good taste would certainly appreciate. If you’re willing to shell out, the Swinging Sticks desktop version is a farewell gift that leaves an impression.
- Price: $59.99
The Oloid might look and sound exactly like an alien spaceship, but it’s nothing more than a hunk of immortal, stainless steel with some pretty startling shape mechanics. It is, quite literally, just metal. What makes it special is its inexplicable ability to roll, like a sphere, with a linear center of gravity despite being composed of two separate curves.
Looking at it for the first time, you’d probably raise an eyebrow at the person who suggests you roll it across the desk — and then be stupefied as the Oloid, first discovered by Paul Schatz in 1929, does exactly that without being whatsoever round. An interesting, surprising gift and a great farewell gift for your boss.
Heavy lies the brow that wears the crown; being a boss is as stressful, if not oftentimes more stressful, than being an employee and having a de-stressor, however small, within arm’s reach can do wonders for their mental and physical wellbeing as they contend with the trials and tribulations of running a business.
- Price: $34.95
For the artistic bosses out there, the Buddha Board is a fun combination of zen practice and Sumi-e- style painting. Dipping the brush in water is all it takes to leave a mark on the buddha board.
Whenever the urge seizes them, your boss can leave a few strokes on the buddha board and then, with grateful acceptance, watch the work slowly fade away as the water evaporates. A tasteful, artistic addition to any workspace.
- Price: $39.99
This one’s pretty clear-cut. Everybody likes a good massager. Whether it’s from bad posture, excessive stress, or a combination of the two, our necks and upper backs tend to soak up tension, resulting in lasting pain and discomfort. When a good, heat-powered massager finally gets digging into the mess of muscle knots we’ve accrued over long work days, the sense of relief is unlike anything else.
Giving your boss the Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager pillow as a farewell gift leaves them with a constant reminder of your time in the workplace every time they boot it up for some much-needed relief.
- Price: $15.99
The Stress Less Cards deck is a collection of 50 different meditation and mindfulness exercises designed to combat the stress and anxiety that invariably accompany the trials and tribulations of modern life. Compounded by the responsibilities of leading a team and/or running a business, remembering to stop and smell the existential roses can be a criminally underrated component of a successful day.
Getting your boss the Stress Less original cards deck might be a nice gesture, as long as you’re sure they won’t take it the wrong way — if they don’t self-identify as stressed, or don’t care to admit it, maybe pass on this one. But if they’re the kind who appreciates holistic health measures like meditation, mindfulness and gratitude practices, this might just be the best farewell gift for your boss you could give them.
At the end of the day, leaving your boss with something they can actually use might be one of the best farewell gifts for your boss.
- Price: $39.99
The Perixx Periboard is an intelligently designed, budget-friendly ergonomic keyboard that can help take some stress off your boss’ wrists during long typing sessions and maybe save them from a trip to the physiotherapist.
More than the utility that the keyboard and its tented split keyboard design and elevated wristpads provide, giving your boss the Periboard (or any other ergonomic accessory for that matter) sends the message that you actually like them, and — as you would for a friend — want them to prosper down the road.
- Price: $24.97
The SimpleHouseWare Desk Organizer is a pretty straightforward gift; if you’ve noticed your boss tends to keep a cluttered desk or has trouble finding things during a meeting, a quick and modest desk organization tool like this one will do wonders for their ability to keep up with themselves during a frantic workday.
Light, unobtrusive, and pretty easy to find space for, the SimpleHouseWare organizer might not be the flashiest farewell gift for your boss, but will dutifully get its job done for as long as it’s needed.
- Price: $46,99
Be careful with this one. Giving your boss a farewell gift centered around exercise can send the wrong message. That said, if they already take fitness seriously, the Vaunn foldable pedal exerciser can be a thoughtful top-tier gift that shows you know their interests and have paid attention to their off-work hobbies.
The pedaler fits snugly under a desk, providing continuous, zero-impact exercise throughout the day that burns calories and helps stave off the scourge that is our sedentary work-styles. In terms of quality, the Vaunn is the Amazon best-seller in the category, with a sturdy design and anti-slip rubber feet — basically the whole nine yards, a piece of equipment that will last for as long as needed.
At the end of the day, you and your boss are just people. Say goodbye like a human being, expressing your thoughts at the end of your working relationship articulately and with class. As we mentioned at the start of the article, a good boss is an all-too-rare privilege nowadays and showing your appreciation with something more thoughtful than a simple nicknack is an essential component of a professional goodbye. 2
Something They Wanted
There’s a good chance you spent more time with your boss in however long you worked there than you did with your significant other — according to the mathematics of a 40-hour workweek, at least. During that time, there’s a good chance that if you paid attention, you will have some insight into the hobbies and extracurricular activities they hold dear.
If that’s the case, shop for them like you would any friend or relative — get them something they want. If they’re a gamer, maybe a game they can play on the sly, a new Stadia game, or a guide on how to win at Monopoly every. single. time.
Something for the Office
Your boss’s office is his/her domain. Giving them a gift doesn’t have to be something for their own personal use, or a little doodad for their desk. Maybe the office has needed something for a while — be it some plants to spruce up space or a piece of equipment that’s needed to be replaced. Leaving the place that you both occupied better than you left is one of the best ways to do good for the people around you, and leave in your wake a lasting impression of a thoughtful person.
And a Great Big Thank You
At the end of the day, there is no better farewell gift for your boss than an honest goodbye. You likely spent a year, more likely several years, working with them on a daily basis, and simply telling them how grateful you were for the opportunity to learn and grow with them will bring a smile to their face more readily than any trinket could — however thoughtful.
When bidding your old boss and the office place you spent so much time in, make sure to highlight what you will be carrying with you in the next chapter of your life — be it the skills you learned, the connections you made, or the personal growth you accomplished.
Boss or employee, we are all jigsaw pieces doing our best to fit together and shape a complete, cohesive world around us — and when two pieces fit in well together, the whole picture looks a little better. If you were lucky enough to work with a good boss, tell them they were one.
If you have any tips or suggestions for great farewell gifts for your boss, be sure to share them in the comments below!