Tech gifts for employees or coworkers

Nikon camera lens thermos and mug
Image courtesy of photojojo.com

During the gift-giving time of year, it's bad enough that you have to think of the right present for Aunt June, but you also have to come up with something for your employees or coworkers. You could go with something simple and easy, like a box of candy, but here are some clever tech-oriented goodies that people are sure to appreciate.

Gifts for under $30

USB Pens. It's a pen. It's an 8GB USB flash drive. And you can get your company's logo inscribed on the side. Best of all, you can buy a batch of these USB Pens for a unit price of $27 each.

Coffee mugs for the photography geek. If you have folks in the office who love photography, then check out a mug shaped like a Nikon lens. For $30, you get one that looks almost exactly like a 24-70mm zoom lens (in fact, it actually zooms). Or, for Canon aficionados, you can get a 70-200mm Canon mug for $24.

Smartphone-friendly gloves. It's not just the gift-giving season -- it's also wintertime. Smartphones and gloves don't go so well together, since touchscreens don't work through fabric. That's why Isotoner's smarTouch gloves are so thoughtful. They keep your hands toasty, but still let you fiddle with your smartphone, all for about $30.

For the whole office

Air Swimmers. Do you have a large open office space that's just begging for a fun group activity? Then check out Air Swimmers -- large inflatable dirigibles that come in the shape of sharks or clown fish (for about $50). Just add helium and let the team take turns on the remote control.

Lazer Stunt Chaser. Let your team race cars the futuristic way -- with lasers. These $40 Lazer Stunt Chasers don't go anywhere until you point a laser gun at them.

It's the thought that counts: Some free stuff

Give a LinkedIn recommendation. You probably don't want to write a recommendation and send it to someone with just the note, "Merry Christmas," but a thoughtful, well-written endorsement of a coworker's skills is welcome any time of year, so why not do it now?

Retweet or promote a blog. Do you have a platform from which you can help promote a colleague's online presence? Are such promotions valuable? You bet they are. So, in the spirit of giving and sharing, give someone some promotion.

Provide some training. Are you the guy who knows how to bulk-edit the TPS reports or run a sales force query for archived date ranges? Then schedule a brown-bag lunch for one of the slow office days around the holidays and teach everyone your skill.