Modern Life

Hybrid holiday gift guide: Gadgets for a new way to work

Help make life easier for all the hybrid workers on your list this season.

By Suchi Rudra — November 3, 2022

The past few years of work have been a figure-it-out-as-you-go type of affair as people strive for balance and connection as a remote or hybrid worker. Perhaps you recognize yourself, a coworker, or friend in any of these? There’s the Meal Prepper (getting dinner ready before their first morning meeting), the Remote Recluse (proclaims on Slack that stretchy pants are LIFE), and the recovering Office Extrovert (who never gave up on even virtual happy hours), to name a few. But no matter what their workstyle, there are tech tools to help along the way. Check out our guide for gift ideas to make every hybrid worker on your list feel seen and appreciated, while making their lives a little easier.

The Meal Prepper

Remote work gave millions of office workers the chance to replace their sad desk salads with home-cooked lunches prepared in their own kitchens. Heading back to the office means more mid-day meals will need to be packed, ordered in, or assembled in office kitchens without the comforts of home. For those who don't want to resort to grabbing takeout at the office, a stylish and spacious compartmentalized lunch box lets them bring their perfectly prepared meals to the office just the way they like them. You can even find specific lunch containers designed for pizza lovers, and battery-powered lunch boxes to keep home-cooked meals hot. To make meal prep for multiple in-office days a breeze, consider a toaster oven that basically does it all, an adorable and handy egg cooker, a rice cooker, or a handy vegetable chopper.

The Climate Caretaker

Working from home eliminated the daily commute, drastically shrinking office worker’s individual carbon footprints from transportation. It also meant less plastic waste from fast food meals and to-go coffees. Your sustainability-minded friends may be wary of returning to the emissions and added waste of office life, but there are ways to help. A folding commuter bike is not only eco-friendly, it will also help them save money on gas while they get plenty of fresh air and exercise. This watch gets its power from natural or artificial light, so it can keep charging whether someone is commuting to work on a bike, having a meeting at the office, or chilling on the couch at home. At the office and at home, your friend can feel a little bit better about the amount of plastic they consume with an HP ENVY Inspire all-in-one printer, made from more than 45% recycled plastic content, and an HP Instant Ink subscription, which makes recycling easy. And instead of piling up waste from plastic cutlery, they can use this stylish, reusable utensil kit.

The Clumsy Commuter

Returning to the office means lugging devices back and forth while juggling to-go coffee cups and keeping track of the multiple devices and supplies required to get work done. Help your friends and family stay organized and protect their gear with gifts like a travel mug with an airtight seal or a UV sanitizer for their smartphone. A cable organizer or desk supplies organizer will save them lots of frustration and keep their workspace — and mind — clear from clutter and disarray. And for anyone who’s ever known the despair of leaving their laptop behind in a cafe or on the bus, the HP EliteBook 800 series or HP ZBook Firefly laptops will provide welcome peace of mind, thanks to built-in Tile technology to help track down their device wherever they may have left it.

The Remote Retreater

For those who aren’t ready to leave the WFH oasis they’ve created over the past few years, heading back to the office may be a bummer, but it doesn’t have to be. Some gifts to help them trick out and cozy up their space at the office include a larger monitor or second monitor and a stylish, comfortable office chair. Noise-canceling headphones, or even better, these immersive HyperX wireless gaming headphones can help them tune out distractions from all the office chatter they aren’t used to anymore, and find their flow state. With this smart coffee maker, your friend can brew and enjoy their own perfect cup of coffee without having to leave their desk refuge.

The Office Extrovert

On the other end of the spectrum, you may know folks who can’t wait to get back to the office and all the social interaction that comes with it, including happy hours, group lunches, and walking down the hall to chat with friends. Help your outgoing friends celebrate their return with some cool office lights that invite everyone to gather around their desk. A smart desk mat will help organize — and display — all the cool gadgets they’ve collected during their WFH days. And how about a group project that doesn’t involve spreadsheets? This indoor herb garden kit gives your friends and their colleagues one more thing to chat about every day – and reap the delicious rewards in a few weeks. An instant camera makes it easy for them to capture moments with the co-workers they’ve missed and display them at home, or save memories of friends and family that they can post up on their desk at the office.

The After-Hours Gamer

After the workday is done, your friend just needs to zone out for a bit with some gaming time. Give them an experience to look forward to after their days in the office with a gaming headset and gaming chair to stay comfortable, or even a gaming keyboard. All these gifts can double as necessary office equipment, but with a bit of flair that can help set WFH days apart from days spent in the office. For the cherry on top, give them a HyperX Armada Monitor that makes everything from video calls to multiplayer battles more immersive and comfortable.

The Parent Who Does It All

Parents who managed to bounce between their own work and their kids’ distance learning may be ready to get back to a more focused work life in the office for part of the week, but that doesn’t mean their days will be less chaotic. A docking station for all family devices can help ensure everyone finds what they need and stays connected — and charged — throughout the day. A bento box-style lunch box can make lunches more efficient for parents and fun for kids. If their kids are old enough to help out around the house, they can all keep track of their chores and schedule of activities on this easy-to-use LCD tablet/planner. Last but not least, make sure you help your friend squeeze in some downtime for themselves with a meditation app subscription that will keep them relaxed and also help them recharge for the next work day, wherever it may take place.


Try these gadgets for a stress-free vacation or business trip.