Sure, the IT help desk manager won’t be handing out diamond-encrusted motorboats or whatever the big Wall Street firms are giving out as bonuses this year-end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your appreciation for the team that keeps your company’s IT infrastructure humming.
Why not give your IT help desk team members a little something to show they’re appreciated?
IT help desk workers generally appreciate technology products. They not only use them at work, but in their personal lives too. Fortunately there are plenty of fun tech gadgets that can make life easier and more enjoyable and that don’t cost a lot. Following are a few ideas for year-end gifts, none of which are more than $50 or so.
The Roku 3500R Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) is a 3-inch long stick that plugs into an HDMI port. It’s great for your IT help desk worker who loves her big wall-mounted television. With this stick, you can stream entertainment to your TV, choosing from over 1,800 channels and over 200,000 movies and TV shows. It comes with a remote control, or can be controlled with mobile devices. It can also be used to stream Netflix, YouTube, and personal media directly from a tablet or smartphone, and only costs $49.00.
Thumb drives may seem downright quaint when you consider solid state drives and the cloud, but it’s still a quick, easy way to transfer media from one machine to another. The LaCie PetiteKey 32 GB Flash Drive costs $34.99 and has a scratch-resistant connector. Also, it’s tiny – perfect for attaching to a keychain. It features AES 256-bit encryption and password protection so your department’s hobby photographer or musician can keep his creations secure. It’s also waterproof to up to 100 meters, so it’s not a problem if the flash drive is on a keychain that gets dropped into a puddle, .
Keyboards take a lot of abuse, but the Logitech K310 is waterproof, with keys that are good for up to 5 million keystrokes. And it’s washable! You can’t run it through the dishwasher, but you can soak and scrub it. It’s great for the IT help desk worker who’s a little klutzy with coffee, or who has young kids at home. This keyboard comes with 12 hotkeys for launching a web browser or controlling music, and is stylish and quiet, while standing up to whatever your keyboard jockeys regularly dish out, even if that happens to be food. They’re around $45.
For $49.99, you can give the gift of activity tracking to your IT help desk worker who is committed to increasing physical activity in the new year. It tracks sleep, steps, and distance, and is waterproof and can track swimming too. It comes with a clip holster and a wrist band. PC Magazine considers it the best entry-level activity tracker you can get for under $99. While it lacks some of the advanced features of more expensive trackers, first-timers will find plenty to like, and it comes in a range of colors so you can choose one that suits the recipient.
The Mophie Power Reserve is a little device that connects right to your keychain and is used for on-the-go charging of your iPhone or iPod. It’s great for the member of your IT team who spends a lot of time outdoors or who travels frequently. It offers up to 60% extra battery power, weighs less than 2 ounces, and is lightning-cable equipped. Just release the power reserve from the key ring to expose the cable, and it’s ready to charge. It’s $49.95, and you can get it in black or white to coordinate with the recipient’s iPhone.
Some people don’t like earbuds. Maybe the buds don’t fit well in their ears, or maybe they just like kickin’ it old school. These over-the-ear headphones are affordable entry-level phones that are lightweight, comfortable, and give great sound for the money ($42 to $59). They don’t leak sound, and the retro styling is complemented by the range of colors they’re available in, including pink, blue, white, and a sort of Kermit the Frog green. The vast majority of nearly 1,100 reviews on Amazon give these headphones four or five stars.
The IT help desk may not have the budget for elaborate bonuses, but you can let your team know how much you appreciate them without digging too deep in your pockets. Of course, you should reward them every day of the year by providing them with great IT help desk software like Samanage, so they can get their work done efficiently and make your department look like the collection of rock stars it is.