| OUTSIDE THE BOX
10 Holiday Gift Ideas for People Working From Home
by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig
NOTE: This article appears in the print edition of Information Today under the title Ideal Gifts for That Special Entrepreneur in Your Life.
Just like that, the 2022 holiday season is upon us. Primarily—at least, it should be—a period of reflection and spreading joy to others, it often involves exchanging some form of gift. For most of my life, I’ve made my wish list for Santa and enjoyed the results of my requests. However, in recent years, my entrepreneurial spirit has caused me to be more practical with my wishes, putting items on my wish list that help me professionally. The following are some must-have gadgets, office necessities, and helpful things that are perfect gifts for that home business owner and/or entrepreneur in your life.
Full disclosure: I have either used some form of all of the suggestions in this column, or I would definitely include them on my own wish list. Items with URLs provided are for visual prompts only; I encourage gifters to stylize their choices to the recipient.
WRITE IT OUT
Even if you keep your notes on one or more apps on your smart devices, there is always a need to physically write out some of your ideas and information on paper. A set of simple, hardcover, journal-style notebooks are easy to travel with and keep notes in. Health experts say notebook writing can improve concentration and efficiency. And I see another bonus—they look nice on a shelf, where you can grab them for future reference.
KNOCK, KNOCK …
… Who’s there? It could be just about anyone! Gifting a smart doorbell will help the recipient to continue working without having to stop to answer the door. These popular devices can be simple as an intercom doorbell or as sophisticated as a video doorbell that allows you to see who has come calling. PCMag lists its top picks for doorbells, depending on what you need.
Just Houseplants is one of numerous websites and experts devoted to promoting indoor plants. It touts the benefits of keeping plants in your home, some of which are as follows: They can help reduce stress levels, help with depression and anxiety, and improve concentration, productivity, and creativity. A small, easy-to-care-for plant in a fun, colorful pot is sure to make your gift recipient smile at least once a day. Additionally, research shows that plants can remove pollutants and improve indoor air quality, which also helps with staying focused when up against deadlines.
LOST THEN FOUND
One of the most aggravating things in life is realizing you’ve lost an item when you really need it. Around for almost a decade, Bluetooth trackers can provide the busy businessperson a little peace of mind when keys, wallets, and other valuables go missing. Popular Mechanics offers its best picks for trackers, which have varying price points and come in various types—such as keychains or with adhesive tape for most types of surfaces.
‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’
Outside noises—aka kids, other family members, and/or outdoor sounds—can become too distracting while working. Noise-canceling headphones make a great gift for a person who is in and out of meetings throughout the day and needs quiet. For a one-stop website that features a wide-ranging and in-depth list to choose from, visit BestReviews.
HOME SWEET HOME
Household help is always appreciated, especially when you’re working all day … and sometimes into the night. The following is a short list highlighting some services and devices that make thoughtful gifts for the time-strapped entrepreneur.
The great thing about chargeable floor cleaners is that they can do the cleaning while you work. Although they can be expensive, you can often find great deals and refurbished ones this time of year.
Meal Delivery Services
Sometimes when you’re neck-deep in work, you forget to eat, which isn’t a healthy habit. Giving the gift of food in the form of a meal kit delivery—or the ability to spend minimal prep time for meals—can do wonders for the busy individual’s brain and focus. An annual membership to one of several restaurant delivery services (e.g., DoorDash or Uber Eats) is also a great way to make sure the receiver stops and eats lunch or dinner without the fuss.
There are some who prefer to do their own cooking at the end of the day. But what happens if that meeting runs long or they find themselves mired in work? On those days, an Instant Pot, Crockpot, or something similar can save the day. The cost can run as low as $20 and can give a business owner peace of mind that dinner will be ready to put on the table when needed.
BestProductsReviews.com: “10 Best Pressure Cookers for in the US”
When You Don’t Know What to Get
Not to promote the ecommerce giant too heavily, but it’s no secret that ordering from Amazon is quick, easy, and convenient. An annual subscription gift for Amazon Prime (with a card directing them to the website’s small business portal) can help any entrepreneur get great deals and experience all that the company has to offer, both professionally and personally.