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2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Facility Managers

December 12, 2019

When the holiday season rolls around, you know it’s time to show people you care. Your facility manager spends a lot of time looking after you (oftentimes behind the scenes!)–now it’s time for you to return the favor. We’ve got a gift-giving guide for the custodians, building engineers, facility managers, and maintenance techs who put in the hard work to make your days safe, clean and comfortable..Whether it’s something heartfelt, something that’ll get a laugh, or something they can get good use out of every day, you’re sure to brighten someone’s holiday season by showing them that the work they do is appreciated.

Ideas to Get You Started

A Reliable, Portable Knife

We recommend: The Kershaw Camshaft
You don’t know how useful a knife is until you carry one around regularly. The Skyline has become a staple in Kershaw’s catalogue and will almost disappear in a pocket. It’s got a small profile and no extra material to weigh someone down, so they can have it handy all day without nuisance.
1370 Camshaft

A Panic Button

We recommend: Prank Panic Button
Facility managers are used to emergencies popping up at every turn, so it only makes sense that they deserve to blow off a little steam with a good joke. The Panic button does the trick–just make sure they don’t wear down the batteries too quickly!


A Plant

It’s a well-known fact that plants have been proven to improve mood, so this is a gift that will get a lot a mileage. Look for something like a Spider Plant: they’re hardy and easy to care for. Otherwise, check out succulent plants. They thrive in harsh conditions, so they’ll keep going no matter what gets thrown at them (almost).


Spider plants.jpg


An Extremely Tiny Keychain Knife

We Recommend: The Spyderco Bug
The bug packs a quality blade in a package smaller than a house key. Your recipient can put it on a keychain and forget about it (until they need it–then it can save you in a sticky situation). The Bug is about an inch and a half when it’s closed, and weighs less than half an ounce. But don’t let the size or portability fool you: this is a real knife that’ll make a real cut when it needs to.

An Insulated Water Bottle

We Recommend: A Hydro-Flask

Spending a day churning through tasks can leave a team member feeling spent. A water bottle sitting on their desk or clipped to their cart is a great reminder to stay hydrated. The Hydro-Flask’s vacuum-sealed metal body keeps liquids ice cold all day for maximum refreshment (something to the tune of 24 hours).



A Tiny Light That Packs a Punch

We Recommend: The UST Pico light
This is another keychain essential that can come in handy on the job or just out in the world. The small size makes it easy to carry, but the Pico has enough power to light up whatever someone needs. (TIP: a couple drops of blue Loctite will ensure that the Pico will stand up to daily keychain abuse without unthreading).


Thank-You Notes from Staff/Occupants

A simple handwritten thank-you note is a great addition to any gift. If you’re in the world of education, get students involved. That level of personal touch goes a long way.

A Mug Warmer

We Recommend: Mr. Coffee
Pouring a full mug of cold coffee down the drain after getting called to go take care of a surprise problem is a major disappointment. A mug warmer is a small touch that can keep spirits a little higher when a day goes awry.


Something to Keep Keys Secure

We Recommend: Black Diamond Neutrino

This is the last carabiner your giftee will ever need. Black Diamond’s ultra-light, ultra-strong Neutrino weighs just over an ounce and can withstand something to the tune of 5,000 pounds of force. Plus, they come in a variety of colors–perfect for avoiding mix-ups between team members.

Homemade Treats

This is the tried-and-true favorite. One of the most valuable things you can give someone is time and effort–baked goods and a handwritten note go a long way in showing gratitude. Go the extra mile by doing a little snooping to figure out someone’s favorite flavors before you pull the trigger.



Hand Care Products for When the Job’s Done

We recommend: O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Balm

A full day of work is hard on the hands, especially if dirty jobs require constant washing up. A good hand balm will keep dryness and cracking at bay. This is an especially useful gift to keep dry winter skin in check (if it gets cold where you live).

Duct Tape and WD-40: The Stop-It/Start-It Gift Basket

If it doesn’t move and it should, WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, duct tape. Simple as that.

An Ultra-Protective Phone Case

We Recommend: LifeProof

It’s essential to stay connected during the work day. Custodians and maintenance techs need to keep their phone handy in case of emergency. When the job gets rough and messy, keeping a phone safe is the last thing someone wants to worry about. A shock-proof, totally water-proof phone case buys peace of mind out in the field. These cases can get pricey, but every dollar is worth it. Pool your money if possible.



Tools to Keep Soreness at Bay

Calf stretching wedges and foam rollers aren’t just for triathletes. Anyone who’s on their feet all day is going to feel soreness. A stretching wedge keeps tendons limber, and a foam roller will massage tight muscles after a day at work. The best part, both items can be picked up at a relatively inexpensive price.


A Mobile Tablet

We recommend: iPad Pro
Here’s a good opportunity to pool your money. For facility managers who are going digital, a tablet can go a long way in helping them bring their job with them everywhere they go. Some facility management software (like AkitaBox!) is mobile-friendly and can be utilized wherever they need to be. If you’ve got the extra cash to spend, a stylus is a great addition.


If you’re not sure what someone will like, you don’t need to take a gamble. Start a pool and pick up a gift card–it’s the thought that counts, right? Consider:

  • Local Restaurants
  • Anywhere that delivers food to your building
  • Hardware stores (for the hobbyist)
  • Spas (everyone deserves to be pampered)
  • Neighborhood bars (for the post-work unwind)


The Spirit of Giving

Whether you’re putting together a major gift basket or writing a simple thank-you, a little bit of recognition goes a long way. Are you in the industry? Drop a comment below with items that are on your wish-list. If it’s useful for you, it’ll be useful to someone else as well. Include a Little Something Extra: give the gift of knowledge!
Facility Management Preventive Maintenance Guide CTA to guide download page

Meaghan Kelly

Former marketing content copywriter for AkitaBox.

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