How many members of your team work remotely? If the percentage is significant enough, you know that creating a sense of comradery and belonging isn’t that easy.
Little gifts and tokens of appreciation for a job well done are perfect tools to increase engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. A few questions remain, however. How do you choose well? How do you make sure that the item selected will bring the recipient joy and happiness?
Digging a bit deeper, other issues arise. What’s an appropriate sum to spend on an employee gift? What does it take to make the present special, even if you opt for something inexpensive and mass-manufactured?
Yep, choosing the perfect item isn’t easy, but this is what we do! To save you from the headache, here are some practical tips to pick good remote employee gifts and make sure they correspond perfectly to the worker’s personality and taste.
Choosing Gifts for Remote Employees: A Few Pointers
As a manager, director, or business owner, you are responsible for the team spirit and the happiness of every individual under your management.
Employee gifts are a great way to show appreciation but you have to be careful. Something too impersonal or cheap can be offensive. Spending too much on an employee present will send the wrong message and such a gesture is going to be highly inappropriate.
Needless to say, gift selection will depend on the occasion. A little present for a job well done is different from the way you’ll reward an employee for hitting a major milestone or completing an important project for the brand.
If you’re seeking some guidance on gift etiquette for remote workers, here are a few practical pointers that will come in handy:
- If you have more than one remote employee, always spend the same amount on all the team members who will be receiving a gift
- A sum in the range from 25 to 50 dollars is appropriate and it gives you a good range of products to choose among
- Gift timing is also very important. Make sure that team members are being consistently recognized for their accomplishments. If one person in the remote team receives a reward for hitting a milestone, the same rule should apply to all other remote workers (and even though they’re not in the office, these people communicate and know how you treat each individual team member)
- The right type of gift is also a part of etiquette between managers and employees. Avoid items that appear way too personal, even if you know the respective person well (some ideas on appropriate gifts will be provided in the coming sections of this guide)
- Special occasions like a wedding, retirement, or having a baby allow for bigger gifts. In such instances, spending up to 100 dollars on a remote employee present wouldn’t be taking it too far
As an employer, you already understand the importance of employee recognition, treating all team members equally, and of course, with the same respect. Just keep some of the things in mind as you get familiar with deciding what gifts to get for them. Mistakes can cost you, talented employees, especially if treatment isn’t being perceived as fair or reciprocal to the accomplishment of the said worker.
All of these general pointers are beneficial but they don’t give you specific ideas about good and appropriate gifts for remote workers.
So, what are some specific items you can send or hand out personally to show your genuine appreciation for their work? There are literally thousands, but let’s take a look at a few suitable and fun suggestions.
Fun and Exciting Gift Ideas for Remote Workers
I want to just mention this one more time. Each remote team member is an individual with their own needs, taste, and preferences. There isn’t a universal “perfect remote worker” gift formula you can employ faultlessly every single time.
Still, some items can help you show your appreciation in a classy way that your employees will appreciate.
While this gift isn’t particularly high-tech (well, it’s not high-tech at all!), it’s a great choice for enhancing the home office environment.
Greenery creates a sense of peacefulness and it invites nature inside. When people have to spend a lot of time in front of the computer, they’d definitely enjoy a bit of color and lushness.
If you decide to offer houseplants as gifts, make sure the particular species is easy to care for. You can get some really good ideas here. Some plants are very fickle and capricious. Unless people have enough gardening knowledge, the gift will end up in the compost bin within a few weeks.
Headphones and Computer Paraphernalia
Distancing oneself from distractions at home isn’t easy, especially if remote employees have families, kids, and household responsibilities.
Once again – good practical gifts can help your remote team members create an optimal work environment. Noise-canceling headphones are an excellent gift they can use for the purpose. These are also an excellent choice for the team members who enjoy listening to music while working.
Personalized Prints and Posters (Zoom Meeting Screenshot!)
Looking for a more artistic and creative token of appreciation?
High-quality prints and posters are a good choice. If you have a fun photo from the latest team building session, you can easily turn that into an art piece. Not only is the gift personalized, but it also adds to the feeling of belonging to the group.
Why not take a high-quality screenshot on the next Zoom Team Meeting and order one of those frames you can order online, and then send it to each member. Cool right?
Activity trackers and fitness bracelets are becoming more affordable than ever. Such gadgets are a great choice for remote workers. Do you have a runner in the group? Check out these gift ideas for runners we put together.
Many people who work from a home office find it difficult to strike a balance between their professional responsibilities and their personal life.
An activity tracker will remind the employee they need to get up and move. It also measures stress and steps, helping people who work from home take better care of their health and fitness.
Personalized Mugs and Water Bottles
This is probably one of the most clichéd gifts out there but it can be super fun and cute (especially if you customized it with the Zoom Team Meeting screenshot I mentioned!). A personalized mug or a water bottle with a slogan or a cartoon printed on it can remind a remote team member of some inside joke or it can simply be humorous. Don’t underestimate the emotional potential of such a simple gift.
A Few Other Ways to Make Remote Workers Feel Appreciated
Showing appreciation isn’t easy when you’re not in the same room as your team every single day.
Gifts provide a beautiful opportunity to demonstrate your gratitude. Presents, however, cannot be handed out like candy. If you give out gifts way too often, some of their appeal will be lost.
When planning your communication and team-building strategy, you should think of additional ways to make every team member feel special and appreciated.
Don’t forget about personal communication. Even if you don’t send a gift, calling a remote employee on their birthday (or organizing a group video call) can be a much more powerful expression of your appreciation.
Making sure people know you’re there for them, no matter what is also important. This way, you build a corporate culture of good communication and reliance on each other. Remember that the everyday things you do are most important. Gifts for your remote team members are simply the cherry on top.
Something Else to Consider (Bonus Tip!)
Finally, make sure that people get together in a regular office. Whether such meetings take place in the office or another location (for a team building session, for example), they allow for personalized interactions and one-on-one time. Such meetings also provide the perfect opportunity to hand out presents in person and add to the appeal of the overall experience.
The world is transitioning steadily towards more frequent use of remote work and hybrid offices (that feature both teams at the workplace and remote workers). Since this model will probably become even more important in the years to come, it’s essential to come up with a strategy right now. Seeing that you are reading this, shows that you are ahead of the game!
Finally, small gifts and practical items being distributed among remote team members can help nurture a great team culture and environment. Make it a point to learn more about each team member. The more you know, the more special and the more impact the gifts will have on your team.