5 Gifts to Send Remote Employees
Technology and remote work have made it possible to keep the world running during the past year and a half, but there's a downside to this new way of life: Remote workers often feel disconnected from their job or company culture.
In fact, according to Gallup research, fully remote workers are now experiencing more burnout than on-site workers. Workplace burnout in remote settings is more common than many would believe, but it doesn't have to be inevitable. There are many strategies for assisting workers in coping, and company gifts are just one of them.
When they're in the office, companies can exchange gifts during holidays or host company-wide events to foster team building. Remote companies, with teams distributed across the world, can rarely do the same.
Sending gifts to remote workers is a great way to keep people motivated and show appreciation for hard work. It can act as a tangible replacement for the typical in-office thank you, whether that's bringing in a cake for the team or taking them for a drink after work, especially if the team is separated by geography.
5 Gifts to Send Remote Employees
However, there's a secret to great company gifts: Give remote employees something that's both useful and universal, something everyone can enjoy and make use of. Here's a list of five gifts that remote employees will surely thank you for:
Courses and E-learning Materials
Before lockdowns, people would go to institutes, take classes or sit in on a course to learn skills. But with COVID restrictions, that option went away. Luckily, e-learning bridged that gap, and the resulting explosion in online learning options will benefit remote employees long after in-office work makes its return. That's not to mention the performance benefits of a well-rounded workforce.
"You should not allow your company's adoption of remote working to have a negative effect on your employees' ability to improve their skills and learn something new," said Sander Tamm, CEO at Tallinn, Estonia-based E-Student. "E-learning courses make excellent gifts for keeping workers engaged and ensuring they are not falling behind on their success and training."
Tamm said his company provides access to the MOOC platforms employees prefer. "It's like hitting two birds with one stone," he said. "They learn while the company also benefits."
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One of the reasons to send gifts to employees is to keep them engaged and connected. Luckily, there's a tried-and-true way to connect with people at a distance.
"Care packages have long been a source of connecting with friends and family members, especially college students, campers and new parents — and now with employees who are working remotely," said Dean Guida, CEO at Cranbury, NJ.-based Infragistics.
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"A care package is a way of personally thanking each employee for their hard work and dedication during these stressful times," he said.
Nothing is more distracting than a noisy work environment, and that can get even worse when vegetables are being chopped, there's construction outside the house, or there is a bustling road nearby. A set of headphones is a great gift for remote employees who may be struggling with distractions at home or in a remote work site.
Chair Cushions or Footrests
The sedentary nature of office work can cause physical harm. In fact, the strain of sitting for eight hours or more and staring at screens constantly can lead to lower back pain and headaches. Being comfortable while you work is important but not everyone has an ideal office chair. Chair cushions and footrests help improve posture and make sitting for long periods more comfortable.
Pet Treats and Pet-Related Items
The number of dog adoptions skyrocketed over the last year as people spent more time at home and sought comfort and companionship. Pets can work wonders for people in isolation, and giving remote employees something for their pets is always a good idea for pet lovers.
"Giving people vouchers for pet stores or gift cards for pet-related stores is a thoughtful gift because I know from personal experience that remote workers often struggle to find the time to play with their pets or walk their dogs while juggling both work and other domestic responsibilities at the same time," said Trevor Larson, CEO at Orem, Utah-based Nectar HR.
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It's important to remember that, especially as an increasing number of workers return to the office, remote workers can feel left out or forgotten. They may not have the opportunity to exchange gifts with other team members during holidays or be a part of company-wide events in a physical office setting, but that doesn't mean they don't want them.
A great gift can always make a difference and will be well-received and appreciated.