Whether you’re looking for ways to include your remote employees in what is happening at the office, or whether you just want to say thanks, here are remote gift ideas for your virtual colleagues.
Virtual gift ideas for your remote colleagues
- SUPERCARDS. Make your online meetings more productive, and fun.
- WORK TOGETHER ANYWHERE HANDBOOK. A Handbook on Working Remotely — Successfully — for Individuals, Teams, and Managers
- JUST SAY THANKS. Pick up the phone, send an email, create a special Slack channel, or send a kudo card.
- GIFT CERTIFICATES – coffee shops, gas stations, grocery stores, movies, Amazon, massage, dinners, the list of options is endless! While this option can seem a bit impersonal, it’s better than not giving a gift at all.
- As an alternative to gift cards, you can give a more personalized gift (there’s an app for that!).
- FOOD DELIVERY.
- There are a plethora of local beer/wine/coffee/food of the month clubs. Always fun! Two of my personal favorites are Gift Baskets Europe (for Europe) and 1800flowers.com (for the US).
- Pizza! Don’t forget that you can get a pizza delivered to almost anywhere in the world. If your team is working hard, make sure they stay nourished.
- FLOWER DELIVERY. Just like pizza, you can send flowers almost anywhere in the world. Easy! For sending flowers in the US, try 1800flowers.com.
- HOST A COOKIE EXCHANGE. Find a way to send each other cookies, or just share your favorite cookie recipes.
- STEP COUNTERS. Getting a Fitbit can be a fun team building experience (and should always be optional)
- GYM MEMBERSHIPS. Don’t let your remote workers sit in front of the computer all day. Make sure they’re getting some exercise.
- COWORKING MEMBERSHIPS. A great perk for the remote worker that can’t work at home.
- HOUSE CLEANING SERVICES. Sometimes it’s nice for someone else to do the cleaning.
- MASSAGES. Find a local spa or massage service and buy your colleague the gift of relaxation.
- EXPERIENCES. Give someone an opportunity instead of a thing.
- SUBSCRIPTIONS. Give subscriptions to magazines, meditation apps, online music or movie apps (Spotify, Pandora, Netflix).
- TECH. Does your teammate need a new headset, a wifi booster, or a mobile router?
- OFFICE SUPPLIES. Along with tech, think about useful office supplies like external monitors or a sit-stand desk.
- APPRECIATION APPS. A list of tools that help remote teams show appreciation.
One logistical aspect for gift giving is: who is going to pay for the gift? Most companies have a budget for team building events and gifts. But if not, try having everyone on the team chip in with cobudgeting tools.
Do you have a great remote gift idea you’d like to add to this list? We’d love to hear it!
- 13 Practical Gifts to Boost Remote Employee Morale – by Yonder
- Ideas for Rewarding Your Remote Team – by Remote.co
- How to make your remote workforce feel appreciated – by Fast Company
Welcome to the Collaboration Superpowers podcast. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely. Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode. This week I wanted to focus on something fun but also important. So it’s more important than people think. And I hear a lot in my interviews that this comes up, which is that remote employees feel left out or that sometimes there’s just more perks that we can offer our in-office employees. And it doesn’t occur to us to translate that into the virtual world. So today I wanted to focus on some fun team building perks that you can offer your remote employees, whether it’s if you’re saying thank you or you’re using it as a benefit to entice your remote employees, whatever the reason. Here’s a list of some of my favorite remote team building perks. So I’ve got to admit something amusing is that a lot of these perks center around either food or fitness, so that I found pretty funny. But there are also some other kinds of perks, and I’ll get into those.
Let’s start with the food perks because there are some really good things. There are the things you would expect right away like a coffee card to a local coffee shop. There are also different kinds of delivery. For example, you can get one of those healthy snack box deliveries or some not so healthy pizza deliveries. Bree Reynolds from FlexJobs.com in her interview said that they actually did a cookie exchange amongst the remote employees, and I thought that that was pretty fun.
And then of course there are the virtual parties, virtual ice cream parties, virtual pie. You’ve heard me talk about that before. So virtual lunches, things like that.
Next we have the fitness and relaxation area. One thing that I really liked was getting remote employees health tracking devices like the Fitbit, for example. I’ve had my Fitbit for years and I’m completely addicted to it. But I must say it does give me out of the house in moving when I notice I don’t have enough steps and the quality of my sleep has improved since having the Fitbit and tracking that. So that’s one thing that I’m personally a big fan of.
Other things that can be done though are getting a fitness stipend, so maybe a membership to the local gym or allowing, for instance, a monthly massage. And if you really want to say thank you, you can also send people on their dream vacations. So maybe somebody wants to go to Switzerland, for example. And you can sponsor a tour guide mountain adventure or something like that.
Okay, next we have the learning perks I call them. This is, for example, having a stipend for books, or magazines could be a good one, classes that people want to take either online or in-person. Some companies have tech stipend so if you want to buy some equipment like headsets or new things to experiment with. And then also, there was co-working memberships. And I thought that that was a pretty clever idea. That’s a nice thing to offer. Then there are subscriptions to online music, for example, or radio. So maybe you want to give them a subscription to Pandora or Spotify, maybe Netflix if that’s appropriate. And then last on the list which was something that I’ve never thought of but I really love, which is a house cleaning stipend. So if you are hearing some rumbles of your remote employees that they’re feeling left out of maybe the celebrations or disconnected from the office or you’re just looking for a way to say thank you and you’re not sure how, I hope that this list of perks has maybe sparked an idea or two and try it out. If you do it and you want to share your story, please get in touch. All my information is at collaborationsuperpowers.com.
All right, we’re keeping it short and sweet this week. Thanks for listening. And if you like what you hear, then please leave us a review. That really helps out more than you know. And if you’d like to sponsor an episode on the Collaboration Superpowers podcast, please get in touch. I’ll let you know what those options are. A huge thanks to Nick, the podcast monster who keeps everything running real smooth. Thanks, Nick. You can hire him to make you a star at podcastmonster.com. Join me next week when I interview Vanessa Shaw from the human side of tech. She does intercultural training as well as helping you tech better, so stay tuned for that. All right, everybody, until next time, be powerful.