It is so much easier to appreciate the work you can see done every day. When you walk through your company offices and see your employees being productive, you are much more likely to offer small gestures of gratitude, like compliments and praise, as well as larger celebrations of their work, like parties and potlucks.
However, your remote workers deserve appreciation, too. Though you might not always be able to see the work they are doing to help your company, they are undoubtedly toiling away to accomplish their tasks and reach department goals. Unfortunately, despite the benefits of working remotely, remote employees are just as susceptible to low morale and burnout as in-person workers, so you need to expend some energy to make them feel valued and connected to your company. Here are a few good ways to keep morale up amongst your remote staff, even if you don’t see or talk to them every day.
Send Corporate Swag
Most companies make swag to give to customers and clients or else to distribute at corporate events and industry conferences — but oftentimes, swag ends up distributed to office employees, too, via boxes in break rooms or the occasional appreciation party. Unfortunately, remote workers almost never benefit from swag handouts; they almost never get to rep company T-shirts or drink from company mugs because no one thinks to send them swag when it is available.
You don’t have to give your remote workers your entire corporate swag line, but you might periodically send packages of a few products, like custom tumblers with your company logo or stickers and pins with branded art. Not only is this a good way to show your remote workforce that you remember them and appreciate their work, but it helps increase your brand’s visibility significantly.
Offer WFH Essentials
You supply your office staff with computers, desks, chairs and other office supplies like pens and notepads. Meanwhile, your remote workforce has to compile their home office essentials on their own. Some employers see the need to curate a home office as a cost of working from home — which has dozens of other benefits — but just because you aren’t footing the bill for every aspect of your remote workers’ workspaces doesn’t mean you can’t contribute some funding or supplies.
Here are four tiers of WFH support you can offer your remote staff:
- . This truly only makes sense if you are disbanding your office staff entirely and expect them to work from home on a permanent basis.
- . Remote employees must have connected devices to complete their work, and you can supply state-of-the-art devices to keep them productive (and happy).
- . Either on a one-time or recurring basis, you might give WFH employees a bonus to help them pay for their home office.
- . If you don’t have the budget to truly help remote workers with their home office needs, you can still send small packages of office essentials, like sticky notes, flash drives and the like — especially if they are branded with your company logo.
When it comes to sending gift packages to your remote workers, you might be disheartened by the shipping costs, alone. If you want to give appreciation in a way that doesn’t require any kind of packaging or transportation, you might opt for gifting your remote workers with experiences rather than items. Memories tend to last much longer than inexpensive objects, and if you can connect feelings of happiness and excitement with your company, you will enjoy more engagement from your remote staff in the long run. Some ideas for gifted experiences include:
- . There are thousands of fun and interesting subscription box options, many of which are interactive. You can tailor the subscriptions you send to individual employees for a personal touch.
- . After COVID, of course, there will be all sorts of events your remote workers will likely be interested in attending, like concerts, festivals, fairs and more. Typically, you can purchase tickets to these events online and email them to your remote workers as gifts.
- . Even remote workers need PTO. After a long, difficult project, offering extra paid vacation time is a way to show remote staff that their contributions matter and so do their health and wellness.
You already missed Employee Appreciation Day this year, which fell on March 5 — but that doesn’t mean you have to wait another 12 months to show your remote employees you care. The more frequently you engage with your remote workforce, either by sending swag and gifts or by sending direct communications and thanks, the more engaged your virtual team will feel with your business, and the more everyone will benefit from high morale and productivity.