The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rapid rise in remote work across the country. At first, the switch to working from home was to keep employees safe. Now, even as things are starting to return to normal, many employers and employees are sticking to a remote lifestyle because of all the benefits.
If you’re an employer trying to figure out how you can show appreciation to your hard-working team, your traditional swag items might not be as useful as they once were. Thinking about remote team swag means considering what your employees really need, want, and value when they’re working from home.
For starters, that could include providing them with the right equipment and continuing development courses. But, don’t forget about surprising them with fun gifts and experiences, too. Working from home can be less stressful, but let’s face it – everyone is experiencing stress right now. So, reaching out and providing thoughtful swag items will make a big difference in how valued your employees feel.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
▶ SKIP AHEAD 🚀
When your employees are working from home, consider the things they’ll use every day to make their lives easier and more comfortable. That could include things like:
- A coffee machine or a variety of gourmet coffee
- Warm slippers or fuzzy socks
- A cozy blanket and sweatshirt
- An ergonomic chair
- A insulated mug or water bottle
- Kitchen/cooking tools
Another great idea is to offer discounts or coupons on food delivery and takeout. You know your employees are working hard, so give them a night off from having to cook dinner. Gift cards are another wonderful option that are about as practical as you can get. They’re sure to get used, they don’t take up space, and your employees can make the ultimate decision on how, exactly, they want to use them.
Practical gifts don’t have to be small trinkets. One of the potential drawbacks of working from home is finding it difficult to strike a healthy work-life balance. A practical option could be giving your employees extra time off, paying for their child’s daycare, or offering a more flexible schedule, so that your team can attend to practical matters that arise as a result of working from home.
Try putting yourself in the shoes of the people who work for you. Maybe you’ve gone remote, yourself. What would make your everyday life easier? Are there items you use each day that add more convenience (or joy) to your routine? Take your answers to those questions and use them to offer practical swag to your remote workers.
Recent Home Trends
Taking a look at recent home trends is another good way to figure out the best “homey” swag to give.
Several pandemic-inspired trends have taken root with homeowners and renters alike, including home improvement projects, plant parenthood, and even practicing minimalism.
Houseplants are nothing new. But, with people spending more time at home during the pandemic, people became a little bit obsessed with bringing more green into their lives. Thankfully, that makes for an easy swag gift. Buy your botany-loving workers a new houseplant, gift card to a local nursery, or curate a swag pack for your green-thumbed team members! Check out these desk-friendly favorites like the sleek Modern Sprout Tapered Tumbler Grow Kit, and a hardy (and hard-to-kill!) air plant with customizable planter.
If you know certain employees have been trying to fix up their homes or they’ve gotten the “itch” to work on a few projects, consider offering a small token that supports that purpose . Many home improvement projects can add value to a home, so doing your small part to help your employees with those projects could end up doing more for them than you may realize. Some of the biggest home improvement trends at the moment include:
- Investing in Smart home technology
- Upgrading security and tech bandwidth
- Expanding outdoor spaces
- Carving out a spot for a home office
When it comes to the minimalism trend, it might seem counterproductive to be giving your employees a bunch of “stuff”. But, you can help them to stick to a minimalistic lifestyle by giving them items that will help them rather than create more clutter. Consider portable and multipurpose items, like this Bluetooth charger and speaker to keep tech and tunes close at hand, or this slim-profile tablet stand that folds up or down to create desk space, anywhere.
Swag that can create more space in a home will be much appreciated by those trying to declutter and stay organized. Things like shelves or other storage solutions can make a big difference in how a home looks. Multi-purpose furniture is another great way to support a minimalist lifestyle while still offering something useful. Minimalists want to make the most out of everything they own, and you can help with that by just thinking a bit outside of the (swag) box.
Hobbies & Entertainment
Giving swag items that cater to your employees’ hobbies is a trend that never goes out of style, and can be a fitting companion to intangible company benefits or subsidized perks offered by many benefit plans. Small ways to show you support your team’s extra-curricular activities could include:
- Additional time off for volunteering
- A socially-distanced team outing
- A yearly gym membership, or no-cost access to a fitness app
If you know your employees’ likes and hobbies, you can go one step further in giving them something they’ll love to use. The subscription economy is booming right now, with people wanting to enjoy everything from food to entertainment from the comfort of their homes. You’ll find subscription services for pet supplies, gourmet meals, cleaning supplies, and everything in-between. When your workers receive something special on their doorstep each month, they’re bound to get excited.
Homey swag doesn’t have to be cheesy, cliche, or just take up space. Keep these considerations in mind as your employees continue to work from home. Not only will these gifts show your appreciation for your team, but you can be confident they’ll put their new swag to good use, one way or another.
🌟 FEATURED SWAG PACK
THE CREW SAYS:
Treat employees to swag that helps them feel comfortable and cozy. This pack is perfect for staying warm this winter.
This pack features a cozy blanket, a bamboo soy candle, soothing hot chocolate, and a Fellow Big Jo mug – the perfect combination of cozy and comforting swag items!
This pack would be perfect for remote employee appreciation or seasonal holiday swag.
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About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.