The lockdowns and restrictions put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an already increasing trend toward remote work. In a December 2020 survey, 71% of workers who felt they could work from home were currently doing so. Going forward, 54% of workers want to work remotely once the pandemic has ended.
As we emerge from the pandemic, most companies will likely shift toward a hybrid approach. Only 11 percent of employers expect all staff to eventually return, and some companies have already committed to working from home for the near term.
One model might see rotating cohorts of staff coming into the office on certain days. Another may allow staff to work from home for focused, independent work but expect them to come in for collaborative activities. Finally, some companies may keep some staff fully remote while bringing others back to the office.
With people in different locations, employers must find ways to maintain bonds and relationships between team members, define and build a strong organizational culture, and keep employees motivated and engaged when away from the office.
Let’s look at five creative gifts that employers can send remote workers to keep them connected and engaged.
#1: Monthly Supply Kits and Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes have exploded in popularity during the pandemic. Packages arriving in the mail from e-commerce stores and subscription services not only give us something to look forward to, but they also make it easier to replenish consumable products without heading to the store.
In fact, 54% of online shoppers have already subscribed to at least one box.
Companies can get in on the action by sending out regular supply kits that include everything from branded pens, notebooks, and folders to coffee, snacks and other fun items. Mix it up each month so that employees are always stocked up on supplies and are excited to see what comes next!
#2: Employee Welcome Packages
Starting a job while working remotely is tough. There are fewer opportunities to get to know people and it’s much harder to get a sense of the organizational culture. Getting it right is critical, as research shows that employees who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for other career opportunities.
One way to make a good first impression is to send new hires a welcome package with everything they need to get started. Depending on their role, this could include print outs of important documents such as product brochures, sell sheets, manuals, and other company information. But you should also try and mix in some fun items as well. Things like water bottles, quality earbuds, team photos or welcome messages from team members can add a personal touch.
#3: Stress Reduction Kits
So far, we’ve talked about items that help employees in their day-to-day work. But the blurred lines between work and home mean that people need to take time for themselves. One way to help remind your remote workers to step away from their screen is to send stress reduction kits or care packages.
Simple things like candles or personal care kits can be great, but you could also include household items such as gardening tools, BBQ sets, workout gear, or games that encourage them to get outside and enjoy their time away from their desk. As things start to open back up, consider sending personalized gift cards for local restaurants and businesses to show your support for local shops.
#4: Peer to Peer Thank You Notes
As we said, keeping people connected and engaged remotely will be one of the key challenges as things start to reopen. One way to help nurture your organizational culture is to create a peer-to-peer thank you note program that encourages employees to send personalized notes or cards to their fellow team members.
These could be sent during the holidays or other milestones, or they could become an ongoing initiative that allows employees to express their gratitude to each other. While emails and e-cards may be enough in some cases, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. Send each remote worker a stack so that they’re on hand when the moment is right.
#5: Sales and Marketing Collateral
While we’ve focused on employees, your customers, suppliers, and partners are likely working remotely as well. If you’re looking for new ways to reach out, consider a direct mail campaign.
Direct mail is still a powerful way to reach prospects and engage with customers. Why? Because people like receiving mail. Across all ages, 41% of Americans look forward to checking their mail each day, and 59% said they enjoy getting mail from brands about new products.
Rather than sending a flyer or sales sheet on its own, think of creative ways to reach your top prospects and personalize the items or messaging they receive. Done well, you can build stronger relationships, book more meetings and close more sales by adding direct mail into your marketing campaigns.
Keeping Remote Workers Engaged
Remote working is here to stay. Whether employees remain at home most of the time or they come into the office a few days a week, employers will need to find new ways to engage with their staff and build connections between team members.
Sending personalized, thoughtful and creative gifts is just one way of keeping that connection and reinforcing your desired organizational culture. Ontrack Workflow is your perfect partner to make that goal happen every time. From one online home base, you’ve got the mechanism to customize a range of brand elements like fonts, text, color, images and sizes. So each remote worker receiving that gift from you feels closer to their employer than ever. Let’s get a demo on the calendar so you can see how personalized around your brand Ontrack Workflow can be. Call 888.833.5907 today.