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15 Ways to Show Appreciation for Remote Employees

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Did you know that over 40% of the American workforce has been working remotely? Also, according to one study, 40% of employees who were ignored by colleagues reported that they were seriously disengaged from their work. Whether you have a few remote employees or hundreds, you may wonder how you can show them your appreciation.

While you can't meet them all in person, you can use video calls, emails, and other tools to share the love. Then, you can make your remote employees feel like part of the team and improve employee engagement.

Keep reading for some employee appreciation ideas on how to keep remote workers motivated and recognized.



Celebrate the Small Things

One of the easiest ways to show appreciation for your remote employees is to celebrate small accomplishments. For example, maybe you and your team members always struggle with technology during a virtual meeting.

Whenever you have a meeting where you don't encounter issues, take note of that. Congratulate your remote employees for getting through the meeting without typical problems.

You can also celebrate getting assignments and projects in on time. That may sound like the bare minimum, but it can be hard when everyone is working remotely. While working from home achievements can be easily ignored.

It doesn't matter how small something is; don't be afraid to celebrate it. You don't need every celebration to be huge, a small gesture of appreciation from the organization’s management goes a long way in combating feelings of isolation.

Share Positive Customer Reviews

You can also show appreciation for your remote employees by sharing positive reviews from clients or customers. Whenever your remote team's hard work goes over well, let them know that customers are happy.

Consider sending an email newsletter each month or week with positive reviews. Or you can use a platform like HR Cloud to help recognize your remote team with effective employee recognition software. Workmates has a “kudos” feature that you can use to build a culture of recognition with rewards or give out a shout-out to specific employees.

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You can also email or message your employees individually when you know they are the specific person on the project. Telling employees about their hard work can make employees feel great.

Now, you shouldn't lie about customer reviews if they tend to be negative. However, you can use those negative reviews to help make your team better by reworking your processes.

Talk About Your Personal Achievements

Work is important, but there's more to life than your career. When you get a chance, ask remote employees about their personal lives, such as their family or other activities.

You can then see if an employee has recently bought a house or had a child. Or maybe an employee just ran a mile or started a new hobby that they enjoy.

All of these are examples of personal achievements, and they're just as important as work achievements. If an employee has done something exciting outside of work, share that with the rest of the team.

Other employees can congratulate their coworkers, and that employee can feel good. Don't pressure your employees into talking about their personal lives, but don't be afraid to share exciting news when an employee does have some.

Pick an Employee of the Month

If you want to choose an employee of the month, you do need to be careful. Sometimes, this can lead to jealousy and tension between coworkers, but it can be a good option if you do it right.

Make sure you choose an employee who is doing a lot of good, hard work for your company. You can even have employees nominate each other to help make your decision.

Then, you can choose employees that other employees like and admire. You can give a shoutout to the employee of the month at your next meeting or on social media.

Or you can sit down with them and ask a few questions about their work, such as productivity tips. Then, you can share the interview to recognize your employees in a company newsletter.

Learn more on; how to start an employee of the month program in your organization.

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Acknowledge achievements on video calls

Research studies have shown that public recognition is one of the best ways to appreciate your employees. Since employees are working from home, public recognition has been difficult. One great idea to appreciate employees is to recognize the efforts of an employee on your company intranet

Food delivery and takeout discounts

Most people are running out of recipes to try out with their loved ones at home. Cooking meals can be exhausting every night, especially for parents who are trying to balance work-life. One of the best ways to show appreciation for employees who put in extra hours is by offering them discounts and credit to food delivery apps and giving local restaurants gift cards. A great way to do that is through customizable employee rewards software.

Share Important Dates

Another great recognition idea is to share important dates for your employees, such as their birthdays. If you have a record of them, you can also get the dates when each employee started their job. When someone's birthday or work anniversary rolls around, you can give them a shoutout in Workmates’ social intranet. Tell them how much you appreciate having them on your team.

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In the case of a birthday, you can send a card or a small gift. And a work anniversary is the perfect time to do an annual review where you can praise the employee.

Another way to praise all of your remote employees is to dedicate a day each month or year. Then, you can show appreciation for the team as a whole.

Send a Gift

Whether it's someone's birthday or not, there are multiple great opportunities for sending gifts to employees. You can send something simple, like a gift card to that employee's favorite restaurant.

Or you can let them order lunch using a company card. Then, your employee can enjoy that meal or purchase knowing that their employer loves having them on the team.

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This is another great way to use the information you get regarding employees' personal interests. You can tailor each gift to the employee to show that you care.

Sending something small once or twice a year can be a great way to remind your remote employees that they're part of the team. Gifts can be an excellent addition to any peer-to-peer recognition ideas or in general to employee recognition programs.

Provide Professional Development

Professional development is important whether someone works remotely or at the office. If you haven't provided professional development for your remote team, it’s never too late to begin. 

Consider offering courses or sessions to help your employees enhance their skills in the workplace. Investing in your employees’ development will improve their job performance, enhance their engagement, and give them a competitive advantage while fostering a culture of continuous learning.

The upfront costs may seem a lot at first, but in the long term, it brings a lot of benefits to your employees and your company.

If you can’t afford to send your employees courses or other materials, explore creative solutions like crafting an email series where you can empower remote employees with valuable knowledge just by including daily tips or insights.


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Make Work a Game

Now, you don't need to make work something optional, but you do want to make it enjoyable. When people work from home, they can feel lonely and like there's a disconnect between them and the team.

Fortunately, you can use gamification to make work more interesting. If you run a remote sales team, for example, you can create a leaderboard. As someone makes more sales, they can earn more points and advance to the top.

You can also provide other incentives to encourage people to get their work done. If a leaderboard doesn't work, you can use flashcards or fun characters to make work fun.

Then, people can look forward to starting work each day, even though they're not in the office. Having a fun company culture can be a great way to show appreciation for all of your employees. 

Take a Day Off

If your remote employees work from home for many days without much of a break, give them the day off. Your employees can take the time to relax or catch up on things in their personal life.

It’s a simple, yet effective idea for workers’ appreciation that will help them relax. Many people don’t feel comfortable turning off the phone or leaving emails unanswered on their days off because they are afraid to lose their employer's trust.

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You can give the day a name, such as an employee appreciation day. Or you can simply tell your remote employees that it's time for them to take a break.

If you can't afford for your team to take off a full day, you can have them take the afternoon off. And if that's too much time, you can let people stop working an hour or two early.

Either way, giving your employees some extra free time can be a great way to make them feel good. When they return to work, they may have more energy, so they can enjoy work and get more done.

Schedule a Virtual Hangout

One of the easiest appreciation rewards is setting up virtual happy hours or game nights with the employees. You may already have video meetings to talk about company updates or client projects. However, most video conferencing programs allow for unlimited meetings.

Consider using one of those meetings to host a virtual hangout session for your remote employees. You can set this up at the end of the day or week, and you can have employees bring their own drinks or food. You can catch up on what’s happening outside of work or play online games together.

Then, your employees can get to know each other outside of work. They can talk more about their lives and see who they work with on a daily basis.

If the first one is successful, you can have virtual happy hours each month or week. That way, employees can connect more with their coworkers.


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Be More Flexible

One of the best employee appreciation ideas is to give workers more flexibility. If you usually ask people to work a traditional schedule, consider letting people work when they work best.

As long as you don't have to do work at a specific time, this can be a great option. Remote employees are busy in 2021, so they may not be able to stay focused for eight hours straight.

Consider letting your employees work earlier or later, depending on their schedule. Then, they can get focused and be more productive when they do work.

Celebrating Your Remote Employees

Showing appreciation for employees in the office can be as easy as playing fun music or bringing in group lunches each month. But recognition rewards aren't as easy when you have remote employees.

Fortunately, you can find multiple great opportunities to celebrate and show appreciation to your remote team, such as virtual happy hours. Even though you aren't all together, you can still connect with everyone at work.

Do you need help showing your employees appreciation? Learn more about the HR Cloud’s employee recognition program.

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Provide equipment for remote work

One of the best ways to appreciate remote workers is by providing them with equipment that will allow them to work and achieve their daily goals easily. Most remote workers suffer from neck and back pain and bad posture due to poor working conditions at home. And this negatively impacts their health over time. 

Your organization can fight these health issues by providing essential office equipment that alleviates stress. Start by creating a list of work-from-home equipment that your employees will need. And send it out to them to ensure that you don’t miss any important equipment. After receiving their requests, have the equipment shipped to their places of work directly. This will not only boost employee engagement but also cut healthcare costs in the future.

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About Author:

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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