As the leader of your virtual team, you play a pivotal role in driving their success (ding ding, here’s your cue!). To ensure all operations are headed in the right direction, prioritize employee appreciation. This fosters trust, engagement, and morale, and it becomes even more critical when geographical distance poses challenges to building rock-solid team synergy.

When it comes to selecting the right gifts, challenges like cost, consistency, and quality can arise. At Imprint Engine, we excel in providing seamless solutions to these challenges. As a global merchandise designer and distributor, we ensure that your gestures of appreciation are both meaningful and impactful through thoughtful strategy. If you’re interested in creating an effective corporate gifting plan, consider factors such as the target audience, budget, branding, sourcing criteria, customization, and logistics.

Now, let’s explore some creative virtual employee appreciation ideas, from customized gifts to unique experiences, designed to make every remote employee feel valued and connected.

1. Work-From-Home Survival Kits

A square room can feel restricting, particularly when it serves as your workspace, dining area, and relaxation spot. Enhance your employees’ comfort with this office desk lamp that provides a warm ambiance and functions as both a heater and cooler. 

Look out for more exciting additions: This wireless mouse pad allows for smooth navigation while also charging phones at lightning speed. A help-you-thrive kit includes an LED video conferencing lighting kit for soft, professional lighting, as well as a versatile 2-in-1 pen that lets you jot notes and discreetly store up to 32 GB of data — enough for 40,000 videos — in the cap.

Some of the best tech products are sourced globally, and we partner with hundreds of international suppliers to bring you these innovative solutions.

2. A Home Office Stipend

According to Benepass, only 37% of remote employees “have a dedicated office space, with 21% using a bedroom, 20% working in their living room, and 14% roaming around from room to room.”

Yikes! When you give your employees a home office stipend, encourage them to get products that make their work space feel separate from their home space. For example, ergonomic office furniture (such as a desk and chair) can support good posture and reduce the risk of spine disorders (that’s right, no more working from bed!).

Another way to encourage focused work is gifting high-tech accessories, like noise-canceling headphones. Having the right tools can make all the difference.

3. Comfortable Loungewear

Another great virtual employee appreciation idea is loungewear. For those days with no Zoom meetings on the calendar, Original’s unisex hooded sweatshirt has a brushed interior made of ultra-soft cotton fleece. The eco-friendly brand has matching sweatpants that go great with a tie (we know you’ve done it!). 

Nothing says “relaxed boss” like buying your virtual team Marine Layer’s signature crew neck, which comes in sleek black, white, or navy. Our unrivaled design team has the decoration know-how on whether to embroider, screen print, or include a discreet logo tag. 

4. Personalized Care Kits

Personalization is trending, and these versatile kits can help welcome new employees, recognize work anniversaries and milestones, or show support during an employee illness or life event. 

If your virtual employee has recently welcomed a child, they need all the sleep they can get. Gift them a soft-as-cashmere baby blanket and hat combo that makes a full night of sleep possible. Add to the bundle of joy with a 100% ring-spun cotton baby bodysuit and portable changing station, made with zippered pockets for when you’re on the go. 

For new employees who need a break from watching 10,000 hours of company training videos, gift Black + Blum’s three-compartment lunch box and this miniature desk vacuum to clean up any spills. 

Other great personalized kit ideas include storage-friendly laptop backpacks and nifty notebook sets that allow employees to write down notes and automatically sync them to the cloud.

5. Digital Gift Cards

Virtual employees from different states and countries will undoubtedly have diverse tastes, especially when it comes to how they spend their free time. 

A gift card is a great virtual employee appreciation idea because it allows them to finally buy that paddle board from Amazon, cozy up with Game of Thrones on Netflix, or enjoy their favorite cuisine with friends from DoorDash. What can we say, people love choice. 

6. Tech Accessories

We all agree that the iPhone’s alarm clock sounds like bloody murder. Help employees wake up naturally (and peacefully) with a sunrise alarm clock, which gradually transitions from dark blue tones to warm white 30 minutes before wake-up time.

When “virtual employee” means working from anywhere, a 7.5W magnetic power bank offers a hands-free option with a pull-out stand, perfect for video calls. 

You can also put your logo on Blink Smart’s WiFi video doorbell — quick alerts ensure no one steals any packages while on the clock (your employees will thank you times a million).

7. Virtual Parties or Happy Hours

When you can’t walk down the street for 5 p.m. happy hour, it’s time to schedule a time zone-friendly rendezvous. Virtual parties and happy hours are a great way to team build, chillax, and break the ice.

While we encourage the casual “red wine and chat,” you’ll want to add interactive games like virtual team trivia to the menu. Start by creating rounds of questions related to various topics, including pop culture, history, and geography. Then, see the camaraderie flow. 

8. Social Media Shoutouts

Ninety-eight percent of workers have their own social media accounts as millennials and Gen Z take the workforce by storm. Tag them with a nice headshot and caption on all your company’s online platforms. 

Highlight their professional and personal attributes. Was it their quick thinking or the bright warmth they bring to your team? They’d love to hear.

9. Wellness Days

Wellness has many facets, including mental, emotional, and physical. To promote employee wellness, designate a day solely for learning how to feel good. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Host a webinar: Choose a topic like “How to Avoid Burnout” and provide valuable insights.
  2. Leadership and personal growth sessions: Empower employees by offering sessions on leadership and personal development.
  3. Fitness ring challenge: For Apple Watch users, initiate a fitness ring challenge to encourage physical activity.

Investing in a dedicated wellness day throughout your company can recharge often-depleted employee batteries. By addressing mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, you can help employees work better and sharper. Best of all, they’ll know you care.

10. Handwritten Thank-You Notes

Everyone remembers the warm welcome when they were first hired. Why does that appreciation seem to fizzle out? Keep virtual employees engaged and appreciated by penning why you’re grateful to have them on your team. Here’s why it works:

  1. Tangible appreciation: Providing a real, tangible expression of gratitude reinforces their value.
  2. Element of surprise: Unexpected appreciation adds a delightful element to their experience.
  3. Personal touch: Going beyond digital interactions with personalized messages creates a meaningful connection.

Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Employee Appreciation

As a leader, you’re in charge, but even the best leaders don’t have all the answers. So, let’s tackle some of the most common questions you might have about virtual employee appreciation.

Who should I include in virtual employee appreciation?

Everyone should be included in virtual employee appreciation initiatives. While it’s important to recognize individual achievements, work milestones, and personal celebrations like birthdays, it’s equally vital to ensure that such recognitions are inclusive. 

This approach reinforces a team-oriented culture and ensures that all employees (especially those far away) feel valued and appreciated, not just those marking special occasions or accomplishments.

When should I show appreciation to remote employees?

The season is bright right before the new year.Holiday gifting is a perfect time to show your staff how much you appreciate them with gifts like oh-so-needed branded sweaters. 

Many brand managers and HR staff also celebrate remote workers on Employee Appreciation Day, which happens on the first Friday of every March. 

What are the benefits of virtual employee appreciation?

According to Gallup, one in five employees feels their performance is managed in a motivating way. Are your employees getting the proper recognition? With teams across states, countries, and time zones, consistent recognition through small gestures can:

  • Motivate people to achieve goals
  • Encourage commitment
  • Enhance retention
  • Establish a desirable workplace
  • Foster synergy
  • Strengthen team building 

Corporate gifting is more than just a gift, it’s an experience.  

Express Your Appreciation With Imprint Engine

At Imprint Engine, we’re committed to helping you create an exceptional virtual employee experience. As your partner, we handle every detail — from design to distribution. Our extensive network of over 100 global partners ensures access to high-quality, tangible products that will truly make your team feel valued. Contact us to get started!