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Blog / Style & trends / Your Ultimate Guide to Gifts for Remote Employees

Style & trends

Your Ultimate Guide to Gifts for Remote Employees

Your Ultimate Guide to Gifts for Remote Employees
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

15 min read

As of 2023, more than 40% of the workforce is either fully remote or working in hybrid mode. Chances are, your company also has many employees working from home. 

Remote employees often miss out on the day-to-day camaraderie and in-person acknowledgments. While a gift can’t substitute that, gifts alongside virtual team-building events are the next best thing. A well-thought-out gift can make remote colleagues feel valued and integral to the team.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the best gifts for remote employees your company can get to stay connected. Whether you’re looking to celebrate milestones, boost morale, or show appreciation, you’ll find well-suited gift ideas here.

MerchShare—send remote employee gifts without getting a headache

If you’ve ever had to send out the remote team’s gifts, you know that one of the most time-consuming parts is collecting shipping addresses, sizes, and color preferences.

But there’s a way you can get all of your remote employee gifts through just one link. 

Use MerchShare to design a product, save the template, and share the template through a link. Then, share the link with your group and let each member order their own gift. Watch our 2-minute video to see how it works.

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Now, on with the gifts!

Onboarding new remote employees sets the tone for their entire journey with your organization. 

These gifts range from useful items that aid in setting up employee’s home offices to more personalized company swag that reflects your company’s culture and values. 

Let’s start with practical gift ideas.

Home office supplies

Remote employees spend most of their days in their home office, and a well-equipped, aesthetically pleasing space can improve their efficiency. Surroundings impact how we’re feeling, and it’s been proven that happy employees are more productive.

You can contribute to their well-being by gifting them home office supplies that enhance their environment. Let’s look at 3 wonderful options you can design with Printful.

If you’re looking for inexpensive gifts that are practical, ergonomic, and made from soft, durable material, look no further.

Elevate your remote team’s home office with custom, high-quality mousepads. Personalize them with motivational phrases to boost morale or incorporate your company’s logo to foster a connection to the organization and build team spirit.

Personalized notebooks are one of the best gifts for aiding remote teams in their day-to-day tasks or keeping track of all the new information for newcomers.

Choose the most suitable for your employees from 2 options:

  1. The classic and elegant Hardcover Bound Notebook featuring lined pages for structured note-taking

  2. The flexible Spiral Notebook with dotted pages for versatile planning and sketching 

Help employees keep their laptops pristine, especially when leaving the house, with a premium laptop sleeve. Our customers praise its lightweight, water-resistant fabric and extra soft faux fur lining. The quality material ensures superior safeguards against scratches and other damages laptops can suffer.

Here’s what your laptop sleeves could look like.

Drinkware

Most people drink coffee or tea, so a coffee mug, especially if well-designed, can quickly become part of your remote employee’s daily routine. That’s why custom mugs are a corporate gift classic.

With Printful, you get 3 mug options:

Read more: 37 Mug Design Ideas

Staying hydrated is trending, not to mention vital for longevity, focus, and productivity. And what better way to show you care for your teams’ health than to get them a cool water bottle?

You can get a Stainless Steel Water Bottle with a vacuum flask and double-wall construction suitable for hot and cold liquids. Your employees can use this at home or outside, whether on a day by the pool or a hike on a chilly autumn morning.

Alternatively, you can get a Sports Water Bottle from a BPA-free 50% recycled material. It also has a spill-proof screw-on lid with a bite valve, so your workers can take this bottle to the gym without worrying about getting their stuff drenched.

Just like the water bottle we just covered, this tumbler is made from high-grade stainless steel. It’s sturdy and keeps the drinks at the right temperature for hours. Plus, it comes with a straw for extra convenience.

Similar to the tumbler, there’s the Travel Mug with a Handle. It’s also made from stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. It’s designed to fit most car cup holders, so your whole team can enjoy their beverages on the go.

Now, let’s move on to small gifts for when you need just a little something to add to a gift you’ve already prepared.

Small gifts

These small gifts complement what we’ve covered so far. They can also go in a gift box if your company plans to celebrate a bigger occasion, like a particular employee’s work anniversary or a promotion. 

Let’s review 3 inexpensive gift ideas for occasions when you need something small and lovely.

Kiss-cut stickers will kick off this list. These stickers are a really easy way to spruce up any gift you already have. You can put anything on these stickers: a company logo, a motivational quote, a picture of the employee you’re celebrating. . . the sky’s the limit.

You have two options: Classic Stickers or Holographic Stickers. Both are made from durable vinyl and are ideal for indoor use.

Pro tip: Get these stickers for your office around the holidays or dates your employees celebrate. It’s a nice way to create a fun atmosphere around the office.

You can add coasters to your drinkware gifts or get them as standalone items. Either way, coasters are highly practical to protect your employee desks from spills, scratches, and stains. Each coaster is crafted from genuine cork hardboard, with a high-gloss coating that ensures a beautiful print. It’s heat-resistant, water-repellent, and easy to clean.

Pro tip: If you gift the coasters and a mug together, you can create matching designs for a cohesive set.

Custom-made pins are a fun and creative way to enrich the onboarding experience. The set includes 5 lightweight and sturdy pin buttons with a glossy finish. The scratch and UV-resistant coating will protect your design from fading and other types of damage. 

Let’s move on to what these pins can be added to.

Bags

You can choose from 3 bag options you can gift your remote employees, depending on what occasion you’re gifting them for. If it’s onboarding the new team members, a tote or backpack will do nicely. If you’re looking for bag options for, say, a birthday gift, opt for something more elevated, like a gym bag.

Tote bags are a great gift for welcoming new team members to your remote workforce. They’re the perfect way to bundle up all those tangible gifts that come with onboarding: the company swag, tech stuff, and all the other essentials. Plus, they’re super handy for day-to-day use later on, whether it’s for a quick grocery run or carrying work gear.

Check out our wide tote bag collection in our catalog to find the best tote bag for your team.

Backpacks are a fantastic gift idea for remote workers, offering functionality and style. Ideal for those who work from coffee shops, co-working spaces, or while traveling. A quality backpack can carry all the essentials: from laptops and chargers to notebooks and personal items. 

Custom backpacks are also practical for leisure activities like hiking or day trips, making them versatile. And there’s a range of backpacks you can choose from with Printful.

To promote well-being and an active lifestyle, you can get your new team member a duffle bag. It’s the perfect gift for the gym-goers.

You can pick from two sizes, and place your design across the entire bag because both duffle bags are all-over print items. You can personalize these bags with each team member’s name or initials to go the extra mile.

Company merchandise and apparel

The return on investment for branded company swag is huge. It’s integral to shaping company culture, strengthening employer branding, and improving employee retention.

Let’s explore a few of the most popular custom apparel options you can design and produce with print-on-demand. Starting with a wardrobe staple.

Custom shirts and t-shirts, in particular, are one of the most worn pieces of apparel globally. They’re also highly versatile—you can get them for your team as gifts for practically any occasion: send them as gifts on Christmas or other special occasions, as part of their onboarding goodie bags, for reaching milestones like job anniversaries, etc.

And quality matters a lot. The higher the quality, the longer your remote team will be able to enjoy their personalized t-shirt.

Here are the top picks for unisex t-shirts you can get for your remote employees:

Personalized hoodies are one of the best things you can get your employees, especially around the colder months. You can get your logo either printed or embroidered. Prints are a good option if your logo has a lot of detailing or text. Pick embroidery if your company’s logo is simple and robust.

As with t-shirts, we recommend getting the unisex hoodies so the company merch looks (and feels) equally good on all your remote workers. 

Here are the top picks for personalized hoodies:

Already equipped your team with tees and hoodies? Awesome! Complete the look with matching bottoms. You can design and gift your employees sweatpants, leggings, or shorts.

Since sweatpants are the staple of athleisure wear, we’ve picked the top 3 of the best pants your remote employees are guaranteed to love:

To complete our apparel section, let’s talk socks. They present the ideal opportunity to infuse a bit of fun and company spirit into everyday wear. These socks can feature anything from the company logo to quirky designs that reflect the company culture or individual interests. 

Plus, they’re a subtle way to enhance brand visibility in a relaxed, non-intrusive manner.

Birthday gifts for remote employees

Many remote employees don’t expect a gift from their company. But getting employees a birthday gift is a lovely gesture that encourages loyalty and increases job satisfaction. And a little goes a long way—it can be an inexpensive gift like a greeting card that still shows your company cares for the people who work for it.

Let’s cover 3 gift ideas you can get your remote employees for birthdays.

These soy wax candles are a great birthday gift for your remote employees. They’re unscented, so they’re suited for anyone, no matter their preferences or sensitivities. The custom-printed label makes these candles extra special, where you can include a sweet, birthday-themed message like “Make a wish!” 

Plus, who doesn’t love the cozy vibe of a candle? It’s a simple yet sweet way to light up their day and make them feel extra special.

In remote work, simple things like birthday greeting cards can really stand out and be significant. After all, there’s less companionship and interaction than in the office setting. So, the small things count even more.  

Sending a greeting card, either on its own or as part of a bigger gift box, is a cool way to do gift-giving. It’s a laid-back but thoughtful gesture that shows your remote employees they’re on your mind. 

Pro tip: Explore our Design Maker’s free design resources: there are plenty of birthday-themed clipart, graphics, and ready-made illustrations you can use for free.

Gift cards are a fantastic choice when brainstorming gift ideas for remote employees. They’re a thoughtful gift that hits just the right note of personalization and practicality. Gift cards give each member the freedom to pick something they really love, whether it’s for online shopping, a nice meal, or some entertainment. 

This flexibility makes gift cards a standout option for gifts for remote employees, simplifying the gifting process while ensuring everyone gets something they appreciate. It’s a thoughtful way to show your team they’re valued and understood.

Gifts for special occasions 

If you’re looking for remote employee gifts for special occasions like promotions, huge milestones, or significant achievements, look no further. 

Here are some ideas that you can give that exceptional team member.

Virtual swag bags make for the best gifts for remote employees because they combine physical gifts with digital goodies like gift cards, virtual event tickets, and branded digital assets.

Here are 8 ideas that you can include in your virtual swag bag: 

  • Subscriptions to a streaming service, an audiobook platform, or a digital magazine

  • Online courses or webinars that align with their professional interests or hobbies

  • Gift cards for popular online retailers, food delivery services, or coffee shops

  • Virtual fitness passes to online fitness classes or yoga sessions, promoting health and well-being

  • Branded digital wallpapers for computers and smartphones featuring the company logo or motivational quotes

  • Digital books related to professional development or leisure reading

  • Virtual team-building event tickets to an online escape room, virtual game night, or interactive workshop.

  • App vouchers for popular apps for productivity, meditation, or entertainment.

 

Commemorate reaching a special milestone or a big achievement with personalized glassware. Choose from can-shaped glasses, stemless wine glasses, and shaker pint glasses.

On the glass, you can put a specific number of the reached goal, a personalized message for the remote employee, or a celebratory saying like:

  • Toast to your achievements!

  • To our team’s triumphs!

  • Cheers on our best year yet! Could not have done it without you

Nothing can beat time off to reward a truly hardworking employee. Consider rewarding those who deserve it the most.

Christmas gifts for remote employees

Celebrating Christmas, or any end-of-year occasion, with thoughtful gifts can significantly boost team spirit and foster a positive attitude toward the company. It’s the ideal time to acknowledge your team’s hard work and dedication throughout the year, enhancing their sense of belonging and connection to the organization.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that not everyone celebrates Christmas. This time of year also includes other cultural and religious celebrations like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Respecting and acknowledging these diverse traditions is key to fostering an inclusive workplace. So offering a range of gift options catering to different celebrations shows your team that you value and respect their backgrounds and beliefs.

Let’s kick off this section with something you can give all remote employees regardless of their cultural or religious belongings. 

These cozy blankets provide warmth during colder months and add a sense of homeliness to the work-from-home environment. By personalizing them with the employee’s name or a special message, you can transform a simple item into a cherished keepsake, enhancing the feeling of being valued and recognized by the company.

Additionally, blankets are universally appealing and practical, suitable for different preferences and needs. They can also double as a decorative item, bringing a personal and comforting touch to any home office space, making them a thoughtful and versatile gift option.

There are three custom blanket options you can choose from, depending on your budget:

For the holidays, you can send your colleagues or employees working remotely Christmas ornaments. They’re made from solid, natural Hinoki wood and can be used as a tree decoration or a magnet.

These ornaments are printed from both sides and are available in 6 shapes: stocking, bell, tree, heart, oval, and star.

Pro tip: Consider integrating your company’s logo in a festive motif so your remote employees would feel the holiday spirit while proudly showcasing their connection to the organization.

Postcards are cost-effective to produce and ship wherever your employees are. It’s a small but sweet gesture that can make your employees feel valued.

They’re well-suited for celebrations year-round, so create and save templates for the occasions you want to celebrate with your remote team and send out a ready-made card whenever needed.

You can add a card to any other gift you send your remote employees. For example, you can send a gift box with socks, a Christmas ornament, and a card for Christmas. That would make for a small and sweet holiday surprise. 

A custom calendar is a fantastic addition to remote employees’ workspace that reminds them of their company. You can add pictures from teambuilding events, quotes, or sayings that align with the company’s culture, or maybe set a small and achievable goal for each month.

How to craft the perfect remote employee appreciation gifts

Understand their needs and consider their environment. People who work remotely often have a harder time separating their home life from work, so gifts like noise-canceling headphones could be thoughtful and beneficial. 

Personalize according to what you know about your remote workers. Personalization shows effort and care. This can range from custom-printed items to gifts tailored to their hobbies or interests.

Promote well-being with items encouraging relaxation and health. Go for presents like wellness kits, water bottles, or tumblers that aid hydration or a day off for birthdays—these will be greatly appreciated.

Think about inclusivity and diversity by getting gifts suited for your remote workforce of various backgrounds and preferences. Go for something anyone would use, like mugs or t-shirts.

So, after sending out gifts, ask for feedback. Make it anonymous and let your remote employees tell you what they loved and found useful and what you can stop sending and save money. That’s the fastest and most reliable way.

Time to put the best gift ideas to use!

Selecting the right gifts for remote team members is more than a kind gesture; it’s a strategic move that enhances their connection to the company and reinforces their value to your team. 

Whether for onboarding, celebrating special occasions, or showing appreciation, each gift is an opportunity to strengthen relationships. 

Use this guide to make your remote employees feel happy and appreciated. 

Frequently asked questions

author

By Karlina Rozkalne on Dec 13, 2023

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.