Everyone wants to know that the work they do is recognized and appreciated. While there are plenty of natural opportunities to give your employees feedback when they work in the office, taking deliberate action is necessary when it comes to recognizing remote workers.
Of course, there are tons of benefits to remote work for both employers and employees. However, one of the downsides is that it can leave employees feeling isolated, lonely, and unappreciated. If you don’t go out of your way to tell them they are valued, they might assume they are just another nameless cog in the machine.
So, what can you do to recognize your remote workers? In this post, we will look at some of the best virtual celebration ideas you can use to provide an opportunity for your team to grow closer while also showing them how much you appreciate their hard work and effort.
Why Is it Important to Recognize Your Remote Workers?
Remote work has many benefits for both employees and employers, but one downside is that working from home tends to leave team members feeling more isolated. There aren’t nearly as many organic opportunities for workers to feel appreciated and valued when they only interact with other team members and leaders virtually, making it all the more important to deliberately recognize their hard work.
Taking the time to recognize your remote workers can significantly impact their job satisfaction, productivity, and overall well-being. Let’s break down some of the different reasons why it’s crucial to celebrate the efforts of your virtual team.
Boosts Morale and Motivation
It isn’t uncommon for remote workers to sometimes feel isolated or disconnected from the team. Recognizing their contributions and efforts helps boost their morale and motivation, reminding them that their work is valued and appreciated.
This can, in turn, lead to increased job satisfaction and commitment.
Fosters a Sense of Belonging
One of the things that makes a job great is feeling like you have deep relationships with your coworkers and you are a part of something larger than yourself. However, this is something that needs to be deliberately fostered when your team is remote, as it’s much less likely that this level of camaraderie and belonging will occur organically.
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Recognition initiatives, such as virtual celebrations, awards, or public acknowledgments, can help remote workers feel like they are part of a larger team and organization. This sense of belonging can improve their emotional connection to the company and their well-being.
Remote workers are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work when they feel recognized and appreciated.
This can lead to improved productivity and higher-quality work output– employees who feel valued tend to want to contribute their best efforts to help the team succeed.
We all know how expensive it is to deal with constant turnover. Employees who don’t feel like they are appreciated in their role will typically get tempted to find work elsewhere, while workers who are regularly recognized for their efforts are less likely to seek new job opportunities.
By acknowledging and rewarding the efforts of remote workers, you can improve employee retention rates, saving the company time and resources associated with hiring and training new staff.
Strengthens Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is essential for remote workers as it impacts their commitment to the company’s goals and their willingness to go the extra mile.
Recognition helps foster engagement by making remote employees feel valued and involved.
Encourages Continuous Improvement
Recognizing remote workers for their achievements can motivate them to strive for excellence and continue improving their skills and performance– rather than just doing the bare minimum, they go above and beyond.
This can lead to significant innovation and growth within the team and organization as a whole.
Promotes a Positive Company Culture
Creating and nurturing a positive company culture can be beneficial for employee engagement, talent attraction and retention, employee well-being, and much more.
Recognizing remote workers contributes to a positive company culture that values and appreciates its employees. When employees see that their efforts are recognized and rewarded, it sets a precedent for a culture of appreciation and recognition. This can have rippling effects throughout teams and the organization, where it becomes the norm for individuals to give each other positive feedback and pats on the back.
Strengthens Communication and Collaboration
Another major perk of going out of your way to recognize your employees is that it can serve as an opportunity for remote workers to interact with colleagues and managers.
This can strengthen communication and collaboration within the team, particularly when employees are physically distant.
Demonstrates Leadership Care
No one wants to work for a manager who doesn’t seem the least bit concerned with their well-being.
Recognizing remote workers demonstrates that leadership both values their contributions and cares about them as individuals, which can build trust and loyalty between employees and management.
Virtual Celebration Ideas For Your Remote Team
Now that we’ve gone over why it’s so important to recognize your remote team, let’s check out some of the best virtual celebration ideas you can use to show them just how valued they are.
Virtual Happy Hour
One increasingly popular way to celebrate your remote team is a virtual happy hour. A digital twist on the traditional happy hour lets team members come together in a relaxed, informal setting to socialize, unwind, and build connections even when working from different locations.
When your team doesn’t live near enough to one another to head to a local bar after work, a virtual happy hour is the next best thing.
Online Game Night
Hosting an online game night is a fantastic virtual celebration idea for remote teams that combines good, honest fun with the opportunity to enhance teamwork. It’s an engaging way to bring team members together, promote social interaction, and build stronger connections while having a great time.
Online game nights provide an opportunity for team members to bond in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. It encourages collaboration, laughter, and friendly competition, helping colleagues get to know each other better. Playing games together can also create a sense of camaraderie among remote team members, similar to the experience of socializing in an office setting. It can have a big impact by strengthening the feeling of being part of a team.
Virtual Awards Ceremony
Another great way to recognize your remote workers is by hosting a virtual awards ceremony. This is an excellent way to celebrate and acknowledge your remote team members’ achievements, contributions, and hard work.
While virtual happy hours and game nights are great for casual team bonding and creating shared memories, virtual awards ceremonies provide a formal and structured way to recognize remote team members for their outstanding contributions, efforts, and accomplishments. Making things official in this regard can help make the individuals that make up your workforce feel both appreciated and valued.
This is also the perfect way to boost morale and motivation while also encouraging healthy competition. Furthermore, you’ll help to create a sense of accomplishment among your workers, as winning an award, even in a virtual setting, gives team members a sense of pride in their work.
Though you could play virtual trivia as a part of an online games night, virtual trivia is so much fun it can stand alone as well. This is the perfect combination of highly engaging and intellectually stimulating, serving as a fun way for team members to come together, test their knowledge, and bond over a shared challenge. As an added bonus, trivia is also known to be good for our mental health, which is never a bad thing to prioritize when you’re trying to keep your team happy!
One of the big benefits of virtual trivia games is that they promote camaraderie among remote team members as they work together to answer questions and solve puzzles. It strengthens the sense of belonging to the team, which is important when your employees work from home.
Beyond that, though, trivia games can help build important skills that will also help your workforce excel during the workday. Playing trivia can help improve communication skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity in a way that can impact the success and growth of your organization over time.
Celebrating your remote workers doesn’t always have to mean blocking off several hours for a big event. In fact, sometimes a little really does go a long way. If you want to do something nice for your employees to show them that you appreciate all their hard work but you also want to avoid putting something on their schedule outside of work hours, consider throwing a themed lunch to add some fun to an otherwise typical day.
You could even hold a simple, casual, and lighthearted awards ceremony during your lunch, a la The Office. The theme you choose could be related to a specific holiday, cultural celebration, season, or even a pop culture reference.
Remote Talent Show or Karaoke
With this virtual celebration idea, it’s important that you know your audience a bit. If most of your employees are shy, quiet, and prefer to keep to themselves, throwing a remote talent show or even a karaoke party could be more akin to a nightmare than a celebration.
On the other hand, though, if your workforce is made up of individuals who tend to love the spotlight, this could be a great way to let off some steam as a team and show your employees you care.
Are you torn between giving your employees incentive rewards and recognition awards? Make sure you check out our article that goes over the distinction between the two.
Virtual Theme Parties
Another option on the table is hosting virtual theme parties. This is a creative and fun way to recognize and celebrate remote workers while promoting team spirit and camaraderie.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to a theme; you could pick a movie genre, a decade, a relevant holiday, or something else. Encourage participants to dress up, decorate their virtual backgrounds, or prepare themed food and drinks to really make it a party.
Online Escape Rooms
Online escape rooms have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they actually kill two birds with one stone. Not only are they a really fun way for your employees to relieve stress and let their hair down a bit, but they actually provide the opportunity for teams to boost problem-solving, decision-making, and teamwork skills.
Escape rooms offer an engaging experience that challenges participants to work together, think critically, and have a great time, even when working from different locations.
Themed Movie Night
If you want to give your employees the gift of a relaxing and fun evening, consider hosting a themed movie night.
This is an awesome way to celebrate remote workers while creating an enjoyable shared experience. It allows team members to unwind, have fun, and connect with colleagues, even though they might be in totally different parts of the world.
Is it time to celebrate some of your most seasoned employees? Make sure you check out our list of gift ideas for employee anniversaries.
Does it seem like your team needs to step back and take some time to reduce stress and prioritize their well-being? Wellness sessions are a thoughtful and holistic way to recognize and celebrate remote workers by prioritizing their physical and mental well-being.
These sessions promote self-care, stress reduction, and a healthier work-life balance, ultimately contributing to a happier and more productive team.
Employee Appreciation Day
If you want to show your employees how meaningful their contributions are to your organization, you might host an entire employee appreciation day.
Even though your team may be physically distant, you can create a memorable and meaningful virtual celebration to express your gratitude.
Is It Time to Show Your Employees How Much You Appreciate Them?
When you’re eager to show your remote workers that you value their efforts, it’s important to realize that different individuals are motivated by different things. For some employees, a team party or employee appreciation day might be perfect. For others, the best way to truly tell them that you appreciate their hard work is with monetary recognition and other perks.
Are you ready to give your employees some recognition? Are you contemplating combining recognition awards and incentive rewards? If so, you can learn more about our employee recognition rewards here and one of our incentive types here.
Claudine is the Chief Relationship Officer at Level 6. She holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Her experience includes working as a certified conflict mediator for the United States Postal Service, a human performance analyst for Accenture, an Academic Dean, and a College Director. She is currently an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. With over 20 years of experience, she joined Level 6 to guide clients seeking effective ways to change behavior and, ultimately, their bottom line.