10 Best Ways of Rewarding Remote Employees

Working from home has caused significant shifts in the working dynamic in so many companies across the globe. While employees get to work from the comfort of their homes and enjoy more time with family, this new work culture has created an expanding gap between them and management. This isn’t to say that the work is sub-par, but the lack of a formal office space, where people congregate to focus their energies and skills on a task at hand, can certainly take its toll on an employee’s motivation to work. So it’s essential to keep the morale high for your employees, even if you cannot do it in person. This is where rewarding remote employees periodically for good work comes into play.

What does Remote Rewarding mean?

Simply put, remote rewarding means digitally sending or receiving a bonus, benefit, perk, a token of appreciation or reinforcement for good performance. Since most employees now prefer a remote or hybrid work dynamic, being physically present at the workspace isn’t the norm. So, employers are faced with the tough task of keeping remote workers motivated. Remote rewards help employers reach due credit to their employees, no matter where they are, any time they like. Why are these types of rewards worth the investment, you ask? According to research conducted by Reward Gateway, 90% of HR departments across companies felt that a reward system such as this would positively affect and boost productivity. As the world transforms into a digitally-powered business highway, HR departments are sure that remote rewards are an essential element in the evolution of their company culture.

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Here are 10 ideas that can be used in rewarding remote employees:

1. Post a physical gift: The traditional approach is sending a physical gift by mail to the employee’s home address. While food and alcohol are the go-to choices for most employers, it helps to add a personal touch, which can be done by knowing your employees well and understanding their tastes and preferences.

2. Free software upgrade: Since most of the work is online, you can offer free software upgrades that will help your employees stay connected and produce faster results in their work. Things like premium features and additional tools might seem like a small gesture, but actually, they contribute directly to the employee’s day-to-day functioning and would be a huge help.

3. E-vouchers, gift cards and subscriptions: A quick and easy way of rewarding remote employees, offering gift cards for shops like a Starbucks or Amazon Gift Card, and subscriptions to popular entertainment and information platforms like Netflix, Prime or Hotstar + Disney are a great way to show your appreciation! Vouchers can also extend to restaurants, making dining out or ordering in all the tastier.

4. Workspace upgrade: Since working-from-home has changed what office space is supposed to be, you could also offer to help your remote employees juice up their workspace at home to make it more official, efficient and work-smart! Workspace upgrades could include a new workspace monitor, essential hardware (laptops, web cameras, specialized keyboards or speakers) and accessories (like headphones for conferences) or even some new space-efficient furniture like a standing desk, laptop stand, or a comfortable office chair.

5. An appreciative message: Nothing works best like a personally written note of appreciation or token of thanks from the employer, be it the supervisor, department head, or company head. Recognizing and acknowledging the hard work your remote employees put in makes a huge difference, because not only are you appreciating their work, but you are also showing them that they are still part of the team, and their contribution matters. This is a great way to stay connected with remote employees and strengthen the bond between employer and employee, no matter the distance.

6. Health perks: Nobody says ‘no’ to free health and fitness perks! And you can never be too conscientious about your health these days. So rewarding your remote employees with health perks only reinforces how much their wellbeing matters to you, and in turn, inspires them to work harder. Health benefits could range from spa vouchers and gym memberships to online fitness classes and personal trainers.

7. Bonus: At the end of the day, more money in the salary account is always a welcome option in expressing appreciation for your employee’s exemplary performance. Everybody loves a payroll bonus. No matter what time of the year, it will always feel like Christmas came early. While gifts might work as a personal touch, nothing says “well done” better than a surprise monetary reward.

8. Days off, early and half: Employees love knowing that their contribution to the company is valued, and even if they are working remotely from their homes, they could always enjoy more free time to spend with their families or friends. Getting enough time to rest not only re-energizes the body but also gives the mind a break to relax. So when you give your employee a couple of days where they either get the day off, a half-day or can wrap up a few hours early, every hour of rest counts!

9. Testimonials and kudos: Another cool way for companies to show their appreciation for their remote employees is by giving testimonials to their employees on their online portfolio pages like LinkedIn. It makes a massive difference if the LinkedIn profile has someone of stature vouching for the person and increasing their credibility. One of the latest features on LinkedIn is called LinkedIn Kudos, through which you can give your remote workers that extra boost.

10. Learning and personal development: There’s always scope to grow in skill and expertise by learning and to enrich the mind. You can encourage this growth by allowing your remote employees to explore new courses online. Whether it is a one-on-one mentorship program, an online workshop or seminar or study courses on Udemy, your appreciation for hard work can translate into further increasing productivity!

Every team member is valuable, whether they are in the office, working remotely or having a hybrid work hour dynamic. It’s even more critical now than before to keep the team spirit alive and make sure that every employee knows their worth in your company. By offering small gestures of gratitude and accolades that they can receive proudly, employers can go forth into the new current of workspace dynamics, with their entire team in tow.

Reference: From “10 Ways to Reward Remote Employees and Why You Should Do It” | Ryan Green, Talent Culture | 6 December, 2021

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