As the world becomes more and more digitized, we’re seeing major shifts in gifting. Last year, the number of people searching online for “online gift” grew by a whopping 80% and more than half of gift cards purchased were digital. Virtual gifting is undoubtedly on the rise.
Employee gifting has changed too – especially in response to the rise of remote work and virtual teams since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a time when many employees are feeling more isolated and disconnected than ever, gifts (virtual or otherwise) are an increasingly important way to boost morale and make your team members feel appreciated.
Getting Started with the Best Virtual Gifts for a Virtual Team
It can be logistically challenging and expensive to ship gifts to a team of virtual employees that may be spread out across different states or even countries. Virtual or online gifts are one way to streamline and simplify the employee gifting process. Another option is to give your employees the opportunity to join a virtual experience, which can be a great chance for team bonding. Another third option is to work with a corporate gifting service that can handle all the details and logistics for you, from curating a custom gift set to delivering it to your employees’ doorsteps. We will explore all of these options and share specific ideas in the sections below, so keep reading!
Digital Gifting Ideas You Don’t Need to Ship
The most obvious digital gift to give your employees is an electronic gift card, but there are lots of other options that are a bit more unique and thoughtful.
An audiobook subscription is a great digital gift idea– one that promotes continual learning and personal development. There are many platforms out there to choose from, but we love Libro.fm because they make it possible to buy audiobooks through your local bookstore and give back to your local economy.
It’s no secret that some employees enjoy working from home more than others. But even those that love working from home will have those inevitable days when they crave a change of pace or a quiet place to work that’s free of the usual distractions. That’s when a co-working membership or punch card will come in handy. This gift idea might even result in a boost in their productivity and efficiency… a clear win-win for your company!
Another digital gift idea is to donate to a charitable cause in your employee’s name, ideally one that is of special importance to them.
Unique Online Experience Gifts
Another increasingly popular digital option is to give your virtual team members the chance to join an online or virtual experience. Better yet, give your whole team a virtual experience that they can join together for a rare opportunity to connect outside of the office and bond with one another. This is especially important for virtual teams that don’t have many chances to build relationships in person!
There are new and exciting virtual experiences popping up every day – especially since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic – so your options are endless! There are virtual cooking classes, tastings, cultural experiences, dance classes, astrology readings, and so much more. Airbnb is just one place to find unique online experiences, such as a virtual Taj Mahal tour with a local expert or a Mexican street taco class with a professional chef.
A Modern Approach to Gifting
Employee gifting is changing rapidly in the digital era and there are more options than ever before. While we think there is certainly an appropriate time and place for digital gifts, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that they can come off as a bit impersonal. Imagine the feeling you get when you receive a digital birthday card via email; it’s certainly nice, but compare that to the warm fuzzies you get when you check the mail and find a heartfelt, handwritten card… See what we mean?
That’s why we love an approach to gifting that combines the best of both worlds. Why not give your employees a cool digital experience and pair it with a thoughtful gift set that fits with the theme?! As an example, a virtual cooking class would go perfectly with this Start Cooking gift set that comes with a custom-designed apron, flavorful honey and handy honey wand, and beeswax storage paper (an eco-friendly approach to storing leftover food). Your virtual team can all show up for the online cooking class in matching aprons and make some fun memories together.
10 Best Gifts for Your Virtual Team
To help get your ideas flowing, here are ten of our favorite gift ideas to help make your remote employees or virtual team feel appreciated and united. Some of these are virtual gifts and others are more traditional gifts.
1. Something that will spruce up their home office, like a potted plant or this Home Office Upgrade gift set.
2. A gift card or membership to their local co-working space.
3. A monthly tea or coffee subscription to make them feel appreciated (and energized!) throughout the year.
4. A wellness-themed gift set full of items to encourage relaxation and self-care.
5. Consumable items, like this Food Lover Deluxe gift set full of small-batch treats and goodies, will rarely go to waste.
6. A fun and memorable virtual experience to help bring your team together and encourage bonding.
7. Something that will make their workday more comfortable, like an ergonomic chair or pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
8. A monthly audio book subscription.
9. A surprise delivery of branded items and apparel to welcome to new team members and make them feel like part of the family. This is so important for virtual teams.
10. Our personal favorite idea: a personalized, custom gift set that shows just how well you know your team!
Best Virtual Gifts & More with Bestowe Gifting
If you want more ideas and inspiration, sign up for a one-on-one chat with a corporate gifting expert from Bestowe. We’ll help you come up with the perfect gift for your virtual team members and take care of all the details for you, from curation to delivery!