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Remote employee incentivesIncentives are a great way to motivate and reward employees.  Whether it’s public recognition at a company meeting, or a celebratory pizza lunch at the office, everybody appreciates these little acts of kindness that acknowledge how hard they have been working.

Incentives however, get tricky with remote employees.  More and more people are working from home, at least part time, and it’s important to not forget these workers.  Loneliness and isolation can be a major side effect of working from home, so don’t forget about your remote employees.

So, how can you show your remote employees that you love them and appreciate all of their hard work?  Here are some remote employee incentives.

6 Ways to Recognize your Remote Employees

1. A big thank you!

This is a simple, but often forgotten thing.  Saying a simple thank you can go a long way.  You probably engage remote workers mostly through email, chats, and Skype, so go the extra mile to make this thank you really meaningful.  Though any thank you is nice, take a moment to hand write a thank you, pick up the phone and call, or even, if possible, say thank you in person.

Thank yous can be given for big accomplishments, but small victories shouldn’t be overlooked.  Sometimes the most unexpected and appreciated thank yous happen when people think their work has gone unnoticed.

2. Gift with experiences

Most people have enough stuff.  There is growing trend toward minimalism, and in fact, “They [millennials] prefer to spend on experiences rather than on stuff.” (Forbes).  Sometimes, getting stuff is a more of a burden than an incentive, so go with this minimalist trend and use experiences as incentives.

Massages can be a great incentive for remote employees Specific examples of experiences include:

  • Sports tickets
  • Theater tickets
  • Concert tickets
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Manicure/pedicure
  • Family passes to a zoo or aquarium
  • A class- cooking, dancing, gardening, painting
  • Wine tastings
  • Massage
  • A weekend trip (If you own a cottage or vacation condo, considering offering it to employees for short stints throughout the year as an incentive!)

Some companies, such as Tinggly, make it easy to give experiences as an incentive for employees that work in another city, state, or even country.  The way Tinggly works is that depending on the category of experience that is given, the person has a wide variety of experiences to choose from in many different geographical locations.

3. Provide assistance with setting up a home office

In most office settings, employees are provided with some basic starting materials: desk, computer, writing utensils, access to a printer….  Employees working from a home office may be paying for some of these things out of pocket.  Make things a little easier on them by helping to provide some of these supplies for them.  Or you can send a gift card to an office supply store to help lighten the financial cost.

4. Give out swag gear people actually want

In a blog for Bonusly, George Dickson explains, “Company-branded rewards are most effective when the gear is tasteful, useful, and of the best possible quality. It can be especially fun when there’s a limited quantity available.”  Oftentimes, company gear is just stuff that people don’t want and it ends up in the garbage can shortly after it’s given to them.

So, ditch the traditional pens and pocket calculators and try giving out well made t-shirts, sweatshirts, or Try stylish swag gear as an incentive for remote employeescoffee mugs and tumblers.  Yeti mugs, Hydroflasks, and Corkcicles are all quality options for coffee mugs and tumblers that can be sent to your remote employees. (Especially since they don’t have access to an office break room).

Another perk?  What a great way to help remote employees all feel like they are all on the same team.

5. Take Advantage of Delivery

These days you can get so many things delivered.  Send a celebratory pizza party to a remote employee’s home, or have flowers or balloons delivered.  You can even step out of the box and send some of these unique items:

6. Offer Lenient Vacation and Time Off Policies

Life happens.  People get sick.  Kids get sick.  Weather happens.  Lenient vacation policies make lives easier.  People shouldn’t have to add work woes on top of other life worries.  Being flexible and understanding, shows how much you appreciate the hard work that people put in and understand them as people and not just employees.

Time off can also be used as a reward–an extra day off or a few extra hours paid.  Check out for more ideas.

There are many advantages to having offsite employees, for both the employer and the employee.  Due to the nature of remote working it can be easy to forget about the human interactions that are necessary for the health of the individuals and the company.  Take the time to recognize your remote employees and keep giving them reasons to work even harder with these remote employee incentives.

Looking for more advice for your business?  Contact us at Lucid Advisory and Finance!