How to reward telecommuters around the holidays

Each year, managers and CEOs search for ways to recognize their employees' contributions around the holidays. Whether this manifests itself as a Christmas bonus or a company party, there are many ways to show your gratitude for coworkers during the most wonderful time of the year. However, in a virtual office, gathering everyone together in a festive celebration might be more challenging than in a typical office. Here are some ways to show your appreciation for telecommuters around the holidays: 

  • Award paid time off. Some companies, especially startups, can't afford to write bonuses for employees due to a lack of resources. The money just isn't there. However, in a flexible work environment, extending a long weekend or two to remote employees can give them the opportunity to travel, relax or catch up on their lives in the New Year. Giving time away can ultimately mean sacrificing financially, but efficient offices find ways to catch up.
  • Surprise them with mail. If you typically interact with employees only through virtual means, it can be a nice gesture to snail-mail them a token of your appreciation. Whether that's a card, a check or a thoughtful gift, making telecommuters feel included in a real-world company can brighten their sense of community on your team.
  • Throw a get-to-know-you party. This might not be feasible for every virtual office, but if you manage a team of telecommuters in a centralized region, pick a Saturday night to get the gang together for a holiday celebration. With the promise of free booze, food and company, your employees will make an effort to show up, and possibly meet coworkers they've only interacted with online.

By considering these tips, your telecommuting staff will feel the warm camaraderie of a physical office, while enjoying the benefits of working from home.

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