12 Of The Best Virtual Christmas Gifts For Employees

September 26, 2022
min read

Eager to find out what your options are around virtual Christmas gifts for employees? 

Many companies now have a distributed workforce, which can present challenges when it comes to rewarding their teams. 

Of course, wishing employees a Merry Christmas is always appreciated, but sending gifts takes it up a notch. The gesture can elevate morale, letting your team know that you’re serious about creating a great culture and are thankful for their contributions. 

Besides shipping gifts, which can end up costly (or worse - lost in transit), sending virtual gifts is a great way to approach holiday rewards for employees.  

Why Give Virtual Gifts To Employees?

Here are some of the broader benefits of showing appreciation by gift giving:

Create An Engaged Workforce

While remote work can increase overall productivity and employee freedoms, it can make employees feel disconnected from their coworkers. There isn’t a constant office buzz surrounding them, and it’s not as easy to get facetime with colleagues or managers.

This can be a big problem for organizations that don’t have relaxed free-talk communication channels available for employees. The low level of interaction can significantly impact employee engagement and be detrimental to company health.

In a worst-case scenario, low engagement can lead to poor business performance and low employee retention. This is besides the effect on team morale and overall happiness. 

That’s why organizations need to be wary of waning engagement in remote teams and make a pointed effort to show appreciation. Giving virtual Christmas gifts to employees works as a great connector during times like these. 

Rewards also motivate, helping to build an engaged team of employees who continue to produce high-quality outcomes. They keep top performers performing at their best and incentivize others to do the same.

Build A Culture Of Appreciation

Sending rewards over the holidays and throughout the year is one way to show appreciation and recognition to the people who keep the company afloat. 

Appreciation has a big part to play in building culture and becoming known as a great place to work. Get that right, and you can attract the cream of the talent crop to your organization. 

Create A Supportive Company Culture

Remote work makes building any type of company culture difficult. While your employees might be aware of the company's mission, it’s hard to take it seriously without spending time with co-workers or any of the managing team. 

But virtual Christmas gifts for employees bring far away principles into reality. The rush of happy hormones, feel-good emotions, and gratitude associated with receiving gifts is great for building a sense of belonging and company culture. 

It’s guaranteed to reinvigorate the company mission and make something that initially felt far off much more real and tangible for employees. 

How To Choose The Best Virtual Gifts For Your Team

Follow this guide to help you choose the best virtual holiday gifts for employees: 

Select Gifts That Add Value

A gift should add value to the receiver. This doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive or extremely practical - instead, go with thoughtful. As a general rule, a gift should spark joy even after the initial wave of excitement has worn off. 

Personalize Where Possible

Gift giving is not a one size fits all situation. If you want your gifts to be effective, especially at work, tailor them to the recipients. Consider points such as: 

  • What do they like? 
  • What are their hobbies? 
  • Do they like physical things, or do they prefer experiences? 

The more you can tailor rewards to appeal to individuals, the better. Gifting everyone the same gifts can be practical but might not inspire as much bonding. On the other hand, sending personalized Christmas gifts for employees, even smaller ones, can significantly impact your team. 

Getting to know everyone might be a little unrealistic if you have a large workforce. Instead, send out surveys and rope in line managers to gather information about employees' likes and dislikes. 

Consider Appropriateness

It goes without saying that the gift should be appropriate. As the employer or manager, you have power over the people that work for you. It is your responsibility to foster a safe working environment. 

The same applies to gift giving. Make sure the gift is appropriate and doesn’t cause discomfort or cross lines. 

It’s also important that the gift doesn’t show favoritism. While one employee might perform well, singling them out may cause feelings of resentment and even alienate them. 

More expensive or elaborate gifts should be reserved for higher-level employees as this is more likely to work as an incentive to work toward. 

12 Top Ideas For Virtual Christmas Gifts For Employees

Now that you know the basics of how to choose virtual employee holiday gifts, let’s look at some top ideas you could purchase today:

1. Meal Voucher

There are various ways to let your employees enjoy a meal treated to them from the company! Various gift cards that allow for redemption at multiple restaurants are available online and if you have the availability, you can also research local cousines near your team! 

PerkUp can also help you get your team set up with a meal stipend that’s loaded onto a Visa, that they can redeem at any food location of their choice.

2. In-Game Purchases And Gifts

Gaming is a favorite pastime of millions of people around the world. The chances of a few of your employees enjoying gaming in their spare time are more than likely. 

Many games use virtual currency that is bought with actual money. It can become an expensive hobby, especially when gamers want to level up their rank or venture further in the game. Buy and send your employee in-game currency or gift them a specific power-up in the game. 

Before making any purchases, make sure you know which game they are enjoying at the moment and what exactly could improve their online adventure. 

3. Travel Voucher

Travel vouchers make fabulous gifts for the travel enthusiasts in the office. The vouchers not only show appreciation but also provide employees with the opportunity to rest. Nothing is better for productivity than well-earned downtime and receiving recognition from management. 

The company doesn’t have to spend a lot or pay for the entire holiday. Instead, look for travel providers that offer specials or vouchers that cover smaller travel-related expenses. 

For example, the voucher can cover a specific amount of accommodation on your employee’s next vacation. Or you can offer a coupon to reduce the costs of flights.  

Travelling is expensive. A contribution to your employees’ next break, no matter how small, is sure to lighten the load on their budget while giving a great deal of joy. 

4. Streaming Subscriptions

There are tons of streaming platforms available - Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Spotify, etc. - all relatively inexpensive. And because your employees work from home, they will likely spend a lot of time streaming their favorite series, movies, or music online. 

There’s no doubt a streaming service subscription gift will be a huge win with the recipients. They can enjoy it over the holidays and during their downtime, aiding relaxation and improving their quality of life. 

Another bonus of a streaming subscription is the access to massive amounts of children's shows and educational content. For employees who work from home, being able to engage their children through this content can be invaluable. It could give them time to get work done or take meetings. 

5. Online Classes

Over the last few years, online educational content has increased in quality and become more widely available. 

With platforms like Udemy and Skillshare, users can now do things such as take cooking classes, improve their mental health with self-awareness guides, or even learn how to play a new instrument. And all of this from the comfort of their own home. 

These online classes are amazing virtual Christmas gifts for employees, allowing them to choose what to learn. They can learn something completely new or improve a skill, maybe even one they use at work. 

These classes are also relatively inexpensive. If you don’t feel up to paying for an entire class, you can gift employees a voucher or work with the platform to provide a discount code.  

6. Digital Tickets

Whether to see a sports game, a singer, or an art museum, tickets are a fantastic virtual holiday gift. Buying tickets is easily done online and can be gifted via email to the recipient. 

If you want to improve the experience, buy them a VIP experience or a special behind-the-scenes pass. 

7. Digital Crypto Asset

As digital currencies and art gain online recognition, a digital collectible will make for an awe-inspiring gift. NFTs, for example, give the gift receiver ownership of digital artwork. NFTs can’t be exchanged for cryptocurrency or traded on virtual marketplaces - think of them as virtual assets.

It’s the perfect gift for any tech enthusiasts or younger employees with an interest in investing and cryptocurrency. 

Fair warning: some of these can be very expensive. But if you have senior-level employees or finance and IT team members to buy holiday gifts for, digital collectibles will do just right. They’ll likely already know what these are and understand their value. 

8. Beauty Subscriptions

Beauty subscription boxes make for the perfect virtual Christmas gifts for employees who have a love for make-up or skin care. With beauty subscription boxes, your employee will be sent a beauty box with surprise goodies to brighten up their day. 

Many subscription boxes do little surveys to establish what makeup or skin care the receiver likes or needs and then curate a special package for them. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you can always send the box as a gift and let your employee take care of the rest. 

The best part about these subscription boxes is that they ship almost everywhere. So while it is a virtual gift, your employee can enjoy the tangible gift delivered straight to their home. 

Related: Christmas Message For Employees: 31 Ideas To Wish Them Happy Holidays

9. Online Team Building Fun

With remote work, getting all your employees together for some good old-fashioned team building and office fun is hard. Luckily, the internet has come up with a solution to this dilemma. 

Online team-building activities are a great way to bond with co-workers and stave off the loneliness that comes with working outside the office. Create a virtual hangout and host a picnic party. Do a movie-watching marathon with a live chat. Create a gaming tournament and have employees play against each other and management. 

Many of these activities are fun and will relieve built-up stress or tension. And because these are all online, you likely won’t have to pay much, if anything. Just have your employees download the resources and run the office fun day. 

To make it extra fun, give every employee a small snack budget and let them go wild. 

10. Online Fitness Classes

Working at home and sitting at a desk the whole day isn’t great for anyone's health. Getting to the gym might be challenging, and buying workout equipment for home use is sure to burn a hole in anyone's pocket. 

That’s why online fitness classes are such an amazing gift for remote workers. They can work and then refresh themselves with a fitness membership from the comfort of their own home. 

There is a plethora of online fitness classes available. From pilates to spin to more intense HIIT boot camps, you will surely find fitness classes your employees can enjoy. 

Improving health and fitness is also important for work. Healthy bodies nurture healthy minds, in turn increasing productivity and work quality. 

11. Foodie Subscription Boxes

A food subscription box might be an excellent Christmas gift if you have any foodies in your office. 

There are so many options available online, from sweet boxes sourced from countries all over the world to cured meats that aren’t sold in any local supermarkets. 

One of our personal festive favorites is the Snack Magic Sweet Tooth box. This includes 14 to 25 sweet items your employee is bound to enjoy and will be delivered straight to the recipient’s door.

If you have employees who might prefer curated meat boxes, the Carnivore Club Classic Box is sure to be a winner. 

This box contains 4 to 6 exclusive meat options that will delight even the most experienced connoisseurs. Once you’ve purchased the gift, the neatly packaged order will be delivered promptly to the recipient. 

12. Online Relaxation Resources

Online spaces dedicated to relaxation and meditation are great options if you want to provide a mindful gift.  

Online relaxation classes are suitable for everyone and particularly beneficial for those who are a little overwhelmed or anxious with work. As the year draws to a close and the holidays loom, many people can relate to these feelings. 

Apps like Headspace and Calm offer soothing tracks and guided meditation that can be used to relax and reset. The meditations can last anywhere from a quick 2-minute pick-me-up to 30 minutes and are sure to provide a much-needed break from the stressful day-to-day.  

Final Thoughts

We hope our guide and ideas on virtual Christmas gifts for employees will help you boost morale and increase engagement remotely. 

A company that makes employees feel happy and seen will reap the benefits of increased motivation and better quality work. Every gesture of thanks counts toward a more productive and happy team. 

Showing appreciation should be a consistent practice and not only happen over the festive season. Check out our post on gifts for remote employees for ideas on what to do throughout the year.   

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