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20 Best Corporate Gifts Ideas for Employees in 2022
In 2020, many of us had to make the work from home (WFH) adjustment. Installing Zoom and other new software, readjusting our working routines to balance our professional and personal needs, finding time to cook and workout between numerous online calls — it all took so much time and effort. Any kind of celebration was an afterthought to be pushed to the sidelines. There was no time for that, and no one was actually in the mood for parties anyway.
In 2021 though, corporate events, office happy hours, and birthday celebrations with colleagues finally came back to us. In a different way though — as virtual events.
By first following in the example of virtual conferences and then with the virtual Oscars, corporate virtual parties are clearly on the rise these days.
If you haven’t tried them yet, 2022 is the perfect year to organize a virtual party for your team or the entire organization. Icebreaker games for onboarding, more formal company anniversaries, Friday mixology parties for a project team — you name it.
A good party always assumes awesome gifts for guests, right? Even if it is a virtual one. And please, do not suggest swag boxes ever again. By now, everyone has a collection of mugs, corporate T-shirts, and branded water bottles at home.
Think outside the box, imagine what you personally would be happy to receive as a gift. Here are some inspirational ideas for your staff.
Unique corporate gifts for virtual celebrations
1. Corporate pajamas!
Please, don’t act surprised. We wear them like 95% of the time now. Everyone has a small collection, and getting one more is an awesome employee gift. Check out these Pyjama suites, for example. Business casual top, sweatpants bottom — this is dream ware for WFH.
2. Music subscriptions
Every party room needs some dance music, right? Luckily, there is a variety at your fingertips. Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Deezer, or any other platform of your choice.
If your office gang is really into dancing, preparing a corporate playlist before a virtual holiday party is a great idea. Once subscriptions go out during your party, everyone can log in and enjoy the groove!
3. Branded party lights
Lighting is a critical component of any celebration. Recall when you first switched on your Christmas lights on a gloomy, still November evening. Feeling immediately better, right?
Party lights are fun, don’t cost much (so super handy for larger organizations), and can be repurposed for multiple other family occasions.
4. Personalized M&Ms
Sounds too simple for an employee gift idea? But let’s be honest: while we all are trying to eat healthy, a party room always has space for a cheat snack. Besides, everyone loves M&Ms! They come in any color and with any text you want.
5. Food delivery promo codes
Continuing on the topic of food, every cool party needs a buffet. You can surely decide in favor of a standard gourmet basket, with the same set of yummies delivered to every participant. Food baskets are much easier to organize and could be a money saver, BUT not everyone will be happy with what’s inside. Vegans, people with various allergies, heavy meat eaters, people on keto — it’s nearly impossible to satisfy everyone’s tastes these days. Coupons will surely save you from all the trouble. Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash — the choice is totally up to you.
6. Wireless charger
Since your virtual holiday party has no exact party space, the party-goers can be basically anywhere. Outdoors, for example. A branded charger (with the name and the date of the party, for example) will surely come in handy. And it’s a useful gift overall. In the last couple of years, the choice of chargers has exploded while the prices have dropped. So, no worries on the budget side, even though it’s a gadget gift.
7. Electronic key tracker
If you didn’t see these on the online marketplaces just yet, it’s a tiny device and a key charm, with a free app for it. When you can’t find your keys, the app will activate the beeper and show you the keys on a map. It is waterproof, it has a long-lasting battery, and it can be branded. In short, this is a perfect small gift, and not only for absent-minded people, but also for families with small kids and mischievous dogs 🙂
8. Reusable shoppers
The more we work from home — the longer our shopping lists become. One more reusable bag for the household will surely be appreciated. You can have those branded or simply go for one of those trendy tote bags (here are some examples).
9. Waterproof Bluetooth speaker
Yes, there is a high probability that most employees already have one at home. One is never enough though, even if it’s just a family of two. Virtual party, picnic, kayaking, or just a long bath — a Bluetooth speaker will help with creating the right emotional atmosphere.
10. Online course or a masterclass
The variety is endless here. You can go as straightforward as Udemy or offer a selection of celebrity masterclasses. Doing a preliminary survey on preferences in online courses as an employee gift idea might bring you some extra insights.
11. Miles with a local air company
We are working from home these days; however, traveling for a vacation isn’t exactly banned. By using extra miles, people can travel locally or get an upgrade on the tickets they’ve already purchased. No one would say “no” to a free ride in business class.
12. Spa day certificate
Self-care is on the rise. Some will prefer it as a +1 option for a day of relaxation, others may turn it into a small team-building event. Your options will mostly depend on local availabilities.
13. Audiobook subscription plan
Many people are trying to cut back on their screen time these days. Many are switching to audiobooks instead of reading from a phone or tablet. Audible is surely the number one choice in this category.
14. Stainless steel dinnerware
A perfect fit for at-home and outdoor dinners and brunches, steel dinnerware is trendy today. This is partially because it is sustainable and non-toxic. Secondly, it is nearly impossible to break. Thirdly, yes, it can be branded too!
15. Insulated bag
Depending on your budget, it can be as small as a beer can or as big as an entire picnic basket. Branding, sizing, and colours are available for a variety of bags.
16. Portable laptop stand
If you are firmly against plastic, Etsy offers a variety of stylish wood and bamboo stands. These can be used for work, watching Netflix, and of course, for the virtual party itself.
17. Desktop vacuum cleaner
Every cool party is a little bit messy, right? Especially if you’ve already ordered food delivery for your virtual holiday party. Coming in different colors and shapes, a desktop vacuum cleaner is also an excellent play buddy for a cat.
18. Balloons with custom text
Branding balloons with a logo would be too predictable. How about funny text? Quoting a CEO, inside jokes, phrases from office anecdotes — content should be relatable, thus creating a fun atmosphere in a virtual party space.
19. Foam cushion or mat
These picnic accessories are handy during the warmer months of the year, however, they are pretty much universal and can be used as balcony seats during the winter. Yet another reminder, these can be branded too.
20. Corporate gifts to AVOID
On a final note, let’s quickly go through the things that are definitely not the best gifts for corporate employees.
First of all, be super careful with corporate food gifts for employees. Many people are allergic to nuts and honey. Others do not eat meat or sugars. Alcohol, tobacco, and all the related accessories are only appropriate when you have a really small local team, and you are 100% sure everyone is on the same page about their consumption.
In a certain context, gym certificates may be perceived as offensive, just as anything else related to weight issues.
Corporate birthday gifts for employees might also be a sensitive area. Avoid numbers and any mention of age, unless you were explicitly told that it is not an issue.
By all means, avoid gender stereotyping (for example, scented candles for females and socks for male team members).
Unique corporate gift is not just a gift for staff; it is an excellent ice-breaker and a good conversation starter in a virtual space, especially considering that we haven’t seen each other, in flesh and blood, for a really long time.
Keep in mind that most of the above employee gifts are reusable. Thus, they are not a one-time thing for a virtual celebration only. To family, friends, and neighbours of your employees, corporate gifts demonstrate creativity and the team spirit of your organization. And any of these people can then become your business partner or your future customer.
Published Feb 8, 2022
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