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10 Remote Employee Recognition Ideas That Always Work

Kate William

5 min read

When Covid-19 hit the world, lots of organizations packed their staff home, making them work from remote locations for an indefinite time. This overnight change started becoming what people labeled as the ‘New Normal’ and we know for sure that it is going to influence the future of work as well.

While this brought forth incentives such as reduced (or zero) travel times, it also sheds light on other facts along the lines of –

  • 43% of remote employees take three weeks or less of paid vacation per year.
  • 22% of remote employees report that unplugging after work is their biggest challenge.
  • Remote workers can be 20 to 25 percent more productive than their onsite colleagues.

That being said, how do you keep your remote employee morale on an all-time high? How do you ensure that the staff is motivated, even without the scope of face-to-face interaction? The answer lies in employee recognition.

10 Remote Employee Recognition Ideas

The ways to offer instant recognition to your employees are a dime a dozen. They are effective in recognizing the hard work and success of your telecommuting team members. At the same time, not all of the ideas stretch your budget beyond a certain point and are quite feasible.

If this resonates with you, fret not. We’ve done the hard work and handpicked some of the best remote employee recognition ideas that will do the trick.

1. Curated E-Gifts For Remote Employee Recognition

It is a given that you can’t be physically present to honor your team members. Similarly, you can’t offer them gifts that are delivered to them in person due to the uncertainty that’s looming large. In this case, how do you select a gifting method that will lift their morale like no other?

Remember, each of the employees will have a different set of preferences and dislikes. So, offering them a gift that they have no use for, will be a sure-shot dud.

The best solution here is to opt for E-Gifts that are curated according to their tastes and hobbies. Think of audiobook subscriptions, online gaming subscriptions, music and podcast subscriptions, and so on.

There is a wide range of unique choices, which make it simple. All you’ve to do is take your pick.

2. Send a Gift Card in Their Inbox

Another step forward in offering recognition to your employees is to send them gift cards in their inbox. This is a great remote employee recognition idea as some of the cards have extended expiry dates. Moreover, you can purchase them in bulk and send them to your employees every time they achieve a new milestone.

Some of the most popular brands like Amazon and iTunes offer gift cards priced at different rates, which you can opt for. These are tiny appreciation measures that will go a long way in sealing the deal when it comes to recognizing their sincere efforts at work.

3. Get Creative With Videos

What if we tell you there are remote employee recognition ideas that are great but sans price tags?

Videos are thoughtful rewards that are easy to create but work magic. There’s a plethora of video-creating apps and software to record videos, edit and share with the team members in a jiffy.

The best part about this idea is that you can also share the videos on social media platforms, and gain visibility for your company culture.

4. Monthly/Weekly Appreciation Awards

As some countries are still reeling under the after-effects of the pandemic, there is no surety about how and when employees will return to their office desks. This is where weekly, monthly, or even quarterly appreciation awards can come handy. The reasons are aplenty –

  • It is something that will engage the employees with a mission
  • There will be something to look forward to every month
  • A certificate for the awards will lend credibility to the work done
  • Everyone will be aligned to achieve excellence

Pro tip: Come up with creative names for the awards and it will bring cheer to the entire team. Think along the lines of – ‘Rising Star’, ‘Consistent Performer’, ‘Tireless Marathoner’…and so on!

5. Shoutout on LinkedIn

Have you tried out LinkedIn’s Kudos feature? It is an inventive way to show appreciation for your team members and can be given by one peer to another. This open acknowledgment of a job well done is valuable for the recipient and can boost the morale of the employees. Try the feature here and see how it works for you!

6. Shoutout on Other Social Channels

While you are at it, why stop praising your employees only on LinkedIn? Create appreciation posts, add some bells and whistles to them and that’s it. You will be all set to publicly recognize the efforts of your employees’ hard work.

Make the most of features such as – Facebook and Instagram stories, get creative with filters, add some music, and do whatever it takes to jazz it up. This will surely bring joy to them and cut through the monotony of telecommuting.

7. Claps, Claps, Claps

Acknowledging good work in front of everyone in the team also belongs to remote employee recognition ideas that you must try. Whether it is your daily huddle meetups or weekend virtual conferences, mention the employee who has done something noteworthy and clap/cheer for them.

This exercise in exposing the great work done by the individual will also inspire others. Another way to show this type of appreciation is to indulge in a little performance by the entire team. Make them sing a special song to laud the colleague or maybe ask them to break into an impromptu dance. You get the drift, right?

8. Make Them Indulge in Wellness

Health and wellness are trending topics, which go hand-in-hand with remote work. This is exactly the reason why you need to focus on self-care activities for your employees.

As a token of your appreciation towards them, give them free coupons to activities and seminars that allow them to take care of their wellbeing. For instance, give them free passes to an online musical event, or yoga-at-home sessions. This takes us to the next point.

9. Give Them Time Off

Let’s face it. Most of the remote workers are managing work and tasks at home. Some of them are stretching their regular working hours. Many times, due to technical snags, they have to take quick actions, which may or may not take up their time. In the long run, this can lead to burnout and frustration.

As an empathetic employer, put yourself in their shoes and show them that you care by giving them some time off from work. Encourage them to take a day or two off from work during the week by giving them advance notice. Draft a nice email that comes as a beautiful surprise the moment they open it.

10. Peer-To-Peer Employee Recognition

Last but not the least, go for a peer-to-peer recognition program. This can be implemented by asking the employees to post appreciation for their colleagues on a common portal where everyone can see it. This can be done anonymously as well.

Also, you can introduce a points-based system, where employees can award points to each other. These points can be later redeemed for a gift card, certificate or any other form of reward to be selected from the portal (or from a list for that matter).

Bonus: Recognize Their Efforts in Newsletter

If you have a company newsletter or bulletin, make it a point to mention the deserving employee in it. Sometimes, these newsletters are not just circulated internally, but also sent to clients or published on the website. This will give them the perfect platform to gain recognition.


There is no doubt about the fact that rewards go a mile when it comes to employee engagement. In times of despair, when they are all working aloof, managing personal and professional chores, it is the recognition that keeps them afloat. The ideas that you implement, will also help retain your top talent successfully, even after the pandemic becomes a distant memory.

While these were our top ten ideas that you can use, don’t just restrict yourself to these. You can always get as creative and as quirky as you want to come up with your remote employee recognition ideas. And you may never know which step might permanently become a part of your company culture!


Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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