While employees in remote positions increased by 127% over the last 12 years, the persistence of COVID-19 has continued to change how Americans work. In a study conducted by Upwork, 56% of those surveyed were working from home at least a portion of the time — and as the American workforce continues to adjust, this figure will undoubtedly increase. In fact, that same study projected that 36.2 million people will be working remotely by 2025.
A decade into the telework revolution, companies are discovering that employees can be every bit as productive working from home as they are in the office. Remote workers also save nearly an hour a day, on average, in commuting time, improving work-life balance while simultaneously reducing transportation costs.
Still, a challenge that many remote teams face is maintaining a sense of camaraderie among teams who have likely never met in person. Through an involved, inviting, and engaged onboarding process, however, that sense of camaraderie can be cultivated starting from day one. One easy way to engage new remote hires from the onboarding process and onward? Stand-out swag that makes employees feel like a part of the team — no matter where in the world they may be.
Here are a few ideas from the team at Real Thread for remote employee onboarding swag that will help bridge the distance between remote teams — and forge lasting professional relationships.
Prior to onboarding, you’ve likely rounded up contact, bank account, and residence information, so you might as well toss t-shirt size in there while you’re at it! Though it may seem like a small gesture, being greeted with a custom t-shirt can be the perfect way to commemorate a new professional journey — and will help foster a sense of belonging from day one. Effective onboarding can be the difference between an engaged employee and a disengaged one, so go the extra mile to make new hires feel at home.
Mugs like a big (virtual) hug
Given the fact that remote work has not quite achieved critical mass, there is a fairly good chance that remote hires will have spent a portion of their professional career in an office. And, as anyone who has worked in an office surely knows, getting to stretch your legs as you walk to the break room for a cup of coffee can be a full-on self-care exercise. Though the break room might be out of the equation, gifting remote hires company-branded coffee mugs can keep the ritual alive — and fuel productivity long after onboarding is complete!
Toss in a tote
Perhaps one of the most practical pieces of employee onboarding swag, custom tote bags come in handy even when there’s no office to commute to. Gifting tote bags to remote hires during onboarding is a thoughtful gesture, and a great way to ensure that swag actually gets used. Where else can your new team members find a fashion statement, walking billboard, and go-to grocery bag all in one?
Go the extra mile
Given the make-or-break nature of remote onboarding, it’s in the best interest of all businesses to ensure that new hires are thoroughly engaged and — above all — properly welcomed to the team. Therefore, businesses looking to nail remote onboarding can’t go wrong with gifting a creative combination of all the swag mentioned above. After all, you are investing in a new relationship; why not show how much you really care? Tossing things like a Starbucks gift card, branded home office supplies, or other small bonus items into your remote welcome kit might take a little extra investment up front — but remote hires won’t likely forget the warm welcome they received.
Happy (remote) onboarding!
Onboarding swag is just one of the many ways to bring teams together during the remote onboarding process, but if you decide to go this route the team at Real Thread is here to help make every onboarding a memorable one. With hundreds of products to choose from, environmentally-conscious printing practices, and 20 item order minimums, teams of all sizes can lean on Real Thread — and with easy-to-use design tools, you can watch your masterpiece come together in real time. For help creating the perfect remote onboarding swag, drop a line to one of our custom experts and prepare to wow your remote hires!