2020: the year remote work went mainstream. Also the year company swag became even more important as a company culture builder.
We've been getting a lot of enquiries recently on what kind of merchandise brands should send out to their remote teams. Many businesses have been quick to realise the importance of branded merchandise and company swag as a tool to keep the company culture alive. Sending corporate gifts out to your staff creates a sense of togetherness; something every business desperately needs as they ride the organizational setbacks caused by the pandemic.
With all these enquiries coming in, we thought we’d put together some ideas for brands looking to create merchandise and swag for remote teams. We understand that not all budgets are the same. So this article is more food-for-thought than a definitive guide. We are always just a call or email away if you need help. If not, simply use our self-service platform where you can customise and order them yourself.
What not to do
Don’t give out gift cards. And don’t just give remote team members a budget and tell them to get what they want. We get it – it makes things easier, and they can get whatever they want. But it’s just impersonal.
The message is stronger when the brand takes time and effort to find and source unique, practical, meaningful products for remote teams. Show them some love. Show them that you're making an effort to keep the culture alive and to include every single one of them.
Don’t be boring and predictable. Get creative. Source products that show off your company culture. Put your logo on it (of course) but also consider personalising it to the individual. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s a list of products to give you some ideas:
Custom Branded Deskware
We take it for granted in the office. But when working at home, it can be frustrating not being able to find sticky notes, or a pen, or a notepad when you really need it. A branded deskware kit is an essential item for your remote teams. Keep it minimal, and go for practical products. For example: don’t just get a pen, get stylus pens.
For more ideas, see Boxaroo’s office collection.
Video Call Accessories
Whether it’s Zoom, Google Hangouts, WebEx or what-have-you – the issues with video meetings are all the same. Not knowing your camera is on when you don’t want it to be, accidentally un-muting yourself when the boss is speaking at a townhall, bad lighting in your room. There are a whole bunch of accessories that would be so practical in these scenarios: custom branded webcam covers, custom branded video call accessories like lighting, microphones, headphones, etc. Win some points with your team by getting them these thoughtful corporate gifts to complete their home office setup.
Custom Branded Headphones
In a quick survey we conducted with remote teams, noise cancelling headphones ranked the most sought after product that teams wished their companies would get them. A good pair is essential for people working from home. Whether it’s used to drown out ambient sounds, or listen to music, or to be used for video calls, a good pair of headphones will be a sure win with your teams.
Pet-wear and Pet-ware
Sure, not everyone has pets at home. But delight the ones who do. Pets become a big part of people’s lives when they work from home: they keep them company, help them de-stress, they’re fun companions. I guess you can say they help boost productivity in some sense. What better way to reward our furry friends than custom branded petwear and pet accessories. Imagine those cute furballs walking around wearing your company’s branded merchandise; imagine all the attention it will draw. They can really double as little brand ambassadors for you.
Aromatherapy is a great way to promote relaxation. Studies show that team members who work from home are more productive, and in many cases, work longer hours since there is no specified start-stop time. Aromatherapy products like candles and scents are a small but meaningful way to show remote teams that you care about their well-being. Having it branded makes it even better. Electric and portable diffusers are a great idea too.
Custom Branded Indoor Wear
Depending on where your teams are, put together a bag of indoor wear or lounge wear that are practical. Remember, hoodies aren't just for cold weather. Boxaroo is based out of the tropics, and here, when people work from home, we usually have our ACs on and often dialled up to 18 degrees. It’s hard to stay indoors without an AC unless you’re next to the beach (the humidity level, as we write this, is 87%). So when we’re working inside, we like to keep things cool and cozy. Throws and hoodies are not uncommon when indoors.
For more ideas, see Boxaroo’s apparel collection.
All the best with your swag hunt. If you have any feedback, ideas or questions feel free to email or call us. You can also use our self-service platform to customise and order what you need, or you can set up a meeting with our team who will be able to help you navigate all the options we have.