The Zoom happy hour may have hit its expiration date for your employees who have already been in long days of virtual meetings for months. Can you instead gift them some time?

Look around you and you'll find that this year marks the second consecutive year that many of us have spent festive periods away from families - owing to health & safety concerns for parents & grandparents or prevailing travel guidelines. In such times, is there anything we can do to look out for those who're spending special occasions alone in their home-away-from-home?

Limeade's Nani Vishwanath and Lindsay Lagreid have put together some ideas that we've adapted for our readers below:

1. Sharing gratitude goes a long way. Managers could check in with their employees to find out how they personally like to be recognised. Some employees will love a heartfelt note of recognition and others will appreciate a gift card or a public shout-out. If you use intention here, the impact could be greater.

2. The Zoom happy hour may have hit its expiration date for your employees who have already been in long days of virtual meetings for months. Can you instead gift your employees some time? Canceling recurring meetings or blocking a day for 'no meetings' and encouraging your team to recharge may be the gift they needed.

3. The end of the year can be a particularly high-stress time with a heavy workload, and it’s easy to charge into the new year planning cycle without taking time to pause. Set aside some time as a company to reflect on the year that has happened, and all the hard work that’s been accomplished amidst everything that’s going on in the world. 

4. Companies should continue to encourage PTO-usage, even when the times are busy. Leaders should continue to model how they’re taking time to rest and recharge to model to their team that this is acceptable and encouraged.

5. In the absence of a big holiday party, there might be room for more personalised gifts for employees. Special touches – like gifts for children of the working parents at your company – will go a long way.

6. Create a space for employees to share the creative ways they're celebrating and their most cherished traditions (i.e. family recipes, holiday traditions etc.).

7. Make sure employees know about the mental and emotional resources available to them i.e. employee assistance programmes (or EAPs) – maybe lighting specific data around the holidays being a really challenging time for a lot of people emotionally and how to find help.

8. Highlight charitable giving or find ways your employees can give back - virtual tutoring, donation drives, volunteering at a shelter, and more.

Photo / 123RF

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