It’s been a tough two to three months for everyone around the world that has forced nearly all sectors of business to go on lockdown. While there’s no denying the fact that the pandemic has crippled so many businesses across all industries, some are slowly beginning to consider the possibility of tentatively reopening with great precaution.
If your company is one of those considering a post lockdown plan and preparing to open back up, you are better off than most in this country – and quite possibly, in the entire world. As you and your team begin planning your next move after the quarantine, you can consider 'Welcome Back to the office' swag items to send people after lockdown. As our clients slowly go back to the office, we're getting requests for Back to the Office gifs / swag kits, so here are some gift ideas for your employees that are geared towards helping them make a smoother transition to everyone’s “new normal”.
Why Give Back to Work Swag Kits?
Giving post lock down gift boxes to your employees is one way to help them feel that your company is committed to helping them make that transition back to work. While many companies have suffered a great financial blow because of the coronavirus, workers all around the country have also gone through their individual trials while at home. Pay cuts, job losses of spouses, caring for children 24/7 (while having to do remote work), lack of resources, worrying about health concerns for self and loved ones – these are just some of the realities that many are unfortunate enough to have experienced these past 2-3 months when the pandemic essentially shut down the economy. A post lockdown gift box for employees may not magically wipe away all of those individual trials but it certainly brings a bit of cheer and hopefully a whole lot of hope to those who need it the most.
A Guide for Choosing the Best Swag for the office:
Choosing unique lockdown swag for your employees is easy when you have a guide that helps you narrow down the search. Check out these tips for when you begin to look for post lockdown swag for employees:
1. Your post lockdown swag for your workforce should maximize the budget that you have allocated for it.
Whether this budget for post quarantine swag item is big or small, you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth with each item in the selection. Find a budget per employee and Gemnote will work within that amount to make the most of each dollar.
2. Do the research on what employees might appreciate as post quarantine swag.
Researching on this can be informal, meaning you can ask your employees or check out what other companies or groups are gifting. Ask anyone or consult anything that can help you streamline your selection for post lockdown gifts for your workforce.
3. Aim to go for useful swag that is in tune with the current situation.
When you send a gift after lockdown to your employee, there’s an expectation that the post lockdown gift hampers are relevant to the situation. Assess the demands of the pandemic and compare it with what your business and employees need to arrive at a good selection of after lockdown gift sets that your employees will find immediate use for.
4. Consult the experts.
There are professional gifting companies like Gemnote that know how to put together the best post quarantine gifts for employees. Make your life easier by choosing from their selection of after lockdown gift sets since you are confident in how the gift choices are curated by professionals. You can even ask them to create a personalized post lockdown gift basket especially for your employees to give what is a highly useful gift an extra special touch.
Tips to Make Your Lockdown Swag More Welcoming
Lockdown swag should be seen as lighthearted while serving the real purpose of being functional, especially in a situation as a global health pandemic. The goal is to make your employees look forward to going back to work, not send them items that make them think it’s still unsafe to be back in their cubicle. These tips can help make your lockdown gift a lot cheerier:
1. Add a kind note.
Lockdown swag doesn't need to be boring or cold (lacking emotion). A kind, warm hearted note referencing the return to work protocol, followed by words that can help boost employee confidence in your desire to make things safe for them would be appreciated by your team.
2. Wrap it carefully!
Making your present look good is a nice touch, because who doesn’t appreciate a pretty package? While you might not have time or resources to add details like dried flowers or twine, you should at least take precaution in make sure the wrapping is done with gloves. You want to be as careful as possible with how items are distributed.
3. Consider personalizing the contents.
Not everybody has to get the same present. You can choose different sets for different employees or friends so your post lockdown presents better address their individual situations. You can have sets for male and female employees, or special gift boxes for mothers.
Swag Ideas After Lockdown
As you look for the best gift for employees after lockdown, here are some ideas for swag to welcome your employees back to the office. The overarching theme of these post quarantine gifts for employees is protection. The health concerns surrounding coronavirus necessitates post lockdown gift hampers of things that will keep your employees safe and protected from the virus, and these post lockdown swag items suggestions can do just that:
Baseball Cap, EO Organic Hand Sanitizer, Bella Canvas Zip Hoodie, Port Authority Face Mask
Keep your employee’s upper bodies covered and safe with the holy triumvirate of the baseball cap (great for keeping flyaway hair out of the face, which means less opportunities to scratch an errant strand of hair), a face mask (reusable and washable, which is more bang for the buck than disposable ones), long-sleeved hoodie, and the must-have hand sanitizer.
Cloth Face Mask, Timbuk2 Backpack, Carhartt Long Sleeve Shirt
One of the things that employees dread about the commute to work is the exposure they get in public transportation. This mask covers really well from most of the face and the entire neck area. Partner it with the long sleeved shirt (which can be changed out of upon arrival at work) and you are more sure that most traces of viruses don’t get on your upper body. And finally, the backpack is roomy enough to lug around all of one’s essential work equipment so they don’t have to carry them in their hands while out and exposed in public.
Baggu Duck Bag, EO Organic Hand Sanitizer, Face Mask, EO Organic Product Wipes
Here’s a nice post lockdown gift for female employees. The Baggu Duck Bag is lightweight, roomy, and can keep you hands-free with the crossbody strap. A spacious mask and EO hand sanitizer nixes any germs that can get on your hands or your nose and mouth. For extra cleaning assurances, the EO hand sanitizing wipes will be any one's go-to. It’s perfect for wiping down seats on a train, door handles – basically anything that you anticipate getting in contact with!
Baggu Cross Body Bag, Face Mask, Custom Hand Sanitizer
It’s a common practice for people who need to leave their homes to bring as few items as possible to lower the risk of contamination on your person or on belongings. If your remote employees only need to bring themselves to work (since their equipment, terminals, and anything else they need to get the job done will be in the safety of their office cubicle). For “light” travelers and commuters, the Baggu Cross Body Bag will be their bionic companion as they navigate their way to the office. We say bionic because it’s lightweight and small yet packs a punch in terms of storage. It’s one of the roomiest, hands-free bags out there! A custom hand sanitizer and a face mask completes the kit and effortlessly slips inside the diminutive bag, too.
Employee Concerns, Post-Lockdown
Planning for unique post lockdown gift ideas for your employees will naturally consider their common concerns, post-lockdown. This is so you are able to select more appropriate contents for your post lockdown gift box for employees. Before you start ordering all sorts of items for your welcome back gift kits for staff, it pays to be aware of these common employee concerns.
1. Hesitation to return to the physical work place/office.
While a lot of employees are surely raring to resume their work for the sake of normalcy, don’t be surprised to encounter employees who aren’t too keen on returning to the physical work place. The quarantine situation is definitely something that one shouldn’t take lightly, and others will be more paranoid about the possibility of contracting the virus when they begin to interact with others outside the safety of their home. In fact, it might take more than your welcome back gift kits for staff to boost their confidence about going back to the physical office just to work.
2. Safety and protection.
Employees coming back from remote work and lockdown will naturally have several safety and personal protection concerns, given that there will be a heightened risk of contracting coronavirus because of the increased exposure to other people. Because the coronavirus is highly contagious, your employees will definitely wonder what measures at work will be implemented to ensure that they are safe and protected from the possibility of contracting the virus.
3. Health concerns.
The coronavirus situation makes things extra worrisome for individuals who have pre-existing conditions and are required to go back to the office. Based on accounts, there are some pre-existing conditions that may worsen or even become a major contributing factor to the cause of death of a coronavirus-positive individual. For these people, they need more than just strengthening their immune system – they need measures that protect them, especially.
4. Lack of childcare support for children who will be left at home.
A lot of parents currently worry about childcare support when they go back to work. It is a reality that school and daycare (two places that are currently closed at the moment, for many areas) make it easier for dual earner couples to fulfill their professional responsibilities. The closure of both make working while parent (and vise-versa) a challenge.
These four concerns are very common among employees who are preparing to go back to the office post-lockdown. When it comes to the solutions, however – there will be different solutions based on each company’s situation and capacity to provide alternatives. Apart from thinking about nice gifts to send people after lockdown, you also might want to assess if you can offer the following:
- Provide a staggered and/or flexible work schedule. An option to come in to the office several times a week instead of everyday could be available to some businesses. This can help increase an employee’s confidence in the company looking to minimize exposure while still getting the work done in the office.
- Assure your employees of extremely stringent measures to keep the work place clean and duly sanitized. Investing in disinfectants, alcohol dispensers, personal protective gear, and other items that will keep people and places as virus-free as possible will help raise confidence levels in the office’s capability to protect their employees.
- Prolonged remote work for immunocompromised employees or employees with pre-existing conditions. Some employees may be fit to report to the physical work place, while some may simply be better off working from home to protect their extra sensitive situations.
These suggestions (and others like it) will do well to increase your employees’ confidence in your ability to take care of them, apart from delighting them with welcome back to work gift ideas.
Easing Into the New Normal: Suggestions on How to Approach It
Here are some suggestions that can help make your “back to work in the new normal” routine go by with fewer hiccups than you originally imagined:
1. Plan with positivity in the end.
Being on lockdown doesn’t mean you have to accept the conditions as they are. Plan for alternative endings, but always plan with a positive mindset so you are better equipped to handle the possible hurdles!
2. Ensure your employees are doing their part to stay healthy.
Your employees can be less susceptible to illness if healthy habits are in place. If it means having to educate them about nutrition, fitness, and ways to reduce mental, physical and emotional stress then so be it! Go beyond issuing work-related directives and also share information that will have them healthier and hardier than ever.
3. Go over new protocols with your employees before they return to work.
To minimize confusion on what safety procedures will be performed, send them way ahead of time so everyone is mindful on the day they go back to the office.
4. Have alternative work schedules ironed out before the resumption of work in the physical office.
You want to know who will be in the office at any given time, when they will be working remotely, and who will come in do their respective work (or that of the person who is at home). This information will take some time to organize, but it will definitely be worth it when your operations are smoother and you are confident that everyone knows what the others are working on, whether in the office or at home.
5. Open up the lines of communication.
This is a great list of things to work on to make the transition smoother, but don’t underestimate the power of asking your employees to open up about their individual concerns! You just might be surprised to find out that there are other valid concerns that you weren’t able to plan for initially. If your communication lines are open and your employees feel that it is a good thing to come forward with their concerns, you are able to find solutions to problems before they have a chance of happening.
Post-Lockdown Swag: The Start of Something New
Post-lockdown swag, as mentioned in this article, is a great way to communicate that you are committed to making the back-from-lockdown transition easier and more welcoming to your employees. However, your commitment shouldn’t end there. It is important that you do all you can to support your individual employees in different ways. Some of your employees may foresee situations changing from time to time, so try to assist them during these occasions to keep them happy, healthy, and generally productive despite it all. While many companies would like to meet their individual goals for their bottom lines, it doesn’t have to undercut the amount of care and concern you can extend to people who are there to help you meet your business goals and targets.