The Slice

How to Celebrate a Remote Employee's Birthday

May 5, 2022

One of the best ways to show your appreciation for each of your employees is to celebrate their birthdays. No matter how large or small your business (and your budget), there are many options on the table, whether you throw a giant virtual birthday bash or send small tokens of appreciation. Are you looking for inspiration for ideas for celebrating your remote teams' birthdays? You've come to the right place. No matter what kind of business you run, there's something for everyone in the ideas listed below.

Let's face it: remote work is a phenomenon with many awesome benefits and some meaningful downsides for employees and employers alike. For employers, having a distributed team can expand your talent pool, reduce costs, and boost productivity. In addition, it can improve work-life balance for employees, allow them to live in a location they love, and give them more freedom.

One of the drawbacks for both the business and the worker, though, is that working remotely can be a little lonely. It takes extra effort to build community and create connections between team members. On top of that, employers have to go the extra mile to communicate to their team just how appreciated they really are.

One of the best ways to show your appreciation for each of your employees is to celebrate their birthdays. No matter how large or small your business (and your budget), there are many options on the table, whether you throw a giant virtual birthday bash or send small tokens of appreciation.

Are you looking for inspiration for ideas for celebrating your remote teams' birthdays? You've come to the right place. No matter what kind of business you run, there's something for everyone in the ideas listed below.

Why Bother Celebrating Your Employees' Birthdays?

When you manage a team, you likely have one goal in mind: creating results. However, there's a paradox that occurs when you are so focused on productivity that your team can start getting really burned out. Burned-out employees aren't happy, motivated, or particularly focused, so running a tight ship that doesn't allow any room for relaxing can be a recipe for disaster.

A nasty thought might enter your mind when you think about throwing a virtual birthday bash for your employees. Couldn't that time be used more productively?

Ultimately, your employees will be more productive if you periodically take time to socialize, play competitive games, and otherwise chill out together. Additionally, ensuring that your team members enjoy a healthy work-life balance can be the ultimate key to creating a cheery and well-oiled machine.

While there are plenty of opportunities to host social gatherings for your team, there's something particularly special about celebrating your employees' birthdays. It allows each of your team members to be the center of attention and to feel appreciated. Additionally, the other members of your team will be motivated to show up and have a good time when compared to an otherwise uneventful virtual get-together.

Celebrating Employee Birthdays Increases Morale

You are likely aware of how important morale is when you're building a team of efficient, motivated, and engaged workers. It's one of the most critical elements of emotional and psychological health in the workplace.

Celebrating the birthdays of your team can be a great way to boost morale across the board. The birthday-haver has an opportunity to see how appreciated they are at their workplace, and the other teammates have a chance to show just how much they appreciate their coworker on their special day.

That being said, it's really important to make sure that you aren't playing favorites when planning out birthday celebrations. If there are major discrepancies in the scale of celebration between team members, it can backfire and create grievances or resentment.

It Helps Form Deeper Connections Between Team Members

If you need to convince your boss that the expense of celebrating team member birthdays is worth it, consider entering a filibuster-like speech about the importance of building community in the workplace. Seriously, though, holding birthday parties can allow your workers to connect with each other personally and step outside of their day-to-day work.

It Creates Rituals Your Team Can Look Forward To

Another great reason for celebrating the birthdays of your team is that they create rituals sprinkled throughout the year that tie your team together and give them something to look forward to. Unless you have an unusual circumstance where every person on your team was born on September 15, birthdays are also usually distributed through the year well enough to give the perfect opportunity for periodic social breaks.

Ideas For Celebrating a Remote Employee's Birthday

Now that we've convinced you that it's worth celebrating your remote employees' birthdays, let's dive in and look at some of the best ideas on the table.

Virtual Happy Hour

A classic option for a sure-fire good time is a virtual happy hour. Just set up a time for all of your coworkers to sign on to a video call and ask them to bring their favorite beverage to enjoy. If your team tends to be on the quieter side, consider showing up with some fun ice breaker questions to get the party started.

Of course, don't forget to make a toast to the employee of the hour!

Gift a Personal Development Stipend

Is your team made up of growth-oriented people? Do you spend so much time on zoom calls that you want to gift them something other than a virtual get-together? Consider giving them one of the most priceless gifts out there: the ability to invest in themselves.

Hire Entertainment

When you're throwing a birthday extravaganza for a remote employee, an important component is ensuring it doesn't feel like any other old Zoom call. Instead, you want this to be a celebration to remember, an event that brings your team together.

One solid option is to hire an entertainer to take your party to an entirely new level. The options range from hiring a live DJ to a stand-up comedian and everything in between. Of course, we highly recommend that pizza is involved somehow.

Organize a Paint and Sip Class

Whether your team is full of creative types or far from it, paint and slip classes can be fun to get everyone's creative juices flowing. You can send supplies to each of your team members and even some beverages to facilitate the whole shebang.

This is a great way to show your appreciation for the birthday boy or girl while also building community at the same time. If you have a team full of workers that prefer to be hands-on rather than just engaging in a digital event, this might be a perfect choice.

Throw a Pizza Party

Like they always say, the way to an employee's heart is through their stomach. So if you want your employees to feel like they are appreciated on their birthday, a pizza party is a sure-fire way to accomplish that goal.

How the heck are you supposed to organize a pizza party when your team is sprinkled all across the country or even the globe, though? You've got Mary over in NYC, Tom in rural Kansas, and Sarah bopping between island destinations with just a laptop and a backpack. Planning a remote pizza party becomes a logistical nightmare once you start to think about what it would entail.

Not anymore, friends! It just so happens that our specialty is organizing pizza parties for distributed teams across the globe. So whether you need food and drinks to accompany your virtual happy hour birthday bash or want everyone to be well-fed for their virtual escape room experience, we're here to make it happen.

Embark on a Virtual Outing

When you have employees spread out over the globe, going on a team afternoon hike doesn't really fit within the realm of what's possible. However, that doesn't mean that you can't all go on an adventure together. You'll just have to do so virtually.

Thanks to the pandemic, the industry of virtual tourism has been growing in popularity for remote teams around the world. This is an opportunity for your team to explore an exotic location with a local tour guide. You can even send a cultural gift package (or sign up for a service that includes such a thing) to help your team get the full experience from the comfort of their home office.

Organize a Virtual Escape Room

Another year has gone by, and one of your employees is one year older. While this is something worth celebrating, it's important to recognize that remote work can sometimes leave people feeling isolated and out of touch with their team. When you combine that with the bummer mood that can sometimes come with a birthday, creating an exciting and engaging experience for your team can be the perfect way to make sure everyone has a blast.

One hidden benefit of throwing your employee a virtual escape room bash is that it also has some major perks from a business standpoint. Team members have to work together to win, and the challenge can be a great way to build problem-solving skills.

Weekend Getaway

Depending on your budget and the size of your team, you could consider giving each employee a birthday gift they'll always remember: a weekend away. If your employees are more the type that wants some time alone rather than engaging in virtual happy hours and being the center of attention, consider giving them the gift of a short-term rental somewhere exciting, enticing, and rejuvenating.

The Gift of Relaxation

If you're looking for a gift that you can give to all of your employees when they celebrate another trip around the sun, consider sending an at-home relaxation kit. After all, we all know how important it is to keep stress levels low and maintain a work-life balance. It can be even more difficult to distinguish between work time and me time when working remotely.

There is a huge range of how extravagant you can be here, and, ultimately, it's usually the thought that counts. You might consider sending a gift basket with all kinds of spa goodies or a virtual gift in the form of a meditation or yoga video.

Play Virtual Bingo

One of the best things about birthday celebrations is the feeling of togetherness. To overcome the occasional awkwardness of remote get-togethers, we highly recommend playing some competitive games with your team. Soon enough, you'll all feel like you're sitting in the same room.

What's one of the most underrated games you can play with your team? In our opinion, bingo is the perfect combination of social, competitive, fun, and unpredictable. One of the best things about playing virtual bingo with your team (at least from a manager's viewpoint) is that you can plan out a full game in under two minutes.

Organize a Trivia Game

When your team is remote, it can be hard to recreate that feeling of togetherness. One of the best ways to overcome that challenge? Competitive games.

What's one of the best competitive games out there? We're going to have to go with trivia games. However, this definitely isn't the time to have trivia with categories like "how to improve key performance indicators." No, this is a celebration, and the game should reflect that.

A better option would be bar-style trivia. Then, even if your team is on different ends of the globe, you can create the experience of sitting together at the local pub and battling over who has the greatest cultural and intellectual knowledge up in their noggins.

Is Pizza Essential at a Birthday Party?

We've heard rumors that some people think pizza is optional at a birthday celebration. Of course, we're open-minded, but that frankly doesn't sit right with us. As far as we can tell, no birthday party is complete without some piping hot pie.

Whether you're planning on hosting a virtual happy hour, a virtual tour of an exotic place, hosting a paint and sip party, or playing trivia, it's probably a good idea to accompany your digital bash with some delicious slices. After all, we all know how important it is for productivity and motivation to get those pizza-related neurotransmitters firing in the brain.

Creating a birthday ritual for your team is one of those things that is all ups and no downs. Your workers will feel appreciated, they'll build community, it can improve their motivation and morale, and it reminds them that you care about their wellbeing.

Have you been feeling like the birthday party you've been planning is missing something… cheesy? If so, you can start your order now.

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Our team changed from being in the office to working from home permanently through the pandemic. So Pizzatime gives our team a reason to gather and have social time. We also use Pizzatime to get together for milestone celebrations. Everyone loves pizza, right!?!
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It takes away the huge time consumption it normally would take if I had to place orders for everyone manually or if I had to send them all gift cards and expense everything, one by one.
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The best option to use when planning a virtual lunch for teams across multiple sites and locations.
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A convenient way to order pizza for a group and save time. It’s great for virtual lunch and happy hour meetings with entertainment.
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