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Celebrating Major Milestones Remotely


There are many moments that you’ll remember in the span of your working life; some are milestones so noteworthy that they warrant more than observation.

On the interpersonal side, they may look something like this:

Welcoming new team members. Planning retirement send-offs. Birthdays. Degrees earned. New additions to the family.

Or perhaps they’re business related:

Landing the first big client. Launching a new product. Gaining global traction. Securing investment. Closing the round.

That’s some pretty exciting stuff! As in, break-out-the-balloons-there’s-cake-in-the-lunchroom. Yes! You LOVE cake! ‘But wait,’ you think, ‘I work from home. My company has no lunch room. And there is no cake.’ But moments like these shouldn’t pass by quietly simply because you’re part of a remote team. Is it possible to celebrate, sincerely, when you can’t even high five someone, or clink a congratulatory beverage? Here are just a few ideas for companies with far-flung employees:

  • Offer a remote toast (or roast). Some of the best toasts are given at weddings, and yet, they’re a wonderful way to show gratitude and even poke a little fun in a work setting. Remote teams can reclaim this gesture, offering toasts with coffee, tea, or cocktails on a call–depending on your timezone, of course–adding in just the right amount of well-timed wit.
  • Display your team’s data. Yep–facts and figures belong in celebrations, too. Consider making an infographic that marks when major goals were achieved; you can also sprinkle in some amusing metrics for additional enjoyment (# coffees enjoyed, team pets: cats vs. dogs, etc.)
  • Be certifiably awesome. Freely available design tools mean you can create all sorts of smile-inducing files without having to task your busy graphic designers. Canva has some fantastic certificate templates available; why not make one to recognize a team member’s special day or extra effort?
  • Schedule time for fun. You carve out time for important meetings as well as the occasional urgent ad hoc request. It stands to reason, then, that you should set aside time for team bonding after a big win. Craft project-specific trivia, gather together to share memorable quotes or do a round-robin where all can share their warm fuzzies.
  • Set up the ultimate surprise party. Birthdays, retirements, and farewells deserve more than a thank you email. Remote teams can up the traditional video call ante with games or yes, even remote karaoke. We at Workfrom might just test that one out!
  • Engage snail mail. There’s something to be said for a tangible gesture of gratitude; sending a beautiful card or personal thank you gift makes a powerful, if asynchronous, impact. You can bring it up later in your company’s Slack channel, or let your employee choose to share it.

Planning such festivities needn’t be a burden, and a budget for them can be both small and accommodating. What’s most important is that you take the time to truly celebrate and revel in the accomplishments of your team.

Far too often, small businesses–especially startups–will power through their early milestones, eyes set firmly on the horizon to meet that next elusive goal. This process of sailing full steam ahead without regard for major personal events or professional achievements can set them on a crash course for burnout, and worse, a culture so toxic that soon, there may be no milestones to enjoy.

If I may dare you to err on the side of celebration moving forward, I will happily do so.

And if you have any stories of fantastic remote celebrations you’ve had or have hosted at your company, by all means, share them with us in the comments section below.

Who knows? Your input could change the way others lead their businesses, and how they view success. Thank you for reading, and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts!


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