5 Tips for Connecting With Coworkers During the Holidays While Working Remotely

November 29, 2019

A woman is showing her gift for holiday season
Jennifer Van Haitsma

With the holiday season upon us, most of us have at least started making lists of gifts to buy. It’s good to stay organized from the outset to minimize stress. Since it is common etiquette to buy a small gift for co-workers or bosses, make sure you add them to your gift-giving list. When you work remotely, it can be easy to feel really out of touch with coworkers on a regular basis, especially when you miss out on all the fun holiday office camaraderie. Here are 5 bits of wisdom for those who work from home to help them stay connected during the holidays. 

Make it to the holiday party

Most offices host some sort of generic holiday gathering, sometimes at their corporate office, sometimes elsewhere. Make it a point to attend. Yes, it can be inconvenient depending on how far you have to travel for it. And expensive! But I think the benefits outweigh the costs. Why is it important? For one, it shows your boss that you are a dedicated member of the team, and might even earn you some “face time” with them. Also, it gives you a chance to bond with co-workers that you don’t really get a chance to see very often. 

Participate in the office gift exchange

This is a really great way to stay involved at work when you work from home. Lots of offices have a gift exchange, so add your name in. They usually limit it, so you don’t have to spend a fortune if you don’t want to. Here are some great ideas for any co-worker or boss you find yourself buying for:

Foot Massager- provides soothing heat with 2 different massage settings and 5 different functions. It also has a heat mode and you can choose between 6 time settings. This would be perfect for anyone with tired feet because it helps reduce physical exhaustion. 

Desk Bike- part standing desk, part stationary bike, this is a great way get your blood pumping while navigating the humdrum activities of your busy schedule. It helps a person with a jam-packed day get in some activity while they work. 

Desk Risers- with a removable keyboard tray, this is a great addition to any office set-up. It can be used for desktop or laptop, so it’s suitable for any person’s work environment! Standing desks have a lot of benefits. They are better for your back, among other things. So a desk riser is necessary for optimal back and neck health. 

Send holiday cards

Add your boss and a handful of co-workers to your holiday card mailing list. This will add some cheer to their lives, and show them that you want to stay connected despite working from home. Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Try a free holiday card site. They will let you customize a holiday card and send it for free! That saves you printing and postage costs. 

Plan ahead for childcare

Don’t forget, during the holidays, kids are going to have time off school. Since you work from home, you will want to minimize the distractions and noise as much as possible. Try and arrange for alternative childcare. There might be a grandparent or aunt who can watch the kids even for a few hours so you can get some work done. If you are a single parent, this might involve using a little vacation time if child care is an issue. 

Don’t be lazy

People who work at the office have to follow protocols if they want to have time away from the desk. They have to punch out for lunch, or inform their boss. If they need to leave early, they let someone know and probably fill them in on the work they got done that day. If you work from home, make sure to not randomly “punch out early.” I know it’s tempting, especially around the holidays. But work with integrity. If any laziness is uncovered, that will make you very unpopular around the water cooler. 

Work hard and enjoy the holidays

At the end of the day, everyone deserves to have a nice, relaxing holiday season. That being said, make sure you check in regularly with your boss and don’t slack off, even if working from home makes it hard to stay motivated. Stay involved with coworkers by using the gift ideas above. Happy holidays!

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