2020 has been a difficult year. Whether adapting new safety precautions to protect in-person workers or requiring employees to work from home, companies–and employees–across the globe have had to adjust to new work environments. 

With 70% of Americans now working from home, this year can feel isolating–even more so during the upcoming holiday season as many will be unable to return home to see their families. A September survey by the Conference Board also found only 28% of Americans expect to return to the workplace before the end of the year and only 17% said they were very comfortable or even wanted to return to the office. 

As leaders, it’s important to find ways to improve morale and promote a sense of togetherness. This holiday season is especially unique, and many businesses are developing virtual ways to stay connected and give employees holiday gifts that show their support during this difficult time. According to a 2019 employee happiness survey, 45% of employees said they link gifts to their value at work. As you budget your spending this season, consider ways you can help employees feel more connected and appreciated. Here are gifts that show employees their company truly cares during this more isolated holiday season:


Gifts to help promote work-life balance

A Qualtrics survey found 42% of employees have had their mental health impacted by the pandemic. A Mental Health America study found a 420% increase in anxiety screenings per day and a 520% increase in depression screenings per day in July compared to January. With the fear of getting sick, the added need to educate children at home, and the dramatic shift in day-to-day life to staying at home, many are struggling with the added stress 2020 brings. Here are some gifts to help your employees mentally adjust:

Meal Delivery Subscription 

In a recent DoorDash survey, 49% of employees said the need to prep food has caused at least one work failure, such as missing a deadline, a call, or other work issue. As a solution, many companies have added a DashPass subscription to their HR benefits. With DashPass, employees can enjoy $0 delivery and reduced service fees on every order, making it easier for them to order pre-made meals when they’re busy. 

At-home spa experience  

Our survey also found 22% of remote workers have trouble unplugging from technology. Etsy has a number of relaxation spa kits your staff can use at home. Not only are you supporting small business owners, but you can help your employees practice self-care after a long day of work.

Home office comforts

Home office kits can help create a low-stress environment for your employees when they sit down to work. For those without a green thumb, succulents can add a little nature to their space. Company branded speakers or a Spotify subscription are other holiday gift ideas for your employee’s at-home offices.

Coffee or tea

 A UC Davis study found coffee can increase productivity. For the opposite effect, chamomile tea can reduce stress. Give your employees a grow and steep tea set or a fair trade coffee subscription to help them stay perky.

Calming tools 

A subscription to the Calm app can help your employees get a moment of zen while getting ready for bed or de-stress after watching the news.

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Specific interest holiday gift ideas

For those employees who have specific hobbies or interests, here are some tailored gifts they’ll love:


In a recent study, 80% of employees said eating at any time is one of the top advantages of working from home and 82.4% said they’d feel more satisfied if their company offered free food delivery cards. Luckily, you can gift your employees DoorDash gift cards they can use whenever they want to order food from their favorite restaurants. 

Pet owners

The MVP of most Zoom meetings is usually someone’s adorable pet that insists on showing up and stealing the show. For dog dads, consider the Chuckit! Pro Launcher to boost their fetch game or for a cat mom, perhaps a cactus cat scratcher.


A recent study found 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce in September, which Sheryl Sandberg speculates is a result of parents trying to manage their work responsibilities with at-home schooling. A DoorDash gift card gives busy working parents a break from having to do meal prep.


For those who love to travel and are now trapped at home, consider a “Vacation in a Box” to make a trip away in their living room or a Universal Yums subscription to receive food from all over the world each month. 

For other ideas to enhance your work from home HR strategy, check out our ebook, Building a Remote Work Culture: How to Help Your Employees Thrive, or contact us to learn more about food employee perks you can gift over the holidays.