In 2020, employees all over the world adapted to working from home, a shift that has now become the new normal. Clearly, this transition didn’t just change the location of people’s work but the employee experience as a whole. One of the most important aspects of the employee experience that has been impacted is employee morale. Long days of working remotely with little social interaction and no team events can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can hinder employee morale. As a result, it’s vital that business owners and managers find fun ways to foster collaboration and commemorate employee milestones, both professional and personal.

One example of a personal milestone, of course, is an employee’s birthday. Don’t let your virtual office set-up prevent you from properly celebrating these important moments. Here are three creative ways to celebrate a colleague’s birthday while working from home.

1.  Send Them a Joint Gift

On your colleague’s special day, why not chip in with your team to send them a thoughtful gift? If you don’t have a very close relationship with this colleague, the gift could be something as simple as flowers, a care package, or a gift certificate to their favorite shop. However, if you know them very well and you’re hoping to send them something more personal, consider using a collaborative tool to develop a birthday memory book. Collect letters and photographs from colleagues and compile them into the book for them to cherish forever.

2. Share a Video Message

If you want your colleague to feel especially cherished on their special day, tell them how much they mean to you – and get your other team members in on the fun as well. Have everyone record personalized birthday messages and send them to you to compile in a birthday video message. You can use a variety of video editing programs to put the video together, including iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Pinnacle. Once it’s finished, send it to your colleague on their birthday as a creative and thoughtful form of celebration.

3. Hold Online Toasts

While you can’t be together to clink your glasses in person, it doesn’t mean you can’t raise a glass to honor your colleague on their special day. Consider organizing a virtual toast event centered on a video conferencing platform like Zoom in which you and other team members can give toasts honoring your colleague. Whether you talk about their outstanding work ethic, their warm disposition or their positive attitude, they’ll be sure to feel incredibly valued.

Remote workplace celebrations, particularly for team members’ birthdays, are important not only for recognition but to foster a sense of community from afar. When you can’t be with one another in person, it’s beneficial for employee morale to celebrate the small wins and milestones virtually. Whether you plan on opting for a thoughtful joint gift, a personalized video message or an online toasting event, your team’s sense of employee morale will no doubt improve. The higher employee morale, the happier and more productive your workers will be. Happy celebrating!