Birthdays: Celebrating Together while Working Remotely

By Renzo Guevara
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Celebrating birthdays can go both ways. On one hand, it’s great with a lot of people, family and friends all gathered together with you on the main spotlight, while on the other, it can also be enjoyed at a more intimate scenario, alone or with a smaller group. Working from home has tipped both cases closer together.

Good job!

It’s always a packed day in the office. Busy schedules, boatload of work, stress here and there, and a lot more. If yours isn’t like this, let me know, asking for a friend. The line between business and pleasure is often kept to safeguard both the quality and quantity of work.

Now that work has invaded our homes, the line becomes very thin.

Birthdays are one of the most significant moments in one’s life. If everything was normal, it’d be easy to have celebrations in the office (assuming it falls on a weekday) and have a few food and drinks with the staff making lunch break a little bit more eventful than usual. Plus, don’t forget the sweet sweet birthday leaves.

It’s a great gesture of gratitude and appreciation towards the employee which in turn, can prevent burnout, turnovers, and making work feel, for lack of a better term, just “work”. We’re not all robots here. Sometimes, we like to have a little bit of fun. Especially nowadays that we’re all, for the most part, stuck at home.

“Special” treatment

What’s better than receiving a “your package is on its way to you” message during the day? Receiving a package you didn’t even expect/ pay for.

Birthdays are perfect for free stuff.

Even when they’re not at the office, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be celebrated anymore. Nothing makes an employee happier than hearing the words “we’re giving you a rai-” sorry, I meant “we’re sending you something”. Just make sure it’s actually a gift and not more work.

There are many different ways to navigate long distance birthday celebrations. Sending in food or cake is always a great idea by default. Pizzas, doughnuts, pastries, sushi bakes and no I’m not just listing down some of my favorite snacks for my fellow workmates to see. What made you think that?

The best thing with sending someone food, other than the fact that anyone will appreciate free food, is that it can easily be tuned to make sure that there is consistency with how everyone is treated. Joe gets pizza? Millie gets pizza as well. Isn’t that fun?

And who’s better at making sure employees are having “fun” than the good ol’ HR department themselves. Let’s face it, they’re basically the parents of the bunch. And the last thing a parent should do is to show favoritism. Not only are they met with the challenge of affirming employees on their special days, they have to make sure it’s done equally.

Oh by the way, Happy birthday!

Of course, gifts won’t mean anything without the greetings. Remember how excited you would be on school mornings knowing that once you walk into that classroom, you’re like the most popular kid for the day. It’s always nice to hear it.

OMG! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Same idea in the office. Everyone’s smiling at you, going to your area every now and then to give you a greeting, your boss is like 2% less “bossy” for the day, it’s very pleasant. Now that we’re all working remotely, I highly doubt we’d be willing to hop in another zoom call with our workmates during our birthdays. We’ve got enough of those already.

Virtual boards are the way to go. Everyone can pitch in and write a dedication for the man/woman of the day. It’s a wonderful surprise to read through words of affirmation with the people you work with. Especially now that we barely see each other in person, it’s a small reminder that we’re not being forgotten beyond our work output.

Or better yet, it’s your chance to anonymously send a confession letter to that officemate you’ve been crushing on. Whatever the case may be, everyone likes to be appreciated every now and then. Work is one of the main sources of stress in anyone’s life, all the more reason why it’s very pleasing when it gets every chance it can to be otherwise.

Pretty cool, right?