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We used to be very downtown Toronto but now in the remote world we have staff all over the province (including one who splits her year between a cottage by the lake and a condo in the Dominican Republic…. envy!).
We try to treat everyone equally. Folks are interested in seeing each other, so we get together from time to time. If a work meeting is involved, the company pays travel & accommodation. If it’s purely social but organized by the company, we’ve used gift cards for those who can’t attend.
A new twist! One of our software vendors is treating the team to a lunch & learn (and no doubt a sales pitch). It’s kind of treat-like, but a freebie for the company. Any advice on equalizing this one for folks too far away to attend?
I guess the real question is how far can you go trying to treat everyone equally when geography makes it a challenge.
I guess the first question would be, is the vendor looking to treat everyone, or is it a specific team they are treating. If it’s everyone, I would say provide those that are remote with the option to order in some food. My husband’s former employer would do that for those that worked remote and weren’t able to participate in on site events.
I am not sure there is an obligation for the company to provide anything for this one as this is a vendor paid event. You could reach out the vendor and ask if they want to reach a larger group of employees and you could have remote employees join virtually and the vendor could send them a gift card to order in.
I know with Lunch & Learns we have held, we have sent gift cards to staff who are working remotely so they can order lunch. But I agree with Caitlin that if it is a vendor paid lunch and learn, they are paying for lunch for people who can attend and hear the sales pitch as incentive and in that case, staff who can’t participate would not be entitled to enjoy that incentive (unless there is a virtual participation option). There are definite benefits being able to work remotely vs. being in the office all the time so maybe it’s not horrible if staff who are in the office get the odd perk every once in a while.
That is a good point Denise, you also need to look at the other perks the remote employee receives vs. the work from office. Myself, I much rather have lunch on my couch or back deck then have a free lunch, Lol.
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