How to Use Cooleaf When You Return to Office

How to Use Cooleaf When You Return to Office

Organizations are in a unique position to help their employees transition into the return to office and in-person activities again. With many changes coming their way, HR platforms like Cooleaf create a foundation and go-to center for employee morale.

How to Use Cooleaf When You Return to Office

Is your team back in office? Or like other organizations, is your organization experimenting with hybrid or flexible work options? Either way, welcome back to in-person meeting again!

During the early days of the Pandemic, many organizations looked to employee engagement or HR platforms and apps like Cooleaf to engage and support remote workers’ well-being. However, now that many teams are opting to be in-person and returning to office (RTO), how human resources or people management teams utilize HR tech stacks will need to adapt.

This post will offer suggestions to how you can continue to help employees with apps like Cooleaf as you continue to nurture company culture during RTO.

To make it accessible, we broke it down by app features, where we offer ideas on how to enhance your experience with your platforms (Cooleaf or otherwise), giving new life to your employee engagement strategy in this new frontier.

See Cooleaf in action
Looking for return to office activities? Continue building employee engagement with these ideas using your HR tech platform.

The Importance of HR Platforms as Your Return to Office

This post covers organizations and teams meeting on a regular basis in-person. That being said, many organizations are also offering more flexible work schedules or hybrid work as a perk and to help employees navigate work-life balance.

How we viewed work before 2020 is continuing to evolve, so platforms like Cooleaf ensure that organizations, whether they’re all together or spread out, serve as a digital hub employees and HR leaders can continue to count on.

These platforms also help HR leaders track important metrics, collect sentiment, and provide additional insight into how to create a positive workplace culture.

Read on for employee engagement ideas for your welcome back to office lifestyle.

Employee engagement guide

Employee Recognition

Whether you’re remote, hybrid, or all-in-house, manager and peer recognition has positive effects to a work culture (and to the individual receiving it for their hard work!). Not only does it feel good, but Gallup says employee recognition boosts productivity, engagement, and morale overall.

Use your employee recognition platform for your welcome back to office as employees transition to the new schedule and work style.

Here are a few ideas to keep the kudos coming with the Cooleaf app in-person:

  • Make Employee Recognitions Part of your Daily Stand Up Meeting: Team leads can take a look at the Cooleaf app to give additional shouts at the in-person meeting in case anyone missed it, helping employees feel additionally appreciated.
  • Remind Managers to Add Recognition Time to their Calendars: With so much going on at work or with large organizations, Cooleaf’s main feed of public recognitions is a great way for managers to keep an eye on how other departments or teams are doing. Encourage everyone to have weekly recurring task reminders as part of your own recognition program.
  • Include Recognitions into Employee Performance Reviews: Managers can use Cooleaf to take a look at their direct reports’ recognitions for quarterly or annual reviews. It’s also a great way to remind managers about small initiatives or actions that carried a big impact.
  • Continue Birthday or Work Anniversary Recognitions: Despite being able to bring cake into the office to enjoy, years of service and birthdays still need all the extra celebrating, so continue the good cheer with these recognitions. Tied to redeemable points, these also act as a “gift” to the employee, so they can really treat themselves to something they’d want later.

Employee Experience Programming & Return to Office Activities

At the start of the pandemic, Cooleaf’s employee engagement activities helped employees coping with remote work. Fun health and wellness challenges or learning activities helped remote employees stay connected.

The online events or challenge features are still great resources for your in-office team:

  • Host an in-Person Scavenger Hunt: A cool kick off idea for teams coming back into office and to reacquaint them with office updates or to share their personal desk set-ups. Have people snap a pic to share and re-introduce themselves to the office.
  • Host recurring Fitness and Wellness Events: Sometimes in-person accountability can work wonders and offices have plenty of space to host wellness sessions. But promoting it on platforms like Cooleaf has the bonus of adding points to attendance too!
  • Host Regular Brainstorm or Idea Sessions Online: Hear us out, but not everything needs a meeting or a phone call. A Cooleaf favorite is the brainstorm challenges, where team members can post ideas or share new apps or systems to help with issues or overall goals. It’s asynchronous too so you can post whenever inspiration strikes.
  • Host Cross-Departmental Challenges as You Return to Office: Sometimes finding time on a teammate’s calendar is impossible, so how can you expect to with a team member in another department? Online challenges or online coffee sessions encourage disparate departments to meet, giving employees a much needed reason to meet up and get to know each other.

Gifting, Gift Cards & Rewards Catalog

The Cooleaf gifting feature and rewards catalog expanded while organizations worked from home. Now employees and managers can send digital gift cards or surprise someone with team merch delivered to their home.

Some might call it a return to work after the Pandemic, employees have been keeping themselves motivated at home, so continue acknowledging their hard work with the right incentives and employee gifts as tokens of gratitude.

Keep the excitement alive for in-person opportunities with these ideas:

  • Surprise Team Members with In-Person Lunch Cards: Want to head to lunch? Rather than just an invite, why not surprise a coworker with a gift card for helping with that presentation or just because?
  • Send Incoming New Hires a Coffee Gift Card Before They Start: Sip-sip-hooray! Engaging new employees starts when they accept the offer, so using the reward catalog is a great way for them to get a glimpse of your workplace culture.
  • Surprise Contractors, Collaborators, or Prospects with a Stand-Out Thank You: Whether you met over coffee or chatted in the conference room, when you send that thank you email, why not also send a digital gift card? It stands out in their inbox and is an authentic surprise to receive.
  • Welcome a New Teammate Before They Arrive: Don’t wait for onboarding to build a relationship with a new employee. Send some team swag to their address ahead of time. It builds excitement and warmly welcomes them to the team.

Pulse Survey Tool

Keep an eye on job satisfaction and get ahead of employee retention by reaching our to your people. Engagement survey tools are easy to set up and many platforms, like Cooleaf, offer the pulse survey capability on the mobile or desktop version, making collecting employee feedback seamless. Cooleaf also has the ability to attach points to pulse surveys in order to encourage responses.

Returning to the office after years of remote work will take time to adapt, so keep a pulse on your people with employee engagement surveys.

Here are some ideas to continue using the survey tool:

  • Host a Recurring Welcome Back Sentiment Survey: Now that employees are back in-person, it’s important to track the transition by checking employee satisfaction and collecting changes and ideas for their new working environment.
  • Track Mental Health and Wellness During the Return to Office Transition: This is a brave, new world for everyone and ensuring you track your people’s health, burnout levels, and more is important as everyone adapts to the change. With engagement platforms, you can also track metrics as you collect overtime.
  • Collect Ideas for Employee Engagement Activities for In-Person: With everyone excited to be together again, be sure to reach out to your employees before you set your activity calendar. They’ll have plenty of ideas and it will boost employee morale.
  • Track Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) Sentiment as Your Return to Office: While working from home, many teams set goals and underwent remote DEI training over the past few years. Being back in office, there are different opportunities to interact in new ways, while seeing each other day-in and out. Be sure to track your employees’ sentiment and incorporate any DEI needs in future programming.


As your team transitions back in-person, don’t forget to continue to check in and support your people. Working with your employees’ feedback and your tools, from the physical space you occupy to platforms like Cooleaf, you’re sure to make a positive impact in this new phase of your organization.

Want more ideas to nurture employee experience as you transition into in-person or hybrid models? Let us know. We'd love to chat!


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