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Bonuses for Remote Employees

How To Offer Bonuses to Remote Employees

Looking for ways to improve retention and motivate your remote workers? Here are some remote employee bonus strategies that can help.

How To Offer Bonuses to Remote Employees


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Are you struggling to keep your remote workforce engaged and retain top performers? Regular raises and remote employee bonus incentives may be the answer. 

Financial rewards are tools to motivate employees, encourage productivity, and enhance job satisfaction. They also show recognition for individual performance. Studies show that when a company prioritizes employee recognition, workers are 56% less likely to look for a new job, which means better retention.

In this article, we explore the different types of remote employee bonus strategies and discuss key considerations for when to give raises or bonuses and how much to offer. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your remote employees motivated and enhance productivity.

Why Do You Need To Give Remote Employees Raises and Bonus Incentives?

By offering remote employees regular raises and bonus incentives, companies can increase employee engagement, motivate and encourage employees to perform better, and reduce the risk of turnover and associated costs.

The job market is competitive, and often workers can increase their salary by switching jobs; this is especially true for remote workers, where job options are endless. Therefore, if you want to retain your remote workforce, offer competitive salaries and regular raises that align with the job market. 

Not only do such incentives show that you care and are invested in your employees’ growth, but they also enhance productivity and positively impact the overall business bottom line. According to a survey carried out by Bonus.ly, 65% of employees say they would put more effort into their job if they were recognized more often by their employers.

Don’t stop at annual raises. Consider designing a bonus incentive program for your remote team members to reward them for their hard work and dedication to the company. For example, the remote employees who have been with the company for a while have most likely contributed significantly to the company’s success and growth. 

Recognizing their contributions through bonus incentives, remote work stipends, and raises can motivate them to continue performing at their best, increasing productivity and job satisfaction.

This is just one of the ways you can improve retention—read our article on the best ways to improve remote employee retention to learn about more.

 What Are the Kinds of Remote Employee Bonuses?

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There are several types of bonuses that companies can offer remote employees to incentivize hard work and improve retention and recruitment. These bonuses can be in the form of cash, gifts, or perks and should be tied to specific goals or performance metrics. 

Ideally, they should be a reflection of the worker’s hard work and good performance and not only as a consequence of the company’s increased profits or the team’s performance, as these may not correlate.

Companies can choose from different types of remote work bonuses to suit their needs and objectives. We outline the most common types of bonuses below.

1. Sign-on bonus

This is a one-time, non-discretionary bonus that can help companies recruit qualified and skilled employees. It is given as part of an offer to hire and is usually offered as a lump sum payment.

This sign-on bonus can make job offers more attractive and increase the chances of recruiting top talent, especially for smaller companies operating in a competitive job market. 

Bonus resource: Want to learn how to write a great job offer? Take a look at our previous article about making a good job offer to acquire and retain top talent and find out how.

2. Annual bonus

An annual remote employee bonus, also known as the 13th-month salary, is paid out once a year. It may be guaranteed yearly or only given after reaching a profit goal. 

As a rule of thumb, this type of bonus is tied to company performance and is often used to incentivize employees to work toward achieving specific goals.

3. Holiday bonus

These are separate from annual bonuses and are usually associated with a holiday gift to show the company’s appreciation for the employee.

This type of bonus is typically given at the end of the year, in conjunction with the holiday season, and can be in the form of monetary rewards, gift cards, or other gifts.

4. Milestone bonus

A milestone, or spot bonus, is a bonus that is decided ahead of time and is typically linked to a goal to be achieved. 

For example, a company may offer a bonus to an employee who completes a project ahead of schedule or exceeds sales targets.

5. Referral bonus

A referral bonus is awarded to employees who refer new hires to the company. This type of bonus is typically paid out once the new hire has completed a certain probationary period. It can be an effective way to incentivize current employees to help recruit new talent.

6. Retention bonus

A retention bonus is a financial reward used to convince an employee that is planning on leaving to stay with the company. Often this may be offered to keep an employee during an important time for a company, like during a merger. It could also include a perks negotiation that will address the employee’s issues for leaving, such as flexible work schedules or additional vacation time.

7. Commission or performance-based bonuses

These types of bonuses are used to reward employees for exceptional performance and are usually tied to specific performance metrics, such as sales or project completion rates. However, they should not be considered a bonus if they are the only form of compensation; employees may come to rely on them as part of their regular income.

What Are the Considerations in Deciding When To Give a Raise or Bonus, and How Much Should It Be?

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Below are three key considerations to keep in mind when determining when to offer raises or bonuses and what the amount offered should be:

  1. The role type. For instance, sales or customer service roles are often profit-based. In this case, you can offer a lower base salary with a higher variable income from bonuses. This structure ensures that employees’ salaries are aligned with their performance and incentivizes them to perform better.
  2. Capped or uncapped commissions. A capped commission means there is a limit to how much an employee can earn, regardless of their performance. In contrast, an uncapped commission means that there is no limit. If you decide on uncapped commissions, make sure to weigh the potential benefits against the increased financial risk they present.
  3. Market rates. If a company wants to retain its employees, it must offer compensation that aligns with or exceeds the market rates. As mentioned earlier, this is especially important in today’s competitive job market. Make sure you offer the same or more than other companies if you don’t want to lose your employees. 


Recognizing your remote employees’ contributions and hard work is imperative, especially as they may feel disconnected from the company culture and mission while working from home. Providing bonuses may drive remote employees to work harder and contribute more to the company and has the potential to boost retention, optimize productivity, enhance remote work culture, and increase overall job satisfaction.

If you’ve decided to offer some of the rewards highlighted in this article, communicate and explain the criteria for receiving them and ensure that the bonus programs are fair and equitable for all employees.

In addition to offering bonuses and raises, consider non-financial incentives, such as flexible work schedules, employee recognition programs, and opportunities for career development and growth. Moreover, prioritize building a strong remote work culture that fosters collaboration, communication, and a sense of community among remote employees. Regular team-building activities, virtual coffee breaks, and other initiatives can also make remote hires feel more like part of the team and company.

By combining financial and non-financial incentives with a strong remote work culture, employers can create a motivated and engaged remote workforce that drives business success and growth. And if you’re looking to switch to a more remote workforce and hire exceptional remote talent, Near can help you recruit skilled professionals from Latin America (LatAm) with minimal effort on your end.

Simply complete this form to get a list of pre-vetted LatAm candidates with outstanding English skills and interview them for free.

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