Hi! You found our list of epic Boss Day 2021 gifts and ideas!
National Boss Day is October 16. Boss Day gifts and ideas are ways to celebrate the great supervisors, managers, and leaders in your life. These celebration tips include games, gifts, and activities to make the day extra special. In 2021, you may be recognizing the occasion as Virtual Boss Day.
This list includes:
- Boss Day gifts
- Boss’s Day Ideas
- how to celebrate Boss’s Day
And more ways to say, “you rock, boss!” 😎
Find a place to hang your employee of the month award, because you are about to throw the best Bosses Day in history!
List of Boss Day 2021 Ideas
From cards to team breakfasts to free time, here is a list of special touches to make your next National Boss Day extra memorable.
1. Play Boss Day Bingo
Boss Day Bingo is one of the best team building games you and the team can play with your manager when the special day arrives. Simply hand out or send a card to every team member, then chat and swap tales to mark off squares. We made a template you can use; just be sure to randomize the squares, and feel free to add your own entries tailored to your boss’s unique quirks!
Whichever players the winner names must explain the story behind the square.
Boss’s Day Bingo is a form of online team building bingo.
For more virtual team challenges, check out our post on Zoom games to play with coworkers.
2. Online Office Games (Facilitated)
Online Office Games is a 90 minute virtual team building event that includes trivia, mini-competitions and more. It’s a fun activity that can help connect the boss on your team with everyone else AND remind them that work can be fun.
The event takes place over video call, and we usually provide two hosts. The lead host will make sure that everyone on your team is included and engaged, and the co-host assists with team formations and any tech support that comes up. It’s fun!
Learn more about Online Office Games.
3. Attend Nerd Talks Together
Nerd Talks are quirky, TED-style lectures on fascinating topics such as Beer & Sharks, Cereal & Serial Killers, or Plato & Play-dough. Events last 60 minutes, with 30 minutes of an interactive lesson and 30 minutes of online team group games like trivia.
Usually, you learn from your leader, but this Boss’s Day you and your manager can learn together by attending a Nerd Talk. These Zoom room seminars are one of the best virtual boss’s day ideas. Your boss will gain cool new knowledge sure to impress at cocktail parties or company meetings, but also valuable bonding time with the team.
Learn more about Nerd Talks.
4. Solve a Murder in Ancient Egypt
One of our most popular virtual events is called Murder in Ancient Egypt. This games combines elements of murder mysteries, escape games and puzzle solving, and revolves around a real murder from Ancient Egypt.
Solving puzzles together is a great way to have fun and connect your people. Also, this murder mystery is difficult, and so definitely takes strong teamwork to solve. The event is 90 minutes and conducted over video call.
Learn more about Murder in Ancient Egypt.
And here are more online murder mystery games.
5. Surprise Your Boss with Free Time
This Boss Day idea requires coordination with the assistant. Your boss has a busy schedule, and the day might be so packed with meetings and obligations that your manager hardly has time to bask in the team’s praises. By scheduling a decoy meeting, you can give your boss a much-needed break. We recommend a time-slot toward the end of the day.
Please note, you may not want to carry out this scheme if your boss is under an urgent deadline or does not like surprises. However, if your manager frequently foregoes self-care time, then this trick may be the only way to assure that your awesome boss gets to actually enjoy the special day.
6. Film a Lively Lip-dub
One of the more amusing Boss Day celebration ideas is to corral the team and record an energetic lip-dub. Lip-dubs are videos involving choreographed dances and lip-syncing to famous songs.
- The Boss by Diana Ross
- The Boss by James Brown
- Like a Boss by The Lonely Island
- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
- You the Boss by Rick Ross
- Working for the Weekend by Loverboy
- Work Hard by David Guetta
- Work Work by Britney Spears
If you choose a song with risque lyrics, such as Like a Boss by The Lonely Island, then you may want to sample only a clean part, unless your boss and human resources department have no issue with colorful language at work.
You could also write a parody version of a song, or record your routine to the boss’s favorite song.
To create the actual video, every team member could record and submit video clips separately and you can edit the snippets together, or you can gather together and shoot the video by recording a Zoom call.
7. Create a Card
National Boss Day cards are a staple of the holiday. Whether you opt for a funny greeting or a heartfelt sentiment, cards can help you express your thoughts and gratitudes to your manager.
You and your coworkers could buy and sign a paper card, or you can create an ecard. Whichever option you choose, incorporating a picture of the team is a nice touch. After all, Bosses Day celebrates leadership, and your managers are just as appreciative of you as you are of them.
Other Boss Day card ideas:
- Insert the team into an ecard from JibJab
- Craft a collage of the team
- Record a short video tribute
- Photoshop the team into a fun scenario, such as battling zombies
- Send a cool 3-D pop up card
- Ask the team to suggest words that describe the boss, then design a word cloud using an online generator
Cards are the most basic way to show appreciation for your boss. For tips on what to write in your card, check out our article on Boss Day quotes.
8. Schedule One-on-One Time
Your busy boss might not always find time to connect with the staff for non-work reasons, so scheduling one-on-one chats with every member of the team is a nice way to observe Bosses Day. Simply sync schedules so that every team member has five to fifteen minutes for a meet and greet with the manager.
You could either set aside a block in the boss’s schedule, or allow employees to sign up for shifts throughout the day. Either way, coordinating these meetings is easiest with a cloud-based calendar and appointment-making app.
These one-on-ones are similar to a speed-dating event, where participants will have several short personal conversations. You can use our list of icebreaker questions as talking points, or you can let conversation flow naturally. The only rule is no shop talk allowed! These chats are bonding opportunities, not evaluations.
9. Host a Team Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and is also one of the best ways to start National Bosses Day on the right note. Your manager can start the day with gratitude and positivity together with the team. Simply provide a spread full of nourishing goodies like bagels, yogurt, waffles, and juice.
If the team is remote, then you can cover the cost of your boss’s breakfast and order from a nearby delivery joint on Yelp. Then, you and the rest of the team can meet and enjoy a bite together on Zoom or WebEx.
10. Plan Virtual Team Building Activities
If your team is working remotely this year, then you can recognize Boss’s Day with some fun virtual team building activities. For example, you can play icebreaker games like Never Have I Ever to learn about each other and facilitate conversation, or do something more elaborate like a murder mystery or escape room.
Here is a list of virtual team building games/activities that includes both free and paid options.
List of Boss Day Gifts
From flowers to food to custom emojis to coupon books, here is a list of gift ideas for bosses worthy of earning you a “world’s best employee” mug.
11. Custom Emoji
One of the most unique Boss Day gift ideas is to create a custom emoji for your team leader. This gift idea is especially effective, since your virtual leader likely sends a significant amount of time on Slack or other platforms. You could either emojify your boss by using a picture or a lifelike illustration, or you can design an emoji of your manager’s favorite animal, movie, food, or other preference.
You can upload your emoticon using the desktop version of Slack. To create your emoji, first save the image file you want to use in a JPG, GIF, or PNG format. Small, square images work best, but the file does not need to be exactly at scale because Slack will resize the image. Next, open the emoji menu in Slack, click the “Add Emoji” button in the bottom left corner, upload your file, and save.
For in-depth, step-by-step instructions, you can check out Slack’s tutorial about adding custom emojis.
Flowers are a common way to celebrate achievements and mark special occasions, and National Boss’s Day is a great excuse to order an arrangement. Though many folks think of flowers as a Boss’s Day gift for her, many men are avid gardeners and would also enjoy a bloom or two. You can either order a bouquet, or you can pick up a live plant from a local garden center.
Succulents like the assortments from Lula’s Garden or the plant subscription boxes from The Sill make great gifts too, especially for remote bosses. Of course, if your boss lacks a green thumb, then you can always send a tasty Edible Arrangement instead.
13. World’s Best Boss Mug
In “The Office,” main character Michael Scott wields a “World’s Best Boss Mug” even though his antics do not win him any votes for manager of the month. Chances are, your supervisor is probably a much better leader than this character, but if your boss has a sense of humor or is a big fan of this show, then a World’s Best Boss Mug is the perfect present.
You can buy the infamous mug from CafePress, Spencers, the NBC store, and a variety of other vendors. If you suspect that your boss will not understand or appreciate the joke, then you can buy a different mug instead. Since bosses live on coffee, a cup makes a practical yet personalizable gift.
Including accessories such as a mug warmer, coasters, gourmet coffee or cocoa, snacks like cookies or Stroopwafels, or a Starbucks gift card adds pizazz to the present.
14. Blog Post
This gift is a great option for companies that already run an internal blog, but you can easily write a standalone post too. To create your entry, get the team together and ask each member to write a paragraph or two about your boss. You can provide prompts to jumpstart the process.
Sample Boss’s Day blog post prompts:
- What was a time your boss really helped you?
- What qualities do you most appreciate about your boss?
- What have you learned from your boss?
- What do you want to thank your boss for?
- What is one positive thing you have always wanted to tell your boss, but never have had the chance?
- If a stranger called you asking you to give a reference for your boss, what would you say?
- Imagine that you are writing a speech at your boss’s retirement party. What do you say?
Once every team member submits, edit the contributions into one cohesive piece of writing. You can also add quotes and pictures to make the entry more visually appealing.
Blog posts make great free Boss’s Day gifts because the posts allow you to sing all of your leader’s praises without having to squish your handwriting into the corner of a card.
15. Boss Day Gift Baskets
Gift baskets are a standard National Boss Day present. There are many excellent premade basket options available from vendors like Amazon, Cookies by Design, or Etsy. You and the team can also assemble a custom gift box from scratch. Each teammate could either contribute an item or pitch in money towards the gift.
Boss Day gift basket ideas:
- Gift card to a favorite restaurant or coffee shop
- Team building books or books on leadership
- Travel mug
- Chocolate, cookies, chips, or other snacks
- A framed photo of the team
- Do not disturb sign
- High quality pens and fancy stationery
- Wireless charger or extra long charging cable
- Cozy socks
Gift sets contain a mix of goodies, so your leader is sure to enjoy one or two of the items, at least. For this reason, gift baskets are a great option for newer bosses that you do not yet know well.
16. A Meal Out
Meals are one of the best last minute Boss’s Day gifts, because there is always a restaurant open and everybody needs to eat. Lunches are the obvious choice, however, if your boss already has lunch plans for the day or is too busy to break, then you can schedule lunch for another day, or opt for a different meal such as breakfast, dinner, or a snack. Surprising your boss with a bagel buffet is a nice way to start the day, and a classic cake or a taco truck makes a great afternoon pick-me-up.
Even if you work on a remote team, you can still share a team meal with your leader. Simply send the boss credit for a delivery service such as Postmates, DoorDash, or GrubHub, then hop on a video call together to chat while your boss enjoys the treat.
17. A Day Out
Experiences tend to be more meaningful and foster more pleasure than material objects, so treating your boss to a day of entertainment and relaxation can make a bigger impression than any present you can stick a bow on.
Suggestions for a Boss’s Day experience:
- Spa day, salon appointment, or manicure
- Visit to a local brewery, winery, or distillery
- A fascinating museum tour or city tour
- Laser tag or go-kart racing
- A lesson, such as a cooking class, art tutorial, or woodworking session
- Date night for boss & boss’s partner, complete with babysitter if boss has kids
- Round of golf, batting practice, or axe-throwing
You can either buy your leader a gift certificate, or prepay for the service directly. One fun touch for the gift is to include a selfie-stick to encourage your boss to take pictures while enjoying the present, and share those photos with the team later.
18. How to Manage Remotely
Employees value and long for professional development, and bosses are no exception. With remote work quickly becoming a staple of modern industry, many managers want ways to improve their team building skills and gain an edge in the virtual workforce.
How to Manage Remotely is a virtual workshop that teaches leaders tips and techniques for supervising employees online. The seminar teaches skills like running effective virtual meetings, communicating expectations, and collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams on a flexible schedule.
Learn more about How to Manage Remotely.
19. Coupon Books
Coupon books are quick and inexpensive Boss Day gift ideas. You and the team can quickly cobble together this present. Every member of the team will offer one service, redeemable at any time.
Example coupon ideas (“Exchange this voucher for…”):
- One joke
- Ten minute language lesson
- One item from my snack stash
- One compliment
- High five
- Five minute favor
Your coworkers can include talents or interests as part of the promise. For instance, a craft beer aficionado might provide IPA recommendations, or an organizational expert might rearrange your manager’s desk space.
Once you collect each team member’s submission, turn your promises into an artful book using a program like Canva. Be sure to include each employee’s name next to the offer!
Recognition is an important employee engagement factor for all workers, bosses included. Leaders spend time and effort supporting and coaching teams, and showing gratitude for that dedication and concern can boost a manager’s motivation and morale.
For more office party tips, check out our article on virtual team celebration ideas. We also have a list of ideas for virtual Administrative Professional’s Day.
FAQ: Boss Day 2021
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Boss Day.
What is Boss Day?
Boss Day, also known as Boss’s Day or National Boss Day, is a holiday that celebrates and shows appreciation for organizational leaders. On this day, employees typically honor employers with heartfelt cards and messages, presents, and fun activities.
When is Boss’s Day?
The US observes National Boss’s Day on October 16. Though this holiday originated in North America, other countries can join the fun and applaud great leaders by planning festivities and gestures for the day.
What should you do for Bosses Day?
At minimum, you and your colleagues should sign a card for the boss. You and the team can also pitch in for a present together, or can create a homemade Boss’s Day gift if you plan far enough in advance. Throwing a party with games or food is a fun and exciting way to spend the morning or afternoon, as well as a chance for team bonding.
What are good Boss’s Day gifts?
The best National Boss Day gifts are personal and heartfelt and come from the whole team. Many presents are also inexpensive, but show care and effort. Good Boss’s Day gifts include coupon books, custom emojis, gift baskets, and a blog post.
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