The Power of Memories and Nostalgia: How to Unlock It With Work Swag

In today’s fast-paced world of modern business — where every workday brings a new challenge — it can be easy to overlook the value of cherished memories and nostalgia. However, tapping into those work mementos from days gone by could be the key to unparalleled workplace engagement.

Nostalgia and work — two seemingly unrelated concepts — hold incredible potential when united. Imagine using nostalgia at work as a potent tool for boosting employee appreciation and morale. This blog dives into the power of nostalgia in the workplace and sheds light on creative ways to harness it. We also provide a list of nostalgic employee appreciation gifts to get you started.

The Impact of Nostalgia at Work

It might seem counterintuitive to look back in time in a business setting, as innovation and progress often take center stage. However, the power of nostalgia at work is a well-kept secret. Nostalgia can be a profound emotional connection to cherished memories from the past.

At the heart of it, using nostalgia at work is a good idea because it taps into this powerful emotional reservoir. Nostalgic memories often evoke warmth, happiness and a sense of belonging. When businesses use nostalgic work swag as employee appreciation gifts, they create a direct route to the hearts of their team members. This emotional connection — fostered by the power of nostalgia — can have a profound impact on team morale and productivity.

Imagine the smiles on your employees’ faces when they receive a work gift that reminds them of their journey with your company or evokes memories of their past achievements. It’s about more than the gift itself — it’s also about the emotional resonance it creates. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to be motivated and engaged.

Furthermore, nostalgia can be a bridge that brings team members closer together. Shared nostalgic experiences create a sense of camaraderie, making employees feel like they’re part of something special. This unity can be a game-changer, boosting teamwork and increasing productivity.

So, while nostalgia might seem unlikely in the business world, its power in employee appreciation and engagement should not be underestimated.

The Role of Work Swag in Nurturing Nostalgia


Now that we’ve uncovered the power of nostalgia at work, let’s dive into the heart of the matter — using work swag as a catalyst for those cherished memories. Work swag, often seen as insignificant tokens of appreciation, can trigger a wave of nostalgia in employees.

Consider that when you receive a thoughtful gift, how you feel about it is due to the memories and emotions it stirs in addition to the item itself. In the context of the workplace, carefully chosen work swag transforms into a tangible link to shared experiences and milestones.

Whether it’s a customized mug featuring an inside joke from a team meeting or a branded hoodie that takes you back to a company event, these work mementos serve as touchpoints to your journey within the organization.

By using nostalgia at work through well-crafted swag, businesses foster a profound sense of belonging and appreciation among their employees. Employee appreciation gifts are a declaration that says, “We value your contributions, and we want you to remember the good times we’ve shared.”

10 Nostalgic Work Gift Ideas for Employee Engagement

We’ve handpicked a selection of employee appreciation gifts that will transport your team members back to cherished memories while fostering a stronger sense of belonging and engagement. Here are our top 10 nostalgia-inducing goodies.

1. Monthly Planner Book

In a world dominated by digital calendars and scheduling apps, there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about a good old monthly planner book. This timeless work swag idea taps into the charm of handwritten notes and the satisfaction of physically crossing off tasks.

It’s a practical gift that helps employees stay organized. Amid the hustle and bustle of the modern workplace, a tangible planner offers a sense of control, reducing stress and boosting productivity. But there’s more to it than practicality.

A monthly planner book carries a sense of nostalgia, reminding us of the pre-digital era when we used to jot down important dates and appointments. This tactile connection with our work moments can be surprisingly powerful, evoking memories of simpler times and creating a personal bond with the workplace.

By gifting employees a custom monthly planner book, you help them stay on top of their tasks and tap into the heartwarming nostalgia of a bygone era — fostering a deeper connection between them and your company.

2. Adult Coloring Book With Colored Pencils

Finding moments of relaxation and creativity can be challenging in a bustling workspace. That’s where the adult coloring book with colored pencils comes in as a brilliant nostalgic work gift idea.

Remember the days of childhood when coloring was a source of joy and creative expression? This gift allows employees to revisit those cherished memories. It’s a delightful way to unwind, destress and rekindle their creative spirits during breaks or downtime.

But the benefits go beyond nostalgia. Adult coloring books are known to reduce stress and boost overall mental well-being. You’ll show appreciation by encouraging employees to take a breather and engage in a calming artistic activity. You may also enhance their productivity and job satisfaction.

This work swag item sends a powerful message — your company values the holistic well-being of its employees. It fosters a sense of belonging and care while evoking the simple pleasures of the past.

3. Wireless Charging Picture Frame


Imagine a gift that seamlessly blends modern convenience with cherished memories — introducing the wireless charging picture frame. This nostalgic work swag idea is a tangible bridge between the past and the present, making it a delightful choice for employee engagement.

At first glance, it’s a picture frame that can proudly display a memorable snapshot of a loved one, a special moment or a favorite vacation. However, this frame is also a wireless charger for your devices. This fusion of classic and contemporary elements embodies the power of nostalgia and innovation.

Employees can place their smartphones on the frame while they work, ensuring they stay charged and connected throughout the day. But beyond its practicality, this gift carries emotional weight. It reminds them of the people and experiences that matter most, adding a personal touch to their workspace.

As they glance at the photo, they’ll be transported back to a time filled with laughter, joy and meaningful connections — a powerful antidote to the daily grind.

4. Dad Jokes Calendar

We all remember the classic dad jokes — corny, pun-filled quips that never failed to elicit groans and chuckles. The dad jokes calendar taps into this shared cultural nostalgia. With every month providing new jokes and whimsical humor, it serves as a daily reminder that work can be fun.

So, how does humor benefit employees? Well, laughter is a powerful stress reliever. A quick joke jotted down during a meeting or a witty one-liner to start the day can lighten the atmosphere and boost morale. It fosters a sense of togetherness, encouraging colleagues to share their jokes and anecdotes.

The dad jokes calendar may not solve all workplace challenges, but it’s a reminder that a touch of humor can go a long way. It’s about connecting through shared laughs and creating a work atmosphere where smiles are as welcome as productivity.

5. Campfire Candle

This gift is more than a candle — it’s a vessel that transports employees back to simpler times, evoking memories of cozy gatherings and shared stories around a campfire.

cozy campfire candle taps into the universal nostalgia for outdoor adventures and the warmth of a crackling fire. The scent of vanilla and the dance of the flame instantly triggers a sense of comfort and togetherness.

During long workdays or virtual meetings, lighting the campfire candle can provide a soothing break — allowing employees to escape the hustle and bustle of the office momentarily. Its flickering flame adds a touch of tranquility to any workspace, encouraging relaxation and focus.

Moreover, this gift serves as a reminder of the importance of bonding and creating cherished memories with colleagues. Whether reminiscing about camping trips or simply enjoying the calming ambiance, this candle can foster a sense of camaraderie among team members.

6. Custom Long-Sleeve Crewneck

long-sleeved crewneck carries a sense of comfort and coziness that instantly transports us back to simpler times. Think of those chilly autumn days when you’d wrap yourself in a warm, soft crewneck before heading out to enjoy the season’s delights. That’s the kind of nostalgia this gift evokes.

Customizing these crewnecks with your company’s logo or a memorable work moment provides your employees with clothing and a wearable memory. Every time they slip into this cozy piece of nostalgia, they’ll be reminded of your organization’s appreciation.

Practically, long-sleeved crewnecks are versatile, suitable for various seasons and perfect for casual Fridays or team-building outings. They foster employees’ sense of belonging and pride, creating a unified front. Plus, they encourage employees to wear their company’s colors proudly outside the workplace, inadvertently promoting your brand.

Incorporating custom long-sleeve crewnecks into your work swag lineup is a nostalgic, practical and heartwarming way to engage your employees and foster a sense of unity and appreciation.

7. Tie-Dye Cropped T-Shirt


Remember the days when tie-dye was all the rage? The tie-dye cropped T-shirt is a vibrant reminder of carefree times and self-expression. This nostalgic work swag idea offers a unique take on retro style, making it a fantastic choice for engaging employees.

A tie-dye T-shirt taps into the enduring appeal of vintage fashion. Many employees will fondly recall the tie-dye trend from their youth, instantly sparking a sense of nostalgia and positivity. Moreover, this gift encourages creativity and self-expression. Employees can style their tie-dye shirts in various ways, bringing their unique personalities to the workplace.

This gift promotes a relaxed and comfortable work atmosphere. Its casual yet trendy design makes it suitable for both work and leisure. Wearing it may boost employee morale, especially on casual Fridays or during team-building events.

8. Aviator Sunglasses

Imagine slipping on a pair of aviator sunglasses, and suddenly, you’re transported back to the golden days of classic coolness. These shades — reminiscent of iconic figures like Top Gun’s Maverick and the timeless allure of retro Hollywood — are a nostalgic work gift that can add a touch of vintage charm to your employee engagement efforts.

They represent an era when style was effortless and adventurous. Employees receiving these shades will instantly connect with the glamour and confidence of yesteryears, making them feel appreciated and valued.

Moreover, these sunglasses are versatile. They’re perfect for outdoor team-building activities, adding a touch of retro flair to picnics or sports events. These shades also serve as a practical gift, protecting employees’ eyes from the sun during their daily commutes or breaks.

Encouraging employees to sport these sunglasses fosters a sense of camaraderie. It’s a fun way to promote team spirit and individuality simultaneously.

9. Fanny Pack

The iconic fanny pack — once a staple of the ’80s and ’90s — is making a triumphant comeback as a nostalgic work gift idea. But why are these waist pouches an excellent choice for engaging your employees?

Firstly, fanny packs are a blast from the past, evoking memories of neon windbreakers, cassette tapes and Walkmans®. They offer a delightful trip down memory lane, reminding employees of simpler times when the world seemed more carefree. This simple act of nostalgia can instantly uplift spirits and create a sense of connection between coworkers.

Moreover, they are incredibly practical. They provide a hands-free way to carry essentials, making them ideal for team outings, hikes or even daily office use. Employees can conveniently stow their smartphones, keys and other necessities, enhancing productivity and ease.

Incorporating fanny packs into your employee engagement strategy is a fun and functional way to boost morale and foster nostalgia for the good old days. Your employees will appreciate the sentiment and utility of this retro-inspired work swag.

10. Original Rubik’s® Cube

The iconic original Rubik’s cube, with its vibrant colors and intriguing complexity, is a nostalgic blast from the past and a brilliant work swag idea for engaging employees.

This classic puzzle harkens back to the days when solving it was both a challenge and a triumph. Employees who grew up with the Rubik’s cube will instantly connect with the rush of memories of twisting and turning those colorful squares. It symbolizes determination and problem-solving, qualities that resonate in the workplace.

A Rubik’s cube is a fantastic stress reliever. Taking a break to solve the cube can clear the mind, promoting better focus and creativity when employees return to work tasks. It may also foster camaraderie among coworkers as they collaborate to crack the cube’s enigmatic code. This teamwork can significantly boost team morale and cohesiveness.

By gifting employees this classic puzzle, you’re embracing nostalgia and encouraging mental agility and teamwork. It’s a tangible reminder of the importance of persistence and problem-solving.

Unlock the Power of Nostalgia With ePromos

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the significance of nostalgia and how it can profoundly impact workplace engagement. You can harness this potent force to enhance your business’s relationship with its employees.

As you’ve discovered, these nostalgic tokens can boost morale, enhance productivity and foster a stronger sense of unity among your workforce. The heartwarming feeling of being appreciated through thoughtful gestures resonates long after the workday ends.

Now, it’s your turn to make a lasting impact. Explore the creative ways you can use nostalgia at work and dive into our collection of employee appreciation gifts and work mementos at ePromos. Let us help you make your team feel valued, connected and empowered.

Explore our best sellers and build stronger, more nostalgic bonds with your employees.



About Author

Rebecca Grenci profile

Rebecca G.

Reviewed By: Rebecca G. - Marketing Specialist, Sales Success

Determined marketing sleuth and promotional products strategist who persistently infiltrates the Sales Engagement Studio like a seasoned ninja. Cause marketing champion and implementor. Internal communications trail boss responsible for delivering insightful insights to entire organization. Dedicated Culture Club groupie, company store prognosticator and snowboard devotee.