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It’s tough adapting to remote work. For those who have never 

experienced working from home, it can be isolating. It can also create challenge

s within families as employees try to find quiet spaces and time to complete their work. Patience can run thin as we are social beings asked to stay inside and away from friends and family during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Many are missing important events as celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, and graduations, are canceled or communicated through technology such as FaceTime, Skype, and other forms of social media.

We encourage all managers to connect with their direct reports daily even if the call or Zoom meeting is a brief check in to see how they are doing.
Most important during this time of uncertainty, are the moments that we take to show our employees just how much we appreciate their commitment to UMass Chan and how valuable their work is to the organization.

Two words that go a long way:

Acknowledging an employee’s work or the team’s work is a low-cost endeavor that will yield a high return on investment. When individuals or teams exceed expectations, send a message to point out their accomplishments in a thank you email. But don’t rely only on email. Schedule a Zoom session to celebrate together!

Be creative! Send a selfie photo holding a poster note to congratulate your team for a great week of accomplishments. Post appreciation notes on Yammer for the UMass Chan community to see. The following list provides additional ways to show appreciation:

  • Honor individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty at the beginning of Zoom meetings
  • Have the entire team sign an electronic ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ and post on Yammer (click on the ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ image below to access the certificate template and save to you PC to customize for your use)
  • Invite a leader from the next level up to a Zoom meeting to thank the team for their work
  • Feature the individual or the entire team in a department newsletter
    If you would like further help with tips and tools for managing a remote team, please call the HR Department and ask to speak with an Organizational Development professional 508-856-5260 or email

HR 4.2.20