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This past Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2:00 a.m., daylight savings time occurred with many provinces and states across the US setting their clocks one hour back. And, every year, a growing chorus of health professionals, bemoans the need for this and, like many of us, ask why is it we simply don’t get rid of daylight savings time altogether.

Here is an excerpt from a recent article with some compelling reasons to ditch this yearly ritual, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) titled Eight scientific reasons to ditch daylight time:

  1. You are eight per cent more likely to have a stroke for two days after changing your clocks.
  2. You are also 24 per cent more likely to have a heart attack the Monday after (and 21 per cent on the Tuesday)
  3. Suicide rates in men increase for two weeks after the clocks change.
  4. Judges give harsher legal sentences the day after switching to daylight time
  5. Losing that hour of sleep increases workplace injuries, and the injuries themselves are much more severe.
  6. You’re also more likely to get into a car crash. In fact, this researcher estimates that over the years, 30 fatalities have been caused by the time change.
  7. Daylight time can lead to a dramatic increase in ‘cyberloafing.’
    In adolescents, it can take over a week to adjust to the change, losing an average of 32 minutes of sleep per night, which messes with their memory and reaction time.

Bottom line: Daylight savings time has served its purpose, whatever purpose it was. Lost productivity and sleepy eyed employees is not exactly what employers expect in their organization. Maybe that’s why the European Union is considering doing away daylight savings time in 2019.

Bottom line: Daylight savings time has served its purpose, whatever purpose that was. Lost productivity and sleepy eyed employees is not exactly what employers expect in their organization. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the European Union is considering doing away daylight savings time in 2019.

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There Are Several Benefits To Upgrading Your Business Office Tools

June 12th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Cloud Computing | Office | Productivity | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on There Are Several Benefits To Upgrading Your Business Office Tools)

As creatures of habits, many of us do not like change and are emotionally attached to just about everything we own or things we like to do on a daily basis; from our handheld devices, to work stations or our favorite morning latte at the local coffee shop. Of course, when it comes to things like office software or hardware, we need to make sure we are using technology that is not from the 80s, otherwise it could impact productivity.

Windows10 has been around for a few years and despite its gradual adoption use in the world of business, it still has its detractors. Hopefully, you are still not using WindowsXP? And, if you are, hopefully you and/or your company’s IT manager are technology wizards with the smarts to support it.

There Are Several Benefits To Upgrading Your Business Office Tools

Sometimes, upgrading is a pain and most of us hate it. Here are some useful tips from an article titled 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Now by Howard Wen for Business News Daily.

“1. Ransomware prevention
Computers running older versions of Windows are more vulnerable to ransomware. Windows 10 has a feature to thwart ransomware from locking up a user’s work and personal documents on their computer. The Windows Defender Security Center tool in Windows 10 lets you whitelist, or approve, which apps can access and change files saved in the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders.

  1. Stronger malware security tools

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender Exploit Guard, which scans for, quarantines and removes malware. In addition to ransomware protection, it includes other tools that can be used to stop zero-day attacks, to block and quarantine malicious programs on your computer or office network, and to isolate infected computers on your network. Upgrading to Windows 10 gives you the option of subscribing to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. It’s a more sophisticated, cloud-based service for managing security threats across your business’s Windows 10 computers.

  1. Safer web browsing

Windows Defender Application Guard is available in Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional. It lets you use the Edge browser inside a virtual machine. If you or an employee unknowingly contracts malware by visiting a malicious website, it won’t be able to damage the computer or the network, because it will be confined inside this virtual machine.

  1. Keep your frequent business contacts on the taskbar

The My People feature lets you pin your business contacts as shortcut icons on the Windows 10 taskbar. Click the icon of a person to email them or start a video call through Skype. You can pin up to 10 contacts on the taskbar.

  1. More efficient updates for Windows 10

A technology feature in the Windows Update tool, the Unified Update Platform (UUP), significantly streamlines the update process. UUP identifies new changes to Windows 10 that your computer needs and downloads only those specific updates. Your computer won’t have to download a larger package. Microsoft says UUP can reduce the download size of Windows updates by up to 35 percent, sparing storage space on your computer and the time it takes to install updates.

  1. Sync your work between your personal and work computers

The Timeline feature saves “snapshots” of the Windows applications you were using at a given point of time. By clicking the Task View icon on the taskbar, you can select a snapshot to continue working on something where you left off. These snapshots are synced across your different Windows 10 computers (if you are signed on to them with the same Microsoft user account). For example, you can create a new spreadsheet on Excel on your home computer and work on it later on another computer at the office.

  1. Configure your business’s computers quickly

Windows Autopilot lets you set up system configurations that can be downloaded from the cloud onto your business’s Windows 10 computers. For example, an employee can take a new computer, connect it to your office network, and it will automatically be configured to your business’s required settings. A system configuration can be tailored for a particular employee. This Windows 10 feature makes configuring, managing, and resetting your business’ computers easier, faster, and more secure.”

Bottom-line: There is only so much you can do with older technology, whether its business software or hardware, once it starts to impact workforce productivity the inevitability of loss profits are sure to follow.

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Can You Keep Your Sanity In A Toxic Work Environment?

April 18th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Careers | Managers | Office | Workplace - (Comments Off on Can You Keep Your Sanity In A Toxic Work Environment?)

Who wants to be part of a work environment that has bad managers, unhappy workers, and is rife with gossip and innuendo on a daily basis? Hopefully, very few people if any at all. In his article, 6 toxic work habits that will kill your office culture  Marcel Schwantes describes some of the reasons that can make some work cultures unbearable. We selected three out of the six reasons, in this article, which are signals that you should start looking for another job when you notice these dysfunctional patterns in your workplace.

Can You Keep Your Sanity In A Toxic Work Environment?

“Negative cliques and gossipers
One clear sign of a toxic work environment is a group of disgruntled employees actively acting out their unhappiness. It’s easy to spot them–they’ll congregate in hush-hush circles around cubicles after meetings to put a negative spin on what just transpired.

They are quick to gossip, and even quicker to crucify leadership and company direction. They’re basically corporate teenagers whose time with the company is about to expire, and who now rely on each other for strength and safety. Keep a close eye out for their whereabouts; they may go out of their way to befriend new hires to vilify someone or something and spread their cancer.

Dictator Managers
The feeling of watching your back (for your manager’s whereabouts) is never a pleasant one. It means you either fear or loathe your manager, and facing him or her during the day probably means bad news because the exchange is never positive. This type of manager will create a toxic culture of distrust where it’s not safe to disclose information, offer input, or work in close collaboration. Job survival under a dictatorship is day-to-day, due to the unpredictability of the environment you’re in. Everybody is on his or her own. Trusting your peers is risky–they may really be your enemies. Trusting your manager is just corporate suicide. Consider updating your resume.

Sabotage
This example is quite astonishing if you find yourself sharing space with this toxic co-worker. They will go way out of their way to sabotage anything you’re trying to get done, putting obstacles in your way, and spreading rumors (see “Negative cliques and gossipers,” above). There’s usually a personal vendetta at work here. Perhaps you’re up for a promotion and your co-worker, who thinks he is more deserving, is not. Now he’s out to make your life miserable, and trying to spin a negative campaign against you. Now you’re left with covering your bases to protect yourself — writing more detailed emails than usual, CC’ing and BCC’ing more people than normal, documenting everything, and making backup copies of stuff in the event a false accusation comes your way.”

You can read the rest of the article on Inc.com. Basically, if you decide to continuing working for a company that has many of the toxic habits described above, you should take advantage the benefit plan-especially, if it includes therapy. The alternatives, are of course, to go about your work and ignore the dysfunction happening (might be difficult to do) around you, or to start actively looking for a new job to regain your sanity and well being.

ATS is Canada’s foremost time and attendance company and offers a broad of comprehensive business management software solutions that streamlines the collection, calculation, and reporting of employee hours for workforce management and eliminates the manual tasks of payroll preparation, increasing efficiency and reducing errors in corporate payroll departments.

To learn more, or to download a demonstration or attend a bi-weekly webinar go to our website.