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Want Happy And Productive Employees? Avoid These Mistakes

February 13th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Employee Productivity | HR | Leave Management | Productivity | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Want Happy And Productive Employees? Avoid These Mistakes)

Some companies extolled the virtues of their corporate philosophy in print and through the recruitment stages as an organization that cherish talent. It’s one thing to brag about how wonderful you are as a company, but it’s something entirely different if those things you talked about during the interview process, to lure good talent, do not materialize, once these candidates, become employees of your organization.

Want Happy And Productive Employees? Avoid These Mistakes

In writing for The HR Digest, Diana Coker dispenses some advice that you should heed in an article titled Dumb HR Policies That Demotivate Employees. Here are some of the things to avoid:

Merging Sick Leave and Vacation
This is one of the stupid rules most offices are still upholding till date, despite deep sensitization on this policy. Forcing your employees to take their vacations because they are sick is the dumbest thing any manager would do. As a manager, would you personally like to have your precious vacation because you are sick? The answer is NO if you want to be sincere. We all plan our vacations and deserve the best moment from it. Offices that merge sick leave and vacation will not only demotivate but encourage their employees to come to work sick, which means low productivity as well as exposing the healthy workers to the sickness if it’s contagious. At the tail end, the sickness goes round to everyone susceptible to it – going round to individuals that would still bring them to the office for more decrease in productivity. If an employee is sick and cannot go home because it would take away his or her vacation, they’ll force themselves to work demotivated.

 Banning Social Media
Recognizing social media as a channel for pleasures and distraction is already offensive and deprives your employees of a social life. Freedom to social media like Facebook or LinkedIn can help your employees to gain access to information that would help improve their performances. You can put it that banning social media limits your employee. Even if the employees are not being very professional as you want, getting their job done should be a criterion. Some employees go worst by banning internet use, that’s completely outrageous and a fight to force down productivity. Instead, keep your employee’s attention focused but don’t take away the trust.

 Crushing self-expression
I still can’t believe that some offices still keep up with this policy. Can employees not display personal belongings on their desk? That’s one of the dumb HR policies that shouldn’t have made it to the 20th century. It’s true that work environments deserve some level of sanity, but at the same time, people deserve to be who they are. This policy creates anxiety at work; it increases stress and renders break times invalid. Allow your employees to create a homey atmosphere. That helps them to be happier at work which improves productivity.

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In many respects formal business attire has become almost passé. The world of tech, in and particular, Silicon Valley CEOS regularly wears hoodies, jeans and sneakers to shareholders meetings.  There are of course some exceptions, like politicians, foreign diplomats, some corporate boardrooms and select industries. According to the recent study by OfficeTeam 50% of the senior managers interviewed “said employees wear less formal clothing than they did five years ago. In addition, nearly one-third (31 percent) of office workers stated they would prefer to be at a company with a business casual dress code; 27 percent favor a casual dress code or no dress code at all”.

Is The Formal Business Attire Out Of Fashion?

The trend to less formal business attire has shown no signs of abating and all indications are that this will continue for the foreseeable future. And according to several studies, technology companies are at the forefront of casual office attire.

Here is partial list of some of today’s leading companies that have made casual attire for its employees part of their DNA. This list is derived from a blog titled ‘10 Big Businesses With Incredibly Casual Offices’ and names the following companies:

  1. Google

Google was one of the first companies to adopt the laid-back corporate culture that emphasized creativity and achievements on an individual basis that add to the team’s overall success. One of the company’s 10 principle philosophies is “you can be serious without a suit.” This philosophy speaks volumes for the casual culture of Google. Not only is the dress code casual, but the overall look and feel of the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., is also laid back and fun. Google employees can enjoy ping pong, snacks in the break rooms, video games, and “huddle” rooms for everyone to take a break. Some additional office amenities include massage chairs, foosball and ping pong tables, an onsite gym, haircuts, and complimentary car washes.

2. Zappos

Zappos has put a lot of emphasis on its company culture and takes pride in being a casual yet successful business. Even though it was acquired by Amazon in 2009, Zappos has managed to hold on to the same values and company missions that it was founded on. Zappos’ casual work environment takes after the Internet marketing and e-commerce industries, which emphasize comfort over formality to help employees produce their very best work.


Facebook also adopted a Google-like office culture that consists of casually-dressed, but hardworking youngsters. Facebook has offices in more than 15 countries, some of which have bean bag lounges, kegs, on-site chefs, and plenty of places to kick up your feet and relax. At the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., employees have several unique amenities that fit the laid-back online culture. Workers can break a sweat on the outdoor skate park, play some tunes on the office turn tables, and take care of their laundry or leather repairs without leaving work.

  1. Electronic Arts

EA is one of the biggest companies in the video game industry, with an estimated 8,000 employees worldwide. Although most of the EA studios and subsidiaries have embraced a informal office culture, the EA campus in Vancouver is one of the most casual and decked-out facilities within the company. The campus has a state-of-the-art building featuring a theater, restaurants, coffee bars, a complete fitness room, and a full-size soccer field. EA Canada is also the company’s largest and oldest studio, so, naturally, it houses the world’s largest video game test operation and many employees take advantage of this cool feature.


Twitter is an online social networking service that knows how to have fun. The Twitter offices are located in San Francisco, San Antonio, Boston and New York City, and are chock-full of awesome amenities to keep their employees relaxed and satisfied. Twitter employees get to enjoy everything from free gym memberships, complimentary yoga/Pilates and rock climbing classes, as well as on-site laundry and dry cleaning services.

Today, more than ever companies from healthcare, to retail and in some corporate environments, businesses have replaced the formal attire for men and women, and are instead, encouraging their employees to dress casually for work. Hard dress codes, it appears, have all but disappeared.


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You have been charged with the responsibility of purchasing a new time and attendance system for your organization. Naturally, you are immensely excited and you can’t wait to call every vendor in for demonstrations and go through every conceivable feature of the software. But wait a minute? Why do you need to go through a myriad of features that you might never use? This is a common occurrence with many companies especially ones who are in the market for a time and attendance for the first time.

Below is a list of three straightforward strategies and tips that will help you find the right solution for your business:

In The Market For A New Time And Attendance? Don’t Forget To Focus On The Fundamentals

Make a list of your requirements: Making a list will help you define the scope of your project. Also be very specific about your company’s business requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their demonstrations and proposals.  Chances are, you will likely be awed by the latest technology advancements, during product demonstrations but it is important to keep in mind your corporate culture and how easy the solution is going to be for your users. Very often an IT person is invited, but the very people who are going to be using the system are nowhere to be found.

Think Cloud: Even if your company has no desire to deploy a cloud solution, be open minded and discuss it with your colleagues and senior management. Every company is using a cloud solution today in some way or another. Whether you are using Face Book, Drop Box, or Google these solutions are all in the cloud. And, if your company has mobile workers, a time and attendance that’s based in the cloud, with self-service portals, should be given stronger consideration. Also do not forget about data integration- any time and attendance solution that does not have the ability to integrate with your payroll, HRIS, or ERP is not a solution but another expensive piece of unusable software. In short, move on and do not waste your time with a solution that’s does not fit your business requirements.

Obtain References: This might seem all too obvious, but don’t forget to ask your potential vendor for references. If your potential vendor cannot provide at least three happy customers, they may not have the experience you need. Go to the next vendor on the list.

Too often, people select a time and attendance solution based on price, fancy features, and the latest technology. A solution that’s comprehensive, scalable, and easy-to-use should top your list. In the end, what you need is to find the company that understands your company’s requirements, and whose solution can be designed to fit your specific needs. And, once you find right solution, you will be well on achieving the ROI and long term benefits.

To download a white paper on ‘how to select a time and attendance solution’, go to our website. You can also download a demonstration or register for one our bi-weekly webcasts.

Adapting To Change Is Not Easy, But Is Necessary For Growth

January 25th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Cloud Based Time Management Solution | Cloud Computing | SaaS Time and Attendance | TimeWork OnDemand - (Comments Off on Adapting To Change Is Not Easy, But Is Necessary For Growth)

To grow an organization has to be willing to adapt to change. And, sometimes change is forced upon businesses who believing in charting the same course, regardless of what’s going on around them. In today’s rapidly changing and technology driven world-those who believe in doing what they have always done, can become extinct quickly.

Adapting To Change Is Not Easy, But Is Necessary For Growth

In a recent article titled, ‘Why Innovators Should Study the Rise and Fall of the Venetian Empire’ written for Harvard Business Review, by Piero Formica he succinctly states “The stronger the assumption that the future will function as today does, the greater the gravitational force of the status quo. Organizations set in their ways slow down and never strive for new horizons. They are doomed to wither.”

The power of cloud computing, for example, allows businesses to gain easy access to their company’s data, and at the same time, save them money. And, for the naysayers who are worried that they will end up paying for features that they neither need nor want, ATS cloud time and attendance solution is based on pay-as-you-go.

In fact, most companies already use a variety of cloud computing services without even realizing it—Google Drive, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all cloud-based applications. For all of these services, users are sending their personal data to a cloud-hosted server that stores the information for later access. And as useful as these applications are for personal use, they’re even more valuable for businesses that need to be able to access large amounts of data over a secure, online network connection.

So, if we are so open to sending our personal information through the cloud whether it’s through online banking transactions or using Google every day, why the hesitation when it comes to adopting a time and attendance that’s in the cloud? Here is the most poignant paragraph from Piero Formica’s article and it reads in part;

“If you don’t want to be caught by surprise, you have to recognize that the future will be different from the past. The future is unfathomable, ambiguous, and open to every option. One major move by a competitor, or one new technology, is sometimes all it takes to end an empire. If your current business is like a carefully tended garden, with neat beds and high walls, that’s not enough. The next opportunity (or threat) may lie outside those walls, at the messy intersection of sectors and markets.”

If your current IT resources are forcing you to give all of your attention to software installed on a computer and constant slow network issues when, trying to obtain relevant data then you are not going to be able to concentrate on achieving your business goals. And, that’s no way to run a business.  However, by deploying a cloud time and attendance like ATS, you will have more time to devote towards the aspects of your business that directly affect your bottom line and be able to care of your customers.

To learn more about ATS Cloud Time and Attendance, go to our website. To reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.


It’s that time of year when you can safely pull out that ugly Christmas sweater and not have to worry about wearing it since there will be others like you, who will be wearing one. And, like years past, you and your colleagues have been invited to the company’s annual office Christmas party. And, according to many experts, unless you have a legitimate excuse you had better attend, because not only will your absence be noticed but you could be also limiting your career prospects.

You Better Watch Out, Useful Tips For The Annual Office Christmas Party

Here are a few common sense tips from Dr. Patty Ann Tublin from an article written for The Huffington Post titled ‘Do’s and Don’ts for the Office Holiday Party’ and in no particular order here are a few of these tips.

Tip Number One

“GO! Don’t even think about blowing this party off. Love em or hate em, it will serve you well to be seen at them. Even if this party is touted as being optional – that doesn’t really mean it is. Your absence may very well be noticed. Worse – it may be prone to misinterpretation (he/she is not a team player, is aloof, is a snob, etc.).

Tip Number Two

It’s not good enough to just show up. Since you’re already there – you might as well make the most of it. This is a great opportunity to network with the movers and shakers of your company (i.e., upper management and executives) whom you would normally not have access to. If you’ve never met them before, make it your business to introduce yourself with a brief introduction and non-work related conversation.

Tip Number Three

Dress Appropriately. The office holiday party is not the time to come slinking in with a way too high mini-skirt or stained T-shirt. Rule of thumb: the venue dictates the dress code. If you are in doubt as to how formal or casual the party will be, ask someone whom you believe will know. Every office has that someone who seems to know this stuff!”

These annual Christmas office parties should be seen as fun event and a chance to celebrate, and get to know your co-workers and boss on a personal level. They are not created so, you can “Party like it’s 1999.” After all, who wants to end up being (well, maybe some people) tagged in photos and videos; Snap Chat, Face Book or YouTube, dancing, while seeming incoherent of their surroundings? It could end up being a painful conversation with HR department days later, perhaps resulting in a permanent leave of absence for the party-goer/s.


Saying your company does not believe in the cloud or even plan to use it is likely hard to believe as the dominance of cloud-based applications are showing no signs of abating. Some companies have dedicated IT teams and servers on which they can store their own data, foregoing the need to use cloud-base solutions and in the short term, this will work. However, there will come a time when these companies will have to upgrade their servers and apply software patches and this will inevitably become cost prohibitive-even for companies with large IT budgets. Businesses and their shareholders are interested in streamlining costs and increasing workforce productivity and since the cloud provides that, more businesses are choosing not to buy new servers, and instead, deploy cloud-based applications.

David Goldman of CNN business wrote an article titled “What is the cloud?” and states in part; “You can run from the cloud — but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide. Your job might require you to log onto cloud-based software. Microsoft’s next version of Windows is expected to run some features of its operating system in the cloud.”

We Do Not Use Or Believe In The Cloud, So What?

So, can your company reap some benefits if we decide to move our current, employee timesheet to the cloud? Yes, you can! ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a robust cloud-based time and attendance solution that provides companies with a unique advantage while addressing employee time capture through an integrated, intuitive, flexible and comprehensive workforce management solution.

The article by David Goldman goes on to say “Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook are among the biggest data center operators for consumer cloud services. There are 320 million iCloud users. Facebook users have uploaded more than 400 billion photos and add an average 350 million a day. Amazon’s cloud services operate in 190 countries around the world.”

In closing, there are lots of benefits to migrating your time and attendance to the cloud, while at the same time maximizing the value of your company’s most important resource, its workforce. In addition, as your organization grows, you need a cost-effective, flexible solution that will grow with you. And, that’s where a cloud-based solution like ATS TimeWork OnDemand, comes in handy.

To download a return on investment (ROI) calculator or to attendance one of our monthly webinars, go to our website.

Just About Everything Now Is Disruptive

October 21st, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Business Intelligence | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Just About Everything Now Is Disruptive)

The word “disruptive” has now surpassed being a buzzword. In fact, it is now applied to just about everything for emphasis. In its incarnation it started out as “Disruptive Innovation” is aptly described by Wikipedia in the following terms; “a disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.”

The term “disruptive innovation” was coined by Professor, Clayton Christensen in his book The Innovator’s dilemma. The most widely used variation of this term today is “disruptive technology”  and how about disruptive entrepreneur used by Richard Branson.

In no particular order, here is list of 5 disruptive innovative and technology companies that have had a huge impact on the industries in which they serve.

  1. Yahoo, AOL and a host of other providers: gave the general public a way to find items and create an e-mail address through the cloud. Google came around and took over that space. Today, there is no other search engine on earth that comes close to its dominance.
  2. RIM/Blackberry: was a pioneer in its heyday, one of the first to offer e-mail through a mobile phone. It had a tremendous success, albeit solely relying on business customers. Apple came out with the iPhone and marketed its product to all demographics not just the business community-it has not looked back ever since.
  3. BlockBuster: consumers were tired of getting “penny pinched” for late fees. In comes Netflix with cloud-based TV shows and movies, the rest is history.
  4. Uber: at best it’s still in an infancy stage and getting a lot of pushback from the establishment. Innovators and disrupters usually do. Its business model is that of a match maker, matching a driver/car with a customer looking for a ride and taking a percentage of the fare for providing the service. Disruptive? Absolutely!
  5. Face book: Took what MySpace did and expanded it. Enough said.In describing the make up of entrepreneurs, Richard Branson makes the case they should be disruptive because “disruptive is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition and rejecting the way things are supposed to be.”

So what’s going to be the next disruptive innovation in 2015? Who knows? Either way, it’s probably going to be a combination of surprise and excitement from proponents of change and, the usual pushback, from those who always resist change.

Just About Everything Now Is Disruptive

Spotting The Right Talent: A Bit Of Luck, Art, Science Or A Little Bit of All Three?

October 8th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Business Software Automation | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Spotting The Right Talent: A Bit Of Luck, Art, Science Or A Little Bit of All Three?)

Hiring the right talent has morphed into a multibillion dollar industry with software tools that can decipher key words in seconds, that relates to a particular job and an array of skill-sets. It seems however; the more sophisticated the hiring tool, the harder it is to find the right candidates. As with most software tools, using simple key words, albeit, some of your industry’s terminology will likely yield some results in attracting the right candidate.

In an article authored by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz and published by Harvard Business Review states in part, “A few years ago, I was asked to help find a new CEO for a family-owned electronics retailer that wanted to professionalize its management and expand its operations. I worked closely with the outgoing chief executive and the board to pinpoint the relevant competencies for the job and then seek out and assess candidates. The man we hired had all the right credentials: He’d attended top professional schools and worked for some of the best organizations in the industry, and he was a successful country manager in one of the world’s most admired companies. Even more important, he’d scored above the target level for each of the competencies we’d identified. But none of that mattered. Despite his impressive background and great fit, he could not adjust to the massive technological, competitive, and regulatory changes occurring in the market at the time. Following three years of lackluster performance, he was asked to leave.”

Sometimes spotting the right talent is hard, even if you are armed some of the best tools on the market. Some companies use an internal process that include; having existing employees’ interview potential candidates. Their rationale is that if a candidate can mesh personally with their future potential co-worker, chances are they will be a good fit. The process of hiring talent is a complicated one and some companies, like Amazon’s rigorous hiring practices take it to a whole new level.

The best approach to hiring the right talent might simply mean trying different approaches and finding one that fits your corporate culture as oppose to following the herd mentality. Some companies use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter to attract candidates.  Others, meanwhile, use recruitment software and mixture of posting vacancies on their website and asking internal employees for referrals. Whatever your strategy, stick to practices that works best for your company while keeping an open mind to different ways in the process of hiring talent.

Spotting The Right Talent: A Bit Of Luck, Art, Science Or A Little Bit of All Three?