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Here’s More Evidence That We Need Sleep To Be Productive

March 6th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | Employee Productivity | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Here’s More Evidence That We Need Sleep To Be Productive)

The benefit of a good nights’ sleep is far-reaching and yet, many of us tend to think four or five hours of sleep is all we need. We also know that going without sleep for too long makes us feel horrible, and that getting a good night’s sleep can make us feel ready to take on the world and tackle projects.  However, the always-on mentality in this current digital era of smart-phones and tablets, has given way to a false sense that less sleep is better.

Here’s More Evidence That We Need Sleep To Be Productive

Here are some tips from a couple of entrepreneurs, Doug and Polly White on the importance of sleep:

“Obviously, sleep is important. Humans need to recharge on a nightly basis to perform well. But work demands, family and personal issues and physical difficulties can get in the way of  a restful night’s sleep.

As the numbers above indicate, adults need to sleep between seven and nine hours each night. We find that Doug needs seven while Polly prefers a bit more. To ensure that we get our shut-eye, we go to bed no later than 10 each night. If work demands a 4 a.m. start, we go to bed earlier to make up those zzzzz’s.

This takes discipline, but it’s worth it. Despite what many think, there really is no way to catch up on sleep. Sleeping in on the weekend won’t make up for a lack of sleep during the week.

While we may juggle our bedtime to accommodate an early start, this isn’t our preference. We find that going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps us to fall asleep quickly and wake up naturally – without an alarm.

The number of hours you sleep is important, but so is the quality of your sleep. Health issues, aging, hormonal changes and stress can deprive any of us of healthy sleep. One difficulty that occurs as part of the natural aging process is the inability to stay asleep. Older people may find that they wake up several times a night; however, this can affect younger individuals as well.”

Bottom Line:
Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night, according to some expert, is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke whereas; longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance. And, the evidence is clear, a well-rested workforce equates to improved productivity, higher engagement and increased profits.

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Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?

January 16th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?)

The happiness of employees at their workplace depends, on many factors, including; the actual jobs they are performing, and to a large degree the type relationship they have with their boss and colleagues among others. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.


In his article, Happy Employees Is Good For Business Damon Burton lays out 5 benefits of a happy workforce. They include:

  1. Better decision-making abilitiesPeople are better equipped to make decisions when they are cheerful. On-the-job difficulties engender some degree of fear and nervousness in most of humanity, but satisfied people can return to their original mood faster after being faced with adversity.
  2. Happy people sell more– A simple search on Google of “happy people, productivity, success, business” are better at business” returns countless articles and several studies showing happy workers are more productive.   The expression of positive emotions can be an effective bargaining tool.
  3. Greater innovation– There’s strong evidence showing a correlation between happiness and creativity. Some studies have shown that happy employees have higher levels of creativity than unhappy ones. Being happy can free up the brain, allowing for increased mental flexibility and imagination.
  4. Reduction in lost productivityHappy people are healthier. When employees take less sick leave, they are more productive, thus improving the bottom line.
  5. Better customer service– This is a no-brainer. People like happy people. And when it comes to customer service, businesses need to be cheery. When employees’ morale is high, customer interactions reflect it. Happy people are the perfect people pleasers for customer service-based roles.

And, of course there is the conventional wisdom that purports to the fact that if employees are paid well enough they will be happy. While paying employees well should not be discounted, that’s only one component of an engaged, productive and happy workforce.

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Your Employees Are Slacking Off At Work: What Should You Do?

August 31st, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Business Software Automation | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Your Employees Are Slacking Off At Work: What Should You Do?)

So, your employees is slacking off. Perhaps, they are bored with their daily tasks or your work environment is not fun. Bridget Miller’s blog for the HR Daily Advisor titled, How to Get Employees to Goof Off Less at Work reads in part,

“Reducing employee time spent “goofing off” is probably a reasonable goal. But the idea of “goofing off” is probably not the main issue—the real issue is productivity loss. That productivity loss may come from a variety of employee activities, such as spending excessive of time talking about nonwork things with coworkers, doing personal things like browsing online articles or social media, or even taking care of personal errands (like buying gifts online or spending time away from work without taking paid time off (PTO). It could also come in the form of frequent personal calls and texts. Regardless of the specific activity, the concern is that too much time is being spent not working.”

Your Employees Are Slacking Off At Work: What Should You Do?

The article has a few suggestions for employers looking to engage its workforce and increase productivity. In no particular, order here is three out of the seven suggestions:

Invest in good tools for employees. If employees are frustrated at work, or even if they’re overworked, they may be more likely to need to take (too many) breaks and feel more justified in doing so. Conversely, giving employees good tools to enhance productivity can allow them not only to be more efficient but also to have a greater sense of satisfaction because the employer invests in its employees and cares about how well things get done. Likewise, good tools can increase productivity and can offset some of the otherwise “wasted” time.

Consider implementing more flexible working arrangements whenever possible. When employees have options that allow them to handle the demands of their personal life at the most opportune time, they’re less likely to be distracted when they’re working. They’re also less likely to be sneaking in personal calls if they have the flexibility to handle such issues without causing problems. Flexible working arrangements might include things like allowing employees to work nonstandard hours (which could allow for personal matters to be handled at better time of day) or allowing employees to make up time taken away from work on other days.

Ensure employees know where their role fits compared to the big-picture organizational goals. If the employee can clearly see his or her role and how it impacts the bottom line (directly or indirectly), he or she will be more likely to spend spare time on activities that work toward achieving the big-picture goals instead of just wasting time. The employee will feel that his or her contributions make a difference.

Today’s workforce wants flexibility, freedom, and equality. And that includes, work-life-balance and telecommuting opportunities. What they don’t want is to be told that they have to respond to work e-mails at all hours of the night, on their days off or while they are on vacation. And, as for micromanaging employees, it’s both archaic and demoralizing and the quickest way to have turnover. The best and more resourceful managers can always find ways to keep their employees engaged and at that same time, ensure productivity is also high.

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Productivity Is Important And, So Is Happiness At Work

May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Workforce - (Comments Off on Productivity Is Important And, So Is Happiness At Work)

Every company wants a productivity workforce and why not? It can yield wonderful results, that include- happy customers. And, happy customers  will usually tell other companies with their industry, friends and/or family if they are happy with a product or service. However, in order to have a productive workforce, you have to be aware of your employees’ morale. A company with unhappy employees and a high turnover rate is unlikely to be a welcoming place for new and existing employees.

Productivity Is Important And, So Is Happiness At Work

So, how do you create a company culture that has happy employees who look forward to coming to work each day? Anna Verasai wrote a wonderful article for The HR Digest titled Happiness at Workplace is Not a Myth, and it includes, some of the following tips:

“Co-workers Bitten by the Happiness Bug
One thing no one of us can deny is the power of positive vibes. When you are around people who are sociable and have a tendency to chit-chat every once in a while happily it instantly makes working easier. Also, a smile is such a powerful tool that can brighten your day in just an eye-blink. Some colleagues are always there to help you get up when you are down, with a warm hug or maybe, your favorite ice-cream.

The Entertainment Factor
Now we all know one thing for sure that happening activities can easily boost your mood. A hang-out session after office, a funny co-worker, celebrating someone’s special day, dinner or movie plans with co-workers, it is so easy to create happiness at workplace, isn’t it?

Ambience Matters
There is a reason why experts say that the interiors and lighting around your desk can affect your mood at work. Try to keep your desk tidy and do not deck it up with files and folders all around. Hang some pictures with good memories, have a book you can read, take short breaks, or put up some fancy decors. Have a minimalistic approach so that you do not clog yourself mentally or your desk.”

So, it does not have to be all doom and gloom. Let your employees have fun while doing their jobs and you will be amazed at the results, including; increased loyalty and productivity and yes,  an increase to your company’s financial bottom line.

The recent New York Times Article created a topic of conversation for “water coolers” across North America and elsewhere and was a hotly debated on major networks and online forums. An article titled “The Power Of Compassion To Drive Your Bottom Line” written by Rob Ashghar for espouses the virtues of how several organizations treated their external customers. it goes without saying, that a company that does not have compassion in its corporate DNA towards its internal customers/employees cannot expect its workforce to be a happy one.

Three of the most of the most poignant paragraphs in the article reads, in part;

“Dignity isn’t the only example of an enterprise that has benefited from a human touch. UCLA’s health system has long had a sterling reputation for cutting-edge research and technical knowledge. But it had a middling reputation for the human touch. Hospital CEO David Feinberg concluded that the most state-of-the-art medical instruments would be rejected if they were too cold, and accordingly made human touch the utmost priority at all levels of the organization. Within a few years, UCLA’s hospitals moved from the 38th percentile to the 99th percentile in responses to the question, “Would you refer us to a friend?”

Marvin O’Quinn, chief operating officer for Dignity, says that the compassion model isn’t just a nebulous attitude, but a concrete tool for making decisions at an enterprise that employs nearly 11,000 physicians and 56,000 employees at some 300 care centers and hospitals spread across 21 states.

He points to Dignity’s choice to keep the doors open at four hospitals in bankrupt municipalities, lest many thousands of people in those communities lose the ability to receive care. Those hospitals are not profitable in and of themselves, but they are still seen as core to the mission and character of the overall organization.”

While there are some companies who continue to treat their employees as a number, rather than a human being, there are many others that treat their employees with a great deal of dignity and pay them a respectable salary including overtime when applicable. Is that a lot to ask for?

Bottom-line; a company that does not have a compassionate bone in its corporate DNA, towards its internal customers/employees, should not expect its workforce to be a happy or long tenured one.

To learn more about ATS you can go to our website or join one of our monthly webinars. You can also download a demonstration to review our time and attendance product.

Is Your Company Compassionate?

In the last several years the online chat rooms and various media outlets have been discussing, at length, workforce diversification and the uphill battle millennials face in trying to find jobs after graduation. staff writer, Sharon Florentine penned a compelling article titled “6 Ways to Attract and Retain Female IT Talent”.  It reads, in part,

“Women are good for business. While there’s no magic formula businesses can use to shrink the (still abysmal) gender gap in technology, there are some concrete steps you can take to recruit, hire and retain female tech talent.

Over the last decade, research has shown that companies’ bottom lines benefit when they actively recruit, develop and advance women. Studies demonstrate that enterprises that strive to include women are better able to attract and retain talent, reduce turnover costs, enhance organizational performance and build a robust leadership pipeline.”

Are There Any Benefits To Having A Diverse Workforce?

Today’s workforce culture is also experiencing a generational shift in attitudes as many of today’s businesses are grappling with how to handle tomorrow’s leaders in the workforce-the Millennials. An excerpt based on a recent report by Bentley University on Millennials in the Workplace states that;

“The Millennial generation is better educated and more diverse than any other generation in U.S. history. However, the various economic crises they have experienced as young adults have led them to question the effort and sacrifices they have made to get where they are, and to wonder about the best career path for the future. Forced early in their careers to recognize that hard work and a good education do not necessarily lead to job security, members of this well-educated group say that their family responsibilities and personal aspirations will take precedence over their professional goals.

Family and personal authenticity are key aspects of this cohort’s identity and they are frustrated with companies and corporate structures that are not evolving to allow them to live up to their aspirations. Seventy-six percent (76%) of the women and 73 percent of the men see themselves as authentic. They are not willing to compromise their family and personal values.”

The bottom line; there is no denying the positive impact a diverse workforce, including millennials can have on a company.

Millennials In The Workforce


After a long and dreaded winter, the sun is a welcome arrival and with it comes office attire faux pas by some employees. Who does not like wearing shorts, sunglasses and flip-flops in the summer? Of course we all do. While some companies have formal written policies, some simply rely on the employee common sense to understand their work environment. That said, some industries have unspoken rules and its incumbent on the employees to understand their work environment. And if going for job interview, it’s always a good idea to ask the interviewer about the company’s dress code policy in advance.

In no particular order, here is a list of well published don’ts for office attire. This list may also applies to candidates going on job interviews:

  • Crop tops
  • Overalls
  • Tank tops or sleeveless shirts
  • Halter tops
  • Flip-flops
  • Overly revealing attire
  • Jogging suits
  • Birkenstocks
  • Shorts or Capri pants
  • Crocks
  • Hawaiian shirt

There are a myriad of industries some of which include; technology and advertising where the wearing of jeans and even Hawaiian shirts might be allowed. However, regardless of the industry, it would be wise to simply ask the HR department of your about their dress code policy so, you can dress in accordance with the policy. Employers also have a responsibility to keep up with the times since today’s workforce is different from the ones back in the 80’s for example. The recent case of employees wearing tattoos at their workplace created a media firestorm of epic proportions for both parties.

It’s Summertime, But Does That Mean You Should Introduce Your Colleagues To Your Flip-Flops?


The market-place has all kinds of tools and incentives to help companies boost employee engagement. The effects of the 2008 recession have resulted in stagnant growth for some industries and have left many employees fearing that they could lose their jobs for any number of reasons. This fear is well placed because high unemployment has been a constant for the last 5 years.

Happy Employees Boost The Bottom Line

Managing today’s workforce is very different, especially when it comes to millennials many of whom will probably not respond to the “my way or the highway” management style. In fairness, this does not apply to all companies. In fact, the percentage of companies who has this antiquated management style is very rare at best. Senior executives have their own set of challenges which includes increasing shareholder value and satisfying the needs of their customers. The employees however, are at the heart of achieving shareholder value and customer satisfaction so, it stands to reason, that most of today’s companies are trying to find creative ways to retain their talent. After all, this just makes good business sense.


This article “10 Ways to Increase Profit & Productivity by Making Employees Happy” is a good guide for companies who for ideas on how to increase engagement within their organizations.