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Since the early days of COVID­-19 pandemic several industries like grocery and retail jobs were deemed essential services while some others were furloughed or moved online. As some businesses slowly reopen it can be nerve-racking to head back into the office, while a global pandemic is still looming over everyone’s head.

Here are some useful tips, companies can take to help their employees adjust to the new conditions, and also ease their fears, as they slowly reopen:

Temperature Check Time Clocks
Some of ATS customers have migrated to a contactless and temperature check biometric time clocks. These data collectors offer an automatic, touch-free tool for accurate employee temperature screening. And, with real-time results, Payroll and HR leaders can create a policy for failed temperature checks to ensure a safe environment and a consistent experience for all employees at the point of entry to the workspace. 

Pandemic Pay/Shift Differential
The high volume of shutdowns caused by the global corona virus pandemic has triggered organizations to consider salary continuance options to help employees through this difficult time and to retain their talent. While some industries, like grocery, healthcare and retail chains have eliminated pandemic pay, others have added shift differential to bolster employees pay. Whichever option you choose, ATSTimeWorkOnDemand will ease the burden for HR by seamlessly applying these pay codes through our software configuration.

Working from Home and Managing Childcare
The shut down of schools in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, had many parents working from home with their children-managing professional priorities, while helping their kids with school work. Some of ATS customers have made use of online timesheets and project tracking solutions for these remote workers.

Leave Management
While some parents are able to stay home with their kids, others are not so fortunate, and without access to childcare, like some of their colleagues, will likely find themselves in a stressful situation. HR can encourage these parents to request time-off by making use of existing vacation time they have accrued. This simple act, could alleviate some of the stress, these employees are trying to manage. And, don’t forget the employees who do not have children, they could also benefit from taking time-off, to deal with the stress of COVID-19.

ATS Workforce Planning
With COVID-19 showing no signs of abating, companies can make use of ATS Workforce Planning for employees who want some flexible options as they manage work and at life at home. ATS Workforce Planning gives managers a real-time schedule that changes with the organization’s needs. With ATS Workforce Planning managers gain immediate insight into how many staff members to schedule at any given time and optimizes planning breaks, setting vacations, adding time for training and addressing unplanned absences.

Bottomline; maintaining compliance, keeping track of employment agreements, and internal policies during these trying times can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  ATSTimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite is a comprehensive workforce management application with a— future-ready platform that addresses the unique requirements of a company. In short, we have got your covered.

To learn more, you can download a demonstration of our product or to reach us by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

The COVID-19 pandemic, led many businesses to make challenging decisions most of which, necessitated the evaluation of staffing needs after provinces and states across Canada and the United States issued various orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. And, in some instances, these decisions have resulted in businesses reducing employee hours or laying-off employees. 

As officials slowly evaluate easing restrictions, some businesses are considering rehiring laid-off employees or returning furloughed employees to their previously held positions. And, for some of these businesses that have hourly employees who previously punched in/out at a time clock, the question becomes, how can this done in a way that does not expose employees to contracting the coronavirus.

ATS offers a variety of employee time clocks that your staff does not need to make direct contact with, to record their hours.

Backed by ATSTimeWorkOnDemand, cloud computing solution, here are a few options to choose to choose from:

MIFARE cards: With a MIFARE Card employees simply put the card up to time clock and it automatically records their time. The time clock will emit an audible beep to confirm that the employee successfully punched in or out. MIFARE cards encryption keys prevent data from being emitted until the MIFARE card and card reader mutually authenticate each other.

Face Recognition Terminals: With these terminals, employees only have to put their point their face towards the unit and it automatically records their start and end time. ATS Face Recognition contactless biometrics supports three modes of identification, including Face, card or face and card and– simply authenticates digital identity through facial recognition, thereby worker health and safety. ATS Face Recognition time clocks have proven to be one of the best biometrics because employees time can be recorded without touching or interacting with the unit.

Proximity cards, RFID cards and Keyfobs: Similar to MIFARE,proximity cards, RFID cards and keyfobs feature also feature encrypted, embedded metallic antenna coil that stores cardholder data. Data stored on a proximity card, key fob or tag can be detected by an ATS time clock, when the proximity card is passed within range.

As businesses slowly bring employees back to their offices with new health and safety measures, in place and whether you are in healthcare, manufacturing or grocery– ATS contactless biometric technologies can help you introduce a hygienic and safe time tracking experience.

To download a demonstration, or to learn more, go to our website. And, to reach an account representative, call 866.294.2467.

Many of us worry about artificial intelligence (AI) taking our jobs and basically, turning the world upside down. And, while there are some legitimate worries about its use, there are a lot of positives with the use of AI.

HRD recently published an article, titled Five ways artificial intelligence changed the workplace in 2019. And, they include:

1. Facial recognition and AI in video interviews: A number of video interview platforms available on the market today focus on scheduling a Q&A with a candidate, recording a clip of the exchange, and forwarding it to the HR team for assessment.

The software behind the platform purportedly relies on 25,000 data points taken from the facial expressions, movements and tone of voice of past successful candidates then uses them as a benchmark for screening new applicants. These subtle clues from their interaction with the AI reportedly help determine their suitability to the role.

2. Reducing unconscious bias in candidate interviews: Unlike human recruiters, the robot skips the small talk and goes through the questions in the same manner, tone and order. The developers hope this approach leads to a fairer recruitment process.

3. AI and ‘smartphone psychiatry’: Can AI and analytics detect burnout among employees? This is the question behavioral and I/O psychologists are trying to answer with a new wave of AI-powered apps.

Installed in wristbands, badges and mobile phones, these tools are designed to pick up signals or biomarkers such as a person’s heart rate, breathing pattern and – in the case of mobile phone users – typing speed to assess their likelihood of experiencing burnout and other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

4. AI and decision making: HR leaders who want to take a pulse of employee sentiment typically rely on surveys with a quick Yes or No question. But what happens when the questions revolve around complex issues such as workplace policy?

5. AI-powered robots that ‘learn’ from mistakes: Workplace robots are built to perform the same tasks over and over. But throw them into a new – and more challenging – situation and they might not always know which direction to take. Unless they’re built to learn from every mistake, of course.

This is the premise behind a new robot being developed at the University of Leeds. It uses AI to map out its surroundings then remembers a specific path or course of action it has taken each time it maneuvers its way and completes a task successfully.

Bottomline: There are benefits to AI if and when it is used as it was intended, which was for good. For example, ATS time and attendance is a cloud computing solution that lays the foundation for fast, modular use, and will grow with your business. As a best-of-breed cloud application solution, ATS Time and Attendance, streamlines end-to-end workflows with a single software solution for business intelligence and workforce planning.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance cloud computing AI solution, go to our website and register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. You can also download a demo to see this revolutionary application in action. And, to reach us by phone, call: 866.294.2467.


Tracking employee time with biometrics is nothing new. In fact, it has becoming ubiquitous with many companies adopting the technology as a way to streamline payroll costs and increase workforce productive. And since biometric technology, can be used for different purposes, Amazon will soon add it to their Whole Foods grocery chain as a way for customers to pay.

In a recent article by Courtney Linder for Popular Mechanics titled Why Amazon Wants to Scan Your Hands’. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Amazon is testing out a new payment method at its New York offices: hand scanning.

Here’s how it works: Users hold their hands over a special scanner that uses computer vision and depth geometry to identify each hand’s unique shape and size, per the report. Amazon Prime customers must go into stores for their hands to be captured and linked to their account before they can begin using the payment method.

The new payment method will also help to process transactions more quickly. While a typical card transaction takes three or four seconds, Amazon’s new tech can process the charge in less than 300 milliseconds, says the report.

It’s not a new concept by any means. Hand geometry, as the biometric is called, was used to protect access to the residential Olympic Village at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The concept of hand geometry was developed and patented in 1985, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first commercial product using the tech came out the following year, but it wasn’t widely adopted. However, many companies do use hand geometry for time and attendance purposes. Walt Disney World has used “finger geometry” for years to expedite entrance to parks, for example.

Systems that measure hand geometry use a digital camera and light to take a scan. When you use one, you simply place your hand on a flat surface and line your fingers up for an accurate reading. A camera takes several photos of your hand and the shadows that it casts. That data is used to determine the length, width, thickness, and curvature of your fingers and hand. Then, it’s translated into a numerical template through an algorithm.”

ATS biometric clocks are used in a variety of companies and industries from healthcare to food manufacturing, grocery retail, shipping & logistics, government entities and construction.  With ATS biometric time clocks, employees can clock in with a quick scan of their hand, and are instantly verified for accuracy. And, with biometric identification capabilities, “buddy punching” can be prevented to help control labour costs associated with inflated payroll.

To view a demonstration of ATS biometric time clocks or cloud computing time and attendance application, go to our website.

The use of biometrics at theme parks, airports and in the workplace, has become ubiquitous. However, facial recognition for the purpose of recording an employee time in/out at work, is different than what it is being used at an airport. For example, a biometric time clock, in a workplace will record (for the purpose of payroll) the time an employee clocked in for a day or week-whereas, the purpose of biometrics at an airport will be for security and a range of other purposes.

Installing biometrics in the workplace can help with HR related issues like time theft, buddy punching and payroll errors. However, it is important to let your employees know if you decide to install biometrics for the purpose of tracking time and attendance, especially if your company, have been using paper time sheets to track hours before that.

In a recent article titled, Workers push back as companies gather fingerprints, retina scans by Te-Ping Chen for The Wall Street Journal amoung other publications, an excerpt of the article reads in part;

“As more companies track their workers with fingerprint and facial scans, employees are increasingly challenging firms in court over how that biometric data gets used and stored.

Scores of lawsuits have been filed following a recent state Supreme Court ruling in Illinois, which has the most stringent privacy law protecting such information in the U.S. The suits assert that employees weren’t told what would happen to their biometric data and that it is being put at risk.

Some workers said they don’t see the need for biometrics in the workplace.

“It’s not a secretive place that we work in,” said one worker at a country club outside Detroit, whose employer uses fingerprints to take attendance. She said she was uncomfortable with the practice, adding that she hadn’t been told how her information would be used or stored.

From warehouses to restaurants, the use of biometric data is moving from a niche practice to become a more mainstream way to verify employee hours and check workers in and out of facilities for security reasons. Among companies in the U.S., Europe and Canada surveyed in 2018 by Gartner, 6 percent said they track employees by using biometric data. Europe and Canada surveyed in 2018 by Gartner, 6 percent said they track employees by using biometric data.”

Bottom line: If you decide to explore the many options that a biometric time clock system offers, let your employees know of your intention. Chances are they will be more accepting if they know in advance and you will avoid issues of them not being receptive to it. Afterall, employees are familiar with biometric technology and have likely used them at airports or with their current smartphone.

To learn about ATS Biometric Time Clocks, go to our website. You can also download a demo, or you can attend one of our bi-weekly webinars. And, to reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

Employees using their face to record their hours of work is becoming quite common in time and attendance world. And, now it appears that the use of this technology, albeit slowing, is also being adopted at some airports according to a recent article, by Stuart Emmrich titled Will Your Face Be Enough to Get You on a Plane? for The New York Times, and reads in part;

“Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration released a 23-page report outlining changes it is proposing on how passengers are screened before boarding their flights. Key among those changes is the proposal that passports and other forms of identification will eventually be replaced by biometric technology.

Early this year, the agency began testing facial recognition technology for international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport. The biometric technology matches facial images to photos in government databases, such as photos obtained from passports or visa applications.

And in 2017, the T.S.A. tested fingerprint technology at the T.S.A. PreCheck lanes at the Atlanta and Denver airports. The technology matches passenger fingerprints provided at the checkpoint to those provided to the T.S.A. by travelers who have enrolled in the PreCheck program.

Biometric technology is also being evaluated by individual airlines. Delta Air Lines announced in September that it is building a dedicated biometric terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The technology, to be installed at Terminal F, would allow passengers to check-in at the self-service kiosks, drop off their checked baggage at the counter and then be used as identification at the terminal’s T.S.A. checkpoint”.

 If you are unfamiliar with ATS biometric time clocks, these data collectors includes the latest in technology and works, in tandem with our time and attendance application, to deliver exceptional value – helping organizations control labour costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

Using ATS biometric technology, your organization can expect:

Options
A variety of biometric data collectors to choose from that include: fingerprint, hand geometric face recognition and a variety of biometric features, and mobile capabilities. ATS biometric data collectors, offers enhanced technology, thus allowing employees to easily and more accurately enroll on the time clock’s controlled finger, hand geometry or face recognition template– which reduces, read error rates for a more accurate biometric enrollment, and protect employees’ personal information and eliminate costly buddy punching.

Peace of Mind
Backup battery protects employee information against power outages and flash memory backs up data. And, with open standards, field upgradeability and keypad functions, these time and attendance biometric time clocks are —ideal blend of performance, function, style, and affordability designed for essential workforce management functionality.

Accuracy and Productivity
No more manual data entry which is always prone to errors and, instead can look forward to a best-of-breed application that will enforce pay and attendance policies at the time of an employee recorded hours. An application that will improve workforce productivity by giving employees intuitive self-service access to scheduled hours and time-off balances from any device, from anywhere.

ATS advance biometric time clocks are designed for today’s advanced cloud computing workforce and provides state-of-art, touch-screen functionality and accurate, up-to-the-minute analytics data your company can rely on.

To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call 866.294.2468.

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By 2025 consumer attitudes towards retail will have dramatically changed. The rapid growth of robotics, cloud and artificial intelligence will permeate the retail and hospitality experience for both consumer and stakeholders. Anticipating consumer trends and deploying innovations that enhance employee and consumer experience and, simplify business operations will be vital to the long-term health and sustainability of retail and hospitality.

ATS Workforce Management for Retail & Hospitality provides these industries with an open, integrated, and best-of-breed application in the cloud, with state-of-art data collectors engineered to empower commerce. With ATS Workforce Management, organizations can streamline payroll costs and increase productivity, such as with a best-of-breed time and attendance, that’s demand-driven scheduling, and absence management software tools. Grocery operations, pharmaceutical, hospitality chains and retailers use ATS Workforce Management solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify businesses operations, and boost their bottom-line.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

Solution Benefits Include:

Employee Scheduling- ATS Workforce Scheduling, allows managers to easily leverage workforce data through an intuitive cloud-based interface, thus streamlining the scheduling process of their employees with roles-based self-service tools.

Workforce Analytics and Business Intelligence- ATS Intelligence (BI) analysis covers the macro picture down to the operating, financial and valuation information-and provides in-depth and economic factors that can impact decision-making.

Digital API Platform and Data Integration- ATS data integration tool, enables users to transfer data from one data source (such as text file, API, CSV or other data files) to an output destination. That output destination can be a text file, database, XML document, or another suite application. The key component of ATS Integration Manager is the interface that contains a set of steps, for the data transfer. By utilizing ATS data integration platform, companies can integrate to existing, ERP, Talent Management, HR, Payroll and CRM applications.

Budgeting and Forecasting- ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, helps you eliminate costs, time, and errors with proper budgeting and forecasting on both short and long-term projections. The budgeting and forecasting module, allow you to integrate annual and periodic forecasting with weekly workforce management execution.

Next-Generation Data Collection- With ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, you automate employee time and attendance processes to reduce payroll costs, comply with collective bargaining agreements and adhered to regulatory compliance. Some of ATS employee data collection include: face recognition time clocks, biometric hand punch, proximity and barcode time clocks and computer-based time clocks. ATS Workforce Management validates the collection of employee data, with up-to-the-minute reporting, to reduce overpayments.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

 

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To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration. And, to speak to a representative, call; 866.294.2468.

 

Here is an example of the how the future of work has changed. Cold calling used to be the way to reach new customers. Try that in 2018 and you are likely to get lots of voice mails. In fact, cold calling has been dead for many years and some companies have acknowledged this and made changes in how their reps reach new customers. There are however, a small minority of companies, who refuse to accept this practice is passé and so, they stubbornly ask their sales people to dialing those numbers in the hope that they might reach some customers, who are waiting by their phone to get a call from a sales rep. Change, sometimes has to be disruptive, for it to be accepted and the use of robotics and the pace of automation will continue to increase, despite resistance to it, by those in the minority who hang on to past practices.

Are You Ready For The Future Of Work?

Christy Petty’s article for Gartner 6 Future Work Trends sheds some light on the how the way in which we approach work has and will continue to change

Some of these work trends include:

“Digital dexterity is monitored and measured: The growing recognition of the importance of digital dexterity creates a demand for measurement, which aligns with analytics becoming more pervasive in the enterprise. f Social science-based surveys and observations are increasingly accepted to collect relevant digital dexterity data, which can be combined with machine-generated IT, HR and business data to measure workforce digital dexterity.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will prevail: The conversion of rich input patterns into data that can be readily processed by conventional software is at the heart of today’s AI hype. AI will have a profound impact on how work is assigned, completed and evaluated. Cain suggests that although AI will provide a number of workplace trends in the coming years, workers are experiencing the impact of robobosses and smart workplaces right now.

Robobosses on the rise: While employees will not report to an AI construct, the implementation of robobosses will lead to more automated management duties and more online worker activities. There is opportunity for greater tracking of worker activities and performance. This data can be run against a series of algorithms that can programmatically offer assistance in improving performance or meeting goals.

The gig economy will thrive: Organizations will increasingly learn and borrow from freelance management and gig economy platforms, which dynamically match short-term work requirements directly with workers who have the relevant knowledge, experience, skills, competencies and availability. This will mean moving away from traditional structures to more fluid arrangements.

Employees get work through employment marketplaces: Freelancer marketplaces make it easier for employers to tap into a set of contractors for short-term work commitments. In parallel, professional social networking platforms and recruiting technology providers have been investing heavily in matching algorithms to pair up talent supply and demand.

Jobs get deconstructed: Traditionally, organizations have invested in mapping out clear career paths for employees. While workers need a purpose-focused direction, a portfolio of experiences builds knowledge and skills and allows for the practice and improvement of competencies. Employees will increasingly find the accumulation of experiences to be more realistic than a carefully plotted-out career path”.

Some things were somewhat predictable like cloud computing as it slowly began to edge onsite Server installed applications. But who could predict Apple’s dominance in mobility computing or Google’s search engine literally taking over the world, leaving competitors in its dust? The future of work and its trends will not affect all organizations equally, so it’s important for senior executives to understand where their organization is right now, where it’s going, and how they plan to embrace change as it happens.

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There was a time when biometrics was seen as futuristic and, too intrusive to ever be accepted by the general public. Many of today’s smart phones, tablets and laptops are equipped with biometrics. As part of its security protocols airports around the world, have installed fingerprint readers and voice recognition technologies and Disney World have installed biometrics that enables its visitors to gain access to theme parks.

Biometric Technology Is Shaping The Future Of Time And Attendance

If your company is an early adopter of biometric time and attendance, you are likely the beneficiary of a productive workforce, and at the same time are saving hundreds of dollars on payroll costs.

If you are considering a biometric time and attendance system to enhance your company’s HR process and workflows, here are three types of the most common biometric technologies for recording and tracking employee time.

Hand Geometry: Hand recognition is the most common employee biometric time clock technology. The method uses 3D analysis of the hand for tracking and identification purposes. An individual places their hand (palm down) onto a special plate. A camera takes a picture of it and analyzes the length, width, thickness and surface area of the hand. This recorded biostatistics information is then stored for future use. Companies have used this type of biometrics for attendance tracking and accessing secure entrances.

Facial Recognition: ATS FaceScan Time Clocks, uses algorithms to analyze features. These include the position/size/shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw line. Initially, this process was known as 2D facial recognition. The 2D images were typically taken from security cameras that have integrated facial recognition technology. For the best results, face images needed to be looking directly at the camera with enough lighting. After analysis, they could be compared to other face images for identification purposes. Employee Time clocks that use facial recognition are growing in popularity— it’s as simple as snapping a photo; the time clocks are equipped with HD cameras. This type of technology is now readily available on ATS TimeWork OnDemand mobile time tracking apps as well.

Fingerprint Identification:This type of biometrics compares either one or two fingerprints (depending on the type of time clock selected) to determine identification. It analyzes the ridges and valleys patterns on the fingertip for differences. The process involves measuring and comparing employee fingerprints against data stored in the time and attendance system. It is fast and easy to use— the employee simply presses a fingertip against the time clock screen for a moment as part of the clock in/out process. Some laptop computers and smart phones, utilize fingerprint biometrics for authorizations purposes such as logging in and entering website passwords.

Other biometrics include voice authentication, which is the analysis of vocal behavior by matching it to a voice model template (that was previously recorded). Since every voice is unique, the physical characteristics of the speaker’s voice can be measured. Retinal and iris scanning is employed by different industries.

Bottom-line:

Companies deploy biometric time and attendance systems to ensure the person/s clocking in, are who they say they are. Biometric time clocks helps prevent employee time theft, ensures workforce compliance, and helps employers collect accurate time and attendance information. In short, it makes life easier for payroll and HR practitioners.

To arrange a demonstration of ATS TimeWork OnDemand and our array of biometric time clocks, go to our website or call, 866.294.2467.

When biometrics was introduced as a way to avoid buddy punching, and thus, replace time and attendance swipe card technology, many thought these data collectors were part of a futurist Star Trek movie. Fast forward to some decades later and recent news that a company was about to microchip its entire workforce has privacy advocates scratching their heads in frustration.

Will Microchipping Employees Be The Biometrics Of The Future?

Here is a description from the company, who has decided to deploy the technology to throughout its workforce;

“Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc.  This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped.  32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, based out of Sweden.

RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds.”

The reaction to employees being microchipped has been swift with labour experts and lawmakers citing privacy concerns and appealing to HR professionals to proceed with caution. One lawmaker in the state of Nevada has introduced legislation to prevent companies forcing employees to get microchipped as condition of their employment.

So will the idea of microchipping employees gain widespread acceptance? Only time will tell.

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