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Before COVID-19 the way we work have been defined by predictable patterns involving who is doing the work, where it occurs and when it happens. And, while technological advancements, have impacted some of these norms, the pandemic upended it altogether and, accelerated the arrival of new ways of working. Many employees who initially felt anxiety about working from home, have come to embrace it after 15 months of lockdown.

Today, as many employers start to unveil their post-pandemic plans for a return-to the office, they are getting pushback from some employees, who are keen to retain their work from home privileges. But is this indicative of a more widespread resistance among workers who do not want to revert to pre-pandemic patterns or is it something else? It is possible, that employees, after working remotely for so many months, feel they can be productive at home – and that the reasons their employers want them back in-office does not add up.

While there are several factors at play, as to why, some employees, are pushing back about returning to the office — below are 3 reasons for the possible hesitancy by some workers.

  1. Lockdown fatigue is real- COVID-19 has been debilitating for all of us and we’re tired of lockdowns. The constant anxiety of living and working through a pandemic has left many of us feeling low in energy, and the thought of driving and working in an office alongside others-in and of itself, is exhausting.
  2. Office work doesn’t allow for a healthy work-life-balance-Lockdown has been isolating and although we have craved the company of coworkers, we have also been able to separate work and leisure time. We have been able to exercise, read and spend time with our loved ones without feeling guilty because we were late getting home for dinner, after the commute from the office.
  3. Going back to pre-pandemic work is the cause of our anxiety- In addition to wearing face masks, we would be following social distancing guidelines and staring at stickers telling us how to behave correctly and politely, while on the subway or standing in a crowded elevator.  This is an added layer of anxiety to an already stressful time, that not everyone is looking forward to.

Bottomline: It’s still early to say what the post-pandemic work environment will look like, and not all employers are scheduling employees back to the office. In fact, some are doing it in stages, while others are delaying a return to the office for some staff. Many employers are still being lenient with policies as the virus lingers, vaccinations continue to roll out and childcare situations remain erratic.

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About ATS
ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance 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.

Thousands of organizations across North, Central and South America and Europe- including more than half of the Fortune 500 – use ATS TimeWork OnDemand, Workforce Planning, Employee Scheduling HR and payroll solutions to manage their workforce.

Ageism is the practice of discriminating against someone because of their age. While some companies have made strides toward more transparency, accountability, and inclusivity there is still a lot more that can be done.

It is also not uncommon to hear that many companies post jobs with subtle and not so subtle phrases, reminding older workers that they need not apply. One explanation is that some companies, believe naively, that older workers; lack energy, are uneducated or unintelligent because of their age.

According to an article by Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Hiring in the Age of Ageism while HR professionals and talent recruiters might not intend to exclude older workers, the words used on their jobs postings say otherwise. The tech industry (while not the only one) have been accused of posting job ads designed to exclude older workers.

Below is a list of 7 common phrases (from the SHRM article) used, in some job postings that screams out; older workers, please don’t apply:

  1. Digital Native: May discourage qualified applicants who didn’t come of age with digital and mobile tech—even some as young as their 30s.
  2. High-Energy: Often a euphemism for young.
  3. Ninja/Guru: These trendy buzzwords are likely unfamiliar—or unappealing—to older candidates.
  4. GPA of 3.5 or higher: Sends the message that you’re looking for employees at a life stage where these assessments remain relevant.
  5. Overqualified: Since experience often correlates with age, this term can be used to mask age bias.
  6. Meals included: Implies an expectation that workers don’t have a family waiting for them to come home for dinner.
  7. Bad cultural fit: Can be problematic if your culture is overtly youth-oriented.

Ageism often begins with the hiring process. Every company has certain criteria when it comes to hiring, and HR and talent recruiters tend to hire people with certain traits. And, while that may not necessarily be a bad thing hiring managers should be aware of the value and benefits of a diverse workforce.

About ATS
ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance 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.

Thousands of organizations across North, Central and South America and Europe- including more than half of the Fortune 500 – use ATS TimeWork OnDemand, Workforce Planning, Employee Scheduling HR and payroll solutions to manage their workforce.

Today’s HR leaders have a lot on their plate. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they are constantly re-examining— recruiting, software scalability, emerging skills, the impact of analytics, the employee experience and much more as business disruptions, reset key work trends.

Companies are also undertaking digital business transformations that are changing their operations and internal capabilities. Automation and cost reduction opportunities-without compromising business value, is no easy feat— yet, most HR leaders are tasked with doing just that.  So, how should companies pursue cost optimization without compromising quality, while maintaining service excellence? The answer; ATSTimeWorkOnDemand built in the cloud.

Benefits of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand includes:

Accrual Benefits Administration
From managing remote workers, to complying with regulatory changes, ATSTimeWorkOnDemand HCM accrual benefits strategy adapts to changing times. When coupled with employee self-service module, it allows your organization to make use of time—off plans that match your policies, including eligibility, accrual frequency and carryover. Automatic accruals and reporting allow for proactive planning and approvals with user-friendly self-service workflows.

Automate Performance Management and Shift Differentials
Eliminate the hassle of tracking hours by hand or guessing when employees arrive at work. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand automates the entire process so you don’t have to rely on spreadsheets or timecards. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand empowers managers and HR professionals to automate employee information including: shift differentials, workforce planning, performance bonus, overtime equalization, and data integration, all from a single suite.

Optimize Workforce and Reduce Payroll Errors
Eliminate the hassle of tracking hours by hand or guessing when employees arrive at work. See a rapid return on investment by reducing payroll processing errors and overtime costs- while simplifying the way you manage everyday requests, tasks and updates with ATS automated workflows, reminders and notifications features.

Analytics and the Employee Experience
ATSTimeWorkOnDemand redefines how your people consume and interact with their HR department. Whether your employees need to request time off, change personal information, request a shift change all of this information will be at their fingertips.

Unparallel Support
You’ve invested in ATS HCM software to make your business more efficient, cost-effective and competitive. ATS support helps you get the most out of that investment, by providing the assistance you need, when you need it. ATS Support provides technical assistance and support resources to help you maintain your ATSTimeWorkOnDemand solution.

While COVID-19 has now made working from home the new reality for some employees- it is also posing new compliance challenges for HR leaders. Whether your business operates in one region, province or across Canada, accurately capturing employee data as a complete snapshot of hours worked is essential to gaining deeper insights to current and future business imperatives— and help shape the organization strategy and create competitive advantage.

To download a demo, go to our website. And to reach an account executive by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

Before COVID-19 the seemingly, always-too-long and dreaded meetings took place around a conference table with colleagues. Today, many businesses have adopted remote work because of COVID-19 pandemic, and for the most part, those meetings— have shifted to virtual video conferencing with popular platforms like; Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting and Zoom amoung others.

But can these constant video meetings become “excessive,” when for example, a telephone conference would suffice?

A recent blog by David Dye for SHRM titled, Too Many Meetings: How to Free Your Team to Build, Create, and Thrive offers a few tips that are worth considering when planning your next team meeting.  These tips include:

“Make Every Meeting Count
If you’re having a meeting to discuss the meeting and then to follow up on the meeting, you can free up time by consolidating. Socialize ideas and provide people the information they need asynchronously. At the end of every meeting, take a few minutes to schedule the finish and ensure everyone knows who is doing what, and by when.

Engage your Team and Ask “How Can We…?”
You’ll find willing thought-partners when you ask your team for their ideas. Use your asynchronous channels to ask “How can we meet less?” (Please don’t have a meeting about meeting less—it’s unnecessary until you have some concrete ideas to discuss.)

Think First, Then Meet
This will help your introverts and cut down on the number of meetings and make the meetings you do have more productive. Solicit ideas ahead of time. Give people time to think about what might work. They’ll likely be more creative when on a walk than staring into a computer camera. Once you’ve collected ideas, establish your success criteria, and then meet to prioritize or make a decision”.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Gartner survey of 127 HR, legal and finance professionals said they “intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace. For many organizations with employees working both onsite and remotely, adapting to a new, more complex hybrid workforce is the challenge as how people work together to get their job done evolves”.

Bottomline: Some companies will do some sort of hybrid remote work after the coronavirus pandemic, while others may adopt it permanently. A virtual meeting via videoconferencing is a powerful way to make use of technology— and will likely become part of the future, but it should be used in appropriate doses. In fact, as a manager, try switching it up, by having a phone conference for your next meeting—and see how it impacts team engagement and morale.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

About ATS

ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance 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.

Thousands of organizations across North, Central and South America and Europe- including more than half of the Fortune 500 – use ATS TimeWork OnDemand, Workforce Planning, Employee Scheduling HR and payroll solutions to manage their workforce. ATS cloud services offer rapid deployment, support services, software updates, and enhancements; and consulting and training services.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced business executives to anticipate and adapt to change—while navigating talent shortages and a shaky economy. And,while promises of cushy perks and pay are often used to compete for top talent— some employers struggle to develop and retain new hires.

How Talent Development Makes a Positive Impact on Your Business is an article written by, Jori Hamilton for online publication, Talent Culture. She offers the following tips on employee development:

Performance
Talent development is not only the key to retaining employees; it can also be instrumental in improving performance. This doesn’t just mean that your attention to their growth results in greater productivity — although that certainly occurs by acquiring new skills and understanding of productivity techniques. However, when your employees see you’re making efforts to support their growth, they tend to be more engaged with the efficient operation of the business. 

Innovation
One of the main errors a business can make is becoming stagnant. In the digital age, the world frequently changes. That often means that to retain the competitive edge, we must innovate. Talent development can introduce employees to new skills and new ways of thinking about the challenges they face – and overcoming them. As such, it is an essential element in building a sustainable culture of innovation within your company.

Company Insight
Provide them with opportunities to better understand the company; what it’s good at, and the not so good. This can include shadowing leadership, attending meetings, and being encouraged to ask questions (and being given honest answers). This helps the growth of new corporate operations skills and incentivizes deeper engagement within the company. 

Diversity
Innovation requires access to multiple perspectives and experiences. Studies show that companies that prioritize diversity tend to perform better than their more monocultural competitors. So, your talent development program must commit to nurturing diversity. Undoubtedly, part of this approach is ensuring a range of voices has opportunities to work with you. However, it’s also about encouraging those in the program to value diverse perspectives and adjust their own viewpoints accordingly. 

Curiosity 
Helping employees follow their curiosity, both within and outside of the business, is a cornerstone of talent development. Give employees opportunities to train with other departments and company time to work on personal projects. Add coaching to ensure employees feel guided and supported. By giving them space to explore and experiment, and encourage them even when they fail, you provide the tools necessary to contribute to innovation — and the confidence to experiment.

Loyalty
One of the greatest assets for any business is loyalty. Employees who feel connected to and supported by their company are more likely to stick with them in the long run. Loyalty isn’t about simple retention, though; it also means a dedication to the company’s ideals and becoming leaders who embody them. Employee development helps to both guide this process and reinforces the reasons why they should maintain their commitment. So, your talent development program must begin at onboarding. 

Bottomline: So, what’s the key to developing and retaining talent? When leaders open the lines of communication and address each employee personally it can help employees shape their learning and long-term contributions to the company, for the better.

To learn about ATS go to our website, where you can gain access to a product tour of our cloud HCM application. And, to reach us by phone, call 866.294.2467.

As companies adjust to the new reality of their employees working from home in response to COVID-19, identifying security needs rests on the shoulders of overworked IT departments. Before the pandemic, a small cohort, of the North American workforce, had transitioned to working remotely, whether as freelancers or corporations.

Today and likely for the foreseeable future, several companies have adopted the work from home policy for its employees, thus leaving themselves open to cyber security issues. And, this is where the importance of a company’s IT department skillsets is needed most because, if employees are too relaxed about security compliance, it can put an entire company at risk for cyber threats.

This article by Scarlett Rose, titled 5 Cybersecurity Strategies to Assist Your Remote Workforce makes the case, that companies must employ IT strategies to keep their data safe. It reads in part,

Provide Cyber Security Training to Employees: Here’s how you can ensure the cybersecurity of your organization while working remotely. One of the best cybersecurity strategies to assist your remote workforce is by providing detailed information about the latest cybersecurity threats that can steal sensitive information. Cybercriminals can hack and steal critical information from employees using phishing emails, voicemails (vising), text messages (smishing), and more.

Secure all Digital Communications: Securing all digital communications is one of the ways to prevent cyber threats during the pandemic. Make sure that all employee and client communications existing in the network are encrypted. Keep a security check and complete control over the security of these communication channels. If possible, provide all the tools that your employees need to exchange information.

Use Managed File Transfer (MFT) Software: Let’s continue our discussion on the major cybersecurity strategies to assist your remote workforce. The use of Managed File Transfer (MFT) Software is one of the most important tips to enhance cybersecurity while remote working. Cybercriminals can easily hack your employees’ email accounts in order to get unauthorized access to the email accounts of your employees. This is why most of the business organizations use the MFT software as a preferred option for file transfer.

Reinforce Endpoint Security: Let’s read more on Cybersecurity tips to follow while working remotely. Here is one of the most commonly adopted cybersecurity strategies to assist your Remote Workforce. The devices being used by your employees act as a potential entry point for hackers to infiltrate your business network.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that these enterprise endpoints are well-protected and safeguarded from cyber-attacks such as phishing attacks, malware, and more. Most of the Cybersecurity attacks start at endpoints, such as workstations or mobile devices, and then pivot to critical data sources on servers. This is why organizations these days can be seen spending more on protecting endpoints security than ever before.

Establish Secure Connections: The employees should connect to your internal servers via a VPN connection, which encrypts all the data that is being transmitted. Doing this makes the entire data unreadable to anyone who intercepts it, thus ensuring the safety of your data.

Moreover, make sure that your employees take the necessary steps to secure their routers. Make use of a strong password protocol and multi-factor authentication. Most of the systems are breached because hackers often steal the employee’s login credentials and use it to infiltrate the whole network.

Bottomline: Organizations should have strong systems and processes in place to ensure business continuity. And, even if its only part of your workforce that works remotely, you should take the time to think about the security of your network and have a policy in place, that spells how everyone should use it when logging into your network.

About ATS
ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance 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.

Thousands of organizations across North, Central and South America and Europe- including more than half of the Fortune 500 – use ATS TimeWork OnDemand, Workforce Planning, Employee Scheduling HR and payroll solutions to manage their workforce.

To reach an account representative by phone call: 866.294. 2467 or to download a demo go to our website.