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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.

Hiring employees is no easy task, just ask any HR or hiring manager and they will you. Some of them probably have their own lists of questions that they have compiled and use, during their years of experience.

Here are 4 Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Toxic Employees according to Dianna Booher’s blog, in TLNT: Talent & HR online publication.

  1. Who are 3-5 people in the public arena or your personal or social life whom you admire and why? Responses here will reveal several things: How informed are they on local happenings, current affairs, politics, or pop culture? Does their response suggest they can’t think of anyone, or simply that they can’t narrow their choices? Were all choices from public life rather than personal or social circles? That may suggest few mentors or role models in their life. Why? If all choices are personal acquaintances, that may suggest non-involvement in the community or activities outside the home. Why? At least, their answers will reveal their values.
  • Can you recall ever seeing or hearing about someone mistreated in the workplace? How did you handle or react to the situation? Their answers will reveal values and ethics. You’re also judging their capacity to feel empathy and compassion. Further, the action they took in this situation tells you about their ability to persuade others to stop the mistreatment or otherwise correct the situation. Their response also tells you about their tolerance for risk (if they had to act alone to stop the mistreatment). Did they risk their own reputation or even their own job to do the right thing?
  • Would you tell me about a particularly bad day you’ve had this past year or two — a day when nothing was routine and almost everything went wrong? How did you deal with all the stress and calamity? Their response gives you some perspective on what happenings they consider “routine” versus “calamity” and “particularly bad.” But what you’re really looking for is their coping mechanisms — both emotional stability and resourcefulness. Listen carefully to the retelling for words like “so upset,” “so angry,” “had a major meltdown,” “went ballistic,” “frantic,” “just beside myself with worry.”
  • Explain a new idea to me. For example, take a complex term, product, service, or project in a past job and explain it to me so well that I could teach a session on it tomorrow. I’ve yet to meet the job applicant who admits to having weak communication skills. In my three decades of reviewing résumés and making hire decisions, job candidates routinely claim some version of “excellent oral and written communication skills.” This exercise aims to test that boast. As the applicant explains the concept, interrupt with questions along the way to see how they react.

Bottomline: To ensure the success of your business, you need to hire the best job candidates and provide them with the support they need to grow in their jobs. And in these strange COVID-19 times, you are likely to conduct your interviews virtually, which in and of itself, can present a different set of challenges.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

It’s a risky proposition yet, companies far and wide, are struggling with the decision of how, to bring employees back while making sure their health and safety remains intact. The economic fallout from COVID-19 have an economic blow to many businesses-and, unlike, other disasters (natural or otherwise,) such as IT outage or an extreme weather event, this global pandemic does not have a definitive end in sight.

If, like many businesses, you are in the processing of bringing some or all of your employees back to the office, here are some tips from an article titled Ready to Bring Employees Back to the Workplace? Here Are 12 Things to Consider from Sharlyn Lauby of HR Bartender

Before employees return
Organizations will want to consider these activities before the first employee comes back to the work environment. It’s possible that some of them are already in motion, especially if you’ve had employees occasionally visiting the office space while most employees are working remotely.

  • Put together an “opening team.The team’s first task should be to understand what the requirements are for your geographic area and industry in terms of safety requirements (i.e. numbers of employees allowed onsite, customer capacity, distancing requirements, etc.)
  • Look at the work layout. Discuss what should be done with workspaces to permit proper distancing. This includes individual desks, conference rooms, employee break areas, as well as customer areas.
  • Talk with legal and risk management. Find out the answers to questions about bringing back employees from furlough or terminated status. Be prepared to address onsite testing as well as contact tracing policies and procedures.
  • Ask managers to begin talking with employees about returning to work. Find out if managers have any questions that will need to be addressed. Consider giving employees who are apprehensive about returning some additional time working remotely. 

During the employees’ return
I’m sure there will be a phase-in period where employees start showing up to the office. It’s also possible that employees might work in a transition phase where they spend a couple of days working remotely and then a couple of days in the office. Workplaces will have to be flexible during this time.

  • Establish a monitoring committee. This group will have a different task from the opening team and could be in place longer. This committee will be responsible for monitoring local updates and communicating to employees any changes in protocols
  • Create a welcome letter. This correspondence can be done via email or video and it’s designed to tell employees what to expect in the new office environment. In fact, it could make sense to have a general message from the CEO and another one from the employee’s direct manager. 
  • Give managers flexibility. Speaking of managers, it might be helpful to give them more flexibility than usual in offering employees staggered shifts, flexible work hours, and the ability to approve remote work. 
  • Put a procedure in place for employees to express their concerns. No one wants employees to choose between their safety and their job. Let employees know if they see something that makes them uncomfortable, how they should address it. The goal here isn’t to get people into trouble. It’s to keep everyone safe

After most employees have returned
As more employees return to the office, the organization will want to figure out how to get back to “normal”. Frankly, employees will be looking for that as well. It helps everyone stay focused and productive. 

  • At this point, organizations might be thinking about business travel. It might be necessary to redefine what’s considered essential and non-essential business travel. Some of this might tie into a revised budget.
  • Evaluate technology needs. Hopefully, we won’t face another pandemic, but employees might need better technology that gives them the ability to be productive while working remotely. Make sure they have the right technology to support their work.
  • Conduct a debrief. Organizations will hear that the government is permitting them to do something but that “something” may/may not be best for the organizations’ business model and employees. Companies will have to start deciding how – as restrictions are relaxed – they will make decisions.
  • Finally, put together an emergency plan for next time. Again, hopefully you’ll never have to use it. While all of these thoughts are fresh in everyone’s mind, put a plan on paper.

Bottomline: The COVID-19 pandemic “new normal” has forced business leaders and their HR departments into some of the most challenging times on record-whether its adapting to new workforce demands, managing dispersed teams or maintaining employee engagement in a time of volatility.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

While governments are taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, working remotely, will be the new normal for tens of thousands of office workers across Canada, the US and around the world. In short, this means, many office-based employees are now predominantly, if not 100% will be working remotely for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will therefore, be up to the companies – and in particular, their HR departments – to ensure that employees feel supported through this unprecedented situation. And, while the transition of working remotely, might be easy for some (especially those who may have been working from home, pre-COVID-19) employees – for others, it can be particularly daunting.

Here are 5 steps, business leaders and their HR teams can use to ensure the effectiveness of their remote workforce:

1.Be open to flexible work policies: Employee value flexible work schedules. Some of them may have their children at home and are balancing helping their kids with online learning while also working. If employees have the flexibility to take a reasonable amount of time to look after their kids, when it’s convenient, could mean that your employees will be happier, less stressed and more productive.

Resist the urge to install keystroke tracking devices on the laptop of employees. This will only create mistrust and resentment from your workforce. Instead deploy a flexible online timesheet that employees can use to input their time and request time-off. And, if an employee is not able to start promptly at 9:00am, because of some unforeseen circumstances at home show some empathy. The manager and the employee, can perhaps arrange another day when the employee can make up the time.

2.Figure out the best way to boost productivity for employees: Sometimes daily calls and emails while good, might not always work. Change it up, by encouraging employees to look up some free online learning courses.  For example, LinkedIn, has a list of online courses designed to boost productivity while working from home.

3.Establish regular manager check-ins: The daily call-ins, could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls, or a team call to instill collaborative team effort. Make sure that the calls are regular and predictable, and that they are a forum in which employees know that they can consult with you, and that their concerns and questions will be heard.

4. Create Social Interaction Channels: As a species, we are social beings and enjoy fellow human interaction.  Managers, should therefore, structure ways, for employees to interact socially on a variety of topics. In other words, ‘water-cooler’ type of conversations. An example, might be to devote some time at the beginning of team calls to discuss non work-related items (e.g., ‘How was your weekend’? And, ‘are you watching any new shows on Netflix’?

5. Share wellness tips, offer encouragement and emotional support: Encourage employees to take their full lunch break and perhaps go outside for a walk. Some employees may not take a lunch break, fearful of what their manager might think.

In the wake of Covid-19, many employees have gone from working in an office to being 100% remote-and that, in and of itself, could raise employees’ anxieties and concerns. Managers should offer encouragement during one and one or team chats to employees. With remote workers not getting any face-to-face communication with their teams, mental health wellness becomes even more important.

COVID-19 is arguably one of the biggest changes, the modern world of work has had to navigate through so, this has been a challenge for many business leaders and their HR teams across the world.

To learn more about ATS you can register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To download a demo of our work from home time and attendance application, go to our website. And, to reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

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While many provinces in Canada and states, in the US are making plans to reopen, many of its citizens, don’t feel quite ready to go back — to work or business. As employers make plans to return to the workplace, they will need to carefully gauge how employees feel and what would make them comfortable.

Here are 7 steps to take to protect employees and your business:

1.Encourage employees to stay home if they’re sick and don’t ask them to produce a doctor’s note. Doctors have got their hands full, trying to deal with COVID-19. They don’t have time to write a sick note to confirm that an employee is sick. Also, avoid pressuring sick employees to return to work too soon, instead, encourage them to utilize your company’s leave policies or paid sick time.

2. Check the updates from government and health officials. Provinces, municipalities, Government of Canada the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have added useful information regarding COVID-19 on their respective websites.

3.Communicate with your customers. No one is immune to this crisis so, be transparent to customers about your business operations. Perhaps, hours of operation have changed or product offerings are now exclusively online.

4. Offer a remote work option. It wasn’t too long ago that some companies would balk at the suggestion of having employees telecommute for a day or two a week. Today, COVID-19 has made working from home the new normal. Offering employees an opportunity to work from home, even if its for a few days a week—can help prevent the spread of the illness, without exposing themselves or others to the virus.

5. Reduce onsite meetings and travel and instead, hold them virtually. If an employee gets sick because of business travel, you could see a spike in requests for time-off and low employee morale.

6. Institute and communicate workplace policies. Develop hygiene policies that are aligned with public health recommendations and that of your local, regional and federal laws. Post information for employees with on how viruses are transmitted and help employees practice healthy habits by providing tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap and sanitizer, and disposable towels. These practices will show employees that their employer cares about their well-being.

7. Maintain employee privacy. Treat all medical-related information about an employee’s illness with the strict confidence. If you plan on informing your workforce about a possible case of the virus in their midst, do not reveal the name of the employee.

There will be some uneasiness with the employees who return to work and for employees, while it is great that they are returning to a job, you can expect them to feel uneasy for some time. These employees will likely be keen see what health and safety practices are being employed to ease their fears.

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To learn more about ATS you can register for one of our bi-monthly webinars, download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone at; 866.294.2467.

The world is different today than it was a few weeks ago. COVID-19 is sweeping across the world. Uncertainty, without question, is at an all-time high, as we experience an utter disruption in our workplaces and homes. And, above all, there’s no quick fix. The best thing employers can do is take time to listen to their employees. This means, being proactive with your employees by way of showing empathy towards their concerns, communicating frequently, while also being flexible and supportive of their needs.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Stress during outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

This current pandemic has many employees working remotely, and as a result, it has made it next to impossible, for companies to maintain an engaged workforce. However, it does not have to be that way.

Here are three ways, companies can maintain employee engagement during this COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. We are social creatures, and whether it’s talking about our favourite hockey team, the latest movie with a work colleague, getting together for birthday celebrations or just casual conversations around the office-these activities include some of the reasons why we enjoy our jobs. All of a sudden, covid-19 has put a stop to all of this. So, as an employer, when checking in with your staff, something as simple as; how was your weekend? can make all the difference to them.
  2. Several provinces and states across Canada and the US are slowly opening up parts of the economy. But does this mean all employees should be asked to start driving to the office? A better approach might be to extend flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, and staggered schedules that can help prevent the spread of the illness by allowing employees to work without exposing themselves or others to the virus. Greater use of teleconferences and e-mail versus face-to-face meetings are additional social distancing strategies that can help prevent the spread of illness.
  3. When checking in with their employees, managers should remind them how important their work is. Whether your industry is in telecommunications, manufacturing, insurance, or the front-lines providing healthcare or in the supply chain keeping the economy going, every company’s work is important. Your employee should be told that the work they perform is important and they should be made to feel that way not only now, but beyond COVID-19.

Bottomline: Your employees are anxious. Not only are they worried about getting sick and having enough food and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also weathering financial uncertainty, canceled social plans, and a completely new way of working.

To learn more about ATS, go to our website to download a demonstration of software or you can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

As coronavirus pervades every aspect of life, many companies (big and small) are grappling with how to support their employees during this time when there are many unknowns. And in many of these organizations, employees look to their leaders, in particular, HR for guidance as they navigate through the unknown territory of this pandemic.

Nathan Christensen wrote an insightful guide for HR managers on TLNT.com titled

7 Tips for SMBs to Manage Their HR in the Time of COVID-19 

These tips include:

  1. “Communicate honestly and openly with employees. It can be tempting to shelter employees from fears and risks, especially since high stress has been shown to destroy trust and inhibit empathy. But it’s likely your employees are already thinking about the issues keeping you up at night.
  2. Invite employees into the challenge. Surviving during a crisis requires creative and innovative thinking, as well as a willingness on the part of everyone to rise to the occasion. Focus your team on the purpose of your company’s work and the challenges ahead, and invite employees to seek new ways to contribute to the mission of the company, deliver its values, and achieve its strategic objectives. If your employees are invested in your culture, company, and mission, they will respond.
  3. Practice “open-source HR.” One of the unique aspects of the COVID-19 crisis is how broadly it has affected employers. Reach out (virtually) to other business and HR leaders in the community, perhaps through social media groups or by hosting virtual chats.
  4. Pay close attention to the new legislation that is being passed in response to COVID-19. Laws like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, New York’s paid sick leave for COVID-19, and Colorado’s emergency rules for paid sick leave are important efforts to help employees who have lost pay and work, but they also bring new compliance requirements to employers.
  5. Protect against any semblance of discrimination. During periods of significant change, it’s important to make sure that any actions taken with respect to employees do not discriminate or appear to discriminate based on an employee’s protected class. There are legitimate business reasons for treating groups of employees differently.
  6. Manage your employees holistically.Employees working from home may have additional distractions or disruptions they’re not used to managing during the workday. It’s also possible that employees or their family members are experiencing distressing financial or health-related circumstances. Prioritize the health of not only your employees, but also their support network. If an employee is sick, give them time to get well and forego asking for a doctor’s note (health care professionals are already overwhelmed). Employers shouldn’t lower their standards for employee performance — that can also have a negative impact. But a little flexibility can have a big impact on employee wellbeing, commitment, and contribution.
  7. Understand limitations on privacy. If you need to have a difficult conversation with an employee, such as to notify them of a layoff or furlough, keep in mind that if they are working from home, the conversation may not be a private one. There may be a child, spouse, or roommate in the room with them, which can make it challenging for the employee to process the information and communicate openly.”

Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses across every industry and, to the global economy as a whole. Organizations in the immediate term, need to ensure that the health and safety of their employees above all else, come first. In the short and long term, covid-19 will change the way businesses operate and compete.

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.

In addition, ATS provides modular analytic solutions that includes; workforce planning, benefits management, employee self-service, business intelligence, human resources, payroll, and advanced analytics based on a robust cloud computing platform for information and data needs. It also offers design, rapid deployment, support services, software updates, and enhancements; and consulting and training services.

To learn more, go to www.https://www.atimesolutions.com

This blog is a follow up to The annual office Christmas party and the headaches it can create for HR managers . Holiday office parties is a time to get to know some of your co-workers like the payroll manager, who you would otherwise never see unless, you have issues with the inaccuracies of your paycheque, from the antiquated time clock-that your company has not updated. And, yes it is not intended as a boozy event,  popularized by the movie Office Christmas Party that would have any HR manager pulling his/her hair out.

 In a recent article, titled The Rules of Etiquette for Your Office Holiday Party by J.R. Duren for GlassDoor it contains 5 tips, that can help you can enjoy the company of your colleagues at the office holiday party-while, at the same time, avoid jeopardizing your career.

Here are the 5 tips from the article:

How to dress: Keep it classy

Experts across the board are united in their opinions about several aspects of office parties, attire included.

Lisa M. Grotts, a San Francisco-based etiquette expert, says your holiday party isn’t your chance to go overboard with gaudy outfits.

“Just because an office function is after work hours doesn’t mean it’s an invitation to dress flashy or wear a revealing outfit,” Grotts said. “Skirts should hit your knee and nothing should be too tight. Skip the cleavage-bearing tops.”

We heard the same sentiment from Jacquelyn Youst, a Pennsylvania-based etiquette consultant.

“Office holiday parties are an extension of the office. This is not the time or place to wear your short skirt and low-cut blouse,” Youst said. “Maintain a professional level of decorum.”

This isn’t your chance to push your “I’m casual so I dress casual” agenda, says Laura Handrick, an HR analyst at Fit Small Business.

How to drink: Keep it at two

This is the section you’ve probably been waiting for; all the good horror stories are usually the handiwork of booze and beer. As humorous as these stories can be, jobs and reputations are on the line when you’re four Sazeracs deep and ready to air your grievances.

Carlota Zimmerman, a career expert based in Los Angeles, says you can give yourself a head start by eating before you arrive.

“Even half a sandwich and a protein smoothie will work,” Zimmerman said. “Just get something inside you so that the first martini won’t have you self-righteously glaring at your boss as you mentally assemble your declaration of independence.”

How to converse: Keep it cordial

Office holiday parties require conversational skills — introvert or not, you’re probably going to be forced to talk with someone you don’t know that well.

The rules for conversation are essentially the same as drinking: moderation wins. Don’t get too deep and don’t come off as too superficial.

“Appropriate conversation is any compliment related to the holiday outfit others have chosen or any topic related to the holidays, family time or time off,” Handrick said. “’Will you get to see your mom this Christmas in upstate New York?’ is fine.”

When to leave: Read the room

Once you’ve had your chance to have a couple of drinks and engage in conversation, you may be ready to head home or to another party.

If the second party is better than the first, don’t mention that to your colleagues, Grenny said. And if you’re worried about leaving too early, gauge the atmosphere.

“When it comes to leaving, take your cue from the majority,” he said. “Leave when most people are leaving.”

Saying thank you: The final step

Whether you loved your holiday party or hated it, many of our experts said that expressing your gratitude about the party is a professional and polite way to acknowledge the time and money they put into the party.

Amber Hunter, an employee experience director at A Plus Benefits, said that you can leave a lasting impression on your bosses if you let them know you enjoyed yourself and appreciated the company’s efforts to plan a holiday party.

Bottomline: You spend more time with our co-workers than your family throughout the week. And, in some respect you probably become close friends or they become an extension of your family. The office holiday is a break from everyday work, where you get to meet your co-workers significant other. Have fun and don’t do anything that will make you look foolish and make everyone else uncomfortable.

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.

In addition, ATS provides modular analytic solutions that includes; workforce planning, benefits management, employee self-service, business intelligence, human resources, payroll, and advanced analytics based on a robust cloud computing platform for information and data needs. It also offers design, rapid deployment, support services, software updates, and enhancements; and consulting and training services.

To download a demonstration of ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, or to register for a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website. And, to reach an account executive, call; 866.294.2467.

You Should Be Mindful Of Your Company’s Tech Workplace Etiquette

October 15th, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Employee Productivity | HR | Office | Payroll | Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on You Should Be Mindful Of Your Company’s Tech Workplace Etiquette)

Work etiquette is part common sense and part culture and can depend on the company you work for. For example, the corporate culture at the company you work for, might have a list of unwritten rules about work etiquette. It is up to you to know them, and if you don’t make, an attempt by asking someone who has been at the company longer than you have been. All workplaces are different, but basic work etiquette is pretty universal within a country.

Here is an excerpt list of technology workplace etiquettes from a recent article by Deborah Lynn Blumberg titled 8 tech etiquette rules for the modern workplace.

“Shut off your cell phone
It can be tempting to zone out by checking personal email on your smartphone or scrolling through Facebook during a team meeting. Resist, says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. When you’re on your personal device, you send a message that the meeting and work aren’t your priority.

Be mindful during conference callsYou wouldn’t crunch a bag of potato chips during a department meeting or send out a flurry of personal tweets. So, don’t do it during a conference call, says Gottsman. A general rule for video calls is to imagine you’re in an in-person meeting. Be especially careful if you’re calling in from home.

Know your email etiquette
Email subjects should clearly communicate the point of your message, Gottsman says. She also advises to be cautious when using the Bcc or blind copy features. You run the risk of the person who’s blind copied responding to everyone, she says. “There’s secrecy in blind copying. A cc feels more upfront.”

Think before adding an emojiEmojis can soften the tone of requests you make of your employees or colleagues. But, they also create the potential for misunderstandings. One recent study found that using smiley faces in work emails makes readers perceive the sender as less competent. It’s safest to use emojis with colleagues you know well, says Senning.

Keep notifications in checkIf you’re using your personal laptop for a work presentation, build in time to disable notifications that might pop up. For Belanger, who received that mid-presentation question about her date, it was an instant message, but it could also be Facebook alerts or even calendar reminders.

Don’t friend-request your boss
We spend most of our days at work, and that’s where we build our relationships. So, friending a co-worker on Facebook might feel natural. But it’s also a risk. You might see a picture from their personal life that makes you uncomfortable. If that’s the case, “there’s nothing wrong with unfollowing someone,” Gottsman says.

When F2F is better than screen-to-screen
Senning says part of good tech etiquette is knowing when not to use it. Relying heavily on email presents a genuine challenge to our ability to empathize, he says.  For issues that are sensitive or could impact the relationship between colleagues or between a supervisor and her direct report, it’s better to meet face-to-face. It doesn’t have to be formal, a quick coffee or a “walking meeting” often works wonders to facilitate clear communication.

Say you’re sorry
Inevitably, despite our best intentions, embarrassing tech mistakes will happen. “Technological tools are extremely helpful,” says Gottsman. “They make our job and life easier. But at the same time, they can complicate matters because we don’t use them right, or we get too comfortable. We need to use technology responsibly and politely.”

Bottomline-Many of these work etiquettes mentioned here are not hard to adopt, and as previously mentioned, most of them comes down to common sense.

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Whether you are the CEO, CFO, Chief Information or Chief People Officer running a busy company comes with many challenges including your health.  Afterall, if you don’t take care of your health, how can you lead a productive workforce? In fact, more often than not, a company’s employees tend to model the behaviours of their leader. So, for instance, if the boss habitually works 50-60 hours a week, employees will feel compelled to follow this pattern or risk being seen as not working hard enough.

Sue Pridham’s article written for the Globe and Mail titled Seven tips for busy executives to stay healthy is the perfect antidote for busy executives who overwork themselves and, as a result, struggle to find time for selfcare.

Those seven tips are as follows:

1. Get 7 to 8 hours sleep. If you are low on energy, gaining weight and grumpy, chances are you aren’t getting enough sleep. One night without sleep, or several nights with too few hours of sleep, leaves you driving as if you are legally drunk at a blood alcohol content of 0.08.

2. Eat breakfast daily. The purpose of eating breakfast is to give your body some much needed energy after a long night of sleep.

3. Manage stress. Take wellness breaks throughout the day to recharge and encourage your team to do the same. Leave work at a reasonable hour and let others know you have a life beyond work. They will take note and do the same. Take your well-deserved vacation and try to stay unplugged as much as possible.

4. Exercise daily. If your team sees you making fitness a priority, they will follow suit. That could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk or run midday, encouraging your department to take a stretch break. Another way is to walk and talk. Get out of the boardroom and host a walking meeting. This will stimulate blood flow and get the creative juices flowing. Keep a pair of running shoes under your desk and walk after lunch or at break times. Go for a walk with the family after dinner to reduce screen time.

5. Eat 7 to 8 fruits and vegetables each day. People who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a significantly lower risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

6. Practise gratitude. We can get so caught up in the thrill of the next deal and achieving targets that we forget to recognize the efforts of our team along the way. Take time to show thanks. No one has ever faulted their employer for giving too much praise.

7. Stay connected. Social connections can strengthen our immune systems, lower rates of anxiety and depression and improve our self-esteem. Connecting with people makes us happy, which in turn keeps us healthy. Get out from behind your desk and give your employees some face time.

Bottomline: In today’s ‘always on’ digital era, as an executive, you have information coming at you from every angle. And, after a long day of mind consuming tasks, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted. But you won’t be doing a good job at anything if you are not giving your brain a break, and at the same time, risking your health in the process.

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