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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.

This current pandemic has forced many employees to work from home. And, for those employees who are not used to working from home, they could get easily get distracted, feel lonely and unproductive. Moreover, this might be especially true for employees who crave the social interaction of their colleagues and also feel exiled from the office environment.

If you happen to be one of these employees who, like many of us, are having a hard time juggling working from home and managing house-hold chores while helping your school-age kids with online learning, here are few tips from an article titled, Four Self-Care Practices You Can Do at Your Desk by Mandy Gilbert for Inc.com

Wind down with a five-minute meditation: I probably don’t have to remind you of all the studies that have been done that link daily meditation to improved mental and physical health. We all know meditation is good for us. However, finding the ability to pull away from your pressing tasks and give into a quick mindfulness session can seem downright selfish when dealing with all the urgent matters stacking up on your plate. 

Turn off your digital devices and focus on the tangible: Screen fatigue is a huge problem and can become a very real hindrance on your mental health. As many of us transition to working from home, the problem is only becoming amplified. I know, personally, I cringe a little every time I hear the ping of my weekly screen report. 

Practice workplace gratitude and celebrate your accomplishments: Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You’re working away on a big project, caught up in the day-to-day hustle, when a colleague congratulates you on a recent achievement that you almost entirely forgot about. 

Throw out the rules and text your family and friends: Our family and friends are our greatest support systems, so it can be hard keeping them at arm’s length throughout the day when you are going through a particularly difficult time. 

That’s why it’s time to throw away the rule made up in the boardrooms of yesteryear that you shouldn’t be on your personal phone during work hours. Speaking from firsthand experience, it can be so rejuvenating to take a moment and check in with your loved ones once or twice a day. It lifts your spirits, satisfies your need for socialization, and can even make you more productive. 

Bottomline: No one knows with absolute certainty, when many employees might return to offices. However, several tech companies including Salesforce, Twitter, IBM, Oracle and Google to name a few, has already said employees can work at home for the rest of the year, even after they have reopened their offices.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar Embracing The Future of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

During this ever-evolving challenging time, organizations should be prepared for additional leave requests from their employees. Federal, provincial and local governments, are quickly amending or passing laws in response to COVID-19 outbreak, to protect workers who need time off. And, as this pandemic drags on, with no end in sight, organizations can expect, from workers —additional stress, feelings of fear and uncertainty.

If you are using paper and pen to track your employee time-off requests, during this pandemic, there is a better way.

With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand, employees and supervisors can:

Employee Self-Service Portal

  • Employees can request time-off, view hours worked for the week or period.
  • Find out if their request for time-off was granted or denied by their supervisors
  • Key in their start and end time from any computer or mobile device

Supervisor Portal

  • HR, supervisors and operational managers can review time-off requests in real-time and respond accordingly.
  • Supervisors can enter time-off for themselves directly, without an approval process. However, if you want supervisors to submit their time-off, for approval, to the managers they report to, you can simply change their access rights.

Notifications

Supervisors, managers and super-users can push notifications from the dashboard to their mobile device. They can also select their preferred notification from their ATSTimeWorkOnDemand Dashboard.

Vacation and leave management Balances

  • Leave management balance are hours from existing edit time card that have been deducted.
  • Future benefit accruals have notbeen added.
  • Time-off hours in the edit time card that have not been deducted.

Available Benefit Accrual Balance

  • Time-off hours accrued between now and when the time-off occurs have been added. 
  • All future time-off hours that have been deducted. 
  • Any hours from existing time-off dashboard that have been deducted.

ATSTimeWorkOnDemand Payroll Ready

  • With ATSTimeWorkOnDemandHR ESS, you can integrate, automate, and streamline your entire payroll process while providing in-depth reporting options and ensuring accuracy.
  • Integrated payroll engine interface that simplifies your entire payroll process while providing in-depth reporting options.
  • Access and make amendments to compensation and Benefit Accruals

Companies that implement ATSTimeWorkOnDemandHR will be positioned to maximize efficiency and cost savings by —streamlining processes and freeing up the HR department from manually tracking and managing employee requests. The Employee Self-Service features of an ATSTimeWorkOnDemandHR can positively impact employee engagement by actively involving them in their own vacation planning, overtime requests and benefits decisions.

To learn more about ATS you can register for our next webinar Embracing The Future of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. To download a demo of our time and attendance app or reach us by phone call; 866.294.2467.

You can also read:

Time and Attendance to Manage Your Remote Workforce

Here are a few Contactless Punching Options for your Organization

How To Maintain Employee Engagement During COVID-19

With stay-at-home orders reshaping the business landscape, the workforce has become fluid and remote. To manage in this new world of work, you need new strategies. Your employees can use ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HR application on their laptops or mobile devices to sign in for work and avoid congregating in the area where they usually clock in and out.

Here are 3 benefits to ATS Time and Attendance and HR App for the remote workforce:

Attendance Management: Labour costs is one of the largest expenses for a business. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand gives you instant insight into time and attendance across your local, regional and global workforce, helping to ensure you maintain control and drive productivity. Employees can log in/out of their timesheets and use the on-demand dashboards to keep track of all payroll, compensation and benefits data

Manager and Employee Self-Service Portal: Employees can navigate the dashboard to; view hours worked, request time-off, view their scheduled shifts, vacation balance and see their leave requests was approved. Managers gets an instant notification for requests that meet pre-defined standards, and real-time visibility into pay calculations and also see employees who are approaching overtime pay.

HR Management and People Analytics: With ATS HR, you get instant and complete visibility of your remote workforce from a single source of truth. Keep your leaders informed with up-to-the-minute insights and make informed decisions with smarter analytics. You have access to on-demand reports, dashboards and analytics to keep track of all payroll, compensation and benefits data. And, instead of using paper-issued approvals, you can leave the busy work behind and focus on important issues like employee engagement, all through the interactive ATS TimeWorkOnDemand.

So, there you have it. No more trying to figure out what time your employee started working, what project they are working on or using manual time-off requests written on paper. You can do all that in ATSTimeWorkOnDemand HR with a few clicks.

At ATS we know the value of your HR data. Built and hosted by ATS this powerful cloud computing app, offers unparalleled reliability, secure access, privacy and availability 24/7, 365 days a year.

To take a test drive of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand HR go to our website. To reach an account executive, call; 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

Enhancing the profitability of your organizational challenges gets more difficult every year—thanks in part to aging legacy applications and manual time tracking solutions that can’t keep up with today’s technology. Case in point, disconnected systems can hinder decision-making and lead to wasted resources and high payroll costs.

ATSTimeWorkOnDemand automates time tracking for hourly and salaried workforce and provides senior management with on-the-spot analytic reporting. With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand you can run your entire business in a single system of record, including: Talent Management, Time and Attendance, Payroll, ERP and HR and— receive updates on, production control, supply chain management, and more so you can be more competitive, efficient, and responsive to your customers’ needs.

Here are 5 reasons to deploy ATSTimeWorkOnDemand:

Scalable- Your organization will not have to worry again about database capacity, user license needs, adding another location, or how much storage or computing power you will need as your employee capacity and/or the size of your company increases. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand Cloud Computing application is infinitely scalable — expanding as needed.

Cost-ATSTimeWorkOnDemand lowers your cost of installing, maintaining and supporting your Human Capital Management (HCM) system – year after year. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand significantly cuts the cost of installing, maintaining, supporting and upgrading your system not just in year one, but throughout the lifetime of your relationship with ATS.

Secure-With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand, you get enterprise-class security at a low, predictable cost. You can trust that your data is safe—from ironclad firewalls and automated security sniffers to concrete walls and biometric control systems, ATSTimeWorkOnDemand solution is designed to provide the highest level of security.

State-Of-The-Art Technology-ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is built from the ground up with HR, finance and payroll practitioners in mind, and takes maximum advantage of cloud computing.  ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is designed for a “single instance, multi-tenant” implementation or across multiple sites across Canada, the US, Latin America or Europe. And, while the platform is shared among users and sites, security controls provide each tenant with sole access to its own data, in real-time, as well as full control over user and security administration.

Always-On-ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is available 24/7, 365 days a year— and promises to exceed the service levels and response time. Afterall, today’s businesses, simply cannot afford unscheduled downtime.

Tired of struggling with outdated and disparate software solutions?  Discover the many benefits of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand by downloading a demonstration of the application and you can see how this cloud application delivers a single solution that streamlines payroll costs, improve productivity and efficiently runs your business.

To learn more, you can contact us by phone at 866.294.2467 and/or also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables a system to learn from data rather than through explicit programming. Artificial intelligence is a broad term that refers to systems or machines that mimic human intelligence. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are often discussed and used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. An important distinction is that although all machine learning is AI, not all AI is machine learning.

Today, machine learning is at work all around us. When we bank and shop online, or use social media platforms, the algorithms of machine learning comes into play to make the user experience efficient, seamless and secure. Machine learning and the technology around it are developing rapidly, and thus, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of its broad-based capabilities.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite is robust, intuitive and built with future-forward simplicity of machine learning, allowing your organization to work smarter and work seamlessly in the modern cloud. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite experience empowers your employees to perform at their full potential and work inspired, helping them accomplish daily tasks — anything from requesting time-off and benefits enrollment to scheduling and managing time and attendance. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand machine learning capabilities, employs rich analytics to predict what will happen — to help organizations make forward-looking, proactive decisions instead of relying on past data.

Here are 3 ways ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM technology suite can help your business thrive:

Work in today’s modern cloud
With ATS TimeWorkOnDemand you can automate the employee life cycle and streamline workforce compliance including collective bargaining agreements (CBA) so your people can focus on strategic initiatives that support business goals.

Streamline payroll and other operational costs
ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite allows your company to streamline tasks and empower your people to get things done in the fewest steps possible — from any place and on any device 24/7, 365 days a year. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite automates, employee self-service, time and attendance, benefit accruals, employee scheduling and integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resources information system (HRIS), payroll and talent management.

Instant data-driven insights
Gather key metrics, visualize insights, and predict workforce trends with HR-based people analytics embedded right into your ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite experience.

To learn more, about ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HCM suite go to our website and download a demonstration. To reach an account executive, you can request more information by going online or contact us by phone at 866.294.2467.

‘Vacation shaming’ is nothing new. In fact, some company leaders make it a practise of not taking time-off and work long hours as a way of hinting that employees should do the same.

Encouraging workers to take time-off to reset, especially vacation, is a good way to make sure time off is used—and this, will bode well for the company’s bottom line. But frankly, any employer that expects you to work on your vacation or worst, not take vacation, isn’t one worth working for.

‘Vacation Shaming’ employees can have a negative impact on productivity, and also make it hard to retain talent. Paul Michael’s article 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t “Vacation Shame” Your Coworkers sums up why it’s bad to engage in this practice.

We selected find 5 of these ‘Vacation Shaming’ reasons from the article. They include:

1.Vacation is vital for good health: You wouldn’t want to make your coworkers physically ill, but by guilting them out of their vacation time, you could be contributing to some very serious health risks. The Framingham Heart Study, the world’s longest running study of heart disease, has some frightening statistics on vacation and health. The biggest — that men who failed to take a vacation for two years or more were 30 percent more likely to experience a heart attack than peers who took regular time off.

2. Vacation refreshes the mind and body: Research has proved it; when you take a vacation, you are improving your mind and your overall health. And if you work with people who need to be great at their jobs in order to make you and the company thrive, then you should encourage vacation time.

3. Vacation keeps good employees at the company: An unhappy employee is one that is looking for another job. A 2015 Talent Trends survey found that one out of every three employees is actively looking for a new job. That’s almost a third of the people at your company, right now, that wants out.

4. Vacation boosts organizational morale: Who wants to work in a company filled with miserable, exhausted, irritable employees? That’s what you get if you work in an environment that vacation-shames people.

5. Vacation leads to better performance reviews and higher salaries: Put this in the “strange but true” category if you like, but a 2006 study by Ernst & Young found that each additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took led to performance reviews that were 8 percent higher the following year. And, of course, higher performance reviews lead to increased salary bumps, promotions, and greater opportunities within the company.

Bottomline: We live in an always-on era and while it may be hard to unplug, it’s precisely the reason, employers should encourage their employees to take their vacation without making them feeling guilty.

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, go to our website. And to a speak to an account representative, call; 866.294.2467.

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.