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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.

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt organizations worldwide, many are turning to digital technologies to help reinvent processes and go-to-market strategies. The grocery and their supply chain industry know, all too well that consumer expectations of the shopping experience, has to align with brand and inventory management strategies- to ultimately meet demand, while protecting margins.

Here are 5 ways the grocery industry and their supply chains can leverage the best of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand to fuel profits and increase productivity.

  1. Real-Time Analytics Delivers Business Continuity: ATSTimeWorkOnDemand for grocery and supply chain ties every part of your organization together under one system, capturing every detail and maintaining a single version of your data. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand cloud analytics combines workforce planning, forecasting and demand, response and supply, demand-driven replenishment, and inventory planning. Leading grocery companies choose ATSTimeWorkOnDemand for its powerful supply chain analytics, what-if simulation and alerts to stay ahead of change and improve responsiveness.
  2. Fast Deployment: ATSTimeWorkOnDemand for grocers and their supply chain has a plethora of pre-built visualizations and data elements designed for the grocery industry. The scalable platform of ATSTimeWorkOnDemand means that it is easy to grow-with and make changes in the future.
  3. Ready To Use Information: HR, payroll and finance needs accurate data and ATSTimeWorkOnDemand intuitive dashboards viewable by functional areas of the business to ensure users across all departments, can focus on the data that is relevant to them.  ATSTimeWorkOnDemand is also accessible to employees on their mobile devices or tablets; to check overtime, schedules and to request time-off through the employee self-service portal.
  4. Manual Time Reporting is a Thing of the Past: Archaic spreadsheet-based reporting won’t help business move forward. With ATSTimeWorkOnDemand instant forecasting and budget analytics helps grocery and their supply chains establish a data-driven culture that will help decision makers can easily retrieve up-to-the-minute data without relying on IT or the next report run. That means getting actionable insights from across your grocery supply chain to understand impacts and execute adjustments in a timely way.
  5. Managing profit when margin pressures are high: With ATS best-of-breed data collectors, grocery and their supply chains, will obtain real-time visibility and transactional updates. Sometimes, the truth about a company’s performance is often hidden deep within labour costs and operational data. ATSTimeWorkOnDemand for grocery and supply chain, does the heavy lifting, by sorting through the noise to isolate, calculate and track the business metrics that really matter.

To learn more about ATSTimeWorkOnDemand for Grocery and Supply Chains, go to our website. You can also register for one of our webinars, or download a demo of our software solution from our website. And, to reach account representative by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to adopt remote work arrangements, in workplaces and industries where this was feasible. It now appears, that this trend will continue well into 2021.  And, while this was taking place HR leaders had to deal with job cuts, rehiring and managing employee morale. In short, no small task.

According to the recent article in HR Dive by Topia titled, 3 challenges HR leaders face in 2021 those challenges include:

‘Hidden’ remote work risk – The great thing about the remote work model is work can get done from anywhere. The challenging thing about the remote model is the same – work can be done from anywhere. With so many employees working from “home” your employees can be working in another city, state, or country without you knowing it. This opens up businesses and employees to tax and permanent establishment risk. While many jurisdictions have given a pass for this in 2020, it is likely that they will start enforcing it again in 2021.

Business travel compliance – One of the first forms of employee movement to come back in 2021 will be business travel. In the US this will mean getting on top of state-to-state payroll withholding. In Europe, there’s the more complex challenge of the A1 and Posted Workers Directive to tackle. With COVID-19 shutting down most cross-border business travel, complying with these rules was not a top priority for most companies. We can expect that in 2021, as the virus gets under control and organizations start deploying employees across borders, countries will be looking to enforce this rule and others to ensure they are getting the appropriate tax contributions.

Employee demands for new working models – There is a lot of discussion around how work will get done in a post-pandemic world. Some businesses have moved aggressively to embrace remote work. Some organizations have gotten rid of corporate campuses or made working remote the de-facto practice. We’re likely to see more nuanced approaches and policies moving forward. These include fully remote work, flexible work, extending vacation with remote work in their holiday location, etc. Organizations will need the right frameworks and tools to manage new and complex types of employees vs the traditional in-person/office and fully remote employee.

In conclusion, 2020 may have been one of the most challenging times for many companies on a global scale. And, while there have been opportunities too, HR leaders continue to be tasked with adapting to an ever-changing, regulatory labour and payroll compliance, as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To learn more about ATS and/or to download a demo of our cloud-computing HCM solution, go to our website. To 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.