A new blog for users of TimePilot time clock systems


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Looking for a big idea?

Take a walk!: One study says walking increased a person’s “creative output” by an average of 60 percent. Be sure to check out the tips at the end of the article: Tip No. 2: Walk outside; Tip 3: Turn off your cell phone.

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The benefits of unlimited vacation time

Unlimited vacation time is a fairly common benefit in some industries, and while it's great for employees, it can also benefit employers too: When employees leave the company, there's no "unused" vacation time that needs reimbursement. From the article: "...[B]y not defining the number of days employees get off, employers also aren’t on the hook for paying out a certain number of hours when a employees leave."

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What's your tax burden?

Federal and state income taxes are due next week. Did you ever wonder where you rank among earners in the U.S.? And what portion of the tax burden you bear? Kiplinger Magazine has created a calculator that will tell you. (Read the related article under the calculator too—it's worth your time!)

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8 Management lessons from "Game of Thrones"

The final season of HBO's hit show starts Sunday, but GOT will live on in business schools. Columbia Business School examines leadership lessons from the novels and TV series. From their list of lessons: "4. Develop Empathy: Tyrion Lannister also examplifies someone with deep empathy, which contributes to his high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). This trait allows him to see people from multiple perspectives and forge alliances." Other Thrones-based classes are taught at business schools at Harvard, Indiana and Cass Business School in London, anong others.

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Smaller tax refund than expected?

Join the crowd: You may not have had enough withheld by your employer. In part, that could be because of the new tax law that was passed at the end of 2017, which resulted in new withholding tables for employers arriving partway into 2018. Can't pay a big bill? Here's what to do.

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New tax laws hit online sellers

Do you sell online across state borders? In an effort to level the playing field between online merchants and brick-and-mortar stores, more and more states are requiring some "remote sellers" to register and collect sales taxes from customers in their states. (California joined the list on April 1.) Here's some state-by-state info.

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Translating body language

Communicate without words: Whether you know it or not, you're always communicating your mental state with body language. Learn what you're "saying" and how to "say" it better with this article.

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How to Achieve Work-Life Balance

And why it's important: It's one of the things employees value most!.

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12 ways to be more productive at work

No. 12: Don't multitask! According to the article, it doesn't work, and thus hurts your productivity more than it helps.

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How to Recruit Employees for Small Business

You've got to get creative: Besides paying the market rate, offer local perks (dry cleaning discounts, etc.), better opportunities for advancement and flexible schedules.

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Hiring a Millennial? Expect these 8 traits

If you're hiring workers born between 1980 and 2000, known as "Millennials," there are eight things you should expect. No 4.: "Millennials need to feel like what they are doing is important and that they are on the right track."

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To relieve work stress, find a "Third Place"

It's not work and it's not home: A "Third Place"—a bridge between your home life and your work life—can help make you happier in both places. Here's how to find one.

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Sounds like a winner!

A quiet office is a happy office: Scientists at Boston University have discovered a shape that blocks all sound—but not light or air—and could transform offices, condos and apartments.

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Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday; how to cope

Step 1: Get more sleep: Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday, so remember to set your clocks forward an hour Saturday night. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that to prepare for the time change, in the next few days go to bed a few minutes earlier and eat dinner a little earlier than usual. Daylight Saving Time will end Sunday, November 3.

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Good managers reply quickly

I'll get back to you...: When researchers compiled a huge database of the digital habits of teams at Microsoft, they found that the clearest warning sign of an ineffective manager was being slow to answer emails.

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The solution to (nearly) everything: working less

Sounds good to me: A Dutch historian suggests that cutting the work week to, say, 15 hours and coupling it with a universal basic income would have a positive effect on climate change and population health, as well as making workers more efficient and less error-prone.

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What to say in an exit interview

Don't burn your bridges in your exit interview when you leave your job. Be professional and honest, but not petty or boastful.

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How you feel about your job affects your kids' health

Control is the key: Researchers have found that children's health is less likely to be negatively affected when their parents feel a sense of control over their work lives. "If you can decide how you are going to do your job, rather than having that imposed on you, it is better for children," said one researcher.

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Send an email with a typo!

The headline to this Money Magazine story says it best: The founder of Girls Who Code says you should send at least one professional email with a typo. Here's why.

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Can you turn a hobby into a business?

Many hobbyists dream of turning their hobby into a business. But how do you do it? An MIT researcher studied 400,000 people over seven years and has found that there's a crucial ingredient (and no, it's not money!).

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Be careful with biometrics

Fingerprint time clocks sound great, but you've got to protect your employees' data or face the possibility of legal action. This court ruling against a company could be just the start as more states pass tough data privacy laws.

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Workplace theft rising fast

Theft of “non-cash” property—ranging from a single pencil to a pallet of them on the company loading dock—jumped from 10.6 percent of corporate-theft losses in 2002 to 21 percent in 2018. Why? One expert says it's a decrease in supervision, the ease of reselling stolen products online, and "a general decline in employee honesty."

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Dirty touchscreens = sick employees

Scientists tested touchscreen kiosks at a number of British restaurants and were surprised at the amount of nasty germs they found. Do you have a touchscreen time clock? Keep it clean!

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Dealing with negative employees

Here are some tips on how to handle employees or co-workers who are constantly negative as well as those who are normally positive but have a legitimate gripe.

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In 11 months: Goodbye Windows 7!

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop its free support for Windows 7. You can still use that antiquated (9.5-year-old) operating system after that, but unless you purchase "Extended Security Updates" from Microsoft, you won't get any more security upgrades. Using Office 2010? Support for that ends October 13, 2020.

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Best Practices

A TimePilot iButton

Adding new iButtons to your system

When an employee loses an iButton or you add employees, you'll need to assign them an iButton. The instructions appear on the Quick Start Guide you received with your system, but here's a refresher for each of our clocks.

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All about holiday schedules

Setting up holiday schedules in the TimePilot software is pretty straightforward, but there are some things you can do that will get the job done more quickly and efficiently.

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Accommodate night shifts with day boundary

In today’s strong economy, more and more companies are adding second and third shifts to their workday. But having employees’ workdays extend past midnight has the potential for playing havoc with your pay periods. TimePilot can help.

Learn More You can set up your employees' breaks in the 'Shift Schedule' section of the software.

Keeping an eye on employee work breaks

How do you handle employee breaks? Work breaks are generally considered paid time, and therefore employees do not have to clock out when the break starts and clock in when the break ends. But there may be times when you want to monitor employees’ breaks to ensure they aren’t taking extra time, or even penalize employees who take longer breaks than they should.

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Q & A

Q. I use Extreme Blue Enhanced. I collect the data from my clock every day or every second day and I keep getting orphan transactions. How can I stop this? The answer

Q. I use Extreme Blue, and I've lost my Management iButton. Is there any other way to extract times from the timeclock? The answer

Q. We use a USB drive to extract the data from each Extreme Blue clock. Do we need to use a separate USB drive for each clock or will it just add the information from the second and third time clock to the drive for that pay period? The answer

Q. We use our Vetro clock in standalone mode, and every time I assign a new iButton at the clock, it clears everyone else's names. What's going on? The answer

Q. How do I record our employees’ vacation days on our Vetro time clock? The answer

Q. We have a Vetro clock in our back shop. Is it possible to add a Tap clock to our system for our office? The answer

Click here for more questions and answers