A blog for users of TimePilot time clock systems


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7 Ways to Feng Shui a Cubicle, Desk or Entire Office

Learn how to apply feng shui principles to your office for increased focus, productivity and success—as well as less stress. Item 5: Move your desk so it faces the entrance to your office. Work in a cubicle? Hang a mirror so you can see your cubicle entrance at all times.

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These 5 things will make you remembered as a boss who mattered

Want your employees to remember you as a great boss? You've got to care about them, for starters. This article lists 5 ways to do that. No. 1 is especially important: Protect your people so they can do good work. No. 3 is good too: Help your people move up the career ladder.

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Don't ask for salary history in Illinois

A new law in Illinois makes it illegal to ask job applicants—or their previous employers—about their salary history. Advocates say asking applicants about their salaries at previous jobs helps perpetuate a wage gap between men and women doing the same jobs.

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You've got to have 'grit' to succeed

Talent is wonderful, but if you want to succeed, you've got to have 'grit'—also known as drive, perseverance or engagement. You can be born with grit, or you can learn it, but it's essential in just about every field.

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10 ways to retain your best employees

With today's tight job market, keeping your best employees is more important than ever. This article offers 10 ways to keep your best people. Tip 6: Tools, time, and training should be your best friend.

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Don't underestimate generalists

A new book finds that keeping a broad range of interests, experimenting and changing course every now and then are essential to finding your true passions—not intense focus on one area throughout a career. Be sure to read the part about tennis star Roger Federer and the "Mercedes"—it's a great story.

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5 common communication mistakes—and how to fix them

Five great ideas from the Stanford Graduate School of Business to help you do a better job in meetings and presentations. Idea 1: In a presentation, start with action: Tell a story, take a poll, ask a provocative question, show a video clip. In a meeting, top your agenda with one or two questions to be answered when you start. In this way, participants get engaged from the moment the meeting begins.

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What do younger workers think of the aging workforce?

Unsurprisingly, they aren't thrilled about it. Asked if it's good or bad that older workers stay on the job, more younger workers believe it's a bad thing. The fear is that older workers are keeping younger ones from being promoted, but an economist said there's little evidence to suggest that's happening.

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How to forget about work when you're on vacation

Vacations are supposed to be a break from work, but for many people, the boundaries are blurred. This article lists six ways to relax fully on vacation and come back to work refreshed. Number 3 ("Spend Time Outside As Much As Possible") is crucial.

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Watch out for the 'Boss Gift Card' scam

If your boss emails you and asks you to buy gift cards, be careful! It's a clever new variation on a longtime scam. Learn what do to in this article.

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'Phone booths' make a comeback—in noisy offices

Young workers are realizing that today's open concept offices aren't especially conducive to private conversations, so companies are selling "phone booths." These tall narrow structures "provide a quiet space where employees can step away for a phone call or to focus on work." There’s no built-in phone, but there is a countertop, seat, power outlets, a light and ventilation. No dimes are necessary.

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Coping with a co-worker who thinks they're never wrong

Do you work with someone who thinks they're always right? It's called "chronic certainty," and this article gives tips on how to deal with it.

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The death of expertise?

More and more often, companies (and the military) are looking for generalists who have "mental agility" and the ability to learn quickly instead of people with deep expertise in one particular field.

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Why (most) kids don’t belong at the office

Do you allow employees to bring their children to the office while they work? Occasionally it works out, but for the most part it's not a good idea, especially in an open-concept office.

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Google's 10 traits of good managers

A few years ago, Google tried to remake itself as a company without managers. It was a disaster. But while returning to the traditional style of management, it put together a list of 10 traits that good managers have. How many do you have? (If you have all 10, apply to Google!)

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How to politely reject a job applicant

It's just good manners: Good employers need to follow these steps when dealing with applicants for openings, starting with an acknowledgement that the candidate's application has been received. Leaving them guessing is rude and unprofessional.

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Just a few changes can make you
much happier at work

This New York Times article gives a deceptively simple—but effective—way to learn what changes to make. Hint: You probably don't have to change that much.

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Silence might not be golden

A little silence isn't a bad thing, but too much can cause your business all kinds of problems. When teams don't communicate, leaders need to step in.

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Jeff Bezos: Take big risks; failure is OK

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos advises those starting a business to take big risks and don't worry about failure. "“You’ve gotta accept that your business is going to be in many ways an experiment, and it might fail,” he said. “That’s OK. That’s what risk is.”

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5 business lessons from D-Day

It's the 75th anniversary of D-Day and not only can we honor the men who came ashore in Normandy, we can also learn from them. Here are 5 lessons that can be applied to make your business more successful.

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7 signs that you're smart

Jeff Haden, the author of "The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win," lists seven indicators of high intelligence. The most important: You can admit you're wrong and will readily change your opinion based on facts. Among the others: You like to spend time alone and you don't get up early.

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4 reasons texting leads to better hires

Reaching out to potential hires by text instead of email can give you an advantage in today's tight labor market. The reason: Good candidates are getting bombarded by emails; texting helps you break through the noise.

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Gratitude is good business

It's the least expensive way to raise morale: A recent study shows that being thanked more often at work predicted better sleep, fewer headaches and healthier eating, because it improved employees' work satisfaction.

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Think fast, talk smart: Communication techniques

In this video from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, you'll learn techniques that will help you speak spontaneously with greater confidence and clarity, regardless of content and context. If you've ever been anxious about speaking up in a meeting or expressing yourself in an interview, this video is for you.

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Thinking about firing an employee? Be careful!

Make sure you're on solid legal ground. Here are six illegal reasons for firing an employee. The upshot: "The best practice is to terminate only after a failed performance improvement plan, for cause (such as stealing), or a layoff."

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5 jobs no longer in demand

The labor market is tight right now, but experts say the chances of getting hired for one of these five jobs isn't great. How do they judge that? By measuring the reduction in the number of job listings online in each of the fields. Example: From 2017 to 2018, nine out of every ten job posts with the job title "insurance broker" disappeared from a large online jobs marketplace.

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Are you a natural leader?

No? You've got company: only 10% of us are. But more than 10% of us have leadership roles, and that means we have to learn leadership. Start with these three key qualities to begin to think like a leader.

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How to deal with jerks at work

Most workplaces have at least one jerk; here's how to deal with him or her. The situations: Co-workers who brag about their paychecks, and co-workers who don't read emails and ask for the information instead.

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Promoted over a friend? Some tips

Five things to do when you win the competition for a promotion over a friend. Suggestion 1: Accept that your relationship will have to change.

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Work is a competitive sport

And motivating your people is crucial. In this 11-minute video, a professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business shows the best ways to keep a team energized.

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How to help demotivated employees

Demotivated employees can really hurt a business. Here are four causes of demotivation and how HR can re-motivate them.

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Boosting employee performance

Businesses are trying all kinds of perks to keep their employees happy and productive, from ping pong tables and video games (the idea is that employees will stay after their shift is over) to free smoothies. How can you measure their effects? In the can-you-believe-this category: According to this article, Facebook's London offices have laptop stands in their bathrooms so employees can keep working during their "down time."

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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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Best Practices

Troubleshooting your TimePilot system

Every once in a while something unexpected might occur on your TimePilot system. Our Support Center has lots of information, and our experienced Tech Support Specialists stand ready to help, but sometimes it's just an easy fix. Depending upon the TimePilot software you're using, click one of the two the buttons below to visit a page with troubleshooting tips for each of TimePilot's time clock systems.

Retail Edition  Professional/Enterprise Edition

Moving TimePilot to a new PC

We've noticed quite a few calls to our Support Specialists from customers asking how to move their TimePilot system to a new computer. We've addressed this several times over the years in our newsletter; here's a refresher from May 2018.

Learn More 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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Click here for more articles that will help you use your TimePilot system

Q & A

Q. If an employee clocks in twice and clocks out once in same day, what happens? For instance, they clocked in at 7:30 a.m., then at 7:35 forgot they had clocked in and clocked in again, then clocked out for the day at 4 p.m. The answer

Q. Is it possible to collect my Extreme Blue or Extreme Blue Enhanced time clock data with an iPad? The answer

Q. My TimePilot Extreme Blue clock has stopped logging time. We’ve installed new batteries, but none of my employees’ iButtons will register nor will the Management iButton. It was working fine until yesterday morning. The answer

Q. When our software was set up, it looks like we neglected to set up overtime for our employees. How do we do that? The answer

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