A blog for users of TimePilot time clock systems



How to lead your (suddenly virtual) team through a crisis

Leading teams that once worked closely together and now work from their homes is a major challenge for managers. One expert's advice: "With your team now dispersed, to deal with uncertain and fast-changing market conditions, you’ll need to shift your style to more of a command-and-control from a consensus-building approach."

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A pastor (and management professor) on taking care of your team

How do leaders lead their teams through a pandemic? Nicholas Pearce, a pastor and a professor of management at Northwestern, has some ideas. Key quotes: “People want to see that you are willing to be in the situation with them,” Pearce says. “My first piece of advice would be to listen. This is not a time to preach at them.”

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For your city to bounce back quickly from COVID-19, it should act aggressively

Researchers studying the aftereffects of the 1918 flu pandemic have found that cities that acted aggressively to stop the spread of the virus recorded stronger economic growth once the restrictions were lifted than cities that took a less aggressive approach.

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You can’t check in too often with your remote employees

Want to keep your employees who are working from home motivated? Check in on them frequently. "If you don’t communicate frequently, people disengage and lose productivity," says one expert.

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How to curb a pandemic: Wash your hands at the airport

Flying anyplace soon? If so, just about the best thing you can do for society is to wash your hands at the airport. New research reported in this article from MIT finds that only about 20% of people at airports have clean hands, and increased handwashing habits at airports—even just a few—would severely curb the global spread of disease.

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Worried about Coronavirus? Here are the answers, straight from the CDC

There's a lot of misinformation out there about Coronavirus. Get your info from the experts: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lots of accurate, up-to-date information and advice here, both for individuals and for organizations.

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Asking a simple question is the most important thing you can do to succeed

What's the best path to success at work? Asking for help, according to a new book by a University of Michigan business professor. "The research is clear," he writes. "When you ask for help, you get the resources you need to be successful: information, advice, ideas, opportunities, referrals, and emotional support. This results in higher job performance, satisfaction, and creativity. It means less stress and aggravation."

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Expert tips for first-time managers

Leadership can be taught—you don't have to be a "born leader" to be a manager. This article is packed with tips for first-time managers that will help them build their leadership skills.

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How do deal with a bad boss or coworker when quitting isn't an option

Everyone has had bad bosses or coworkers at some point in their career. (And if you haven't, you probably will at some point!) This article lists four ways to deal with them if you don't have the freedom to quit. No. 4: Disarm them by validating their frustrations.

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What business leaders can learn from the military

The military can teach business a lot about running an effective organization and leadership. This article, from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, lists five areas where business leaders can improve. No. 3: Don't just give orders. Simply listening to your employees and acting upon what they tell you can build trust and loyalty.

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Another biometric disaster

Here at TimePilot we're not big on biometric time and attendance systems, unless you want to spend a lot of your time getting your employees' permission to collect their data and then taking great care to protect it. Just announced the other day: Facebook will pay over half a billion dollars to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged systematic violation of an Illinois consumer privacy law. The company allegedly collected facial recognition data from Illinois users without getting their permission. News reports say that class members—basically Illinois Facebook users from mid-2011 to mid-2015—may expect as much as $200 each.

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8 non-technical ways to improve your company’s cybersecurity

Worried about getting hacked? If you aren't, you probably should be. This article from MIT's business school can help, with eight suggestions to improve your security, and none requires much—if any—tech knowledge. No. 5: Have an emergency response plan.

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33 high-paying jobs with little stress

Want a nice paycheck without too much stress? This article describes 33 such jobs, ranked by levels of stress. No. 1 has the lowest level of stress and a salary of $102,450 per year. Hint: Pay attention in science classes!

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5 tips on how to advance in your career

Advancing in a career is difficult unless you have a plan. This article, from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, shows you five ways to create a great plan. No. 2: Learn to negotiate better. Key point: Research shows that people who make the first offer get better outcomes.

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Why we believe mobile reviews

A study has found that when consumers know a review was written on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, that consumer is more likely to make a purchase of the reviewed product or service. Researchers at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business report that there's a belief that it takes more effort to write a review on a mobile device, which thus endows the review with more credibility.

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Why new hires get paid more than current employees

It's called "salary compression": That's when newly hired employees get paid more than current employees to do the same job. A study says the salary gap between the wages of 20-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-35-year-olds recently declined to its smallest size in 36 years. What do you do if you're the lesser-paid employee? This article has some suggestions.

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Keeping employees from wasting time surfing the web

Studies report that employees spend between one and three hours a day surfing the web on personal business. This article explains the very real dangers to the company—it's not just about lost productivity—and how to rein in those abusing the system.

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5 tips for developing good leadership skills

Perhaps the most intimidating aspect of leadership is knowing that in addition to playing an important role in a team's success, leaders are held responsible for their team's failures. These tips will help leaders obtain great results. Tip No. 2: Allow team members to be wrong. Making mistakes is an inherent part of the creative process. If employees know they won't be punished for coming up with an atypical idea or solution, they will be inspired to think outside the box.

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1 shopping day to go:
How to make the most of it!

5 last-minute shopping tips from the researchers at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Tip 4: Be a better shopper by keeping your emotions under control. How? Avoid bright lights and high vantage points. Bright lights amplify emotions and high vantage points make you feel more in control and thus more open to purchasing "risky" products.

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Get out of the holiday spirit and shop angry!

New research shows that customers who shop while angry are more likely to be happy with their purchase. Their anger, says a researcher, “can actually lead them to make better decisions, easier decisions, and more satisfying decisions.”

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We've got Christmas gifts!

Christmas is two weeks from today. How's that shopping going? If you need some smaller items, how about a pocket-sized battery pack that will charge your phone or tablet? Or a wireless charger for that new iPhone or Android smartphone? You can find them in TimePIlot's Cool Stuff Store.

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No shoes are no problem at Silicon Valley startups

The newest trend at Silicon Valley startups: No-shoes office policies, allowing employees to spend the workday in house slippers, socks, or barefoot. To accommodate them, the companies have installed radiant heating under the floors.

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How to handle a star employee with a bad attitude

Six successful CEOs explain how to deal with a crucial employee who also causes trouble. The majority would give the employee a chance to straighten out, then if they don't improve, fire them. As one said, "Don't negotiate with terrorists."

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The 15 hottest office trends of 2019

If you employ Millennials, you probably know that the perks that attracted previous generations of employees don't work as well as they used to. This article lists 15 popular perks that Millennials want, including "Summer Fridays," flexible work hours, insurance for part-timers, emotional support animals at the office and mandatory time off.

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Holiday message: 'Tis better to give (advice) than to receive

Research has found that giving people good advice benefits the giver as well as the receiver. That's because being thought of as an "expert" boosts the giver's confidence and motivation.

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6 signs it’s time to switch jobs

Is it time to make a move? From the Wharton School (the University of Pennsylvania's business school), here are six indicators that it's time to update the resume. No. 3: You haven’t learned anything new at work for a long time.

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Can virtual reality teach executives what it feels like to be excluded?

Corporate executives are using virtual reality headsets and simulations to get a taste of what it's like to be excluded at work. They experience being cut off by meeting attendees as they try to speak, are excluded from a lunch where decisions are made and are accused of “just being too sensitive.”

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4-day workweek boosts productivity at Microsoft

Microsoft experimented with a 4-day workweek with full pay over the summer at their 2,300-employee Japan facility and executives were surprised to see productivity rise by 40%, as well as far fewer documents printed and less electricity consumed. Microsoft will try the experiment again this winter.

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Stopping a toxic culture in the workplace

Toxic workplace cultures can be fatal to a business. This article tells how to stop it before it starts. One point that's made: "Too many companies ... put up with inappropriate or outrageous conduct because someone is deemed too valuable to fire. That's a myth."

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How to change careers in your 30s

It's not too late: If you're in your 30s, you may have another 30 years of work ahead of you. That's plenty of time to buiuld a new career. This article debunks the myths about starting over as well as gives tips to those who want to give it a shot.

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How to lose your best employees

It's easy to lose your best employees: Don't let them grow. According to this article, good employees need to keep moving; holding them in one job for more than a few years is a sure way to have them look for new challenges elsewhere.

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6 types of employees almost never get promoted—are you one of them?

Even if you do your job well, your personality might be getting in the way of promotions. Are you one of these six personality types that are less likely to move up the ladder?

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Can't motivate yourself at work? Here are some tips

Everyone feels uninspired at work once in a while. This article will show you how to regain your motivation. If all else fails, says the writer, take a little time away from your job.

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The case for hiring older workers

Get used to them: By 2025, 25% of workers in the U.S. are expected to be over the age of 55. Older workers are thought to be less capable than their younger peers, but that's not what the research says: For most people, raw mental horsepower declines after the age of 30, but knowledge and expertise—the main predictors of job performance—keep increasing even beyond the age of 80. This article gives tips on how to attract and handle older workers.

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Want to be more successful?
'Skill Stacking' might be the answer

You can increase the odds of a successful career if you have more skills. You don't have the be the best at anything; just have a wide variety of skills that you can apply.

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5 time-management tips from Google's productivity expert

We'd all like to get more productive. The question is how. Google's in-house productivity trainer has 5 suggestions. No. 4 is especially counter-intuitive.

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24 signs you have a terrible boss, and how to handle them

A 2016 poll found as many as 76% of employees have had a toxic boss. Here's how to spot them, and what to do if you have one.

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California may require contract workers to get benefits

California's state legislature is preparing to vote on a bill that could give hundreds of thousands of contract workers—such as Uber and Lyft drivers—the benefits regular employees receive by narrowing the definition of a "contractor."

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7 employee types that drive managers crazy, and how to deal with them

Every business has its share of characters, some easy to manage, and some difficult. Here's how to spot and deal with Challengers, Clingers, Drama Queens and Kings, Loners, Power Grabbers, Space Cadets and Slackers.

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Best Practices

And now this message from our Support Staff …

Before contacting TimePilot for support, please make sure you’ve updated all of your TimePilot software, not just TimePilot Central. The best way to do this is:

  1. Click the Windows icon at the lower left corner of your desktop.
  2. Scroll down the list of programs until you get to "TimePilot IV."
  3. Expand that section by clicking the down arrow.
  4. Click "Check for All TimePilot Updates."
  5. If you have updates to install, you’ll see an "Update Available" message. Click the "Update Button" to start the downloads.

It's a good idea to do this after you install the software for the first time as well as every few weeks, even if you aren't having problems.

TimePilot tips and tricks

A collection of ways to make your TimePilot system more productive.

  • Create printable timesheets for each employee with a signature line, so you have a record of the employee's approval of his or her work hours.
  • Quickly set the date and time on an Extreme Blue II (and an original Extreme Blue) time clock.
  • Some of your employees arrive before their shift starts, but you don't want a line at the clock at the top of the hour. The "Snap-To" feature lets them clock in at any time before their shift starts and go "on-the-clock" at the right time.
  • If you've got a network, there are a lot of advantages to connecting your Vetro clock to it. See a list of the advantages and learn how to set up the clock on a network.
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Using Buffer Zones in TimePilot Central

If you have shifts covering 24 hours a day and seven days a week, when do you start and end your Pay Periods? The choice is more difficult than it seems, because there’s never a time when all of your employees are “off the clock.” Let’s say your company has shifts running 24/7: The last shift in the Pay Period ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, and the first shift of the next Pay Period starts at midnight Saturday.

Here’s the problem: Some of the employees in the last shift of the Pay Period will clock out after midnight, putting their clock-outs into the next Pay Period. And some of the employees in the first shift of the Pay Period will clock in early, putting their clock-ins into the previous Pay Period. The result will be that when you extract the Pay Period, not all the transactions that should be in this Pay Period will get extracted. What should you do?

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Adding TimePilot Tap to (almost) any TimePilot system

If you've got a TimePilot timeclock system that's using TimePilot Central software—for instance, a Vetro, Extreme Blue Enhanced or Tap system—you can easily expand it simply by adding portable Tap clocks. Tap is our inexpensive, pocket-sized, battery-powered time clock for out in the field or on a desktop. It's a great little device that can be used in all kinds of ways, from tracking employee hours to keeping track of the number of hours a machine has been used.

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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. We’d like to use Extreme Blue Enhanced in our remote warehouse, but we don’t get a cell signal there. Any advice? The answer

Q. I am getting a message to update the TimePilot program. I want to make sure I’m not going to lose everything I have already set up. Do I have to start from scratch and set up all my profiles and any existing punches I might have? The answer

Q. When I imported transactions collected by our Extreme Blue clock into our TimePilot software, I got a message that 50 of the transactions were “orphan transactions.” What are orphan transactions and how can I get them corrected? The answer

Q. We marked employees inactive last year and they will be returning this year. Can they be reactivated? The answer

Q. It’s the end of a pay period, and we’re extracting the period’s clock-in and clock-out data from Current Transactions. One employee’s data isn’t being extracted with the others. How can we fix this? The answer

Q. Our TimePilot Extreme Blue clock beeps 3 times when you clock in and out. Is there any way to get it to stop doing that and only beep one time? The answer

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