A blog for users of TimePilot time clock systems


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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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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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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