The Quarantined Economy: Productivity Hacks

The COVID-19 crisis has turned the daily lives of most Americans completely upside down. Productivity can become a real struggle when remote working and learning have become the new normal, especially when everyone who’s trying to do those things is cramped together in the same space and unable to leave. Family responsibilities may have also increased or shifted as everyone is adjusting to new rules and roles, all of which can make getting things done feel overwhelming and difficult. Here are some hacks to keep you on track and keep your brain sharp and clear:

Set clear boundaries within your space

Now that everyone in your home is cramped together and needs to utilize the same space for their at-home responsibilities, setting clear divisions will help everyone be more productive. Maybe one bedroom becomes a classroom for the kids while another becomes a workspace for you and your spouse. Even if you’re living on your own in a small apartment, designating the couch or kitchen table as your workspace may help you get into “the zone” and concentrate on what you’re trying to achieve. While not everyone has the luxury of a home office, carving out a bit of space for yourself, however possible, will help you maintain structure and control in the midst of so much change.

Complete a project that’s been hanging over your head

Maybe it’s writing thank-you notes from the last holiday, mending clothes that have tears or missing buttons, or organizing files or photos. Whatever the task may be, we all have those few things that seem eternally stuck at the bottom of our to-do lists. This is the perfect time to cross them off for good and pat yourself on the back for spending an evening doing something besides binge-watching Netflix, or at least doing something else WHILE you were watching. You can also check out these tips on how to train yourself to stop procrastinating.

Set goals for yourself, no matter how small

Maybe it’s something as simple as completing an at-home workout. Maybe it’s staying off social media for the day. Maybe it’s cooking a healthy dinner instead of ordering another night’s worth of takeout. Whatever it is, the feeling of accomplishment that will come from completing a task that’s important to you is absolutely invaluable at a time like this. Even creating a to-do list each day to give yourself the satisfaction of crossing off tasks as you complete them can be immensely helpful. 

Read a book from an unfamiliar genre

While traveling and visiting new places may be off-limits during this time, daydreaming and imagination certainly aren’t. There are tons of benefits associated with expanding your reading repertoire, from widening your worldview to improving your writing. This is a time when we could all use an extra dose of escapism and adventure, and reading is the perfect way to get it. Relaxing with a new book will also give your eyes a much-needed break from screens.

Check out this article for more information on how reading can help make you be more productive.

Learn a new skill or language

Got knitting needles and yarn sitting in your closet but no idea how to purl? Always wanted to add juggling to the “special skills” section of your resume? Need to brush up on your foreign language skills to check in with your loved ones overseas? YouTube is chock-full of how-to videos on almost every conceivable subject, and DuoLingo is an amazing free resource for language learners. Take advantage of being stuck indoors and keep your brain sharp and your ability to focus strong.

If you’re looking for ways to relax and lower your stress levels while you remain quarantined, check out our stress-reduction hacks

These ideas just make good logical sense. Another thing that makes good logical sense is allowing employees to access their earned pay every day. If you want to learn how you can pay different as we begin to reopen America and our businesses, read our eBook, Pay Different: Reimagining Pay in the Post-COVID-19 Workplace and Beyond, or please reach out to us here.

In addition, DailyPay recently hosted a webinar in which we discussed what you can do to support your workforce’s financial security as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time. Tune in to our on-demand recording to gain some valuable insights into what you could be doing as well.

The Quarantined Economy Family and Community Connection Hacks

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep us all isolated in the safety of our own homes, it’s important to remember that humans are social creatures who thrive on their connections to others. The five tips listed below will help you feel more connected to your family, friends and community at large and keep those feelings of loneliness at bay.

Commit random acts of kindness

They don’t have to cost a lot of money. Sending a friend an e-gift card for something as small as a cup of coffee can make their day during a time when “creature comforts” feel more sacred than usual. You can support a small business in your neighborhood by ordering a takeout meal from a local restaurant or buying a gift card to use in the future. Helping these businesses stay afloat during these trying times can mean the world to the owner and their staff. Know how to sew? You may be able to make masks that can be donated to hospitals and healthcare centers in your area. Knowing that you’re doing your part to help your network and your community will help you maintain your self-esteem and battle your own feelings of sadness, helplessness or smallness.

Connect with loved ones (from a distance) 

Even just reaching out to say hello and to see how your loved ones are doing is a great expression of care. Thanks to technology, there are infinite ways to connect, and a little bit of human interaction will go a very long way during these isolating times. Whether it’s a hand-written letter or a simple text, your message will be appreciated. Netflix has even created Netflix Parties so you can watch your favorite movies and shows in sync with your loved ones and easily chat with one another while watching. You can also try these awesome online games if you’re looking for fun ways to keep one another entertained. Lastly, this senior home is looking for people to “adopt a grandparent” to help the elderly who are unable to see their loved ones feel less lonely.

Work on a family history project

We all have one that we’ve always wanted to complete, whether it’s a family tree, a collection of beloved recipes, a scrapbook of important photos, you name it! These passion projects are often neglected when we’re busy, but they’re the perfect tasks to tackle now that we all have so much free time. Projects like this are cozy, nostalgic and help you feel close to loved ones who may be physically far away or even deceased. Click here for more out-of-the-box ideas on things you can create. These keepsakes will last long after the coronavirus pandemic is over as valuable family heirlooms and embody positive activities that came out of this tumultuous time.

Get the band back together

Missing your college roommates? Former neighbors? High school basketball teammates? This is the perfect time to reconnect with people who you may not talk to as often as you’d like. During this time of social distancing, we are all really aching for connection, and connecting with people from your past is a great way to feel more at peace and less alone. While it’s important that we continue to physically distance ourselves from one another to stop the spread of COVID-19, there is still so much we can do to fight feelings of isolation during this time. However, don’t forget to keep healthy boundaries and not let any toxic friends, family members or exes back into your life.

Support important causes however possible

Although most of us may not be directly caring for anyone with coronavirus, there are still so many things we can do to support those who have been deeply affected by the virus and the quarantine. Reaching out to support your community through donations of food or goods, monetary contributions, volunteering your time, or even just sharing campaigns on your social media can be incredibly helpful during this pandemic. Not only is your support absolutely invaluable, but doing your part for your community will aid you in feeling less helpless at this time.

These ideas just make good logical sense. Another thing that makes good logical sense is allowing employees to access their earned pay every day. If you want help with this, please reach out to us here.

We published another blog post in this series called, “The Quarantined Economy: Stress Reduction Hacks,” that provided a few tips om what you can do to reduce stress during this difficult time. 

DailyPay also recently hosted a webinar in which we discussed what we are doing as a company to help our remote workforce stay connected and engaged through this unprecedented time. Some of what we are doing may help your company as well.

The Quarantined Economy: Stress Reduction Hacks

As an organization, we are facing the same COVID-19 challenges as every other organization. To help DailyPay employees who are quarantined in their homes, we have come up with some ideas to help them cope with our new normal. We have conducted some research around these ideas as well and want to share them with you. We hope that they will be beneficial to you as well.

Creating and practicing a meaningful self-care routine is not just about taking luxurious bubble baths. Self-care is a commitment to maintaining your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well-being to reduce your stress levels. During these trying times of quarantine and chaos, self-care is more important than ever. Tuning in to your needs will help you control your anxiety, avoid burnout and maintain a positive attitude. Here are 5 hacks to keep your stress levels at bay:

Test out new recipes

With all the chaos going on around you, preparing food for yourself and your loved ones can be a very grounding experience. Not only is it necessary for your survival, but it is also a tactile, sensory experience that many people find immensely calming. This decadent lemon pasta is simple to make and only includes a few ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen. Want to smell something warm and delicious simmering away all day while you’re stuck at home? Break out your slow cooker and try one of these warm and comforting recipes.

Experiment with aromatherapy

Stop rolling your eyes at me! Chances are you have scented candles, incense or some form of essential oil laying around the house. It may sound small or frivolous, but these things can add a warm ambiance to your space, as well as soothe anxiety. Beyond just the sensory experience, this response is also biological, because the parts of your brain that process smell are directly linked to the parts that take in information and process emotions. Check out this guide for more information on scents that can help improve your mood and help you be more productive.

Beautify your space

It’s the perfect time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and tidy up. Even something as simple as cleaning that part of your home that seems eternally messy can help you feel productive and in control while all this madness is going on around you. Organizing the avalanche in Tupperware cabinet can make you feel so much more organized and in control. If you’re feeling especially ambitious and want to totally redecorate, check out this guide for sprucing up your home with things you already have inside. Saving a ton of money by not going out? This might be a great time to order online and invest in some new decorations and home furnishings. 

Treat yourself to something special

Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Something as simple as your favorite baked good or an amazing cup of coffee can make your day if you take the time to truly savor it. If there’s room in your budget, treat yourself to one or two gifts from your Amazon wish list. Whether it’s comfy new pajamas for all the time spent indoors or new kitchen gadgets for your house-bound culinary exploits, “retail therapy” can be a very positive form of self-care. Just make sure you’re sticking to your budget and shopping within your means.  

Find time for body maintenance and pampering

Finally, the bubble bath section! If a soapy soak isn’t your thing, an at-home mani/pedi might help you feel a little more like yourself. You can also try a homemade face mask customized for your skin type. There are tons of self-massage techniques to help you relieve some of the stress and tension in your body. A free at-home yoga class is a great way to incorporate movement into your day, even if you have limited space or don’t own any workout equipment. If you want to branch out even further, take some time to learn about ayurveda, one of the sister sciences of yoga, and begin your day with a few of these ayurvedic morning rituals to feel totally revitalized.

These ideas just make good logical sense. Another thing that makes good logical sense is allowing employees to access their earned pay every day. If you want help with this, please reach out to us here.

In addition, DailyPay recently hosted a webinar in which we discussed what we are doing as a company to help our remote workforce stay connected and engaged through this unprecedented time. Some of what we are doing may help your company as well.

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5 Reasons to Use DailyPay Instead of Borrowing From Your 401(k)

While taking money out of your 401(k) may seem like an easy option during a time of financial need, the repercussions of that decision could be devastating to your financial future. What may seem like a “quick fix” in the moment can cause ripple effects of damage for years to come. There are many reasons why utilizing a daily pay benefit is a much safer and more sustainable option. A few of the biggest reasons are outlined below:

Continue reading “5 Reasons to Use DailyPay Instead of Borrowing From Your 401(k)”

APA Webinar with Josh Jackson and April Smith Q&A Blog Post #5: Odds & Ends

This is the fifth and final post in our five-part Q&A series addressing your questions from our recent seminar with the APA. These are your remaining questions, which span a range of topics.

1) You list reduction of paper checks as a benefit, but aren’t most organizations using direct deposit now?

82% of employees are currently paid via direct deposit, according to a study by NACHA. That means there are still almost 1 in 5 employees to convert to digital processes. DailyPay provides an incentive for those employees to register for direct deposit in order to use our technology. As an example, one of DailyPay’s partners saw paper check usage decline by 40% in just 8 weeks.

2) We already have most employees on Direct Deposit and do not offer pay advances. Are there still additional cost savings we would experience?

There are a number of benefits our Partners experience after implementing an on-demand pay benefit. A few key stats we have gathered from DailyPay Partners include:

For your business:

  • Reduction in turnover (average of 41%)
  • Partners filled open positions in half the time (52% faster)
  • Reduction in absenteeism (average of 26%)

For your employees:

  • 72% of employees feel more in control of finances
  • 77% feel less financial stress
  • 83% say it helps them pay bills on time and avoid late fees 
  • 79% of employees use DailyPay to track their earnings
  • 62% of employees state that DailyPay has helped them to avoid taking out a payday loan

3) Does any employee who wants to use DailyPay need to be on a timeclock, and will their timecards need to be approved daily?

DailyPay can accommodate both hourly and salaried employees. For hourly workers, we work with employee-reported time data from the TMS.  We do not require the employer to approve hours on a daily basis.

There are two ways we accommodate salaried employees:

  1. If your TMS system is able to convert salaried earnings into an hourly equivalent, we will receive the hourly equivalent income in the Gross Earnings file.
  2. If your TMS system is not able to convert earnings into an hourly equivalent, we receive the one additional field on the User Roster: the Annual Salary. We then estimate the hourly equivalent income ourselves.

4) In the alternate direct deposit method how much does the company have to pre-fund DailyPay to allow this to occur?

In DailyPay’s Alternate Direct Deposit model, our company Partners do not have to prefund anything; DailyPay fronts the advance and assumes the risk.

5) How are the employees hours being verified? Are they just submitting and getting advances blindly, or is a supervisor confirming the time?

The employees are not inputting the hours themselves. Rather, they are fed directly to DailyPay through your company’s time management system. As long as an employee is punching in and out honestly and accurately for shifts and breaks, the hours should be correct. There are also safeguards in place to ensure that mistakes, such as staying clocked in for 24 hours because of a forgotten punch out, are flagged in our system and that employees cannot make transfers based on those errors. There are no instant notifications to alert supervisors when transfers are being made, but they are welcome to sign into the employer dashboard and view that information at any time if they so choose.

6) I perform implementations for ADP, and DailyPay is now being offered to our clients. Is there an implementation checklist for your offerings?

There is no “one size fits all” checklist, but DailyPay has a dedicated implementation team that begins the process by running a full diagnostic of your system’s capabilities. Once that has been determined, DailyPay will work with your team to develop the four files needed to make the service work and begin implementation.

7) Does DailyPay work with staffing/temp agencies?

Yes, we do. We simply sit on top of the agency’s payroll system like we would for any other company. Because it is possible for employees to have multiple pay rates within DailyPay, it is easier for them to have the pay rates for various roles they may be working through the agency saved within the system.

8) Can DailyPay be used for issuing surprise bonus checks that are currently issued manually?

Depending on the type of payment, you could send these payments through the DailyPay platform via an off-cycle payment.

9) How does DailyPay work with on-site payroll deductions, such as employee meals or merchandise purchases?

DailyPay creates a personalized profile for every user that accounts for differences in their net pay profile, which can be built to include these elective deductions. The DailyPay advance rate is dynamic, meaning that as the pay profile of an employee changes, the advance rate will change to accurately reflect the net pay owed to the employee. This enables the user to enjoy continuous, full access to the product, even if they have a non-standard pay profile (e.g., garnishments, deductions, benefits in arrears). The dynamic advance rate accounts for these unique employee considerations by adjusting the amount made available to the employee in the Available Balance so that amount  will be net of these adjustments. The dynamic advance rate enables the employer to offer the benefit on a universal basis and not restrict access to only employees with certain pay profiles. DailyPay is the only provider who offers up to 100% of net income to salaried employees.

10) When using the deduction model, can the employer limit the amount the employees are able to receive?

Under both the deductions model and the company-funded model, the advance rate does not dynamically adjust to account for the impact of changing benefits, relying instead on a static 50% advance rate. Thus, in the event of a change to an employee benefit that brings an employee below 50% of his/her net pay, the system lacks the flexibility to account for the change. In the deductions model, (1) you could find yourself in the position of owing the vendor money or (2) in the best case, manual work will be required of your payroll team to avoid owing money to the vendor. In the company-funded model, you will also be at risk of over-extending your funding and overpaying the employee.

In the DailyPay model, our system creates a personalized profile for every user of the product which accounts for differences in their net pay profile. This profile informs what we call the advance rate (or net-to-gross pay ratio). DailyPay is unique in that we are the only vendor that creates this personalized profile for each employee. The DailyPay advance rate is dynamic, meaning that as the pay profile of an employee changes, the advance rate will change to accurately reflect the net pay owed to the employee. This enables the user to enjoy continuous, full access to the product, even if they have a non-standard pay profile (e.g. garnishments, benefits in arrears). The dynamic advance rate accounts for these unique employee particulars by adjusting the amount made available to the employee in the Available Balance such that the amount made available to the employee will be net of these adjustments. The dynamic advance rate enables the employer to offer the benefit on a universal basis and not restrict access to only employees with certain pay profiles.