The Connector: Edition Nine

The Connector Newsletter Image 1

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to the first 2021 edition of the Connector! We hope you were able to take time to relax, set goals, and find innovative ways to communicate and see family and friends - a vital part of happiness!

Speaking of goals, one of ours this year is to continue to strengthen the community by giving back, supporting small businesses, and truly make a difference. What is yours? Share your goal with us and we will hold you to it!

Cheers to health, strength, and happiness as we enter 2021!

1. Start The New Year Right With Your HR Questions Answered!

Ask HR Office Hours is back! This live Q&A is a great option for those of you who want to connect with our HR experts, but may not have an hour to dedicate to a webinar. We started this initiative to help with the rapid COVID-19 information, but it turned into so much more! Jump on anytime between 3-4 PM EST. Our next session is this Thursday, January 7th at 3 PM! We hope to see you there! To register, click here!

2. 51 Products You Didn't Know You Needed

We can all agree that working from home is difficult at times. We found some ways to make it a bit more comfortable! A standing desk, a ring light, fidget sticks, and caffeinated gum are some of the necessities shared in this article! These items will help you transform your workspace and create an even better home office. Click here to read the full Buzz Feed article.

3. Staying Connected With Your Colleagues

Quartz at Work published an amazing article about checking in on your coworkers. According to the article, it is time to get rid of "how are you doing?" and start asking questions that evoke a better answer. The problem with asking how someone is doing is it prompts a short response of "fine" instead of really getting to know the individual. Check out the full article to see how we can make these conversations with our colleagues more meaningful and build awesome relationships!

4. Use Siri To Be More Efficient

Did you know about these Siri time savers? Just asking Siri a few simple questions can help create efficiencies in your everyday life. "Split the bill" or "any new emails from __" are examples of how Siri can help you. This is especially helpful if you have your hands full...the "hey Siri" option works great! Check out the 14 time savers here!

5. Common Coronavirus Vaccine Questions

With the vaccine starting to circulate, many questions are arising. Can you require employees to get the vaccine? What if an employee refuses? Do employers need to pay for employee vaccines? All of these and more are discussed in this informative article. Read all the questions in this SHRM article here!

6. FFCRA Changes You Need to Know

Thanks to one of our awesome HR experts, Jennifer Lynch, we are sharing the following information on the FFCRA updates.

FFCRA: The leave benefit has not been extended, meaning that employers are not required to grant leave under FFCRA. However, the tax credit benefit has been extended through March 31, 2021.

  • Interestingly, this means that employers are no longer required to provide FFCRA leave. However, covered employers who voluntarily offer such leave may still utilize payroll tax credits to cover the cost of benefits paid to employees through the end of March.
  • Remember that under FFCRA, employees are entitled to a one-time allotment of 80 hours of paid sick leave and 12 weeks of expanded family medical leave. Therefore, an employer is not entitled to a second tax credit for an employee taking leave in 2021, when that employee already took leave in 2020. However, if an employer allows an employee to take a second period of expanded FMLA leave because the employer’s FMLA year has reset – specifically, if the employer uses the “calendar year” and not a rolling 12-month year under its FMLA policy – the employer may be able to claim a tax credit for the second round of expanded FMLA benefits paid to the employee in 2021.

Please contact us with any questions!

7. Let's Go Local!

There is nothing we love more than supporting small businesses. Check out some of our favorites right now!

Headed through West Chester and looking for a perfect place to grab breakfast? Check out the Market Street Grill for a delicious option! Their omelets or any of their signature breakfast items will leave you mouth watering!

Looking to get out of the house and go on a gorgeous hike? Take a journey to Bowman's Hill Tower, a location close to New Hope, PA with beautiful views stretching across Bucks County.

While you are in the New Hope area, make a reservation for Stella by Jose Garces. This restaurant is located right on the river with great views and amazing food to pair! The atmosphere is perfect for a date night!

Last but certainly not least, the Philadelphia museums are set to reopen this week! The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, The Franklin Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art all plan to reopen in January. Don't forget to #maskup!

Check Out This Award-Winning Video

This 3D animated short video by TheCGBros about an unlikely friendship between a fox and a mouse will bring warmth to your heart in knowing that someone will always have your back! Check out this adorable video here!