Softworks Blog

Eimear McCarthy

Find me on:

Recent Posts

Beating Blue Monday

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Mon, Jan 16, 2017

Monday-1.jpgAs if January isn’t bad enough, today has been marked one of bleakest days of the year – the dreaded Blue Monday! With daylight hours still short, consistently bad weather along with the hangover of Christmas – financially and emotionally, still looming over all of us, it’s easy to see why the third Monday of the year is linked with lots of people feeling low. So, what can be done to battle the Blue Monday fears?

  1. Get Organised

Try and reduce stress by thinking about which situations occur regularly and cause you the most stress.  

  • Declutter the office and your desk space.
  • Make lists so you have everything in order and you can get the most important tasks completed firstly.
  • Client meetings? Plan the journey and allow extra time if it is not a journey you do every day. Look up alternative routes to have other options and make sure you have the clients contact details with you, just in case.
  1. Go out for Lunch

Beat Blue Monday by organising a work lunch with your fellow co-workers. This is a great way to catch up outside of the office. A change of scene is always good so picking a new cafe/restaurant or somewhere you don't regularly go would be a nice treat for during the week.

  1. Exercise and Fuel your Body

Regular exercise is important for our physical and mental health. It helps boost your energy levels and immune system. Fit in a walk on your break. If it is too cold to exercise outside, attend a gym class or go swimming. With flexible working, you could go to the gym before work or during your break.

Food choices can have a huge impact on how you feel during the day. Eating healthy should be something we all do on a regular basis and just a once off to help beat blue Monday or the January blues.

  • Bring your own lunch and snacks to work. This will eliminate the temptation to buy sugary and fast foods.
  • Try and prepare lunches/dinners in advance and freeze them so it saves time and eliminates doing it after a long day at work.
  • Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol and trans fats.
  • Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost. The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines), flaxseed and walnuts.
  1. Be Positive!

If you are really feeling Blue Monday, try and stay positive and make plans after work.

  • Use flexible working and get the most out of your evening
  • Go to the cinema
  • Meet friends or family for dinner
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Book a weekend getaway or summer holidays
  • Go for a walk
  • Grab a coffee & get lost in a new book
  • Catch up with an old friend
  1. Contact Softworks!

Not only can we benefit your company but we can benefit your employees too. Take Flexible Working, it can lead to a healthy work-life balance along with improved job satisfaction, increased energy, better staff morale and reduced levels of stress. Having the right work-life balance is increasingly important with more and more people finding that their working day is getting longer as businesses struggle to keep up with the demand for 24 hour services. 

Contact Us Today!

Take on the January Blues and Blue Monday by making sure to be organised, positive and healthy. Make 2017 a year to celebrate your many triumphs!

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working

Updated Blog - France Win New Law 'Right to Disconnect'

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Mon, Jan 9, 2017

Over Working Image.jpg

This is an update on my blog from February 2016 - France Set to Pass New Law Giving Workers the Right to Ignore Work Emails Outside of Contracted Hours.

France have won the law that employees do have the 'right to disconnect' from work emails outside of typical work hours. From Sunday January 01, 2017, French companies with more than 50 employees will begin drawing up policies with their workers about limiting work-related technology usage outside the office. The reasoning behind this law is that too many people were suffering from work-related stress which can leak into their personal time. The country is trying to tackle the modern-day scourge of compulsive out-of-hours email checking. Under the new law, companies will be obliged to negotiate with employees to agree on their rights to switch off and ways they can reduce the intrusion of work into their private lives.

The measure was introduced by Labour Minister, Myriam El Khomri, who commissioned a report submitted in September 2015 which informed about the health impact of "info-obesity" which affects many workplaces.

Some large groups such as Volkswagen and insurer Axa in France have already taken steps to limit out-of-hours messaging to reduce burnout among workers. Actions being put in place include cutting email connections in the evening and weekends. In 2014, the German vehicle-maker Daimler set up an optional service for workers going on holiday; instead of sending an out-of-office reply, they could opt to have all new emails automatically deleted while they were away.

Here in Ireland and the UK, we may not have such a law in place but we can make use of flexible working. It can allow people to adapt their ways of working to best suit their needs, while still committing to their careers.

If you would like to learn more about flexible working or any of our other solutions, contact us today!

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Work-Life Balance, Flexible Working

Time and Attendance Solutions – Then and Now

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Fri, Jan 6, 2017

Another New Year has begun and the first thing on everyone’s mind is New Year’s resolutions and what the future will bring. But let’s not forget how we got to where we are today. It all had to start from the beginning and this certainly goes for Time and Attendance solutions. Since being invented they have come a long way so we wanted to share with you where it all began!

November 20, 1888 – the date the first time clock was invented by Willard Le Grand Bundy, a jeweller in Auburn, New York. The Bundy Key Recorder was a mechanised time recorder which comprised of several type-wheels which were controlled by a clock movement. It was used by Birmingham City Transport to ensure that bus drivers did not depart from outlying terminals before the due time.

Bundy Clock

Modern Time and Attendance solutions take advantage of today's sophisticated networking protocols to link time clock computers together so employees can be monitored in real-time while maintaining the time card data in a secure and centralised location. Integration with online payroll systems saves time and eliminates data entry errors. The benefits of modern time and attendance systems are virtually endless.

Even though Time and Attendance solutions have greatly reduced the amount of time needed to prepare time cards for payroll processing, it still protects business owners and employees for the same reasons as that very first punch clock.

As computers have become more sophisticated, so have Time and Attendance solutions. If you have been to the Titanic Museum in Belfast, you might have noticed the Harland & Wolff time clock, which was used during the construction of the Titanic. Small wooden boards were used to keep track of workers time. To help prevent “time theft”, machines like this were introduced into the shipyard to record hours worked more accurately. As you can see from the pictures below, a lot has changed over the years!

Titanic Time Clock

Mobile App Screens-1.bmp

We’ve come a long way from wooden time keeping boards to mobile apps - Managing Time & Attendance may just have been revolutionised! Softworks Time and Attendance App allows employees to clock in and out on their smart phones from wherever they are and includes their GPS location.

You can get a quick demo of our solutions via this link and a demo of our new app also. It couldn't be easier! Now that we know how far Time and Attendance solutions have come, we are really looking forward to seeing what is next - watch this space!

You can keep up to date with Softworks by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Topics: Time & Attendance

Five Ways to Beat the January Blues

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Tue, Jan 3, 2017

2017.jpg

Happy New Year! December was a fun-filled month of celebrations with family, friends and work colleagues, lots of delicious food and plenty of relaxation. Today however, is the first day back to the office for the majority of people. This may more than likely be followed by the dreaded “January Blues.” We have listed a few ways to help keep you upbeat, get back to being motivated in the workplace and beat the January Blues.

1. Hold Motivational Meetings

At the end of every week or month, hold a quick meeting with employees to share their accomplishes. Use this time to compliment employees who have gone beyond the call of duty or who have achieved something exceptional. Employees will come to expect the meetings. They will also welcome the chance to share their successes and challenges with you and their co-workers and experience a supportive vibe.

2. Be Flexible

Flexible working is one of the most useful tools in helping workers achieve a healthy work-life balance. It can allow employees the ability to adapt their ways of working to best suit their needs, while still being fully committed to their careers. Mercer carried out a survey on over 1,500 employees across UK and Ireland, which showed that 52% of workers are very concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job. Flexible working arrangements can help reduce stress as employees working flexibly are more satisfied with their job and lives, and they experience better work-life balance.

3. Promote a Healthy Workplace

Food choices can have a huge impact on how you feel during the day. Eating small, frequent and healthy meals can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keeping your energy and focus up, and avoiding mood swings. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic.

  • Bring your own lunch and snacks to work. This will eliminate the temptation to buy sugary and fast foods.
  • Try and prepare lunches/dinners in advance and freeze them so it saves time and eliminates doing it after a long day at work.
  • Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol and trans fats.
  • Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost. The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines), flaxseed and walnuts.
4. Have Fun

Everyone will stay motivated if things are kept interesting and entertaining in the workplace. There are several ways to have fun in the workplace.

  • Hold a breakfast morning once a month.
  • Set up a walking, running or exercise group during lunch or after work.
  • Create a social club (if one is not already in place). Ask all employees what they would like to do for January & set up a poll. This could range from a day trip to dinner and drinks after work.
5. Contact Softworks!

Start the New Year by contacting Softworks. Not only can we benefit your company but we can benefit your employees too. Take Flexible Working, it can lead to a healthy work-life balance along with improved job satisfaction, increased energy, better staff morale and reduced levels of stress. Having the right work-life balance is increasingly important with more and more people finding that their working day is getting longer as businesses struggle to keep up with the demand for 24 hour services. So to help make 2017 the best year yet, get in touch today!

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Softworks

Merry Christmas from Softworks!

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Sun, Dec 25, 2016

ChristmasPhoto16.gif

Everyone at Softworks would like to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas. Thank you for your business during the year and we look forward to working with you again in 2017.

We are delighted to be starting the New Year with our new website. We hope you all like it!

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Topics: Christmas

Software \ Mobile App Developer - Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Tue, Nov 29, 2016

Work With Us.jpg

Softworks are looking for a highly motivated Software \ Mobile App developer to join our team at our HQ in Bray, Co.Wicklow.

We have a number of world class Time and Attendance products that we are currently building out onto our Mobile platform.

  • You love creating intuitive easy to use software products and we do too!
  • You love keeping up to date with the latest technologies and so do we!
  • You love simple solutions to complex problems and so do we!
  • You love software development….

We build our software products with a keen eye for design and usability while always keeping in performance in mind.

Working alongside the Product and Development Managers, as part of a small team, the successful candidate will directly influence how we design, build, maintain, test and deploy our software.

We assume a passion for keeping up to date with the latest technologies, for creating intuitive software products and developing simple solutions to complex problems on the part of any interviewee.

Must haves:      

  • 4 years’ experience developing web based software
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript
  • Cordova
  • Ionic
  • Angular
  • C#
  • Visual Studio
  • Asp.net
  • CSS3

Wish list:

  • MVC
  • Bower
  • Knockout
  • jQuery
  • TFS\VSO
  • Entity framework
  • SQL
  • LINQ

To apply please send your CV to Gary Ashton - gashton@softworks.com

Topics: Vacancy

Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Thu, Nov 24, 2016

oversleeping.jpg

Lizard surgery, Homeland Security and Vaseline trucks. What do they all have in common?

According to a study from CareerBuilder, they are among a list of outrageous reasons workers claim they have been late for work.

Below are some of the bizarre reasons for being late to work:

  • I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
  • My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
  • I was detained by Homeland Security.
  • I had to chase my cows back into the field.
  • A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
  • My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
  • There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
  • There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
  • I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.”
  • All of my clothes were stolen.
  • I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
  • A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.

CareerBuilder also asked how often employees are late to work, 25 percent (1 in 24) admitted they are late at least once a month, and with 13 percent saying it is a weekly occurrence.

With Christmas only a month away, it is getting colder and much harder to get out of bed in the morning. For some people, this can make getting to work on time a difficult task. You would be surprised of what could get in the way of your morning routine. Many of these excuses are extreme and may have more to do with one's creative imagination than anything else. However, you can bet employers are going to hearing more late-to-work excuses especially coming up to Christmas.

In order to prevent tardiness in your organisation, why not take advantage of Softworks Flexible Working and deploy a Time and Attendance system.

Flexible working is a very positive choice that needs to be embraced by more organisations. It doesn’t only provide employees with job satisfaction, better health, increased work-life balance, and less stress, it also benefits employers. With higher productivity levels, less turn over, and reduced absenteeism, employers will be able to retain qualified employees and also save money. With flexible working, excuses for being late to work will be less necessary as employees will have the flexibility to work around appointments, family events and of course, all of the excuses listed above!

Softworks Time Management Software will allow your organisation to build a clear picture of employee time-keeping through comprehensive reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-time, rostering and holiday leave. Softworks Time and Attendance is one of the most powerful tools available for recording and analysing hours worked. Used to manage employee attendance and produce real-time reports for analysis by management as well as to collate personnel information. It allows you to build a clear picture of employee time through detailed data and reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-balances, rostering and holiday leave. Scalable and completely configurable, it applies and automates processing your organisation’s unique pay rules and policies accurately and consistently and is fully compliant with legislation.

The survey also found more traditional excuses for being late to work are still very common:

  • 53 percent blamed traffic and road conditions.
  • 33 percent said oversleeping.
  • 28 percent on bad weather.
  • 15 percent on getting children to school.

By implementing Softworks Flexible Working and Time & Attendance Software, employees and employers will be able to overcome the traditional excuses of being late to work (along with a few of the outrageous ones too!).

Request a Free Demo Today!

You can also turn your administrative nightmare of managing employee time & attendance into a dream come true with Softworks new self-service app. Softworks app enables employees to record their own time, attendance, holidays, absences and check work schedules via their smart phones/tablets. Softworks app is a joy to use and loved by employees and managers alike, but you don’t have to just take our word for it, find out more via this link.  

You can keep up to date with Softworks by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Topics: Time & Attendance, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working

Project Manager Position - Bray, Co. Wicklow

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Mon, Nov 14, 2016

We Are Hiring!.jpg

Company Profile

Softworks Limited founded in 1990 are specialists in Workforce Management solutions. Our policy of employing highly qualified and experienced staff has enabled us to produce the most feature rich and technologically advanced solutions available for the Web, PC and Mobile environment. Softworks has concentrated its efforts on the management of labour resources since its foundation. Extensive research in the area combined with the advice and assistance of practitioners in industry has led to the successful development of the Softworks suite of applications. In its relatively short history, Softworks has won acclaim for its products and business acumen. The selection of Softworks by our existing customers, many of who are multinational leaders/innovators in their field, bodes well for belief in our continued expansion and success. We have proven our ability to increase productivity and decrease costs, through improved management of human resources in our many customer sites. Our qualified and experienced employees are committed to meeting any unique requirements a customer may have through our project management, customisation, implementation, consulting, training, and support services.

Project Manager

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious and technical individual to gain valuable project & technical experience. The Softworks Project Manager is results focused and experienced in working with customers. The Project Management group manages and co-ordinates a well thought out delivery process which adheres to a variation of experience managing parallel project implementations. The Project Manager will work closely with clients taking a balanced and measured view of implementing projects and aligning customer requirements from both the customer and a Softworks point of view. In addition and perhaps most importantly, the candidate should be commercially aware, technical and have the ability to deliver projects from end to end solution, from gathering the clients requirements to implementing these requirements onsite and guiding the customer through each step of this process up to and including go live. The Project Manager is comfortable working with customers, steering and guiding them through the process of Workforce Management projects and will typically be responsible for:

  • Understanding the required solution
  • Technically implementing the solution Co-
  • Cordinate with client technical staff to deliver
  • Implementing the client configuration 
  • Liaising with development on customisations

The Project Manager liaises with the client and draws on the support of the Softworks internal team (Development, Engineering, Training, etc.) and is well versed in delivering client specific and out of the box requirements, ideally someone who has experience installing software onsite. The Project Manager will be responsible for sales support during the formulation of the software solution, utilizing standard product mixed with custom elements; always taking an optimal approach during implementation to ensure a quick and successful go live always focused on delivering on time and to budget. This role would be ideal for someone who can work on their own, with a technical qualification or background and experience installing software onsite with clients. This role is office based and will require regular day travel and may require some occasional international travel.

Qualifications

The typical Project Manager will have;

  • A recognised technical 3rd level qualification
  • Experience with Windows operating systems including servers
  • Preferably some industry experience
  • Experience of working in a fast paced environment

Skills

  • Proven track record in problem solving
  • Organisational skills
  • Technically strong when dealing with product configurations
  • Experience in installing software
  • Excellent knowledge of database concepts
  • Full clean drivers’ license

The candidate should be technical, have project skills, be personable, professional, analytical, and will be good in a formal presentation situation.

To apply please send your CV to supportjobs@softworks.com.

Topics: Jobs, Project Manager, Vacancy

We’ve Reached 1,000+ LinkedIn Followers – Thank You!

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Fri, Nov 11, 2016

1000 followers LinkedIn.jpgSoftworks are delighted to have reached an outstanding milestone – we have 1,000 + followers on LinkedIn and we could not be more pleased. Many thanks to everyone who likes our page and shares/comments on our content. We love engaging with you all!

Our LinkedIn page is an important tool which enables us to actively engage with our customers and followers alongside our other digital channels, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

If you do not follow Softworks on LinkedIn, you can join us here.

We also have a group which you can join “Learn How to Successfully Manage a Time and Attendance Project.”

We look forward to welcoming new followers and continuing to grow our LinkedIn base.

Once again, thank you all very much for helping us reach such a great milestone!

National Stress Awareness Day

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Wed, Nov 2, 2016

Absenteeism Reduction Stress in Workplace.jpg

Today is National Stress Awareness Day. It was put in place by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), which was established over 30 years ago to raise awareness of stress-related issues, both in the workplace and at home. Its purpose is to combat the stigma which is often associated with personal stress and change attitudes towards the management of stress in the workplace. The theme for this year is 'Workforce Wellness - Your Prime Investment.'

A lot of the things you do at home to reduce stress will also help reduce stress in the workplace. The key is to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Below are some things you can put in place to help reduce stress.

1. Identify the Causes

The first thing to do when you want to deal with stress is to identify what is causing it and how it can be managed. Make a list and narrow it down to the main triggers which cause the stress in your life to occur. Causes of stress in the workplace can include the following:National-Stress-Awareness-Day.jpg

  • Being unhappy in your job
  • Having a heavy workload
  • Working long hours – This is where flexible working comes to the rescue!
  • Working under dangerous conditions
  • Having to give speeches in front of colleagues

Causes of stress at home can include the following:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Loss of a job
  • Financial issues
  • Moving to a new home
  • Chronic illness or injury
  • Emotional problems

Once you recognise the main triggers of your stress, you can start identifying how you can make the situation better. Even something as simple as taking up yoga or meditation can make a huge difference to your mind-set. Remember that sometimes the stress can come from the inside. We can stress ourselves out by overthinking/worrying about things.

2. Be Flexible

Flexible working is one of the most useful tools in helping workers achieve a healthy work-life balance. It can allow employees the ability to adapt their ways of working to best suit their needs, while still being fully committed to their careers. Mercer carried out a survey on over 1,500 employees across UK and Ireland, which showed that 52% of workers are very concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job. Flexible working arrangements can help reduce stress as employees working flexibly are more satisfied with their job and lives, and they experience better work-life balance.

3. Get Active

Regular exercise can be a powerful stress reliever. It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.

  • Join a gym, take up yoga, play a sport.
  • Check if your company offers a gym membership discount.
  • Get out of the office during your break, even a small walk can make a huge difference.
  • Use flexible working to get a work out/stroll in before, during or after work.

4. Eat Well

Food choices can have a huge impact on how you feel during the day. Eating small, frequent and healthy meals can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keeping your energy and focus up, and avoiding mood swings. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic.

  • Bring your own lunch and snacks to work. This will eliminate the temptation to buy sugary and fast foods.
  • Try and prepare lunches/dinners in advance and freeze them so it saves time and eliminates doing it after a long day at work.
  • Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol and trans fats.
  • Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost. The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines), flaxseed and walnuts.

5. Unwind

Try and take some time out every day to relax and do things you enjoy. Even if it is only 20 minutes, it will make a huge difference. Some examples are below:

  • Go for a walk or jog on your break or after work
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Watch your favourite TV show
  • Meet a friend to catch up

6. Contact Softworks

Not only can we benefit your company but we can benefit your employees too. Take Flexible Working, it can lead to a healthy work-life balance along with improved job satisfaction, increased energy, better staff morale and reduced levels of stress. Having the right work-life balance is increasingly important with more and more people finding that their working day is getting longer as businesses struggle to keep up with the demand for 24 hour services. 

Request a Live Demo

The best way to celebrate Stress Awareness Day is to take the opportunity to remove the stress from your life for the day. Take the time to examine your life and find out where all the stressors lie, and start looking into taking steps to remove them or find ways to at least minimise them. Starting to reduce the stress in your life is the hardest part but once you’ve identified the triggers, you’re half way there. Often, the best way to cope with stress is to find a way to change the circumstances that are causing it.

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Healthy Workplace