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Jimmy English

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The Cause and Cost of Absenteeism

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Jul 3, 2017

The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace

What Causes Absenteeism and how does it affect a company?

 Absenteeism is one of the biggest and most persistent obstacles to productivity and profit in a company. There are a number of factors that cause employees to be absent from work. Sickness, family problems and lack of motivation are all responsible for causing employees to be absent from work. Repeated and unplanned absences over an extended period of time can eventually begin to adversely affect a company’s overall performance.

employee absences.jpg

Below are two of the most common causes of unplanned employee absences:

  1. Disengagement: Employees who are not committed to their role or are not satisfied are more likely to miss time. They have less motivation to go to work and therefore are at a higher risk of taking unplanned absences.

 2.  Lack of work life balance: It is hugely important that employees have a good relationship between their work life and personal life. Employees who are over worked are more likely to take unplanned and unscheduled absences to maintain some balance in their lives.

 Employees who engage in unplanned absenteeism are putting an increased cost on their employer.

Some of the main costs of absenteeism include:

- The high cost of replacement employees, 

- The administrative cost of managing absence and a poorer service provided to customers due to shortage of labour.

- Absenteeism causes overtime, late deliveries and dissatisfied customers. Furthermore, employee morale is affected as other employees are expected to compensate for their absent co-worker.


In the United Kingdom, absenteeism is costing businesses billions each year. The average employee in the UK take 10 unplanned absences every year.

What steps can employers take to minimise the negative effect of unplanned absences?

Ultimately, companies need  to implement a workforce management system to track and analyse employee absence behaviour. By identifying and understanding patterns of absence companies can take the necessary steps to reduce both the financial and indirect costs of abseentism.

Find out more about reducing absenteeism in the workplace and download our dedicated whitepaper here.

Softworks can help your company to achieve it’s absence management and attendance tracking goals. Get in touch with us here for a Demo of our Workforce Management Solutions.

Request a Live Demo


Topics: Time & Attendance, Compliance, Workforce Management, Automated Absence Management, Timesheets

Have a more productive Monday with Softworks

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Jun 26, 2017

4 tips for a more productive Monday with Softworks

We all know Mondays can be tough. You were at the beach, at the pub or at the much. Then before you know it the weekend is over and you’re back at your desk. Where did the weekend go?  It’s time to refocus for the week and get stuck into your work. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.. No need to fear though, because we have for you 4 tips that will assist you to be more productive this Monday!

  1. Turn off your phone.

I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say I’m on my phone way too much. Ireland as an employment environment is increasingly populated by young professionals with smartphones. For some, the temptation to update social media with the weekend’s antics during the work day is just too much. Switch your phone off, even for a few hours and you’ll find that your work rate and concentration doubles.

 2. Log out of social media on your laptop.

There’s not much point in turning off your phone if you’re just going to go on Facebook on your computer. Monday is the perfect opportunity for a social media detox. And we’re sure your boss wouldn’t be too happy to see you on Facebook instead of working. Unless your job specifically requires it, you should definitely limit your social media usage during work hours.


  1. Make a list of tasks.

This productivity trick is helpful on any day of the week, particularly on a Monday. A list of jobs for the day will help to focus your attention and manage your time effectively.

  1. Hydrate and caffeinate.

Rough weekend? We’re all getting older and there’s nothing worse than sitting at work and still be feeling the effects of Saturday night.  Dehydration reduces brain function and concentration, so it’s always good to have a bottle of water handy and sip away.


Mondays are bad enough so do whatever you can to readjust after the weekend and get your week off to a good start. 

Softworks are the market leading providers of workforce management solutions. Our services aid companies to effectively manage their employees time, attendance and scheduling, allowing them to focus on increasing productivity and reducing costs. Sound like something your company needs? Get in touch with us here for a Live Demonstration of our solutions.

Request a Live Demo

Topics: Time & Attendance, Compliance, Workforce Management, Automated Absence Management, Timesheets

The Benefits of Time & Attendance Automation

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Jun 19, 2017

In the rapidly progressing and fast paced business landscape it is vitally important that businesses adopt modern trends in order to maintain their competitive edge. One such trend is that Employee Time & Attendance and Scheduling is increasingly becoming automated. But are there benefits to automating these processes?


The main benefit of automated time and attendance lies in the reduction of the inaccuracies associated with manually clocking in and out. Incomparable accuracy compared with manual recording of time.  Automated time and attendance systems stamp out employee time theft by removing the approximate nature of manually clocking out or signing out.  By eliminating this particular drawback of manual clocking, companies can begin to save on overpaying their employees. Automated attendance tracking also provides an incomparable level of accuracy to manual attendance.



By clocking in at the start of the working day, employees enter the work mind-set and are more likely to be productive. This mental “switching into work mode” will boost employee productivity. Similarly, employees are less likely to slack off if they know that their time and attendance is being tracked.

Shift scheduling

The use of an automated workforce management system allows for greater flexibility in the creation and assignment of shifts. With an automated employee scheduling system, staff levels can be allocated to meet the demands and needs of the business. For example, in a manufacturing company more staff can be rostered to meet production demands. A hotel or restaurant can utilise their automated time and attendance system to forecast their required staff levels for anticipated busy periods.



It is vital that your company maintains compliance with employee working time legislation. With and automated time and attendance solution you can ensure that your employees do not work any more hours than they are legally permitted to. All employee time and attendance data is stored and is easily accessed if it is ever called into question.

With Softworks, we take the hassle out of tracking and scheduling your employees. Our time and attendance solution is one of the most powerful available on the market. But don’t just take our word for it. Try Softworks for yourself!

Get in touch with us here for a Live Demo of our Time and Attendance Solution.

Request Live Demo

Topics: Time & Attendance, Compliance, Workforce Management, Automated Absence Management, Timesheets

What is Human Capital Management?

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Jun 12, 2017

What is Human capital management?

In today’s modern workforce environment it is becoming increasingly important to have an employee tracking and management system in place in your company. Fluid roles, dynamic shift patterns and fluctuating customer demand are all factors that employers are faced with on a daily basis.

 More and more companies are turning to Human capital management solutions to assist them in organizing and optimizing their workforce. Human capital management essentially encompasses the practices of recruiting, managing and developing your workforce.  So what are some of the more common elements of human capital management?

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  1. Time & Attendance.

Time and Attendance is a key aspect of human capital management. Time and attendance solutions allow employers to build a real time picture of employee hours work and to analyse employee performance.

  1. Employee self service and portal.

The employee portal element of human capital management empowers employees by giving them the responsibility of managing their own time and attendance. With employee self service, your employees can also check their work schedules and request absences. Employee self service portals can save your company by placing employee and HR information in the hands of the employee.

By giving your employees the responsibility of tracking their own time and attendance with self-service and honour based timesheets you are building stronger relationships with them that will ultimately result in a more effective and productive workforce.

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  1. Education and skill tracking.

In any business environment or industry it is vital that your employees are constantly learning and upskilling so that your company can maintain its competitive edge. Human capital management skills tracking solutions assist employers to track employees’ skills, training and qualifications and manage their current and future learning requirements.

Human capital management procedures differ depending on the specific industry or company they are being applied. However the principles of the concept of human capital management apply regardless. These are: talent acquisition, talent management and talent optimisation.


For more on Human Captial Management and how Softworks can help your business visit

 Try Softworks Human Capital Management for yourself and Request a Demo.

Request Live Demo

Topics: Time & Attendance, Happy Workers, Workforce Management, Human Capital Management

Leave the Office Early

Posted by Jimmy English on Tue, Jun 6, 2017

‘Leave the office early day’

Friday last the 2nd of June marked National ‘Leave the Office Early Day’ . This particular day has been introduced to encourage office workers who usually work more than 40 hours a week to take a couple of extra hours to themselves by leaving work early.  There are many factors that impact on employee productivity.  Often, something as simple as leaving work a few minutes before your normal finishing time can have a huge impact on your outlook and performance.

 Flexible Working Arrangements, or more commonly Flexitime is a proven approach to boosting employee output and satisfaction. Flexitime doesn’t just benefit employees. There are a number of advantages, financial and other that businesses can enjoy from implementing Flexitime.



  1. Reduce Absences and Lateness.

 Employees who are constantly late or absent without approval end up costing your company money in the long run. By introducing flexible working hours for employees, you reduce the scope for lateness and reduce the cost of employee lateness.

  1. Match working hours to demand.

With Flexitime, you can match employee working hours to periods of high or low demand, thereby reducing the costs of having too many staff when they are not necessary.  By matching staff levels to demand you can optimise productivity and reduce costs.


  1. Happy employees are productive employees.

Employees that are well rested and happy are likelier to have a higher morale and increased motivation to perform their role to the best of their ability.

  1. Inexpensive Implementation.

Flexible Working is an inexpensive solution and can be quickly implemented providing a Return on Investment in a short period of time.


Flexible Working Arrangements benefit both your employees and your business. You can find out more about flexible working arrangements in our whitepaper. To download our whitepaper click here. 

How can Flexible Working benefit your company? Request a Live Demo of Softworks Solutions and a member of our team will be in touch to give you all the information you need.

Request Live Demo

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Happy Workers, Workforce Management

Stop wasting Office Supplies!

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, May 29, 2017

Workplace Management - Reducing the waste of office supplies

In honour of National Paperclip day, we take a look at how companies can save money and reduce their office stationary spend. 

In today’s business environment companies are more conscious than ever when it comes to minimising costs. And while paper, pens and printer ink are all vital to a functioning workplace environment they must be treated as the valuable commodities that they are.

We all know someone who can’t walk by the office supply room without grabbing a few pens or a highlighter.  Or the colleague who is always printing unnecessarily. These habits are costing your company money and with some simple adjustments to employee behaviour and mind-set your company can start saving money. Here are some suggestions: 




  1. Create wastage awareness.

Your staff mightn’t be aware of the cost of restocking the office. Raising their awareness of how often your company orders printer paper and the cost to the company might encourage them to cut back on their printing. Something along the lines of: “Did you know that last year this company used 2,000 trees? “Is guaranteed to make people think before they print.

  1. Only print when necessary.

In the Digital Business Age and with the advent of the cloud it is becoming less commonplace for documents to be printed. Instead of printing off a copy for everyone attending the meeting, share your document using a projector and email. If it is necessary to print more than one page, try to do so double sided.

  1. Recycle and Reuse!

Instead of throwing out printed sheets when you’re finished with them, use these sheets for note taking and scribbling. 

  1. Assign stationary allowances.

If all of the above fail then it might be time to take more extreme measures. If your employees are required to sign out their stationary and know that their usage is being tracked then they will be more conscious about how many pens they go through. This is by no means an ideal rule to have to impose and should only be a last resort.

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Implementing change starts with Managers, who need to lead by example and encourage employees to follow suit.  Positive behaviour in the workplace comes from the top down.

To find out more about the benefits of Workforce Management Solutions for your business you can download our whitepapers here.

Who are Softworks and what do we do? Visit our website here.


Topics: Happy Workers, Workforce Management

Selecting the Perfect Workforce Management System

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, May 22, 2017

It is becoming increasingly difficult for employers and companies to track and assess the performance of their employees in the modern workplace environment. More and more companies are seeking an effective and reliable method of recording their employee’s time and attendance. Employers also seek to implement easily adaptable rosters and schedules.  If this sounds like you then you would be well served by purchasing a workforce management system. However, before you do there are a number of things you need to take into consideration:

  1. Assess your needs.

What do you want your workforce management system to do for you? Do you simply want to track the clockings and attendance record of your employees? Or are you looking for more complex rostering and scheduling solutions.  Identifying the purpose that your new workforce management system will serve for your company is a critical in choosing the right fit for you.

 2. Will it integrate?

While you might be happy for your new workforce management solution to be a stand alone within your company’s IT structure, the likelihood is that you will need your new Time and Attendance system to integrate with existing applications you have running such as payroll and human resources. The majority of workforce management systems are capable of being integrated, but you will need to research how this integration will work, the length of time for completion and the cost.


  1. Think of the future.

A workforce management system is a major investment for a company, not only financially but of time and effort. Ensure that your investment does not quickly become obsolete by selecting a flexible system that will ideally include free upgrades to the latest versions as they become available.

 4. Expertise.

Perhaps the most critical aspect of choosing your new workforce management tool is experience of the supplier. Try to choose a supplier who has a solid track record of providing companies similar to yours with workforce management solutions. Don’t be afraid to talk to previous customers about their products and how they found dealing with the supplier.

Above all, be certain that you are happy to proceed. To help you select the perfect workforce management, we have put together an impartial guide which you can read here.

For more information on Sofworks and the workforce management systems that we provide you can contact us here.

To book a Demo of our Solutions click here.

Request a Free Demo Today!

Topics: Workforce Management

Cybersecurity in the Workplace

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, May 15, 2017

After the unprecedented WannaCry ransomware Cyber-attack that targeted over 230,000 computers over the weekend we take a look at how companies can protect themselves and their servers and data from future attacks.  This latest cyber-attack hit particularly close to home with some HSE networks affected. Our UK neighbours were also hit, with the NHS particularly affected. The HSE network will remain closed for another 48 hours to prevent any further damage from the attack.  So what can Irish companies do to protect themselves and limit the damage of being victims of online hacks and cyber-attacks?

Here are some simple steps:

  1. Back up your files and Data: This might seem like quite an obvious measure to take when protecting your data, but it is a measure that is often overlooked. Ransomware malware gain access to  your files and lock them,  demanding payment for their release. By backing up important files and documents regularly you will have access to them even in the event of a cyber-attack. Your company’s IT manager can advise you on how often you should back up your files.
  1. Handle Passwords securely.

Employee passwords should be long, unique and complex.  Ensure that your employees have a work password that is different and separate from any passwords that they use for private accounts. It is better to use a longer easy to remember password than a shorter string of random characters as these type of passwords can easily be hacked. Additionally, employees should be prohibited from sharing credentials as this can lead to breaches in security.

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  1. Update company machines

Remind your employees that their PC’s and Laptops should regularly be updated. Computers that are not updated are at a greater risk of being targeted and infected with malware and spyware. Computer antivirus software should also be kept up to date and any updates that become available should be installed immediately. While some employees may find these updates an inconvenience they are vitally important for your company’s cyber protection.

  1. Communicate Cybersecurity protocol with employees.

Believe it or not, your employees are at the front line of cybersecurity. Be sure that they are aware of the risks of using email and the internet while on the company network. Employees should only browse secure websites and should not open emails or attachments from unknown or unfamiliar sources.

 Awareness and preparedness are vital for companies when doing business in a Digital Age. Over 80% of all business is now conducted online so it is crucial that companies are prepared to survive and overcome all types of cyber threats.

Topics: Cloud, Access Control, Workforce Management, security

How to beat the Monday Work Blues

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, May 8, 2017


There is nothing worse than coming back into the office after a weekend of sunny weather and trips to the beach. It can be quite an ordeal opening the unread emails, answering some and ignoring others, and refocusing yourself on the demands of your job. And while copious amounts of coffee will ease the pain, there are a few small measures than you can take to beat those pesky Monday blues.

  1. Go out for a walk.

Make the most of your lunch break with some fresh air and sun. You’ll feel refreshed and prepared to face the tasks you have set out for the afternoon. If there is a park near where you work, even better. Clear your mind and optimise your working day.

  1. Treat yourself.

A little bit of sugar in the afternoon will increase your energy levels and improve your mood. It might just be the push you need to make it through Monday. Grab a snack around 2 or 3 pm and your afternoon will fly.



  1. Set out tasks for your week.

Setting your tasks out for the week is proven to focus your attention and optimise your work performance.  Spend some time writing out your tasks for the week and allot the necessary time for each of them.

 4. Put on some music.

Listening to music is a great way of channelling your concentration and getting work done. Just make sure you use your headphones as there’s a good chance the entire office won’t share your taste in tunes!


Being focused and productive on the first day of the week can improve your chances of successful work for the rest of the week.  Workplace productivity can also be improved by the introduction of flexible working arrangements. Flexible working, or Flexitime, can be of benefit to both employees and employers.  Find out more about enhancing workplace productivity with flexitime here.

Interested in introducing Flextitime to your comany? Book a Demo of our Solutions below.


Request a Free Demo Today!


Topics: Workforce Management, Healthy Workplace, workplace wellbeing

What is Workforce Management?

Posted by Jimmy English on Tue, May 2, 2017


What is Workforce Management?

In order for any company or workplace to perform efficiently, there must be a system of organisation in place. Employees should be informed of their designated working hours and the tasks and responsibilities they are assigned to for within these hours. They should also be aware of their holiday and leave entitlements.


For Management, it is important to have visibility on future or anticipated demand and to be in a position to assign the required levels of staff. It is also vital that managers can make allowances for absences; both planned and unplanned.  More and more companies are adopting Workforce Management Systems to assist them in organising, tracking and optimising their employees and output. Specifically, Workforce management solutions allow companies to forecast workload and required staff, track the timekeeping and attendance of their staff and track the various projects across the company.

Let’s take a look at the core elements of Workforce management and how they can be of benefit to you.


Time and Attendance.

Time and Attendance tools allow you to track and analyse employee hours worked. Time and Attendance tools  allow you to build a clear picture of employee time through detailed data and reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-balances, rostering and holiday leave as well as producing real time reports on individual employees.


By implementing online scheduling software and eRostering software, companies can eliminate paper based rosters and reduce the errors that are associated with manually prepared rosters. Online rosters give you visibility of all employees and their hours worked. Most importantly, eRostering enable companies to align staff supply with customer demand, ultimately reducing costs and improving customer experience.

Project Management

Project Management Software allows companies to track employee activity and involvement in relation to ongoing projects. Employers can view the time spent on a project, activity and cost to the project. With Project management software, managers can keep projects within budget and reduce the loss of unaccountable hours and profitability.


The true benefits of Workforce Management Solutions lie in reducing costs, driving efficiencies and increasing the productivity and profitability of your company.


To find out more about Workforce Management Solutions and the many benefits they offer, request a Demo of our Workforce Management tools here.
Request a Free Demo Today!


Topics: Time & Attendance, Project Manager, Labour Scheduling, Rostering, Workforce Management