Softworks Blog

Juggling the Work/Life Balance with Flexitime

Posted by Oliver Mitchell on Thu, Aug 31, 2017

The now famous 30 second speech given by the former CEO of Coca Cola Bryan Dyson (86-91), identified work as one of five components of life. It went along the lines of:

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air.  You name them - Work, Family, Health. Friends and Spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You'll soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls- Family,Health,Friends and Spirit -  are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed,marked,nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it. Work efficiently during the office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if it's value is valued."

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Life today is very different from the 1980's. Technology has made the world a much smaller place. Communicaton methods are constantly evolving and a vast amount of people post their every movement and interaction on some form of social media to share with the world. But that in itself is a whole other conversation!

Work is also a much more fluid environment nowadays. My colleagues are spread over 4 different time zones , with customers and suppliers in numerous others. But with the range of devices now available we are practically contactable 24/7 almost anywhere in the world.  So I ask the question: "Are we truly ever off the clock?" 

Don't get me wrong, I think it's amazing that we can be at home, out for a walk, having dinner with friends or doing any number of things and can solve an issue or respond to a question from someone who needs an answer during their working day, and vice versa. Without a doubt this makes the work flow quicker and easier, but it also blurs the lines of what Bryan Dyson was trying to get across. In his speech, there is seemingly a clear divide between the 5 elements we're all  constantly struggling to juggle. In today's reality, they all intermingle, blend together and managing your time ensuring each one is kept in the air is one of modern life's biggest challenges. 

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Using Flexitime within your organisation can assist employee's with managing this quandary. Having freedom to choose your start and end time to your office day can help you to deal with the other things that life throws at you from time to time. From the employers point of view, knowing that your employee is monitoring their hours to ensure they work the contracted amount of time over a week or month gives you some peace of mind too. It doesn't neccessarily cover the extra little segments of time that get spent on those late night emails or phone calls but it does offer more balance than the traditional office hours.  

In essence, having flexibility around the demands of work enables a person to better juggle all the balls they have in the air at any given time and that, I believe, encapsulates the message that Bryan Dyson was conveying in his 30 second speech. 

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

The Benefits of a Mobile Workforce Management Solution

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Aug 21, 2017

In a workforce that is becoming increasingly flexible, more and more employees have the option to work from home or from the road. These employees still need to be able to clock in and clock out, request holidays and  manage their Time and Attendance. In companies where employees enjoy benefits such as flexible working, they must have access to a mobile online workforce management system. Mobile Workorce Management provides a number of benefits to both employees and managers.

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Here are some of the key benefits of mobile workforce management solutions:

  1. Manage Time and Attendance from the comfort of your phone.

Managers who utilise a Mobile Workforce Management Solution can view and manage their employee Time and Attendance on the move and complete tasks such as reviewing Holiday Requests and adjusting Rosters.

  1. Clock In/Out Remotely.

For employees who work remotely, work flexible hours,  or who are often on the road for work recording hours worked can pose quite a challenge. These employees cannot physically clock in in their office, and must rely on other means to record when they start and end their shift.A mobile Time & Attendance App solves this problem, allowing employees to clock in and out from their phone.

  1. Save time and money

By placing a mobile Human Resources tool in the hands of your employee you are enabling them to access real time human resources information, thus eliminating the number of enquiries your HR department must deal with.

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The Softworks App is one of the most effective and user friendly Workforce Management Apps available. When Softworks Employee Self service App, employees can view their clocking history, request leave and check rosters. The Softworks Mobile Workforce Management App is highly user centric and intuitive and is quickly being adopted as the industry standard in Mobile Workforce Management.

For more information on our Mobile Workforce App and to see it in action for yourself, Request a Demo here today.

Book a Demo

 

Topics: Mobile App, Flexible Working, Workforce Management, Time & Attendance

The Importance of Employee Leave

Posted by Jimmy English on Wed, Aug 16, 2017

The Importance of Employee Leave.

 July and August are the most popular times of the year for employees to take their annual leave. There are typically less active projects and a lighter workload during this period, making it the ideal opportunity to get away for a while. While some employees may take a day off here or there, it is still important to take an extended period of time off work. Employees benefit psychologically and emotionally from annual leave, and enjoy a boost in enthusiasm and productivity when they return.  Let’s take a closer look at the benefits that result from annual leave and why it is so important.

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 1. Turning off your email. 

It is widely believed that constantly checking your email leads to an increase in stress levels. While some managers might not be able to avoid their email altogether, to fully benefit from your holiday set your out of office message before you leave. Take it one step further and don’t even think about checking your email on your phone. Unless you’re expecting an important message it can wait until you get back.

  1. Spending quality time with family.

The work life balance is a tough one to achieve sometimes. We all get caught up in our work at some stage or another and can neglect other areas of our lives. Getting away from your desk for a week or two with your family or loved ones will increase your happiness and remind you that there is more to life than work.

  1. Refreshed and rejuvenated.

The biggest benefit of annual leave is the positive effect it has on the employee mindset. An employee returning from holidays will have a fresh outlook and attitude and will be ready to perform to the best of their ability.

 

A business can only prosper from having satisfied and motivated employees. Employees who are happy and productive are a huge asset to any company. And while annual leave is limited, Flexible Working is not.  Flexible Working is unique in that it allows employees to achieve greater work life balance which in turn makes them more productive workers. To find out more about flexible working from Softworks click here.

Book a Demo

Topics: Employee Motivation, Flexible Working, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, absences

Overstressed at Work? Softworks can help!

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Jul 31, 2017

Check out our Top Tips to reduce the stress you feel at work.

 The Modern workplace is fast paced by nature as demands grow and resources seem to shrink. We live in a society where being stressed at work is considered relatively normal. Most working adults find it very difficult to maintain a sustainable work life balance, juggling their job with family, friends and other activities. Increased stress in our jobs leads to a decrease in productivity. Along with this decrease in output, workplace stress can lead to other complications in your life.

Beat the stress at work with these simple but effective tips from Softworks:

  1. Change your approach to work.

Break your tasks down to a manageable size .If you are given a particularly large task at work it can often seem daunting. Breaking this task down into smaller parts to be tackled one at a time will make the task more approachable and will reduce the stress you feel. Visualising yourself completing the task successfully can also help to reduce your stress.

  1. Get some exercise before or during work.

Exercise has been extensively proven as a bona-fide stress buster. Indulge in a pre-breakfast run or a post lunch walk and release some happy hormones to fight off the stress building up from work.  Getting away from your desk will help reset your mind and refocus you when you return.

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  1. Give Feedback.

If you feel like you are being asked to do too much, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your boss will respond  to you much better if you admit that you are a bit out of your depth rather than doing a poor job. It also demonstrates that you are responsible and a good team player. Don’t let the stress build up to a point where it feels like it’s going to overflow.

  1. Look for Flexible Working.

Flexible working is the perfect way to beat work induced stress. Build up flexitime when you feel up to it and then use it at will when you feel like you need to get out of work a little bit early. Flexible working arrangements benefits both employers and employees, allowing for greater output and productivity.

To find out more about Flexible Working Solutions from Softworks and how they could help you bust the office stress then download our free whitpaper here.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Book a Demo of our Solutions here and see for yourself how we can help your company increase output and productivity.

Book a Demo

 

Topics: Employee Motivation, Flexible Working, Employee Retention

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.

 

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  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.

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

Get to know our Customers

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Apr 24, 2017

 

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Following on from ‘National Get to Know Your Customers Day’ that took place last week we examine how workforce management systems are employed across many different industries and companies.

Softworks customers span all industries from Healthcare to Hospitality, and from Manufacturing to Retail. Particular industries will have specific individual workforce management needs. For example, our customers in the Healthcare industry benefit greatly from our eRostering and Scheduling tools, as they can plan for anticipated staff needs.

Below we take a closer look at the various industries that softworks serve, the companies in these industires and the workforce management solutions that these companies avail of.

 Healthcare

Healthcare organisations typically require rostering software that can manage schedules across their entire employee landscape; from nurses and medics to ancillary support staff.  The Bon Secours Health System is one such of these Health Organisations. Bon Secours came to Softworks looking for an eRostering solution that would enable them to manage their complex rostering schedules and shift patterns. You can read more about their story here.

Manufacturing

In order to effectively manage their workforce, manufacturing firms have the need to record, track and analyse employee time and attendance, planned and unplanned absences and manage HR processes. Aughnish Alumina,  Europe's largest alumina refinery approached Softworks to aid them in three key areas of Workforce Management: They needed full visibility of their workforce for key decision making, implementing a system that would integrate with their existing HR and Payroll systems  and Automation of all manual processes. Find out here how Softworks provided them with an inclusive workforce management system.

Retail

For large retailers such as our Customer Clas Ohlson, full employee visibility across all stores is vital. Softworks provided Clas Ohlson with easily adaptable and flexible scheduling solutions. Softworks provided Clas Ohlson with an automated system to manage employee time and attendance as well as scheduling. Additionally, Softworks delivered custom reporting tools for each individual store. Read more about the benefits of workforce management in retail here.

Hospitality

In the Hospitality industry, a major challenge facing management is the ever adapting staff requirement. The Druids Glen Resort needed a workforce management system that could automate manual tasks such as tracking employee attendance and managing planned and unplanned absences. They also required accuracy in the collection and reporting of hours worked for compliance and legislation purposes. You can find out how Softworks helped them achieve this here.

Softworks boasts a huge range of clients, from start ups to global corporations. How can Softworks help your business? Get in touch with our Team today about implementing our Workforce Management Solutions.

Request a Free Demo Today!

 

Topics: Softworks Customers, Time & Attendance, Flexible Working, Workforce Management, Automated Absence Management

The Good Weather Workplace

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Apr 10, 2017

The Irish weather is a constant source of debate and discussion. Our recent run of sunny weather has excited the nation into breaking out the barbecue and making a mad dash to the beach. The summer like conditions we experienced over the weekend are seemingly going to be extended for at least a few more days. And there is almost nothing worse than being stuck in the office, staring at a computer while the sun is splitting the stones outside.  So how can you counteract the sun filled daydreaming and encourage employees to remain focused during the forthcoming sunny days?

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  1. Encourage your employees to go outside on their break.

You probably won’t have to try too hard to get your employees to enjoy the sun on their lunch break. In fact you’ll probably have a much harder job ensuring that they are back at their desks on time! By enjoying some exercise and fresh air, employees will be prepared for a productive afternoon of work.

  1. Send them home early with Flexible Working Hours.

Flexible working arrangements, or Flexitime has been proven to reduce your costs and to improve employee motivation. If your employees know that they can go home earlier than normal to enjoy some of the sun, they are sure to experience an improved energy for their work. In addition,flexible working gives employees a better chance to maintain a good work life balance.

  1. Buy the office some Ice Cream!

Ice Cream is synonymous with sunny weather.  An ice cream break on a sunny day gives employees a chance to catch up with each other and the feeling that they aren’t entirely missing out on the good weather.

For more on the benefits of Flexible Working arrangements and how they positively impact both employees and employers, you can download our free whitepaper here.

Download our Whitepaper!

Do you have any suggestions for motivating employees when it's sunny outside? Let us know in the commetns below!

Topics: Employee Retention, Flexible Working, Employee Motivation

Workplace Wellness

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Apr 3, 2017

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Workplace Wellbeing

 Last week saw the celebration of the International Workplace Wellbeing day, and in honour of this celebration we’re going to take a further look at the many benefits of workplace wellbeing.  Workplace wellbeing practices has benefits for both employers and employees. Employers who promote workplace wellbeing typically enjoy higher output from their employees and a reduced rate of absenteeism. For employees, workplace wellbeing programs can lead to improved morale and greater self-esteem in the workplace.  The value of workplace wellbeing can be enjoyed equally by employers and employees alike.

Benefits of workforce health for employers:

  • Increased motivation and production
  • A Happy workforce
  • Attracting top employees
  • Reduced Absenteeism
  • Reduced turnover of employees

While employers and organisations can certainly reap the benefits of introducing a  workplace wellbeing program, it is the employees that truly enjoy the advantages. For example , employees who are  a part of workplace health program enjoy:

  • Improved workplace morale
  • Increased performance motivation
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved physical and mental health.
  • Enhanced self-esteem.

 Workplace wellness schemes are more commonplace than ever among Irish companies. For example, companies who offer gym memberships, healthy meal options or social club subscriptions to their employees are all actively embracing workplace wellbeing and wellness.  By promoting and encouraging healthy life practices such as exercise and proper nutrition, companies can ensure that their employees are always properly fit and fuelled to perform their role successfully.

One particularly popular and effective workplace wellness practice is the introduction of flexible working arrangements. Flexible working arrangements, or Flexitime, provides benefits to both the employer and business, as well as to employees.

For employers, flexitime can lead to higher retention rates of employees as well as increasing employee productivity while they are in the workplace. For employees, flexible working arrangements allow for a better balance between work and life.  You can read more about the business benefits of flexitime and how they can be implemented as part of a workplace wellness program here.

If you decide to implement flexible working arrangements, then Softworks can help. Get in touch with us today and organise a Demo of our Workforce Management Solutions!

                                   

   Request a Live Demo

  

Topics: Employee Retention, Healthy Workplace, workplace wellbeing, Flexible Working, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Workforce Management

Millennials in the Workplace

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Feb 27, 2017

 

 

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Millennials in the workplace - attracting your new workforce.

 The term ‘Millennial’ has been gaining quite a lot of traction lately. They seem to be becoming more and more prominent. But what exactly is a millennial? And how are this emerging generation affecting workplace dynamics and hiring practices?

For the uninitiated, a ‘millennial’ is a person born between the late 80’s and the early 90’s. They tend to be digital natives and as a result are significantly more comfortable with new technologies than older generations. 

Recent research indicates that by 2020 over 75% of the Irish workforce will be comprised of millennials. With this new workforce, companies and employers will be faced with a new set of challenges. For example:the average tenure of a millennial employee in a particular role is less than 2 years.

Typically, these employees view new roles as opportunities to upskill and advance in their careers as opposed to settling down. Millennial employees are driven: they want engagement and they want advancement.  On a practical, tangible level millennial employees look for flexible working environments. They place a high value on the ‘work/life balance’.  Millennial employees also want the flexibility to work from home, or to work remotely.

How can employers attract this new generation of employees?

Employers are now being faced with a difficult scenario. How can I attract top millennial talent while maintaining my company’s values? The first step is to introduce ‘Flexi – Time’. ‘Flexi – Time’ offers a number of advantages to a business. With ‘Flexi Time’ businesses can stay true to their core values, while adapting to retain employees.

By introducing ‘Flexi- Time’ companies can meet the changing demands of their employees. In meeting these demands, employer/employee relations are improved. Employees feel that they are being listened to and are receiving the recognition they deserve. When employee engagement is improved, there is a corresponding upswing in output.

Ultimately, millennial employees seek to be given the freedom of flexible working. With Flexible working, companies can increasingly attract millennial employees.

 

                                   Click here to Download our Whitepaper on Flexible Working.

 

 

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working

The Benefits of working from Home.

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Feb 20, 2017

 

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Working from home – the benefits of flexible working arrangements for employees.

Your office can be a distracting place, especially on a Monday morning. People are catching up after the weekend and the coffee machine is on overdrive. While you would expect your co-workers and employees to be well rested after the weekend, it is often the complete opposite and concentration levels are quite low. Monday mornings could be the perfect opportunity to introduce Softworks Flexible working arrangements into your company. The majority of people would relish the opportunity to avoid the Monday morning commute and work from the comfort of home instead. And despite the common perception; there are several benefits of working from home, as part of a Softworks Flexible working arrangement scheme. Here are some examples of why companies should implement Flexible working arrangements for employees:

  1. Less Distractions: Pets and family member aside, working remotely from the quiet of your own house lets you avoid the myriad of distractions that come with working in an office environment. In the office, peoples phones are ringing, the radio is on and it’s often hard to concentrate. Working in your home office or even at your kitchen table with some peace and quiet allows you to zero in on your daily tasks.
  2. Increased Productivity: Less distractions leads to higher levels of productivity for your staff. By creating an environment for your employees where they have minimal distractions and higher levels of satisfaction and motivation, productivity also increases, which has a positive impact on the bottom line. Happy workers are productive and higher quality workers and productive workers drive business.
  3. Adapting to Shifting Mindset: With more and more millennials joining the workforce, companies need to adapt to match the emerging talent. Millennials view work as a thing, rather than a place. So companies will need to free themselves from the traditional nine to five mentality if they want to attract and retain this generation of workers. In order to attract and retain top talent, businesses need to be able to respond to employees demand for non-full-time working hours and/or flexible working time schedules that will suit their chosen lifestyles and to balance work and family life.

You can learn more about the multitude of business benefits of flexible working by downloading our whitepaper here.

                                   Click here to Download our Whitepaper on Flexible Working.

While Flexible working arrangements may seem to work in favour of the employee, there are also benefits for the employer. Above all, employees that are content tend to work harder and longer at achieving company goals. And that should be the focus of any business.

 

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working