If you currently have a finger, hand or swipe card reader then changing to touch free options will be your top priority now in order to ensure maximum hygiene in your organisation.
We can get you up and running with new TOUCH FREE readers in one day.
HFX has developed advanced integration capability to connect instantly to any modern device. This means we can easily integrate to your existing Time & Attendance system and devices at zero or minimal cost.
HFX has been a market leader in Time & Attendance, Flexitime and Rostering systems for nearly 50 years and has over 1,500 customers of all sizes spread over all sectors.
Our solution is 100% SaaS Cloud and has been designed for quick implementation to give immediate benefits and cost savings.
We offer several options for purchase, rental and financing of the clocking devices.
Here at HFX we are proud to have a strong engagement with our 1,500 customers and we receive regular requests for additional functionality to help them leverage even more benefit from our suite of Cloud solutions.
During “Coronatimes” these customer requests have very much focused on a) helping the organisation manage the workforce during lockdown and b) help them prepare for the return of staff whilst keeping colleagues safe.
We’ve collated the top 5 requests which we have already delivered to customers or are in an advanced stage of production:
Touch free devices Managing hygiene and reducing physical “touch points” is a key focus for many of our customers. This remains the number one request and we responded by delivering contacless face recognition devices as an alternative to traditional hand or finger based devices. For those customers with card-based devices we have updated our HexOne device to make it fully touch free. So, whether customers require card or biometrics, we can provide both touch-free basis.
Homeworker Those organisations who have had to rapidly manage remote working, wanted the ability for colleagues to not only record time, but also specify a configurable set of reasons and/or locations (e.g. whether they were “home working”, “Self Isolating”, “Recovering”, “Volunteering”) to enable the organisation to better serve and manage their workforce.
This along with time management is proving invaluable as we see work patterns vary radically especially those with children who are looking to either compress or extend their working week depending on individual circumstances.
3. Enforced Distancing Mode
With rules around social distancing being required even at work, the question posed by customers was how do we enforce this with employees queuing to clock in at the device?
The solution we came up with is an update to our HexOne device that enforces a countdown for x seconds after each employee has swiped. This removes any incentive for employees to tailgate their colleagues clocking in/out.
4. Temperature Testing
We suspect this requirement will rapidly climb to number 2 over the coming weeks. The question posed was “How can we identify any symptomatic colleagues at the earliest opportunity to mitigate risks of transmission”.
Our latest “touchless” time and attendance device incorporates temperature testing and alerting. Both the individual and manager are notified so that appropriate action can be taken (isolation, track and trace etc).
5. Track & Trace and Monitoring
At number 5 are actually two joint requests; one which enables organisations to identify any colleagues who might have come into contact with an affected colleague (e.g at a clocking device) and secondly for those customers without our HexOne device (see number 3,) the ability to monitor that distancing is being adhered to by colleagues at non HexOne clocking devices.
What is most interesting about the list is the ingenuity and determination of our customers and business in general to overcome what might appear to be insurmountable challenges, the ability to embrace change and find innovative solutions to enable us all to get back to work.
Whilst we should not underestimate the challenges ahead, neither should we underestimate the tenacity and ingenuity of British business.
Post Covid-19: Here’s Why Flexible Working is here to stay
With the UK lockdown and closure of schools, the government have in effect mandated not just working from home, but for many parents flexi-time; the ability to vary the times you perform your work. It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, in this case it is the adoption of a system of work that has been in existence for over 4 decades but hitherto only adopted by forward looking organisations.
But with the government forcing a lockdown, organisations have been scrabbling to implement systems and processes to enable their staff to effectively work from home. Again, these enabling systems, whether video conferencing or workforce management tools, have been around for years and help manage remote and flexi-time colleagues but until now have not been top of the IT or HR agenda.
Covid-19 has done more to accelerate adoption in 3 weeks than all the HR and IT directors have achieved in the past decade. This is the force of change metered out by this now infamous viral foe.
The question of course, is when Covid-19 is finally defeated (potentially 12+ months away), whether everything will simply return to normal or even if it should. I suggest that when it comes to flexi-time and home working, it neither will nor should.
The rapid move to home-working and flexi-time due to Covid-19 has meant that most of us are now living and seeing the reality of home working. Firstly, the IT systems required to support these workers have now – albeit through necessity – been put in place. Secondly, the fears and myths about the effect on culture and productivity are starting to be dispelled and staff are rapidly learning their way around the “new” technology that supports working with remote teams.
The rapid investment in this new way of working, and its successes will give leaders a good reason to continue to leverage the investment they have made. Or to put it another way, why would you tear down what you have built up if it provides flexibility, business continuity, increased productivity and financial benefits?
These benefits are not just for the employer of course (cost savings on building, rent, rates) but also for the employees (train/car/travel costs) along with significant savings on time (traveling to/from the office).
There are more personal and psychological drivers too, in a world where our control over our own lives has been – albeit temporarily – suspended (holidays or even just going out), it is likely that everyone will want to be more in control of their lives once we emerge from this lockdown.
Of course, employers must set policies and deploy the workforce in order to meet their objectives and serve their customers, but within that there is scope to provide more flexibility to employees as to where and when they fulfil those objectives. The “But we’ve always done it this way” boiler plate response won’t wash when colleagues can point to what was achieved the “new way” during lockdown.
Finally, I suspect that with the positive impact home working has had on the climate and congestion, the government will also be keen to incentivise this new way of working.
Ultimately, leaders need to consider the lockdown as an opportunity to embrace the new world of work and take advantage of the benefits it can bring to their organisation long after coronavirus is defeated. Many businesses will be challenged for some time to come and they need every advantage they can to thrive and prosper as the world emerges not just from a health crisis, but also an economic one.
HFX Cloud suite includes Imperago™ Time and Attendance, Rostering, Home Worker, Flexitime, Access Control, Workforce Design, Annualised Hours, Attendance Monitoring/Location Management, Visitor Registration.
HFX Imperago solutions provide seamless integration with major HR and payroll systems. Highly customisable, HFX Imperago solutions can be configured to meet exact requirements and can support unlimited numbers of work patterns.
HFX has been the leading provider of Time & Attendance and Flexitime solutions in the UK for over 45 years and has over 1400 customers across the Commercial and Public Sector.
BUSINESS AFTER LOCKDOWN: Where do we go from here?
With a third of the world now in some form of government lockdown, many organisations are starting to plan for “Business after Lockdown”.
Key to business planning is understanding the timeline and triggers for an end to lock down and the recovery of both social and economic activity. Whilst clearly the government is exploring a range of options, they are less forthcoming about what they are and when they might be in place. The absence of clarity creates issues for businesses trying to navigate their way out of crisis whilst avoiding bankruptcy.
Viral Pandemic: a crisis without precedent in the modern world
The reality is that we have never had such a large-scale viral pandemic and there is no precedent on how to act. At this point, no-one can predict or guarantee how and when we in the UK will emerge from this crisis, but it is important for CEO’s and business leaders to develop multiple plans based on different scenarios that can be activated immediately as the picture becomes clearer. Planning is more important now than ever before. Many businesses have effectively been put on “life support” through the UK Governments “furloughing” scheme. Once the Government withdraws the scheme, businesses need to be ready to implement their “recovery” plans rapidly or run the risk of bankruptcy.
So far only one country has emerged from a lockdown, Wuhan in china just announced that after 11 weeks the lockdown is coming to an end. Analysts have stated that within the UK the infection rate (“R nought”) is about 2.6 pre-lockdown and will potentially go down to .62 if people comply with the rules. If R0 goes below 1 then the disease will eventually die out (assuming borders are controlled) but this would likely require the lockdown to continue for 12 weeks (in line with China).
UK Lockdown: one…two…three months
Whilst the UK government won’t speculate, the 12 weeks/3-month period seems to be a recurring theme with those who are at most risk told that they will have to remain inside for 12 weeks and the government furloughing scheme initially fixed for 3 months. Other European countries have either extended their lockdown or will be slightly relaxed the rules (though most of these countries have often had tougher restrictions than the UK).
The risk of course is that if you end the lockdown too soon, you end up where you started; exponential increases in spread, a collapsing healthcare system and a huge body count. However, this must be balanced against social unrest, non-compliance and huge economic damage. Many governments are between a rock and hard place and are placing their hope on science to find a way forward.
Whilst this weekend the UK is likely to see some positive impact from the 3 weeks spent on lockdown, it is very unlikely the government will bring the lockdown to an end and Churchill’s words “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”are perhaps as relevant today as they were in 1942;
There are possible solutions, but many aren’t ready, and all come with many unknown variables;
Vaccine – This is unlikely to be ready for 12+ months
Anti-virals – Leveraging existing antivirals that could significantly reduce mortality rates and turn a deadly disease into something more akin to the flu. Whilst trials are already in progress, it is likely that it will be month or more before we know if any prove to be effective.
Antigen tests: Tests that confirm if you have Covid-19 would enable the government to perform community testing and to target lockdowns on specific geographical areas. However, we will not get to 100,000 tests a day until the end of April. If new tests could be available that were “instant” (it takes at least 24 hours currently) and self-administered then restaurants/airports could open to customers who test negative at point of entry, but again this technology is not available yet.
Antibody tests: These test if a person has had Covid-19. The government is actively exploring this option as it would potentially mean that those who test positive could be provided with a certificate and again able to work/visit restaurants and other establishments. However, so far, these tests are too unreliable to be distributed and we don’t yet know the degree of immunity – and how long it last for – in patients who have had Coronavirus.
All the above options have merit and potential but unfortunately uncertainty and – as of now – lack availability. Until these become real the government has limited options; a) Tweaking the lockdown in combination with additional measures (face masks mandated, 2 metre distancing in the workplace, mandatory alcohol gel stations), b) Progressive Herd Immunity (relaxing and then tightening lockdown restrictions to ensure that the NHS is not overloaded) or c) maintain the lockdown until the infection rate falls to such a low level that it can revert to its “track and trace” containment strategy.
Survival after ‘Life Support’
Whilst there is significant uncertainty on how or when we will emerge, the above demonstrates that many businesses are likely to remain on “life support” for perhaps 3 months or more. But the critical business planning is what happens after lockdown. Many businesses are only surviving due to the governments furloughing scheme, but what happens when the government withdraw the scheme?
Suddenly the cash-flow issues that were “just under control” during lockdown will re-emerge again. For those businesses without a plan, they will be firefighting and without the cash to buy time to come up with an effective plan. Hence the essential need to plan for recovery and plan NOW.
For many businesses the headache will come with remobilisation of staff and the associated costs. Every business is different, but key considerations are;
Training – if colleagues have been furloughed for 3 months, what refresher training will they require?
Depending how the recovery is achieved, there are likely to be changes made to the workplace (distancing), facilities (High Hygiene), and processes such as Certification checks (If Antigen tests used) and/or onsite testing.
Staffing and Scheduling. There may be a need for redundancies, part time working, phased return or annualised hours depending on the specifics of the business. This is not a simple task and requires effective planning and scheduling. Reducing the headcount or hours requires effective re-rostering to ensure the business can still serve its customers. Annualised Hours is another popular solution. It does not reduce the salary of the employee but enables the employer to vary the hours worked over the year. This enables the employer to ramp up/down the hours as the recovery takes hold.
There are many tools and technologies available which could be deployed to address these issues and enable rapid mobilisation.
HFX is a market leader in Cloud workforce management solutions with a wide range of modules including: Time & Attendance, Flexitime, Annualised Hours, Home Worker, Access Control, Visitors’ Registration, Workforce Optimisation.
Visit our website www.hfx.co.uk or call us on 0333 447872 for more information