Visitor Screening

  1. Track visitors and proactively manage car park
  2. Automatic notification to host of visitor arrival
  3. Cloud and Multi-site solution
  4. Full Auditing for security
  5. Works with existing corporate ID cards or used without
  6. Full Mustering and Roll call capability
  7. Registration via Tablet, PC, Kiosk and through reception
  8. Seamless integration with Workforce Management and Access Control
  9. Card Printing Bureau service including photo and branding.

HFX’s development team has been able to accelerate the testing and release phases of EveryOneCloud’s Visitor Registration Screening Questionnaire. The Screening functionality enables companies to predetermine site visitors’ eligibility prior to turning up on-site; this a crucial element in the current climate.

CoronaTimes: Home Working and the need for Flexible Working

Home Working and the need for Flexible Working

Working from home is not a new concept, nor simply a tool for dealing with the Coronavirus. Many employers have facilitated home working to various degrees whether ad-hoc, for specific staffing groups or even as a more generic policy for staff.

With the outbreak of Coronavirus, many companies have simply extended their normal home working practices both in terms of the staffing groups or the period of time that staff can be at home.

But we are not in “normal times” and as we move to home working it is becoming abundantly clear that “working from home” also needs to incorporate “Flexible Working” and for very good reasons.

The school closures that have been mandated from the 23rd of March mean that many colleagues will not simply be working from home but also juggling work with looking after their children. Not for a week or two, but perhaps for 12 or more weeks.

Whilst the weekend was traditionally a sacred time to spend with your family, in “CoronaTimes” families will be together the entire week. The trips out at weekends will somewhat disappear as facilities close down and social interaction becomes restricted.

Adapt to stay productive

As parents and families adapt to this new reality, they will be looking to balance their parental responsibilities (which might include a degree of home-schooling) with their work-life.  For many, there will also be a realisation that children are unlikely to comply with your request for them to quietly study between the hours of 9am to 5pm whilst you attempt to focus on work.  Those that try will likely see their levels of frustration and stress reach levels rise to such a degree that they are forced to decide between work or family. 

So, organisations need to adapt not just to Home Working, but Flexible Working. For many parents, the answer may lie in utilising their hitherto sacred weekends which now have less value, so that they can both look after their children and attend to their work. Colleagues are going to be far more effective at balancing their parental and work commitments over 7 days than the traditional 5.

Those parents who both work from  home might take a different approach and take it in turns to look after their children which might mean colleagues have a compressed week, e.g. 3 long days (12 hours) working, with 3 days looking after their children whilst their partner works.

There are many possible patterns of working that enable staff to meet the challenge of Home Working and Home Schooling. But they all require their employer to be flexible. Fortunately, Flexible Working (Flexitime) addresses this challenge. Flexitime is not a new concept and has been around for many years. What is new is the concept of combining these together to ensure staff can be productive and successful during this unprecedented period.

Technology can Help

HR Leaders need to engage with staff and provide flexible working patterns that address their specific circumstances whilst also meeting the needs of the organisation. Essential for success is the need for a Cloud based Workforce Management tool that provides managers and staff with visibility of when their colleagues are working (essential for conferencing and communication) but avoids the associated admin by enabling all colleagues to clock in remotely so that their time is automatically recorded.  The combination of flexibility and technology will ensure staff are productive whilst reducing their anxiety and stress. A New World of Work is being forced upon us through these unprecedented times and HR Leaders need to be agile and creative to help lead and navigate their organisation through these rough seas.

To find out how HFX can help your company during this time contact: 03333 447872 or visit: http://www.hfx.co.uk

Coping with workforce management and Coronavirus: the changed workplace

Photo by Kevin Bhagat 

Over the past few weeks HFX have seen a massive increase from customers asking how HFX can support their initiatives around combating and mitigating coronavirus.

We want to help by getting companies and their staff to be able to work from home to keep staff safe and adapt business with minimum disruption, so if you think any of the options below could be of benefit, please call us now on 03333 447872 or visit www.hfx.co.uk

  1. Staff working from home? – You may need our Time and Attendance and Flexitime Cloud solution which enables you to plan and track staff availability and working hours transparently and in real-time
  2. Mobile clocking app for staff working from home – Instant remote implementation in one day with no training required  
  3. Staff still on-site/in the office? – We are offering special pricing on Iris, facial and proximity devices for staff to clock in touch-free
  4. Fluctuating business demand? – Our Cloud Workforce Design solution or consultancy will help you adjust your staffing to your customer demands
  5. Absence planning with Coronavirus – also keep track of isolated colleagues
  6. Touch-free access control
  7. Visitor and Staff screening – Identifying high-risk colleagues returning to work
  8. Express implementation of Cloud solution
  9. Visitor and Contractor Registration module including health check questionnaire

The mixture of the above cloud-based options can help monitor sufficient resourcing levels for vital council services and keep front line services running effectively to provide uninterrupted service to the public.

To find out how HFX can help your business call us on 03333 447872 or visit: http://www.hfx.co.uk

Coronavirus – A Memo to Business – Don’t Panic – Plan

Coronavirus- A Memo to Business – Don’t Panic – Do Plan

With the spread of COVID-19 extending beyond the borders of China, the World Health Organisation has warned of the likelihood of a Pandemic – a global outbreak. Despite the hysteria, there is no need to panic, rather the need to develop a contingency plan. The possible WHO designation means that activity will move from containment (trying to identify and isolate “Patient Zero” and whoever they have come into contact) to Mitigation, slowing down the spread of the virus to reduce the impact on healthcare systems.

This is as much as a message for employers as it is for governments. In China, we saw how unprepared businesses were, and how damaging it has been, with many now teetering on bankruptcy. To be fair, Chinese businesses had no warning and very little time to react. The same cannot be said for the millions of employers outside mainland China.

So, what is your contingency plan to mitigate COVID-19 within your organisation? There is much organisations can do to help safeguard their company, employees and wider community and below are just of the mitigations that you should consider adopting in your contingency plan;

Homeworking.

Many organisations provide for some form of home working but often this is ad-hoc. Can your systems/IT support longer periods of home working, e.g. 14 days or more? Soft/internet phones, video conferencing, internet speeds? Many Home Workers already complain that there is insufficient IT support/infrastructure put in place for home workers. Would an increase in home workers and the duration of remote working be sustainable with existing infrastructure/bandwidth?

Physical Workplace.

Not all employers/employees have the luxury of home working (e.g. production plants) but there is still much that can be done;

  • If you operate a shift-based system, consider staggering shifts or breaks between shifts ending and starting to reduce the number of physical interactions with employees (e.g. reducing physical contact between those ending a shift and those starting).
  • Consider staggering breaks particularly if you have a canteen to reduce the number of people congregating together. Whilst it may sound drastic, closing the canteen might be an appropriate response depending on your circumstances.

Protecting Employees.

  • Hygiene. This is not simply a matter of communication or policy, rather adapting facilities and promoting behavioral change. What handwash do you currently provide? Consider whether alcohol gel should be provided and not just in the toilets/kitchens, but anywhere there are touchpoints. For example, some organisations use biometric (finger or hand) readers for Time and Attendance or Access Control; Consider hand sanitisers by these devices or switch to touchless biometrics such as Face or Iris readers.
  • Meetings. Reduce the number of physical internal and external meetings. Is it necessary for you to visit your suppliers/customers/prospects or could this be done via video conferencing? The same is true with visitors to your office. Every physical interaction is putting your business/suppliers/customers/colleagues at risk.
  • Temperature checks. Whilst passing the temperature test is no guarantee that a colleague is not infected, it will identify those who are unwell and who therefore shouldn’t be at work.
  • Face masks. If you are only now planning, then you have probably left it too late (this time) to prepare as masks are in short supply. Using the correct masks (often in conjunction with eye protectors) can help reduce the spread and protect your staff.

Protecting your business.

  • Resource planning. How many staff can you manage being off-sick at any one time? What will your isolation period be? 14 days is a long time – what would the impact be? Do you have a policy in place ready to activate? Do you have a procedure for onboarding agency/contingent workers?
  • Key workers. Have you identified key workers whose absence would have a significant impact on the business? Is there an option to upskill or segregate key staff?
  • Holidays. Can you actively manage holidays to reduce the number of people likely to be affected during the critical stages of the contagion?
  • Suppliers. Have you reviewed your supply chain and a mitigation strategy, e.g. over-stocking, alternative suppliers?

Whilst some may take a “wait and see” approach, the reality is that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Having a good contingency plan will help ensure organisations are resilient when a pandemic occurs. Note the keyword here is “when” not “if”. The WHO has said it’s simply a matter of time before the next Pandemic occurs and given constant population and travel increases, the time between pandemics may even shorten (the last pandemic – H1N10 – was in 2009).

The UK government published its latest National Risk Register in 2017. The likelihood of a Pandemic within the next 5 years was high and its impact the greatest of all potential natural/accidental disasters within the UK.

Whether COVID-19 will turn out to be a pandemic is still a matter of debate, but even if a COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t materialise, what it has proved is the need for businesses to have an actionable business contingency plan for when such event occurs.

To find out more about HFX’s Cloud based workforce management solutions can help you plan ahead visit: https://www.hfx.co.uk/solutions/information/

Influenza is a Corporate issue

Influenza is a Corporate issue

Influenza kills an estimated 35,000 people yearly in the US and 600 people in the UK, results in 7.6 million sick days and cost UK organizations £1.35 billion. Whilst sickness is an everyday issue that occurs all year round, a large number of flu-related sick days compressed into such a short period can wreak havoc on business productivity and profitability.

The Influenza season generally peaks in January/February and tapers off in March and generally results in 5 to 7 days off work for those infected.

The impact on business is not simply the cost of overtime/agency cost in covering the sickness, but also loss of expertise, poor quality, delivery/service delays, and as a result, reputational damage.

Managing the absence of a few people for a few days is par for the course, but Influenza can decimate your workforce and for a much longer period and be fatal. It is for this reason, that in 2020 organisations should make Influenza a priority to safeguard their business and their colleagues. Organisations should carefully draw up a plan and consider;

  • Increased awareness of the Flu season within their teams including hygiene, vaccinations and absence policies.
  • Encouraging staff to get the Flu vaccination and providing time off to do so.
  • Reducing staff meetings during this period to reduce the opportunity for contagion. If you normally have company day/training events during this period, you should consider rescheduling.
  • Implementing clear guidelines about when colleagues can return to work. In general, you are contagious from day 1 (some experts suggest the day before) you have symptoms and remain infectious for 5 to 7 days. Those diagnosed with Flu should be encouraged or mandated to stay away from the office until after this infectious period. Again, in some situations, home working may be appropriate. It is far better to have one employee be off work a few extra days than risk infecting the whole team.
  • Plan effectively and make use of technology. A good rostering system can help with planning cover during the influenza season. Hope is not a strategy so organisations should roster cover so that the business can continue to operate within the expected absence projections. If you don’t have this data, then investing in a Time and Attendance solution would provide you with key absence metrics (filtered for Flu) to enable you to plan effectively for 2021. Software such as HFX’s 3D Rostering and Time and Attendance solutions can help with this.

Organisations that plan effectively are only taking care of business, but not also taking care of their staff (and their families) whilst reducing the burden and cost on the NHS.

Health & Safety is not simply compliance

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These days the amount of compliance organisations must follow can often sink a ship. With all the tick box exercises and audits it can be easy to lose sight of their actual purpose. Health & Safety is just one such case. However, at its core, it is that organisations (whether private or public) owe a duty of care to their staff and covers the environment in which they work, the duties they carry out, the hours they work and the tools that they use to conduct their duties.

Inadequate equipment, poor environment, fatigue through long hours can impact on quality, cause accidents, absences and in serious cases reputational damage, legal action and loss of revenue. If care of your staff doesn’t grab your attention, then the potential costs most certainly will. Two of the world’s biggest disasters (Chernobyl the Exxon Valdez oil spill) were the result of human error linked to fatigue. An accident in your organisation may not end up polluting the world, but it could just put you out of business.

But many organisations regard Health and Safety as simply a “compliance issue”, a burdensome admin job that someone needs to do, when in fact Health & Safety when done right is a competitive advantage that improves productivity, efficiency and quality as well as staff retention and motivation. Once you think of Health & Safety not as a compliance issue but a commercial one your whole approach changes.

The good news is that technology is readily available to simplify and automate many aspects of Health & Safety not simply to avoid the manual paperchase but to improve the health and safety of your staff and the competitiveness of your organisation.

For instance, there have been many studies that show working long hours reduces both productivity and quality, e.g. working 60 hours a week does not deliver 50% more than 40 hours a week. Once you factor in potential for poor quality and accidents then you may be getting nothing in return for paying additional hours. Getting hours right has other benefits too; A recent study in Sweden showed that a 6 hour working day reduced sickness by 50%.

Solutions such as Imperago™ enable rosters to be generated that not only meet business demands but also consider suitability for staff, Risk & Fatigue. The result is shift patterns that not only meet business requirements and benefit staff but also reduce costs and risks.

Time and attendance solutions enable organisations to easily manage and monitor worked hours to minimise overtime and breaks between shifts to prevent staff fatigue. Some solutions also come with roll-call options that link to fire alarms and produce real-time muster reports direct to managers (or printers) in case of fire.

One of the reasons why hfx developed CloudMuster and MusterPoint (Links to fire alarms and 3g eMusterPoints) was the result our office fire in 2015. As a technology company we knew that a clipboard and pen was not an efficient or accurate way of checking the whereabouts of our staff.

Naturally not all staff work in a building or offices, many (for instance care workers) make many external visits a day and this creates its own set of safety issues (Lone Workers) but again there are eSolutions that enable staff to be tracked (via GPS) during working hours to ensure their safety.

Of course, you shouldn’t ever just react by throwing technology at a problem and walking away, but neither should you throw a clipboard, pen and tick box at it either in the hope that this absolves you or your organisation of responsibility for the Health & Safety of your staff.

Above all a positive approach to health & safety comes with the realisation that everybody wins when staff safety and wellbeing is a core part of the business plan not an external imposition.

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