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.
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
HFX wins £500k 7 year contract with a large public sector organisation.
The HFX solution will provide a full Cloud Flexitime system to 3,500 staff working in 13 different council buildings and includes a complete security upgrade for the Council with fully integrated HFX Cloud Access control.
Nick Whiteley HFX CEOsays: ‘This is an important win for HFX especially in these complicated times. We have seen a surge of interest over the last few weeks from companies looking for solutions to help them manage a way of working more flexibly in terms of location and working hours.
This is going to be the strongest trend going forward as we come out of the Coronavirus crisis and HFX are proud to be prepared for this demand with extensive functionality within their Flexitime and Home Working modules.’
Alex Boa Sales Director commented that ‘we have seen through the outbreak of Coronavirus that moving towards a pure Cloud solution is no longer optional but essential for organisations that want to provide resilient services to all their offices and staff including those that work remotely and from home. HFX was recognised as having the most complete cloud solution on the market, with rapid implementation and exceptional support services.’
This latest win brings the number of local authorities within the UK to 400 and defines HFX as a market leader within this sector. Indeed, HFX were the pioneers of Flexiworking and brought the first Flexitime software to the UK in the 1970s.
Nicola Smart COO states: ‘It is this track record and innovation which will propel us forward in the New World of Work post Coronavirus and we are looking forward to helping more companies manage their flexible workforces.’
Creating new Time & Attendance payment rules, adding new absence or adjustment reasons, restructuring your org hierarchy or simply creating new working patterns.
With HFX’s Imperago these were made immeasurably simpler, however we recognise that many of our clients simply don’t have the time or in-house resource to make these changes or often don’t feel confident doing this themselves.
HFX Managed Service is a supplementary service available to clients to help with these and other administrative tasks. After all, HFX are the experts when it comes to HFX software.
Based on the same simple pepm (per employee per month) pricing, HFX can now offer you their expertise in ensuring you always get the best from your system.
No more ‘work arounds’ or using the wrong reason code because you haven’t created the one you really need or managing exceptions as a result of the wrong pattern being worked.
Simply submit a request via the support portal and your request will automatically log the request and alert the HFX team.
If you are interested in how HFX can help you with:
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.
Council invests in cloud based hours management system to support 350 remote and front line staff in waste management and recycling teams.
Flintshire County Council is the unitary local authority for the present-day Welsh administrative county of Flintshire, one of the administrative subdivisions of Wales. The Council is responsible for services such as education, waste management and strategic planning in the area. Like all councils operating in today’s economic climate, the council’s focus is on delivering its services to the community as efficiently as possible. It as recently invested in hfx’s Imperago solution to manage staff working hours for its 350 front line waste management and recycling staff. Since implementing the solution the council is able to better manage working hours for its remote teams, and with the efficiency gains the system is on track to deliver substantial savings and improved staff availability in the first year.
Cloud solution provides flexibility for remote workers
A long standing user of hfx’s working hours recording and management solution across the authority, the Council knew that hfx could deliver the working solution that it was looking for to record working hours for its employees working remotely. As a modern and flexible Council they needed to find a time recording solution that better fitted with the requirements of the front line waste and recycling teams.
They wanted a solution that was powerful enough to deliver the control needed to drive efficiency with remote working teams, but which also had as little an impact as possible on users who have minimal access to systems and little technology experience.
The Council decided that a cloud based solution would provide the flexibility that it required to record hours for staff working across different locations. hfx’s solution has a clear, modern interface that is straightforward to use, with no training required. The Council was also able to further adapt the system to have an alternative PIN security feature, should Identity cards be lost or forgotten. This has facilitated built in reliability in the time recording system to accommodate workers who may lose their cards while out.
In addition to providing control and flexibility, the hfx solution also empowers staff to access their information securely from anywhere with an internet connection.
Efficiency gains translate into improved end user services
The Council uses hfx’s system to record hours for the staff working across seven locations, covering all the areas of Flintshire. Each site has the new HexOne dedicated touchscreen clocking terminal developed and built by hfx in the UK. Staff members are also able to access the portal remotely from home or smartphone to access and amend personal details, add notes or book leave. Efficiency savings are a key driver for all local authorities and the ability to better manage and control remote teams is already delivering great improvements over the old manual process.
The system is on track to deliver substantial savings by reducing lost hours and improving staff availability in its first year. A key reason for selecting hfx was also the company’s proven experience in working with local authorities and knowledge of the sector. Flintshire Council chose to implement the solution with a phased approach to iron out teething problems as they occurred and found the support provided by the hfx team invaluable throughout the process. The phased implementation also helped users to buy in to the change and has given a strong foundation to move forward with future plans.
Reports ensure optimal working patterns and staff well-being
As well as providing improved management on a daily basis of recording staff hours, the new solution has provided additional benefits with the built in reporting functionality. The reports help managers to monitor working hours ensuring that they meet European Working Directives while still delivering the key front line services. In addition, the reports from the hfx system help to manage staff sickness and absence, highlighting possible issues and ensuring fair and accurate working patterns, while meeting financial and operational demands. The solution can also help the Council to design automated rotas for optimal workforce planning.
In summary, hfx’s Imperago is helping Flintshire Council to shape its service and highlight issues and trends through powerful and accurate information. Reports can now be quickly generated and distributed to highlight issues and ensure the Council maintains high standards of service delivery to the community