Flexible Working Solutions

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.

Flintshire County Council chooses hfx

flintshire

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

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hfx awarded G-Cloud 10

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hfx are proud to announce our approval onto the G-Cloud 10 procurement framework which allows public sector organisations to quickly and easily procure proven cloud solutions and services without the costs and delays involved in standard procurement processes. Not only does G-CLOUD reduce costs and delays, but it enables modern public sector organisations to on-board agile and effective solutions that empower them to rapidly transform their organisations, adapt to change and take advantage of proven technology in the workplace. hfx previously were awarded G-Cloud 8 and 9 and have been providing flexitime and access control solutions to the public sector for over 40 years.

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CIPHR and HFX announce partnership to provide cloud-based flexible working and staff time management solutions

ciphr and hfx

HFX, a leading provider of SaaS flexitime and workforce management solutions, has signed a partnership agreement with CIPHR. The new partnership includes integration that brings together HFX’s cloud-based workforce and time management solutions with CIPHR’s range of HR, Recruitment and Learning solutions.

Rob Oehlers, head of customer experience at CIPHR said; “HFX’s cloud-based products are a significant extension to our own HR SaaS solutions. HFX’s innovative approach to managing staff working time means their products are flexible, based on real world experience and extremely useable.

Nicola Smart Chief Operating Officer at HFX commented: “CIPHR’s mid-market focus is an important segment for our products and services. We find that the flexibility that we can provide with our cloud-based model works really well in this market where agile companies are keen to maximise use of specialist technology. We are delighted to be working with CIPHR.”

Imperago solutions comprise: 

Imperago Flexitime Management, is the market leading solution that is the preferred option throughout the public sector and local government organisations.

Imperago Time & Attendance (T&A), which is a powerful, flexible and cost-effective solution that is both user-friendly and extremely easy to maintain. Imperago T&A is an all-in-one Service-as-a-Solution package that covers software, hardware, support and maintenance on a pay as you go basis with no upfront capital outlay. Imperago T&A is ideal for companies across all vertical sectors with 200 to 50,000 employees, particularly for those with shift-based workers.

Imperago Access Control provides a ‘light touch’ approach to securing and monitoring access to workspaces that requires very little infrastructure and significantly reduces the amount of cabling required. The door controlling devices offer the option of either biometric (fingerprint) or proximity readers and are manufactured in the UK to HFX’s detailed specification.

Imperago EveryOneCloud connects people and devices at whatever location, and logs time, supporting workforce planning and Time & Attendance solutions, enabling organisations of all sizes to monitor their staff and productivity. A cloud solution, EveryOneCloud can be ready to go within minutes, with no need for servers, software installation or heavy up-front costs. It integrates with and sends data to T&A, Payroll, Student Attendance and Workforce Management solutions (including rostering & shift management).

Imperago Workforce Design, the missing first step when implementing T&A solutions, is a powerful algorithm that provides staff-friendly and efficient rosters and shifts in a fraction of the time of a manual worksheet. It enables ‘what if’ modelling and scenario planning with ease.

About CIPHR

CIPHR is a leading UK-based provider and developer of HR software as a service (SaaS), offering a scalable solution that covers the entire employee lifecycle. Our systems’ features include people management, employee self service, absence and time management, payroll, recruitment, communications and reporting.

The CIPHR Connect ecosystem of trusted business applications, including HFX, that integrate seamlessly with CIPHR’s powerful HR and recruitment solutions, enabling you to connect people data across your whole organisation.

For more information about CIPHR’s HR, recruitment and learning solutions visit CIPHR

About HFX

HFX cloud suite includes Imperago™ Time and Attendance, Access Control, Workforce Design, Annualised Hours and EveryOneCloud Attendance Monitoring/Location Management.

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 is the leading provider of flextime™ in the UK. Used by over 1400 customers across the UK, local authorities, other public sector bodies and commercial organisations benefiting from HFX solutions include: Home Office, Merck, Methodist Church, Dartmoor National Park, Adidas, Buhler Sortex Ltd, The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), Eaton Limited, MoD, National Farmers’ Union, Hertsmere Borough Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Exeter City Council, Isle of Man Government, MoJ, Met Police, Flintshire County Council, Office for National Statistics, UK Intellectual Property Office, NHS Business Services Authority, Science and Technology Facilities Council.