Post Covid-19: Here’s Why Flexible Working is here to stay

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.

About HFX

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.

HFX wins £500k 7 year Public Sector contract

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 CEO says: ‘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.’

Time & Attendance Managed Service

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.

OUR EXPERTISE

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.

AUTOMATIC ALERTS

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:

  • Managing working patterns
  • Creating new adjustment reasons
  • Maintaining the org hierarchies
  • Adding a new device
  • Template setup and distribution management
  • Visitor and Contractor management
  • Mapping new pay-codes
  • Managing public holiday calendars
  • End user training

Just get in touch! *terms & conditions apply

Call 03333 44 7872, email sales@hfx.co.uk or visit http://www.hfx.co.uk

The New World of Work Pt 2

money gold coins finance
Waiting for Payday

Waiting for payday has been a universal and shared experience around the globe for over a hundred years with almost everyone in paid work typically waiting between 1 to 4 weeks until they receive the rewards of their endeavours.

This concept was so ingrained within our working life that until recently it has rarely been questioned. The problem though, is that whilst workers wait up to a month to be paid for their work, the reverse is true for purchasing where consumers are mostly required to pay in advance or on delivery.

Personal budgeting is one way of bridging this divide, but for minimum wage employees, an unexpected car repair or appliance failure can easily torpedo your careful planning.

The economic meltdown in 2008 put further strain on the financial well-being of workers across the world and pushed many into the arms of the payday loan market which grew rapidly as a result.

Whilst its advocates promoted the loan as a means of bridging the gap between payday, the reality was the eye-watering interest rates simply compounded the problem and forced many workers further into debt.

However, today organisations are starting to re-evaluate how and when their employees are remunerated in the emerging New World of Work. Some companies such as Wagestream provide tools and services to enable employees to get access to a proportion of their salary before payday avoiding the need for them to rely on expensive short-term loans.

The New World of Work will continue to challenge and change the way we work and the often-heard response “Because this is how we’ve always done it”.

Read The New World of Work Part 1 here

The New World of Work: Part 1

fashion man vintage shoes
The Death of Suits

The office attire, colloquially referred to as being “suited and booted”, has been the default and often mandatory office uniform from as far back as the 19th Century. It gained a new life in the 1980’s with the concept of power dressing as a means of projecting authority and power but today, according to a survey by Travelodge, only 1 in 10 workers wear a suit to work.

This dramatic shift has less to do with fashion changes, rather a reflection on the changing attitudes to organisational structure and colleagues in the work environment.

Historically, you could often ascertain someone’s seniority by the clothes they wore, and this was often encouraged to distinguish management from employees. But this visual reinforcement of the hierarchical structure and decision making is outdated in the New World of Work.

Hierarchical structures functioned well in a world where change happened slowly, and decisions filtered down from the top. But today, change is happening fast, not just in terms of business models, but also in terms of technology and markets. Old hierarchical structures struggle to identify and adapt fast enough to remain relevant and competitive.

The trend is for Managers and CEO’s to be more embedded and collaborative with their teams to enable them to identify and guide the company through rapid changes.

Breaking down corporate barriers also means leaving behind the paraphernalia that divides and instead adopting behaviours and appearance that unites teams and helps foster open debate and discussion.

Unsurprisingly many CEO’s are ditching the suit and choosing Jeans and T-shirts to reflect a more open and approachable style. Breaking away from the office dress code makes a clear statement that the organisation embraces individual thought rather than uniform group-think.