In our new study "Artificial Intelligence for Recruiting Success," we discussed ways that new technology can save us time and effort while attracting a better pool of job candidates. In this article, we'll turn our attention to a tool that helps provide one of candidates' most desired job benefits, while requiring minimal time and effort on our part.
Work-life balance and the flexible schedule appear to be here to stay. Surveys show that 77% of Millennials1 and 51% of Generation Z2 prefer flexible working hours. In fact, some experts predict that the traditional 9-to-5 job will be pretty much dead by 20303.
The good news for businesses is that giving employees flexibility does increase morale, overall work hours and productivity;4 and if most employees telecommute, it reduces the need for expensive corporate office space. The bad news is that it can be a logistical nightmare. That's where artificial intelligence comes in.
Here are some types of software5 you may want to consider when setting up your flex-time solution.
How do you know your remote workers are actually working when you can't physically check up on them? Cloud-based project management platforms allow you to assign tasks and due dates, and workers to submit their work as they complete it.
Other systems, for example, HiveDesk, require employees to clock in and out whenever they work on a project; this allows you to track time spent on a task for billing and job costing purposes. Some even take automatic screenshots while work is in progress to ensure that employees are actually on task, not surfing the Internet — though you might get complaints about invasion of privacy.
Time and Attendance
For workers who are physically present at your facility, only at varying times of day and night, there's software that integrates with the hardware you already use, such as time clocks, badge readers or biometric clocks. This allows you to track punches accurately and know when workers don't meet the schedules or rules. Plus, you can sort the timesheet information by employee, project, date, job code or another metric of your choice.
For employees working in the field or at home, cloud-based systems let them clock in and out from their smartphone or computer. Some platforms, such as TSheets, use GPS to identify where workers are clocking in from.
Your current system may not be set up to handle flexible workers' hours. Currently, systems like Intuit's Quickbooks Full Service Payroll integrate hour tracking and payroll functions for maximum accuracy and efficiency. They can also alert you when there are significant discrepancies from expected work hours.
Of course, the first task is to get employees assigned their work hours and projects. As well, you'll need to accommodate changing demands and shortages, such as shift swaps, sick days and vacation requests. Options such as Planday offer a cloud-based platform for both on-site and remote access.
You may consider it cost-effective to develop your own scheduling app that's tailored exactly to your needs. That's what we've done here at Integrity. Our new tool, called Flexforce, allows our clients to directly input their schedule needs, shift sharing and swapping options. Integrity associates are alerted on their smartphones when a request comes in so that vacancies can be filled within seconds of being posted.
It's pretty clear by now that flexible scheduling benefits both employees and employers. Equip yourself with the right software, and implementing it will be easy, too. It's a win-win!
Integrity Staffing Solutions is a full-service staffing agency and ranks in the top 2% of agencies across the country for quality service based on Clearly Rated’s Best of Staffing client survey. To learn more about Integrity or for help with your hiring needs, visit Integritystaffing.com or call 888.458.TEMP.
1"The Millennial Mind Goes to Work: How Millennial Preferences Will Shape the Future of the Modern Workplace", research study by Bentley University
2"Generation Z Grows Up", research study by Universum Global
3"The Death of the 9-to-5: Why We'll All Work Flex Schedules Soon" by Alexandra Levit, themuse.com
4Ctrip telecommuting research study by Professor Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University
5"3 Software Platforms All Flexible Work Arrangements Need" by Brian Westfall, softwareadvice.com