rotas

New ways of working post lockdown: staff rotas

 

It is looking increasingly likely that social distancing and other protective measures are set to be the new normal for some time to come – in the workplace as well as public spaces. As a result, many employers are facing difficult decisions about keeping their business up and running while ensuring staff stay safe.

One of the changes that many are considering is staggering staff attendance so the two-metre rule can be maintained – which in most cases means setting up a staff rota. For first-timers, this can be a daunting task.

With the help of purpose-built rota software, however, even the most complex working arrangements can be managed quickly and easily, leaving managers more time to deal with other tasks.

A rota is all about balance…

Setting a rota is essentially a balance between the cover you need and employee availability. It sounds simple – but when you throw in issues such as holiday entitlement, part-timers, unexpected absences, different pay grades, TUPE terms, public holidays, TOIL, flexitime and so on, it is far from straightforward.

Our scheduling software allows users to deal with all these situations and more at the touch of a button. It also allows employees’ regular hours to be stored on a rolling rota so there is no need to keep re-inputting data. And when there are gaps to be filled, the software can filter employees via criteria that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority, so you can be sure of staying within budget.

Sharing shift info? There’s an app for that

Sharing shift information quickly and reliably is a key element of a smooth running rota. With our smartphone apps, shift details can be sent direct to employees’ phones as soon as the rota is set. They can also use the app to confirm their shifts and other related tasks, such as managing leave and expenses.

We can even supply smartphone or tablet-based clocking apps to keep an accurate record of attendance if required.

Find out more…

For more information about our rota software, or any other attendance management solutions, speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Flexible working, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, 0 comments

Can employees fool an app to falsify their attendance records?

In the second of our series of blogs about asking employees to record their attendance using an app on their smartphone, we consider what security features to look for to prevent the possibility of staff dishonestly covering up lateness.

It’s an interesting observation that employers implement time and attendance systems principally to deliver two results: first, administrative time savings through automated calculation of timesheets and pay analysis and second, to improve the accuracy of recording their employee’s attendance.

On that latter point, the ultimate guarantee to prevent an employee fraudulently falsifying their hours is to use a biometric reader that recognises an individual by a unique part of their body, such as fingerprint, face or hand. However, many of our clients have small numbers of staff working irregularly at a number of sites where it would be uneconomic to justify the capital cost of such equipment at each location. In these situations, the low-cost alternative is to ask the employees to use their own or company-issued smartphone to record their attendance at each site. But without biometric safeguards, how can you be certain that the time clocking was generated by the registered user of the phone? That’s where easyLog has consulted with its growing number of users and delivered a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person.

So how does our app prevent clocking fraud?

Firstly, the app is used with QR codes, the latest generation of barcode representation. Generated from free-to-use websites, they can be printed and assigned to each location to uniquely identify the specific site. When the app is used it accesses the camera of the smartphone and the employee simply moves their phone over the code until an image is captured to record the date, time and location. The app also records the GPS reference at the point the attendance record was made. This is significant if an employee should have thoughts that they could photocopy the QR code – and then record their attendance from the comfort of their bed for example – as it will automatically be brought to the attention of their employer!

Within the easyLog software, each location is defined with a unique reference (used by the QR code) and also has their GPS latitude and longitude coordinates entered against it. So if the QR code is scanned from somewhere different to its defined location, the easyLog software will know and flag accordingly with a link to Google Maps to identify the actual location of the errant clocking.

Software that can’t be fooled

Secondly, the app records the date and time that the attendance record is sent to the back-office timesheet management software application. This may not seem immediately significant but if the employee has changed the time on their smartphone – moving it backwards to avoid being flagged as late or forwards to falsely claim overtime – then this will be detected by the easyLog software.

Thirdly, when downloaded the app automatically creates a unique ID reference for the individual smartphone. Again, in an online world familiar with website cookies, this may seem like normal practice. However, it provides another preventive measure against the dishonest employee who may be tempted to help a colleague who is running late.

As mentioned earlier, each employee is given a unique number to identify that it is them using the app each time – and they enter this in the app when they first use it. So what if they change that number to use their smartphone to clock in on behalf of a colleague? The software automatically identifies the phone used for each attendance record from the unique ID reference so if it finds clockings from two different employees but with the same ID then it will be raised with their manager to take appropriate action.

Peace of mind for employers

We hope the anti-fraud measures that we’ve included in the app won’t actually require use but unfortunately rogue staff do exist. Most importantly perhaps, easyLog can give the employer the peace of mind that their workforce is recording their attendance accurately, easily and with certainty – and at a price that is economic for any size of organisation.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

What’s important in choosing an attendance recording app for your staff?

In the first of two blogs about using a smartphone app for employees to record their attendance, we explore the key issues that experience has taught us you should look for.

There are three important questions to ask when introducing attendance recording via a smartphone app to your workforce:

  • Is the App easy to use for the employees?
  • Is the App easy to download with the connection to my time and attendance software already set up?
  • Is it secure and not open to fraud by the employee?

Users of our Log-In App know that they can confidently say “Yes” to all the above. easyLog has created not only a simple to install and use app for the employee, but a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person. This latter point we’ll cover in a subsequent blog but in this one we’ll address those first two questions.

Automatically updates back-office software

The Log-In App is downloaded free of charge for the employee from the Apple, Microsoft and Google stores. easyLog supplies a five-digit Customer Code number to each organisation that the employee is prompted to enter when first opening the app. This automatically sets up the parameters in the app to link it with the web browser-based back office software that collates and reports on the time and attendance records received from the smartphones.

Next the user is asked to enter their own unique ID number given to them by their employer. This is saved in the App and means it will not need to be remembered again at the point of use.

And that’s it. When the employee uses the app they are presented with large, clear buttons that they touch to record if they are arriving or leaving a site. There are other user-settable options also to enable the additional clocking in or out from a break and a panic alert feature that will automatically send an email to defined individuals on pressing.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Timesheets, 0 comments

easyLog could have flown in to avoid Ryanair rota disaster

It has been a very public and ultimately expensive PR disaster for Ryanair over the last few days. And the fall out seems certain to continue for a few weeks yet. Social media is already awash with stories of angry customers left stranded by cancellations at short notice, ruined wedding weekends, football fans missing their team’s matches and, of course, much talk of compensation claims.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has blamed the cancellation of around 50 flights a day over a six week period to a rota mistake that allowed too many pilots holiday leave at the same time. Now we know Ryanair is not an easyLog customer but Mr O’Leary’s blushes (now that’s a condition you don’t often associate with the confrontational airline chief) would have been spared if his company had adopted our staff scheduling software.

Rota software helps ensure adequate holiday cover is in place

Two key features provide assurance to easyLog users that adequate coverage is in place at the point of staff requesting holiday leave. First, a staff coverage profile defined by the user automatically checks that the required headcount is still available if the leave is granted. Second, a detailed holiday report displays in simple percentage terms where each employee stands in relation to their annual holiday entitlement at any time: a large negative percentage reveals they have a lot of holiday still to take while the reverse shows they are ahead of their pro-rata allowance for the year.

Peace of mind for busy employers

Although you may not be running a large airline, we’re sure that having the peace of mind that you have adequate staff coverage during holiday periods and prompt reminders if employees are not taking their holiday entitlement is important for your business.

If you’d like to understand a little more about how easyLog’s staff scheduling software could help with holiday and general absenteeism, calculating your pay analysis and monitoring your employees’ timekeeping, please call us on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an e-mail. It would be good to have a chat Mr O’Leary..!

Posted by administrator in Business support, Holiday pay, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Clocks going back – will your software pay your night staff correctly?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially ends this Sunday at 2am with the clocks going back by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour more for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay one less hour when the clocks go forward in March and British Summertime starts?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime ends will also be working on the night shift when Summertime starts and therefore a natural order and balance to these things exists. But that is rather wishful thinking to my mind. Across those two days within any year an employee could be on a different shift, be off sick, have left or be on holiday. And if they’re on holiday and you pay that by the hour then what calculation do you use then to ensure the correct remuneration?

Surprisingly I find some organisations blissfully unaware of the point I am making; and when I bring it to their attention there seems to be an immediate fallback position of the ‘natural balance’ rule I mentioned earlier!

Aware of this conundrum or not, it really doesn’t matter if you are an easyLog customer using our staff scheduling software  as you can resolve the issue either way. A simple tick box parameter allows you to specify if you wish to pay to the exact hours worked or to the normal scheduled shift. And that will take care of any holiday hours calculations and payments as well.

If you are a current customer that would like some help with implementing this feature please call our support desk on 0333 343 1004. If you don’t currently use our scheduling software but this article has got you interested in exploring what other clever and efficient things it could do for your organisation then call us on 01892 834406 and speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Invoicing staff time, Minimum wage, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

5 ways our rota software can help you be more efficient

using our rota app on the move

You already know that a computerised electronic rota is quicker, easier and far more reliable than an old-style paper-based system – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. But you might not be aware that there are a number of spin-off benefits to our staff scheduling software that have a positive effect on other areas of your business. Here are just a few.

Take your office with you 24/7

Life, and work, doesn’t stop just because you are away from your desk. So we have developed versions of our software that enable you to access your staff rotas and other management tools, wherever you are and whenever you want. Our multi-platform, browser-based web solutions provide a cut-down version of our staff scheduling, attendance and other software for any type of mobile device, including smartphones. And for those who require full functionality while working on the move, we have powerful Android-based rota and timesheet solutions designed specifically for tablet computers.

Allocate staff according to budget

Staffing is probably one of your biggest costs, so you don’t want to waste precious resources by having the wrong balance of employees on your rota. With our staff scheduling software, you can set your budget and create a rota accordingly, so you are always on top of staffing levels – and costs.

Store a rolling rota

Save valuable time by storing employees’ regular hours on a rolling rota for as many weeks as you like. There’s no need to keep re-inputting data and staff can be sure they get the shifts they want.

Choose your clocking device…

Our software supports virtually all attendance devices and media, so all you have to do is find the right clocking technology for your business. From mobile phones and tablets to NFC, handscanners and biometric, our expert team can guide you through all the options and help you identify your perfect match.

…and payroll system

However simple or complex your clocking system and pay rates, our software has the functionality to import the data into your payroll application. Most major payroll systems are supported, including Sage, IRIS and Access.

To find out more about our staff scheduling software or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us via phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Cleaning management, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Are you and your staff ready for Brexit?

If there’s one thing we can be sure about following the Brexit vote, it is uncertainty. None of us knows for sure what the coming months and years will bring, despite all the claims and counter claims. But when it comes to the European working time directive, it seems fair to say there will be no change soon because the UK already has an opt-out of the 48-hour week.

While this means there is no urgent need to rethink your staff scheduling system, it’s a good time to make sure you are prepared for any changes when they do come.

Having the right staff management system in place will help you ensure you have the optimum number of staff on your rota to keep your business running smoothly while controlling contracted hours, so you can keep costs down and service levels up.

Add to that the benefit of detailed budgeting, invoicing and payroll reports that can be tailored to your needs and you have all you need to keep a check on your staffing expenditure.

With an easyLog system, you also get a range of extra management tools that help streamline virtually all aspects of staffing, from training to HR and personal record keeping.

Visit our website to find out more.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Chromebook: the low-cost option for creating staff rotas on the move

easyLog has expanded its range of value-for-money staff scheduling management systems by developing a rota app for Chromebook – the budget-friendly laptop running Google’s lightweight operating system (Chrome OS).

The app is available on the Chrome Web Store and is free to anyone already using easyLog scheduling software who has a Chromebook.

The new rota app for Chromebook makes staff scheduling on the move even more accessible to a wide variety of our customers because Chromebooks are usually considerably cheaper than a traditional laptop.

Users can access and amend the staff rota system in real time, without returning to the office, and there’s no need for paper copies or follow-up administration, making it a very efficient way to deal with sickness absences and other last-minute staff changes.

For more information about our rota software, visit our staff scheduling pages.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

How to keep your home care staff happy by giving them the shifts they want – and you need

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

If you run a care agency, planning the rota is probably one of your least favourite jobs – it’s complicated, time consuming and often impossible to please every member of staff, no matter how hard you try. But creating an efficient and cost-effective staff rota does not have to be a headache-inducing chore.

easyLog’s home care software has been designed specially to help you plan a rota with your staff in mind. Our advanced rota facilities can ensure that staff are given adequate hours while guaranteeing that work is allocated in employee-friendly blocks. You can use the software to make sure that carers are not called back for a short evening shift after a long morning session, for instance, or even choose to avoid split shifts altogether.

And if you need to make last minute changes to the rota or schedule extra shifts for those that want them, that’s not a problem either. Our smartphone-based care and rota software provides up-to-date information ensuring all the information you need is always to hand, wherever and whenever you need it. Plus it has the advantage of keeping paperwork to a minimum.

Find out more about our specialist care home software here.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Set your rota for the new living wage

staff scheduling with the easyLog rota app

It’s not long until April and the introduction of the National Living Wage, when virtually all employees aged 25 and over will be entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. For employers working to a tight budget, that means either gritting your teeth and upping the wages bill or juggling your rotas to keep staffing costs down.

Whichever you choose, controlling wage costs by selecting the right staff for the most appropriate job function has never been more important – and neither has having flexible and efficient rota management software.

easyLog’s scheduling system can take the hard work out of organising your rota with a helpful budgeting facility. This enables you to set your rota quickly and easily by filtering workers via factors that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority.

You can read more about setting a rota to a budget with our staff scheduling software in our flexible working hours case study.

The government recommends taking these four steps to ensure you are ready for the National Living Wage:

  1. Know who is eligible in your organisation
  2. Make the appropriate payroll adjustments
  3. Let staff know about their new pay rate as soon as possible
  4. Check that staff under 25 are earning right minimum wage

Find out more about preparing for the National Living Wage at gov.uk.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Staffing supported living services more efficiently with an electronic rota

St Joseph's Services provide a wide range of supported living services

Providing supported living services efficiently and cost-effectively requires meticulous staff management – especially when it comes to organising the rota. So it’s not surprising that the care provider featured in our latest case study, St Joseph’s Services, found fulfilling its complex range of services using a paper-based rota system time-consuming and unwieldy.

As business and support manager Eddy McGregor explains, the limitations of the staff rota system also affected the coverage the organisation was able to provide.

“The paper-based rota was time consuming to prepare, inflexible and did not provide sufficient detail to ensure effective coverage of contracts,” he says. “It was clearly an area where we could make improvements by using new technologies.”

Flexibility to deal with different care models

After looking at a number of electronic rota systems, St Joseph’s settled on easyLog’s e-Log software – because it offered the flexibility to function across both community care services and the care home sector. Eddy decided to pilot the rota management software in one of the organisation’s most complex service areas, Housing Support, which encompasses the two elements involved in all its other services – 24-hour support in one location and mixed support at various locations.

The new rota system was a success from the start. As well as being easy to set up and use, it has helped St Joseph’s cut costs, allocate staff more efficiently and improve record keeping.

“e-Log has enabled us to allocate staff to individual clients more effectively, allowing us to fulfil contracts, eliminate dead time, reduce overtime and costs, and report accurately and in good time to our funders,” Eddy concludes. “We are now working to roll out the system across the whole of St Joseph’s.”

Using the easyLog electronic rota software

Using the easyLog electronic rota software

Posted by administrator in Domiciliary care and supported living, Rota software, 0 comments

Mobile Worker Tracking: A growing issue requiring different solutions

According to American analytical research company Techworld, (source: Techworld mobile worker research) this year it estimates there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers in the world. That’s a lot of employees who do not regularly attend the same place of work each day. Or put another way, that’s a lot of staff presenting their managers with some interesting logistical issues if they are required to complete a timesheet to record their work hours and location.

easyLog has always been mindful that the mobile worker requires a fundamentally different approach to electronic time and attendance management versus their static colleagues. Immediate issues arise in terms of the IT infrastructure that is available at any location, does the worker have a company-provided or a personal mobile phone? does the employer require just an attendance record or are there greater efficiencies to be gained from providing additional work-related information and data entry options?

In addressing these scenarios easyLog has developed a wide array of tools to assist the employee in recording their hours and working more efficiently. These in essence can be divided by either the type of solution platform used to record attendance, for example mobile phone, hardware device, land line call, PC login record, etc and by the visit scenario. So is the employee a regular visitor to the location? Do several staff visit the location? Are there multiple sites that an employee will visit in a day or week?

easyLog’s experience will help you find the most suitable and cost effective solution for the employee tracking requirements that you have. And this may involve different approaches to specific groups of employees within your organisation. This ‘mix and match’ response is very typical amongst easyLog clients but the solution will still present a single and common interface for the tracking and recording software.

Details of all our employee tracking solutions can be found on our website.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

How many hours do you pay when the clocks go forward or backward?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially starts this Sunday at 2am with the clock jumping forward by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour less for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay an extra hour when the clocks go back in October and British Summertime comes to an end?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime begins will also be working on the night shift when Summertime ends and therefore a natural order and balance to these things exists. But that is rather wishful thinking to my mind. Across those two days within any year an employee could be on a different shift, be off sick, have left or be on holiday. And if they’re on holiday and you pay that by the hour then what calculation do you use then to ensure the correct remuneration?

Surprisingly I find some organisations blissfully unaware of the point I am making; and when I bring it to their attention there seems to be an immediate fallback position of the ‘natural balance’ rule I mentioned earlier!

Aware of this conundrum or not, it really doesn’t matter if you are an easyLog customer using our staff scheduling software  as you can resolve the issue either way. A simple tick box parameter allows you to specify if you wish to pay to the exact hours worked or to the normal scheduled shift. And that will take care of any holiday hours calculations and payments as well.

If you are a current customer that would like some help with implementing this feature please call our Support Desk on 0845 225 3011. If you don’t currently use our scheduling software but this article has got you interested in exploring what other clever and efficient things it could do for your organisation then call us on 01892 834406 and speak with one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Employee attendance management coming to a cloud near you

tablet-clouds-sml-crop

Soon managers will be able to monitor attendance, authorise hours and calculate pay for their mobile or office-based staff on the move and without any need for a PC whatsoever.

Our development team is currently building a web browser and Android version of our popular e-Log attendance management software  with Html5, CSS3 and PhoneGap development tools. This will allow our clocking management solutions to be operated on the cloud, anywhere and anytime – and with any kind of device.

Watch this blog for news of trial downloads in the near future.

Currently easyLog offers a range of staff clocking options using NFC-enabled Android tablets and phones.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Latest news, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Timesheets, 0 comments

easyLog’s staff scheduling software factors in the Bradford Factor

The Bradford Factor is a simple formula to help manage short term sick absences and determine when these have become excessive. Named after the University of Bradford Management School, where much of the original absenteeism research was conducted, the calculation was initially associated more with the public sector and very large corporations.

The Bradford Factor (B) formula is:

number of occasions sick (S) x number of occasions sick (S) x total number of days absent (D)

Using this formula an employee taking several single days of absence will generate a larger points score than a member of staff who has one extended period of illness within the same timescale. Although the calculation should always be viewed on a case-by-case basis, the implication is that the higher the points score the more prone the worker may be to casual absence.

In today’s changed economic climate, frequent short-term sick absences have become a significant cause for concern across all sizes of business – and use of the Bradford Factor has spread accordingly.

In response to this easyLog has implemented a Bradford Factor report into its market-leading e-Log+S staff scheduling software. The report can be run for any range of staff across any period of time and be introduced into a regular personnel review meeting or run on an ad hoc basis when concerns may arise about a specific employee’s attendance record.

The Bradford Factor is just one element in a range of employee reporting tools included as standard within the e-Log+ staff scheduling software – functionality designed to present managers with the information they need to run their workforce most efficiently. You can find out more about using the Bradford Factor and easyLog’s staff scheduling software to monitor patterns of employee absenteeism by watching our latest video – Absenteeism management from your staff rota.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

easyLog: Bringing further cost controls to your staff schedule

easyLog has introduced some significant functionality into its market-leading staff scheduling software module. Clients now have the option to enter daily predicted sales targets and then see an automatic projection of their anticipated profitability from the total number of hours on the rota and the employment wage costs for each day.

Although this feature would be welcomed by any type of business, it is especially helpful to easyLog’s growing number of clients in the retail and service sectors where daily wage costs are the biggest overhead and therefore the largest influence on bottom line profitability. The facility is incredibly easy to use. You simply enters your projected net sales and the software then displays the staff schedule hours total, the daily wage spend (based on the hours worked per person at their individual hourly rate held in the system) and daily wage spend as a percentage of projected sales. This latter statistic is often used to determine the manager’s budget for staff on any given day and is therefore especially useful.

An early and enthusiastic adopter

One early and enthusiastic adopter and user of this functionality is Jake Harris, owner of the busy Mokoko Coffee (formerly Jacob’s Coffee House) close to the main tourist attractions in Bath. “We operate on a daily budget, so we look at each day and work out when it’s going to get busy, when it’ll get quiet, when the peaks and lulls are likely to be, and how much money we are going to take,” Jake explains. “We needed the scheduling tool to be able to tell us what we would expect to spend on wages so we could make the necessary adjustments, such as shaving half an hour here, trimming an hour a day there.” Read our Mokoko Coffee case study here.

If you would like more information on easyLog’s range of staff scheduling solutions or wish to view the software, please contact easyLog on 01892 834406.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Flexible working, Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Get your teeth into Android Lollipop

If you are thinking about upgrading your existing handheld devices, or are planning to start using smartphones and tablets for the first time, there’s no need to worry about running your easyLog rota management and staff scheduling software on your new hardware. All our apps have now been tested and are working on Android 5.0 Lollipop.

And remember, if you need any help and advice on choosing equipment, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Latest news, 0 comments

Full-time, part-time, extra shifts – no problem

A flexible workforce is good for your staffing budget – but it can be a major headache when it comes to managing the rota and calculating pay.

If you have staff working full-time, part-time, extra shifts or a few hours here and there, read our case study to find out how one employer is using our software to take the guesswork out of managing his highly flexible workforce.

“We operate on a daily budget, so we look at each day and work out when it’s going to get busy, when it’ll get quiet, and how much money we are going to take,” he says.

“If we know we’re going to have a busy day we can afford to have more people in and on a quieter day, fewer people. So it’s not just about filling spaces or job functions but also about hitting the budget.”

Our case study features a retail catering business but we can create similar systems for all kinds of employers and industries, from hotels and restaurants to the healthcare sector and college campuses.

Posted by administrator in Flexible working, Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Staff Rota-8 app now available from the Windows Store

Our Windows staff rota app has been officially launched and is now available from Microsoft’s online Windows Store. The app is called Staff Rota-8 and is published by easyLog Ltd. Go to the store to download the app  (to login, insert the username ‘user’ and leave the password space blank).

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Windows 8 to revolutionise rotas

easyLog w8 rota app

Overlaying the ideal rota over the main rota

Touchscreen technology has already revolutionised mobile phones and will soon be coming to a desktop or laptop computer near you – which is why easyLog is shortly releasing a rota management app specifically designed for Windows 8 touchscreens.

The Windows 8 app has been created with speed and ease of use in mind. There are minimal menus and pop-ups and no setting-up screens are required, because the rota is based on existing e-Log+S core user functionality defined on the main system. So, whoever is setting the rota just selects the relevant job function and shift, then taps on where they want it to go.

As well as tablet PCs, the app can be run on a traditional PC – desktop or laptop – with a touchscreen monitor. Although the computer must have the Windows 8 operating system installed, the monitor does not need to be W8 compatible – a Windows 7-combatible monitor is equally suitable.

“We wanted to take advantage of the user-friendliness of touchscreen technology to make rota creation even easier for everyone – and the new Windows 8 environment has enabled us to do that,” explains easyLog marketing manager Nicola Clark.

“We realise that few of our clients are using tablets and other touchscreen devices right now. But it is the technology of the future and we strongly believe it will transform the way people use computers in their working lives in a very short time.”

easyLog’s W8 rota app at a glance

  • Designed to Windows 8 development guidelines
  • Can be used with touchscreen or mouse on W8 operating system
  • Ideal for Windows 7 compatible touchscreen monitors as well as tablet PCs
  • Minimal menus and pop-ups
  • Easy to operate for users of all levels
  • Works in conjunction with e-Log+S staff scheduling software
  • Fast connection to server by broadband to avoid Terminal Services and Citrix type environments

Please contact easyLog for more information about the Win 8 app. You can see more images of the W8 touchscreen rota on our Facebook page.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

(TOIL) Time Off In Lieu now available in easyLog+S Staff Scheduling software

For those organisations, especially in the public sector, that operate a TOIL (Time Off In Lieu) system for their employees, help is now at hand to monitor and report on this efficiently within easyLog’s staff scheduling software.

A TOIL system allows employees, in agreement with their line manager, the option to take additional (non-holiday) time off instead of being paid at a higher overtime rate. Like a bank account with a running balance, an employee therefore earns TOIL hours and then has them debited as they take time off in the future. Usually TOIL hours must be taken within an agreed period or the TOIL credits are lost.

easyLog’s implementation of TOIL within its scheduling software allows the manager to see instantly the TOIL hours on the rota. The periods of TOIL both given and taken can be viewed together with the original shifts that were additionally worked  to earn TOIL and the shifts that will not now be worked due to TOIL being taken. Each employee has a TOIL account that can be viewed across any date range and shows the current balance of TOIL at any time together with any notes that the manager made at the point of agreeing, giving or removing TOIL periods.

The TOIL facility is available to any client currently on software support and will be provided within their next automatic upgrade.

Any organisation that is not a current user of our staff scheduling application but would like to discuss or see a demonstration of the software’s TOIL functionality can contact our offices on 01892 834406 or e-mail info@easylog.co.uk.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Latest news, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Time off in lieu, Timesheets, TOIL, 0 comments

Managing rotas on the move becomes a reality

A new app from easyLog for smart phones and tablet computers using the Android operating system takes working on the move a step further by allowing users to administer staff rotas quickly and effectively with only a standard wireless or GPRS (smart phone) internet connection.

The new software, developed in conjunction with Abicare, is ideally suited to coordinators who manage domiciliary care staff, work on call and have access to the internet via a home wireless connection or mobile phone with GPRS. Using this connection to link to a small portable device, such as a tablet or smart phone, is more convenient than PC-based options and means that users can easily access and amend the rota at short notice, even if they are on the move – for example, when doing home visits themselves, or during the evening or early morning when no office staff are available.

Users can update the rota system in real time, without returning to the office, and there’s no need for paper copies or follow-up administration, making it a very efficient way to deal with sickness absences and other last-minute staff changes.

“This system gives us access to service user details and enables us to reschedule staff on the move,” explains Sarah Mullins, coordinator of AbiCare’s West Wiltshire office. “This avoids us having to carry vast amounts of paperwork and means that we do not need extra administration when we eventually return to the office.”

Developing our own software means that we can update easyLog’s products in line with technological advances and changing customer needs – and it’s this forward thinking that is behind the latest version of our rota management software for portable devices.

Rotamanagement options include:

  • Spreadsheet view of selected rota periods for all required staff in 15-minute intervals
  • View of call times with client names
  • Indication of employee absence or unavailability
  • Ability to rearrange a call by changing time or member of care team
  • Ability to delete calls
  • Ability to insert calls based on unallocated contracts
  • List unallocated, or over allocated, contracts

Our domiciliary care software for tablets also features:

  • Client access/medical and home visit records
  • View and edit care plans
  • Employee, personal and training records
  • View and add call log/communication log items
  • Off-line function when not in wireless or GPRS range

We also have tablet-based products for care home administration and cleaning management administration. Please contact us to find out more.

Posted by administrator in Rota software, 0 comments

Schedule staff and invoice clients – all in one!

As an expanding business providing activity-based services for primary school children, Fit For Sport needed to be totally on the ball when it came to its back office systems. Yet, until recently, the company was struggling to organise shifts manually for its 250 staff with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Because of its complexity, this all-important spreadsheet could only be operated by two employees – a situation that was clearly unsustainable for a growing company. So Fit For Sport decided to look for a more technologically appropriate staff scheduling system.

A realistic return on investment

Fit For Sport admitted they found the selection process difficult. “We weren’t and still aren’t what I would call IT savvy,” says company founder and chief executive Dean Horridge. “Our objective was to find a software application that was user friendly, supplied by a company that we felt we could work with as the business changed and at a sensible price to provide a realistic return on investment.”

The company opted for easyLog’s e-Log+S off-the-shelf scheduling application, along with some bespoke software development. This centred on two functions:

  • A definable e-mail facility to inform clients about changes to their usual Fit For Sport representative and to provide client details by text to the Fit For Sport staff member
  • An interface with Fit For Sport’s Sage accountancy software, including a sign-off sheet for clients giving details of all sessions per month and the option to create an invoice in the Sage Sales Ledger

“That is just brilliant!”

As one of the two operators of the old spreadsheet-based staff rota system, Sally Webb, operations coordinator, was particularly appreciative of the new e-Log+S system.

“The software highlights any gaps in the schedule and indicates available qualified staff. I can then automatically send out a text message to advertise the shift,” she says, adding that the best thing is that now anyone can do this task.

“It avoids errors from employees misreading the old spreadsheet. Likewise, with just one click, clients are e-mailed the full details of their sessions without having to look up e-mail addresses, contact names and staff CRB details. That is just brilliant.”

Dean Horridge adds that the new staff scheduling system has had a positive impact on customer service as well as satisfying the original goals of enabling wider staff participation in the rota creation process and giving the business a sounder management platform.

“The easyLog software has heightened our awareness of staff downtime and costs, while matching staff to client requirements is much improved and more accurate. The integration with our accounts system means that bringing our payroll in-house is now realistically achievable and will save further time and overhead,” he concludes.

“We are currently exploring the expansion of our business geographically through establishing a franchise network. I know that the easyLog system will be a part of these plans.”

Fit For Sport runs curriculum PE sessions in schools throughout London and in the Midlands, as well as offering after school clubs and Kids Camps during school holidays. The company is also an accredited provider of sport and active leisure training and apprenticeship schemes and has formed a registered charity, the Fit For Sport Foundation, to provide wider access to Fit For Sport programmes.

Posted by administrator in Invoicing staff time, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Cleaning company wipes out manual timesheets

Contract cleaning is a competitive business, so a product that can cut costs and help win new clients is a worthwhile investment. At least, that is the view of John Milton, managing director of Matrix Office Services, who was so impressed with his first easyLog staff attendance system that he keeps getting more.

Quality and reliability

Matrix, a growing company currently employing around 90 staff, is a specialist provider of contract cleaning services to shopping centres and blue chip organisations. But it was finding that larger sites, where 20 or more staff could be working at a time, were putting its administration systems under increasing pressure.

“We needed a more practical, automated solution to monitoring staff attendance and calculating payments,” explains John. “I also wanted to distinguish Matrix in the marketplace and show our clients how serious we are about quality and reliability.”

Attendance records at a glance – and no absenteeism!

When John read about easyLog’s GPRS-based staff attendance system he was immediately impressed. Employees record their date and time of attendance at any site by touching an identification tag against a terminal, which automatically sends the information back to the main office in real time using GPRS technology (like a SMS text, but cheaper). The attendance record is instantly read into the easyLog software, so you can see at any time who is at a client location.

The system was first used by around 18 cleaning staff at a shopping centre in theWest Midlands. It was originally implemented with easyLog’s a-Log software, which provides simple timesheet reporting for each employee across any date range.

“There was no staff absenteeism for the first three months,” says a delighted John.

This pattern has continued, with reduced absences one of the major benefits of the system. “The attendance record provides undisputable proof of an employee’s timekeeping so there are no arguments about whether someone was late or not. A supervisor can therefore approach conversations about attendance with clarity and certainty,” he adds.

The shopping centre management team was also impressed. “They saw that we are serious about our long term involvement and that we could produce accurate management reports for them on demand,” John explains.

Automated pay analysis

The company has subsequently upgraded to easyLog’s e-Log+S staff scheduling software, which compares staff attendance against the shift on the rota and automatically creates a payment record at the correct rates.

Matrix has also implemented one of easyLog’s battery-powered aB-Log terminals at aLondon site where access to mains electricity is difficult. Staff again use an identity tag to record their attendance, but the records are downloaded by a supervisor at the site each week using a data transfer stick and then passed into the scheduling software manually.

John praises the easyLog support team for its help in getting the systems operational. “They were willing to listen and provided the advice we needed at any time,” he says.

He concludes that his easyLog products were a very good investment. “I am now providing a better quality service with reduced costs from a workforce that consistently arrives on time. I proposed the easyLog system on our last two tender documents and won both. That’s the result I was looking for.”

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Mobile worker tracking, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Useful staff scheduling tips

Keep checking our blog for useful staff scheduling tips that will save you time and money.

Posted by administrator in Scheduling software, 0 comments