staff scheduling

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

New web pages for community-based care providers

As you may know we recently gave our specialist product for domiciliary care and supported living providers, Home Care Studio, an overhaul – and now we have completed a revamp of our web pages for community-based care customers to match.

We have divided the section into two parts for simplicity, covering the Home Care Studio software and visit recording hardware options.

The Home Care Studio pages detail the six main features of the system: client records and care plans, rostering, payroll and invoicing, staff records and training, the easyLog care-Logger app and risk assessments. Each description includes sample screen images that can be expanded to full size with a click of a mouse so you can see how it all looks for yourself.

The visit recording pages cover three options popular with our domiciliary care and supported living customers: mobile phone and tablet-based devices, SIM-based devices and our range of specialist terminals for mobile workers.

You can find out more about our software and hardware products for community-based care providers by checking out our web pages or discussing the options with one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, 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

Software makes hand-scanners even more efficient

If you use hand-scanners you will already know they provide a simple and cost effective way of monitoring staff attendance at multiple sites – and now we have made them even more efficient by introducing new software that distributes hand templates to numerous scanners.

This means that you will only need to scan each employee’s hand once and the template record will be instantly available to all required devices.

Hand-scanners provide a reliable method of recording workers’ attendance in a wide range of situations, including dirty environments. To find out more about our new software or the benefits of hand-scanners, please call one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, 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

Coming soon – new generation of NFC phone and tablet clocking terminals

Android-branded NFC tags and key fob

In a first for easyLog, we will soon be releasing a new generation of devices based on near field communications (NFC) technology, which will allow tablets and smartphones to be used as clocking-in terminals – and much more.

“This is a great step forward because it means we can supply an all-purpose reader built into an everyday device – a computer or phone – rather than one designed specifically for clocking in,” says easyLog’s Graham Rolando.

“It makes the technology more convenient and flexible and, at the same time, more cost-effective for our clients, which is something we think they will welcome.”

The easy-to-use and fully automated system operates on Android tablets and smartphones, turning them into fixed location clocking terminals or handheld devices carried by individual employees. It works in conjunction with special NFC-enabled tags, which come in a number of formats, including cards, key fobs and stickies.

The pack includes a master tag and user tags. Waving either type of tag near the device, or vice-versa, automatically invokes the software. A user tag will bring up a screen prompting for clock in or out. When an option has been selected, the device sends the record to the host computer. The master tag allows system administrators to configure the device and program user tags.

There are two handheld modes and one terminal mode:

  1. Software on smartphone with tag in fixed location (handheld mode 1) – suitable for domiciliary care or the cleaning industry
  2. Software on portable tablet with tag in fixed location (handheld mode 2) – suitable for night checks in care homes
  3. Software on fixed tablet with tags held by individual employees (terminal mode) – conventional staff clock-in

This product is available for order now. Tags can be configured with i-Button codes for seamless transition from the i-Button system.

Three further products based on this software will be available later this year:

  • NFC Employee Station – wave tag over device to see employee messages, rota and pay information (extension of terminal mode above)
  • NFC Care Room Checks – care records currently available via Care Logger automatically accessed in new front-end when tablet is presented to resident room tag
  • NFC Domiciliary Records – employees wave phone near service-user tag to display care requirements, visit information, care plans and risk assessments relating to the service user (extension of handheld mode 1 above)

For further information on any of our NFC products, please contact us.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 1 comment

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 (TOIL), Timesheets, 0 comments

Go anywhere device records staff attendance on the move

easyLog has come up with a clever way of using mobile technology to register staff attendance – without a mobile phone.

Our new ar-Log handheld tracker is a convenient, reliable and easy to use method of recording the visits of workers who attend multiple locations in the course of their employment.

When arriving or leaving a location, the employee simply switches on the handheld and then touches it against a coin-sized button containing a unique ID. This creates a clocking, which the device immediately tries to download. If it cannot get a good enough signal, the reading is stored, along with the date and time, until a signal is obtained and a download can take place.

How it works

The handheld device, which is about the size of a TV remote control, contains a mobile phone SIM card and uses the GPRS network to send packets of data to a web service located either on a customer server or an easyLog-hosted server. This data then appears as an employee clocking on the customer’s easyLog software, showing the relevant name, location, date and time.

Any data-enabled SIM card can be used in the device. easyLog can provide suitable SIM cards on contract or the customer can use SIMs purchased through their own mobile phone contract. The handheld uses rechargeable batteries and a charger is provided with each unit.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, 0 comments

Get the right biometric reader for staff clocking

Whenever easyLog is asked to supply a biometric reader for recording staff attendance hours we will only make one recommendation based on our current experiences – implement a hand scanner.

Installing a biometric time clock presents many advantages. It uniquely proves the attendance of each employee without any possibility of another member of staff clocking in on their behalf. A biometric reader needs minimal administration because there are no cards or tags to distribute among the workforce and it removes the possibility of staff being unable to record their attendance because they have forgotten their badge or tag. However, these advantages will be lost, and time could even be wasted in calculating staff hours, if the biometric recording device you choose is unreliable in its primary task of correctly recognising an employee first time and every time.

Until easyLog is presented with a fingerprint reader that identifies an employee every time then the following remain true:

1. A fingerprint reader is based on identification of the minute detail of an individual’s finger. A process that is fine for highly secure access control in a clean environment but not always appropriate for busy staff wanting purely to clock in and out.

2. A biometric reader must be compatible with the situation in which it is operating. If workers are consistently involved in a dirty environment, frequently immerse their hands in water or handle cleaning chemicals, for example, a fingerprint reader will always struggle to identify the employee.

3. If a biometric reader cannot identify an employee with 100 per cent reliability it causes doubt. This affords the employee with an excuse for not recording their attendance. The reader is entrusted with providing irrefutable proof of time and attendance and is therefore critically relied upon for the calculation of staff pay. It must work first time and every time.

Based on easyLog’s considerable experience of implementing biometric readers, the only reliable and value-for-money biometric reader at this present time is hand scanning. A hand scanner, appropriately for time and attendance, views the shape of the individual hand and verifies this against his or her record. Its reliability is not impaired by dirt, cuts, hand gels, subtle changes in hand size due to heat or cold or immersion in water. With only a routine weekly cleaning procedure it will carry on working consistently with any size of workforce.

easyLog has implemented hand scanners with all of its time and attendance, pay analysis and staff scheduling software modules. In all cases the reliability of the applications has been completely matched by that of the biometric reader.

easyLog is always reviewing its product offerings and will be very pleased to hear of user experiences of fingerprint readers that differ from our conclusions.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 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.

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When does a staff scheduling problem not require a staff scheduling solution?

The natural response for care home owners and managers seeking a solution to staffing headaches is to look for staff scheduling software. Logical, but not always the right approach, because care homes present a special challenge when it comes to managing staff rotas and pay rates.

Special staffing needs require specialist software

Unlike most businesses, there are legal definitions for the number of staff required to care for residents and regular inspections by a range of statutory authorities test that these staffing ratios are adhered to.

Care home staff rotas change frequently due to sickness and holiday absenteeism and are often supplemented by part-time or casual staff who can be called upon at short notice. Full-time staff may need to work in different job functions to cover absences and be paid different rates for each role they perform. Hourly rates can be different for weekdays, weekends and public holidays, and change if the employee works over agreed contracted hours.

In addition, care home managers and staff are focused on providing care. Dedicated office staff are at a premium and often the manager or team responsible for creating the rota may find it easier to do so manually or with a general business package, such as Microsoft’s Excel or Word. All these factors point to considerable difficulties in implementing a software application that combines scheduling, timesheet management and payroll analysis.

That’s why easyLog created its e-Log+ software. We recognise that keeping a rota up to date, with the access and constant change associated with a care home, is difficult. The e-Log+ application therefore focuses on simplifying and automating the key tasks of accurate staff attendance records, absence management and producing a comprehensive payroll analysis.

How e-Log+ simplifies the payroll process

e-Log+ does this by comparing the timesheet data of each employee against a set of user definable shift times per job function. If a match is found the hours are passed automatically for payment. Any attendance that does not agree is presented in an authorisation routine that allows the manager to pay or part pay at any applicable pay rate or disallow if appropriate. Staff can be paid at different rates for working in each job they perform so that an accurate and comprehensive breakdown of paid hours can be achieved, no matter how complex the pay rate structure.

e-Log+ holds one more great feature: from the authorised hours of each employee, the software retrospectively produces an on-screen rota thereby enabling a cross-check against the externally held master rota. What’s more the user can enter any holiday, sickness, training or other absence on this rota to provide a comprehensive and complete staff and pay record.

So when does a staff scheduling problem not require a staff scheduling solution?

When the organisation is using the intelligent response provided by easyLog’s e-Log+ software, of course.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, 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