Managing a mobile workforce’s working hours

Supplier: Mitrefinch Australia
29 August, 2018

Accurate accounting of work hours is the bedrock of fair compensation. Both employers and workers have a vested interest in keeping the tally correct.

This may not be too hard to achieve for companies that are physically located in a single office, but those that have a  highly mobile workforce might find it more. The management simply can’t exert direct control over mobile workers, which can often lead to misreporting and might affect performance negatively. Therefore, managing the work hours of a mobile workforce can produce some issues.

The logistics industry is a prime example of this set of circumstances – the drivers typically spend days on the road before they return to the home base. That’s why companies active in this field often need some tune-ups before they come up with a workable workforce management plan. This guideline can significantly shorten the process and allow for more efficient deployment of available human resources, as well as a prevention of incidents related to fatigue or reduced ability to react to dangerous situations.

Define strict rules and enforce them consistently

In complex systems, there is a need for clarity. Drivers need to know exactly how work and rest hours should be accounted, so training plays an essential role here. Some of those rules will arise naturally in response to regulations imposed by the governments both in the United Kingdom and internationally (EU legislation limits drivers of heavy vehicles to 9 hours per day and 56 hours per week), but companies also need to account for their unique needs. A good rule book should be simple enough to memorise without too much effort, yet exhaustive enough to eliminate any grey areas. Any exceptions must be hard-coded into the rules, as changes implemented on ad-hoc basis are certain to cause complications down the line and provide fertile grounds for internal divisions.

Use a mobile solution to facilitate remote check-in

Due to challenging nature of their work, transportation companies are among the most enthusiastic adopters of digital Workforce Management Solutions. Tools like Time and Attendance Software that allows drivers to clock in and clock out regardless of their physical location, using nothing but smartphones is an easy win for many transportation companies. Such an easy and inexpensive solution brings a big advantage in this business. This frees the driver from the need to record the times manually while allowing the management full insight into the statistics in real time. Precise reporting also provides a good foundation for making more realistic and less challenging schedules for each standard route, which is another reason for the drivers to buy into the program. By using the same HR solution as all other workers, all details for the mobile workforce can be kept in one secure place. The HR solution also provides reporting features where employers are able to run reports on things including when a drivers licence is about to expire, or when more training is needed. These reap many benefits.

Ensure that drivers are getting enough rest

Like with any other advanced system, it’s crucial to get the employees to use mobile Time and Attendance software willingly. For maximum accuracy, it’s necessary to motivate drivers to be diligent about time keeping and to report any irregularities promptly. Setting up notifications is fairly easy with a modern time and attendance system, so that drivers may be reminded when the moment for taking a break approaches. Transparency also affects expectations, so drivers won’t have to rush to meet too short deadlines or feel pressured to get behind the wheel without sufficient recuperation from previous tasks.

Managing the work hours of remote workers has always been an unknown, but with Time and Attendance and HR solutions, there are effective solutions to the issue.

If you work in the transportation industry and are interested in finding the right Time and Attendance solution for you, contact us today.