Could a Four-Day Workweek Be On the Horizon?

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Many countries around the world have started to reconsider our typical five-day working week. While it may seem like spending more hours in the office would increase efficiency and productivity, this is far from the truth. If your workforce isn’t reaching its targets and struggles with focus over the week, then it may be time to think about a four-day workweek. Let’s discover some of the benefits of a shorter week and the ways in which it could improve your business operations in the future.

A Four-Day Workweek with the Same Pay

The main concept surrounding a four-day workweek is offering your employees the same five-day pay rates for working one day less. The non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global believes the model 100-80-100 is usable and attainable by almost any company. It suggests that employees will get 100% of their work completed in 80% of the time, as the workforce works at a 100% productivity rate during this shortened four-day workweek.

Statistics to Support the Four-Day Workweek

Many companies think the idea of a four-day workweek sounds ambitious, but it is already working in many countries around the world. Businesses in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, and Europe have participated in this program so far. The results were generally very positive, showing that a four-day workweek can be beneficial for both business owners and the general workforce.

During the pilot scheme in the UK, 70 different companies participated across various industries. With 3,300 workers participating, over 95% of the participants suggested it was a positive movement. 86% of participants on the scheme shared that they are considering making this a permanent change to their business operations, as the following improvements were noticed:

  • 15% noted significant productivity increases
  • 34% noticed slight improvements to their productivity
  • 46% of companies maintained productivity

How Can a Four-Day Workweek Be As Effective?

There are many theories behind why productivity and efficiency can still be maintained even when working significantly less hours. The workplace theater theory suggests that many people are just trying to look busy, but in fact a lot of their time at work could be reduced. A four-day week can help to reduce burnout in your workforce, ensuring results are more consistent. In fact, a 40% increase in productivity was noted by Microsoft Japan when they tried this idea out, which just goes to show it can work for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Remote Work and the Four-Day Workweek

Many of the benefits of remote work are similar to those of the four-day workweek. It’s become another incredibly popular way of working, showing that a non-traditional work setup can be just as effective as the one we’ve all used for decades. The four-day workweek might be the next shift we see within workforce management, but of course, it requires executives and management to get onboard with this idea for it to be effective.

No matter what type of working model you follow, our team is here to support you with our IT services. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you to transition to a four-day workweek and enjoy improved productivity within your business.

Build Workforce Focus With These Strategies

workforce focus

Improving workforce productivity and efficiency is an ongoing challenge for many companies, especially with the introduction of remote work. Even without adding technology into the mix, there are enough things for employees and leaders to think about on any given day. The good news is that technology can actually be used in a way to help your workforce improve their focus and productivity. Let’s discover some of the best tools on offer to help your employees remain engaged every day while working for you. Our team will be here to help you overcome the many frustrations that often occur when implementing new technology into the workplace, so that you can quickly see the return on your investment.

Communications

Good communication is essential in order to improve any business operations. Even the smallest of businesses require at least an email address and phone number to contact both their employees and clients. On top of that, they should invest in time tracking software, which will help to hold employees accountable for completing their assigned tasks and ensuring everyone gets paid. Communication tools that any business can benefit from include task lists, schedule reminders, and time mandates, helping you to remain on track at any time.

When discussing business communications, you also need to think about the ways in which you collaborate as a team. With the advent of remote work, video conferencing and project management apps make it easier than ever for your workforce to connect. This type of technology allows employee focus to improve no matter where you are based in the world, solving problems in an effective and rapid manner.

Security

Many companies leave security to their IT department, but everyone has a role to play in keeping your business secure. The number of cyberattacks has only increased over the recent years, which is why all of your employees need to be ready to battle these threats. Anyone can be exposed to a security threat on any given day, but this often leads to fatigue when it comes to staying alert for potential risks.

Training your team regularly about the importance of security within technology is so important. Even remote workers need to stay aware of these risks, as anyone in your workforce could be a target. By investing in the right security tools and automation software alongside working with our team, you can keep employee focus high while improving security.

Flexibility

The recent pandemic has changed the way in which the global workforce operates, with some organizations allowing remote work to continue long after other employees have returned to the office. By offering your employees the choice to work in a way that’s best-suited to their needs and productivity, you can ensure employee focus continues to improve year upon year.

Although you may be worried about a lack of control over employees working remotely, you’ll find that many people find their energy and concentration improve dramatically when working away from the office. The number of distractions on a daily basis in an office is huge, meaning that some people are less productive here than when working in silence at home. Employees now are looking to enjoy good work/life balance, and your business should really consider whether remote work is something you can offer to help them achieve this. Flexible technology solutions can assist you when your workforce is spread across the globe or country, helping you to meet and exceed your goals as a business.

Our team is here to support your efforts when improving workforce focus and technology usage within your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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How to Improve Communication Issues Within the Company

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Receiving an email that demands “immediate attention” can feel like both a hassle and troublesome to drop everything that you are currently doing to address a certain situation. Luckily, there are other ways to better manage the communication of these issues and address them in the future.

“This is Urgent and Needs Immediate Attention”

Many people can agree that they see this message on the subject line of an email far too often. If this is the case for you, there might be an opportunity to improve communications and overall business operations within your organization.

A message like this can often overwhelm and frustrate the members of your team as it does not provide clear and straightforward directions. If sent after normal business hours, this can be extremely stressful for some. It truly comes down to being fair to employees. If this email is sent out on a regular basis, how fair are you being towards those who help keep your business afloat?

Just Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Imagine receiving an email like this after work hours. Think about working hard all throughout an eight hour work day and seeing an email pop up in your inbox on something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible but you have no clue what to do? You are unsure what to fix and how you should even begin? How stressful and overwhelming this situation can be for many. 

Without clear information or direction, this task seems impossible to accomplish; ultimately, affecting your employees, possibly even those that are the most hard working and have the most dedication for the company. In reality, this can turn into an organization that many people would not like to work for.  

Set Appropriate Work Life Balance

If members of your team feel that they must have their work devices on and an open line of communication at all times, it might be best to start making changes in the way you conduct your business. The first step in making this change is to stop sending these “urgent and need immediate attention” emails at the end of the day without any context. Instead of doing this, perhaps try explaining what exactly is the problem or what is going on. Try to be more specific in what needs to be corrected and when you expect it to be done. Try to also be reasonable with your deadlines, as well. If problems continue to persist after business hours, it might be beneficial to look into overtime or emergency pay.

It also falls on your end to honor the employee agreement that you had members of your team sign up for upon hiring. If you have to make some changes from that agreement, then you need to let employees know and have them decide whether or not to “accept the new terms and conditions”. These changes should be an exception to the rule, rather than becoming the new norm. 

Be cognizant that members of your team do not live to work for you; rather, they work to make a living. They have lives outside of work and as their employer, you should respect their work life balance. In the long run, employees will feel that you not only value them but respect their time away from work. 

To improve employees’ work life balances, the right technology solutions can help your business, especially during after hours when you might need something that “needs immediate attention”. At WheelHouse IT, our professionals can address any problems you might be having. To learn more, please contact us today at 954.474.2204.

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Signs That Your Technology May Be Failing

failing technology

As a small business owner or a manager, you will eventually come across a situation where you have to determine whether or not a piece of technology needs to be replaced or removed altogether. The first and probably the most critical decision you need to make is how this technology affects your specific product, service, or company. If the piece of technology can still be utilized, it promotes efficiency and productivity, or is simply a benefit to the company, then the answer is clear. Unfortunately, sometimes the answer is not always that easy. Continue reading to learn about the various types of technology and the signs that they might fail.

Failing Server Hard Drives

The most common computing environments use hard disk drives, also known as HDDs. These hard drives typically last between three to five years and will have indications that a failure is approaching. Some possible signs include the following:

  • The disk drive is making strange noises, such as clicking, whirring, or humming
  • Repeated crashes and software errors
  • Repeated disk errors
  • Strange computer behavior

If it has already reached this point, it is likely too late and possibly affecting your business operations. Fortunately, there are various monitoring utilities that will give IT administrators early warnings of a possible hard drive failure. Action can be taken before the failure results in data loss or disrupts your business.

Other computing environments may have solid-state drives, also known as SSD. SSDs are known to last longer, between five to seven years. Solid-state drives do not always provide indications of failure like HDDs normally would. Therefore, monitoring of SSD should be done on a regular basis. The software can be downloaded and will allow the monitoring of SSD.

Besides routine monitoring, there are some signs of SSD failure. These include the constant “popping up” of error messages, files that cannot be read or written, and frequent crashes during the boot phase. Upgrading the hard drive before a major failure of your systems would keep downtime and all the related costs to a minimum.

Networking Equipment

Networking problems can result in the disruption of business operations. The loss of access to the Internet can result in employees being unable to perform their job duties, thus negatively affecting productivity, efficiency, and overall profit to the company. If your company is having difficulty staying connected or receiving the right amount of bandwidth needed, you may have an issue with the router, switch, or another part of the networking system.

What is worse than having failing hardware? Not having that hardware in the first place. If your business needs assistance with its wireless network, mobile computing management system, or any other system, the IT professionals at WheelHouse IT can help. If your IT systems seem like they are failing, we can conduct a full assessment of your company’s technology today. For more information or any questions, please contact us at 954.474.2204. 

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Technology in the Manufacturing Industry

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Manufacturing companies are well known to implement innovative technology solutions into their daily business operations and there appears to be no stopping in sight. Manufacturers will utilize technology in order to improve operational efficiency while also reducing costs, especially when the costs of doing business are soaring. Continue reading to learn about the various ways that technology has helped manufacturing companies over the years. 

Improved Digitization

Manufacturers are responsible for converting materials and/or their components into consumer goods using something known as digitization. Digitization is digital services and systems that can assist in the management of a company, communication with clients, as well as the management of automation. Majority of manufacturing companies utilize automation with many of these companies also using robots with collaborative work tasks.

Cobots

Cobots are essentially robots that use smart software, powered by artificial intelligence, to work side by side with their human coworkers. Instead of directly replacing their employees, more than 40 percent of manufacturing companies use some form of cobots within their organization. Cobots are more affordable than the actual robots that are used to replace human workers. 

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, has successfully influenced and changed the manufacturing industry with innovative technologies. Aimed to provide insight into daily business operations, sensors assist manufacturing companies with predictive maintenance. These measures include replacing parts before they malfunction or damage operations in a serious way. Preventative maintenance can help reduce business costs by up to 25 percent. As compared to the downtime caused by operational difficulties, it is a clear investment for these manufacturing companies. 

Machine Vision

Artificial intelligence can also be used for machine vision in the manufacturing industry. In other words, machine vision is a process that allows companies to automate their own quality control processes from end to end. This gives manufacturing companies the ability to run their business operations faster than if they were to depend on others to check each and every point of the quality process. Machine vision can help identify issues and/or abnormalities as it relates to the quality control of a business. This will also give companies the opportunity to achieve the quality level they are looking for while also doing so at a lower cost.

Technology is extremely crucial to the success of any business. Your company can grow exponentially with the right kind of technology. At WheelHouse IT, we can help you and your company choose the right technology to fit your business needs. For more information, contact us today at 954.474.2204.

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