All Work No Play in the UK? Taking a vacation matters for business – here’s why
A curious trend is sweeping across the country, and it’s even bigger than football. According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), one in eight employees clock in more than 48 hours a week. Another statistic supports this growing workaholism: in the UK, the average employee takes just 62% of their annual leave entitlement.
The latest Glassdoor survey shows that 40% of all employees take only half of their eligible time off, while 13% take only 20% or less. This means that less than half actually take full advantage of their legal annual leave entitlement of 5.6 weeks.
Contrary to what you might think, younger workers aged 18 to 34 are the least likely to go on vacation. And even among those who used their annual leave allowance, 23% regularly checked emails, and 15% continued working anyway. So why does this happen, and what does it mean for the UK?
Bad management impacts work-life balance
More often than not, it’s bad management practices that lead to insufficient time off. According to a 2018 Qualtrics Employee Pulse study, 52% of workers believe their employer does not promote a healthy work-life balance. And indeed, a high number of managers felt it appropriate to communicate with their employees while they’re on annual leave. Two-thirds of workers also said that their managers don’t help them manage their workload. This is perhaps why many say they could not completely take their minds off work.
Chief economist Andy Haldane of the Bank of England shares the idea that “a (lack of) management quality” is the culprit. That is, managers fail to implement basic practices that help employees do their job well. This can range from them performance feedback, to scheduling shifts and leaves, to streamlining work processes. All this results in more hours spent at the office.
Results: low productivity and bad mental health
You wouldn’t be remiss to think that less annual leave hours mean higher productivity, but the Financial Times reports that output per British worker lagged behind every G7 country except Japan. And in 2018, productivity fell in the first three months compared with the previous quarter. The equation isn’t difficult to grasp: exhausted employees equals weak output and a high turnover rate. And it’s not just productivity that’s suffering, mental health is too.
According to the 2018 Cigna 360° Well-being survey, eight in 10 UK workers are experiencing work-related stress, with one in five describing it as ‘unmanageable’. Unfortunately, only a quarter received support from their employers. Mental Health Foundation also reports that many more women report work-related unhappiness than men, with 42% of women possibly finding it difficult to juggle their roles, compared with 29% of men.
Work culture needs to change ASAP
Better communication at work and removing barriers to scheduling the annual leave is the first step. “Take a day to plan out your holidays. Create a schedule which works for you and your employer, then stick to it. If you don’t do it now, it may never happen,” advises Glassdoor’s John Lamphiere.
Some employers use manual leave trackers that indicate different annual leave requests of employees, so planning for a substitute can be done accordingly. These need to be accompanied by other tools such as a free annual leave calculator or timesheet calculator. But obvious implementation problems abound: employees can’t always put the details in, and managers can’t always keep an eye on it, especially when the operation involves more than ten people working various shifts.
Considering how unwieldy manual tracking can be, cloud-based time and attendance software and apps are the better alternative. These services let employees file their annual leave requests from their own phones, display a constantly updated leave request calendar, and even let managers approve or decline leaves, all on one system. Payroll integration is also a strong feature that eliminates the need for entering leave calculations twice.
It’s unsurprising that many companies today prefer digital workforce solutions over manual ones. Besides annual leave management, they offer staffing optimization and prevent human errors in payroll computation. So whether you’re actively looking for new ways to solve old problems, or just testing the digital workforce waters, getting a free trial is worth it in the long run.
“Superheroes don’t work 90-hour weeks” by Michael Cowan
“Employee stress is a ‘mental health timebomb’ – Cigna” by Adam Saville
Industry Insights |
Tanda Time Clock Now Available for the Desktop
We at Tanda are pleased to announce that our time clock application is now available to download for Windows and macOS devices. Starting today, employees can have the same experience they’ve always enjoyed with the tablet version of our employee time clock, but now on the desktop. It accurately records employee attendance and compares it with the weekly rota. It also updates the timesheets automatically to the cloud and stores it offline when the device is not connected. And if the computer has a webcam installed, it can also take a selfie of the employee when they clock in and out just like the mobile app! There are so many great uses for Tanda Time Clock for the Desktop. You can now have employees clock in and out in their respective desktop workstations instead of going to wherever the tablet is located. It can also be a backup option if and when your office’s main Tanda Time Clock is unavailable. Remote employees can also use the Tanda Time Clock for the Desktop to clock in and out using their own computers. Existing users can click here to find out how to download the Tanda Time Clock for Desktop. Are you a new user? Signup for free here to use Tanda to track time and attendance for your business, and so much more.
Industry Insights |
What You Need to Look for in Payroll Software
Payroll software takes away the hassles of manual calculation of each employee’s pay. It drastically cuts down processing time and errors, which means that your staff always get paid for the right amount at the right time. A quick Google search for “payroll software” shows that there are tons to choose from. But what exactly should you look for when choosing a payroll software for your business? Here are some of the items you need to consider before buying: Easy to Use The reason why you’re buying payroll software is to make things easier for you. That’s why, first and foremost, it has to be easy to setup and use. It should have a convenient method of adding information to the software and it shouldn’t be confusing to use. For added convenience, consider purchasing cloud-based payroll solutions over traditional, desktop-based software. They allow you to access your account via the internet anytime, anywhere, on any device — including mobile. Some cloud-based payroll software also offers an employee portal, which lets your staff see how much they are earning, as well as other important info. Secure Payroll software handles a lot of sensitive information. Needless to say, it has to be secure. If considering a desktop-based solution, make sure that it encrypts the data inside the computer — although you might have to take additional steps to further secure the computer itself. Also, make sure that it has password protection and permission levels. While cloud-based payroll software takes away most of the stress of securing the data on your end, make sure to ask how they are properly safeguarding your data on their servers. Make sure that they connect to you on a secure layer (ex. the address starts with https instead of http.) In addition, find a cloud-based payroll software that uses a secure password and two-factor authentication. Scalable Every business wants to grow. And your payroll software has to be ready to handle a growing number of employees. It has to handle multiple sites at the same time, accounting for each site’s different requirements. Handles Taxes and Benefits Payroll isn’t just about calculating employees’ paychecks, it also handles their taxes and other benefits. Whatever payroll software you choose, it must be able to accurately calculate deductions for tax, social security, healthcare, and other benefits such as pension. In addition, it must be able to update itself whenever new rates are released. Reporting and Cost Tracking Whatever payroll software you select, make sure that it automatically generates reports for you. It should show you important information such as individual paycheck history, deposit detail, deduction history, and more. In addition, it should help you track overall costs to help you manage each cost centre. Back Pay Support Calculating and settling former employees’ back pay is very tricky. Make sure that the payroll software you’re purchasing can handle back pay on your behalf, ensuring that it is settled quickly and accurately. Integration Being able to work seamlessly with other programs is a big plus for a payroll software. Check if it seamlessly integrates with your accounting software, your enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, and other programs. This allows you to have a bigger picture insight on your business with data exchanged across these solutions. Tanda works well with the world’s leading payroll software, whether they are cloud-based or desktop-based. Its payroll integration feature it exports approved timesheets with gross wage calculation straight to your payroll software with one click. This means that it can further cut down your payroll processing time from hours down to minutes. Click here to find out which payroll software works with Tanda.
Rota & Compliance |
Desktop-Based or Cloud-Based Payroll Software?
In today’s rapidly-changing business world, the question is not whether or not you should get a payroll software solution for your business. Rather, it’s what type you should get. Before getting into too much detail, the first question you should ask is whether you should get a desktop-based or a cloud-based payroll software. And understanding their differences can help you zero in on the software you will purchase. Desktop-Based and Cloud-Based Payroll Software Desktop-based payroll software installs itself on your computer. Usually, you purchase it as a disk or a digital download from the manufacturer’s website. The software and your payroll data are stored locally on that computer. On the other hand, cloud-based payroll software isn’t installed on your computer. All you need to do login to the site with a web browser, and then you start using it. The software and your data are stored remotely in a secure data centre. Internet Connectivity Desktop-based payroll software doesn’t necessarily need constant internet access, except when sending data to organizations such as banks and tax institutions. You’ll also need to have internet access whenever the software has an update. On the flipside, cloud-based payroll software needs to have constant internet access to work. This is because all the data and calculations needed to process payroll is located on the remote data server. Access By definition, desktop-based payroll software is only located on the computer where it is installed. This means that once you’re off-site, you won’t be able to access your payroll information. Another caveat is that it’s only compatible with the operating system it was built upon. So if your business solely uses macOS or ChromeOS and the software you’re planning to purchase works only on Windows, you might have to get a Windows PC. Cloud-based payroll software only needs a web browser to work. This means that you can use it on any type of computer (or even a tablet) anytime, wherever you may be as long as you have an internet connection. And some of these solutions also offer an employee portal that allows your staff to look at their own payroll information. Security Most desktop-based payroll software encrypts the data it processes on the computer. Some can only allow you to use the software once you’ve entered a password. On top of that, it’s up to you to secure the computer itself by purchasing antivirus and other cybersecurity software. Cloud-based payroll software hosts all your information on a data centre that has multiple layers of security. And whenever you’re accessing the software via the internet, the connection is encrypted using SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates. Updates More often than not, desktop-based payroll software receives its updates via the internet. It either gets updated automatically or will require you to manually check whenever an update is available. That means that you may have to wait a while for bug fixes or feature updates. Meanwhile, cloud-based payroll software automatically updates without you even knowing it’s happening. That means that updates can happen at any time. Whenever a bug is discovered, it is fixed immediately. If there are a lot of customers asking for a certain feature, developers can make them and have it up in no time. Your user experience can get better every time you use the software. Cost As with other traditional software, you have to pay a huge one-time fee to purchase desktop-based payroll software. Regardless if your business has five or fifty employees, the cost remains the same. And if the company releases a brand new version of that software, you may have to buy it upfront once again. Most cloud-based payroll software has a more cost-efficient payment scheme. Instead of you paying for the entire software upfront, they only charge you a monthly fee based on the number of employees you have at that time. Which should you choose? In today’s business landscape, cloud-based payroll software is clearly the better choice. Internet connectivity so ubiquitous, giving business owners and managers the ability to work anywhere. It’s more cost-efficient as you only pay based on the current number of employees you have. And it has better integration with other business software. Payroll Integration with Tanda Tanda’s payroll integration feature allows it to seamlessly work with the world’s leading desktop-based and cloud-based payroll software. This cuts down your processing time from hours to minutes. Tanda works with desktop-based payroll software by exporting approved timesheets with gross wage calculation as a file, which is then imported into the software for processing. Cloud-based payroll software doesn’t need this step. Once integrated, Tanda and your cloud-based payroll software of choice sync data between each other. It gives you more time to focus on your business. Click here to find out which payroll software works with Tanda.