On 30th June 2014, the UK government gave the right of flexible working to every employee across the country with more than six months’ service. In theory, more than 20 million full-time employees from companies of all sizes may now request flexible working arrangements.
Peripatetic workers - workers with no fixed work base
A peripatetic worker is someone who works in multiple locations. It refers to someone who works away from their normal work base, or can also refer to someone who has no fixed work base.
Peripatetic workers are sometimes referred to as transient or mobile workers.
Source: Cisco: Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce/ Electronic Commerce and Telework Trends, 2000.ii
Mobile workers are those who work at least 10 hours per week away from home and from their main place of work, e.g. on business trips, in the field, travelling or on customers’ premises, and use online computer connections when doing so.
The UK mobile worker market is growing rapidly - how can timeware® offer a solution?
What is timeware’s® cloud-based mobile worker option?
Part 1: for the employee...
This option allows selected employees from the timeware® personnel module to be enabled as mobile workers, thus allowing them to ‘book in or out’ when away from the office using an app’ running on an iOS or Android mobile phone. The app’ also allows the employee to enter a description against each booking. If the mobile phone has internet access, the app’ passes each booking instantly to the cloud along with its GPS co-ordinates. If there is no internet access, the booking (and GPS info) is stored locally until internet access is regained and all the bookings are passed to the cloud.
Part 2 for the employer…
Each booking that the employee makes carries its GPS coordinates throughout its life in the timeware® system. This means that managers can view the employee’s exact location at the time of each booking.
What type of business could benefit from timeware’s® mobile worker option?
The target market for the mobile worker option are businesses employing drivers, salesmen and field engineers, ie: peripatetic workers. This new option enables businesses to keep track of the exact location of their staff when they start and stop work.
What are the initial and ongoing costs?
The mobile worker option is an annually recurring license feature and costs the same as the SAGE payroll integration at £268 per annum. This fee covers an unlimited number of employees and remember that employees download the app’ free of charge from Apple’s App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices.
What needs to be taken into careful consideration is the setup of the mobile worker feature, and for a more detailed explanation of what is required I’ll ask Mike Coope, timeware® project manager to run through the planning and preparation:
The Mobile Worker module is a recent feature to timeware® meaning the customer will need to be using timeware® version 17.1.1 or greater. If they are below this version then the customer will require an upgrade and additional quote from customer care
The Mobile Worker requires employees to use a username and password for gaining access to the Mobile Worker App. The first step of the project will be to ensure that all employees intending to use the Mobile worker have an email address in the timeware® software. This is mandatory! The majority of the time, employee’s already have an email address due to them already using the ESS from home or work. Occasionally I come across some customer’s , which don’t have employee email addresses. In this case, I advise the customer that the employees require an email address and ask if they can provide a list of emails for the employees I can run an Email import script.
Due to the changes in timeware® 2017, the email agent and email settings are used to reset passwords for timeware® client users, employees using the ESS and employees using the mobile worker. As timeware® host all ours emails for the customers I will need to setup a new Email Account unique for the customer using www.one.com . After I have created the email account I will ask the support team to log onto the customer, to test the settings in advance options. The Support team will then use the test email settings to confirm the email account is working correctly.
timeware® 2017 introduced new security features to the software, and this has been replicated throughout the Client/ESS/TWC and Mobile worker making them as secure as possible. After an order has been placed for the Mobile worker, it is mandatory that the ESS is set up also for that customer. The reason for the ESS setup is if an employee forgets their password on the mobile worker they need to be able to reset it which they have to do via the ESS. Employee’s will need to access the ESS and click the ”Forgot Password”. This will then send an email to the employee with a temporary password. Using this temporary password the employee will login on to the ESS and it will ask for them to create a new password. This new password will then be used to log into the Mobile Worker application.
Installing the APP
Before I plan on implementing the mobile worker I ask the customer to inform all employees who intend on using the feature to install the Mobile Worker App prior to the installation or upgrade. I inform the customer they can install the app free of charge from either ”itunes” for Apple users or the ”Play store” for Android users. Having the application installed prior to the timeware® engineers visit saves time as the employee already has the app downloaded and is just awaiting a username and temp password from timeware.