Earlier this year, a four-day workweek pilot was launched in the UK, with 70 companies and over 3300 workers participating in the programme. One of the project's primary goals is to measure a four-day week's impact on productivity and employee well-being.
While a four-day workweek is an unprecedented concept for the field service industry in South Africa, we believe it can be done with CMMS Software.
The benefits of a shorter workweek
- The biggest argument for a shorter workweek is that longer hours don't make employees more productive and that workers can get more done working fewer hours because they're less tired. When employees spend less time at work, they have more time for activities outside of work. One of the pilot project's participants said they have more time to spend with their family since they've started working four days a week. Employees are happier, have more energy, and are less stressed when they have a healthy work-life balance, and when they are at work, they're more productive.
- Despite the suggestion that working fewer hours can increase productivity, there are situations where it could negatively affect it. To make a four-day week work, your team will have to make every effort to finish all their tasks in less time. At the end of the day, they'll be exhausted and spend most of their downtime recovering. It could also lead to increased stress levels due to the changes in the work environment. However, this could change over time as employees adjust and find ways to make it work.
- While it would take time to implement and get used to a four-day workweek, especially in the field service industry, we know it can be done when you optimise your day-to-day processes with CMMS Software. We've highlighted ways the software can help your business move to a shorter week.
Optimise job scheduling
- With CMMS Software, you can update the schedule to include everyone's time off and automate job scheduling to create a conflict-free timetable and ensure all jobs are assigned to available workers. You can track everyone's time off with one platform, and your technicians can view their updated schedule online, ensuring everyone is on the same page to prevent miscommunication. If you're trialling a four-day workweek, you can use the software to monitor your team, checking in to see if they're meeting their deadlines to determine whether it’s the right decision for your business.
Reduce human error with a paperless system
- A paperless system can make it easier to adopt a shorter week by reducing human error and increasing efficiency. With software, your technicians can capture project information and customer data on-site with their mobile devices. Capturing data online is more efficient and less time-consuming, which means workers are less likely to make mistakes or capture information incorrectly. Using a cloud-based system also means that the data is immediately made available to your team, and they can log into the system wherever they are to access it, increasing the efficiency of information sharing. Improving efficiency increases your chances of meeting deadlines, even with technicians working fewer hours.
Find the best routes to save time on the road
- With technicians on the clock for fewer hours a week, you’ll need to find ways to save your team time so they can complete their to-do lists. With CMMS Software, you can optimise route planning to reduce your team's travel time. Using software to find the quickest routes is less time-consuming and labour-intensive than trying to do it manually, and it's also guaranteed to be more accurate. The system considers your team's availability, including their off days, assigned tasks, and skill level, to find the best route and technician for the job.
Use data to track productivity
- Tracking productivity is the only way to test a four-day week and know whether it's a viable option for your business. You can use accurate data to monitor your team's performance and compare it to their productivity when working for a whole week. With CMMS Software, you can create reports to see how many jobs they've completed, how much time they've spent on site, their travel time, and the status of the jobs assigned to them. You can also track customer complaints to see if they rose during this time to determine the effect of a short workweek on customer satisfaction.
CMMS Software is a valuable investment for your field service business, whether or not you're convinced a four-day workweek could work for your team. Contact us to discover all the features and benefits of Eworks Manager, or try our software with a 14-day free trial.