Office-based workers have it easy. A bold statement but one that, when compared to the lives of shift workers, rings true

Aircraft mechnic using a digital tablet in a hangar picture id638753476

Office workers are in the prime position to benefit from software and technology designed to make their lives easier. From project management software and CRM systems to a multitude of productivity apps (think Slack and Trello), there are countless ways office workers can use tech to boost productivity, improve efficiency and find a better work-life balance.

Not so for shift workers. The large, sometimes forgotten, workforce out there in transportation, hospitality, retail and many other multi-billion-pound industries, don’t benefit from the same technological improvements available to office-based workers.

Rarely do shift workers have control of their schedules and, more often than not, they only get, on average, three days’ notice of the next week’s schedule. This can have a huge impact on their lives outside of work. It makes it highly challenging for them to plan their lives, with everything from family commitments to leisure time affected.

For part-time workers, or people working in the gig economy, this also greatly increases the challenge of working multiple jobs and makes it incredibly difficult for them to calculate their income, as their hours can fluctuate wildly.

It’s a far cry from creating a positive culture and working environment where employees are engaged and willing to go the extra mile.

The good news for both the shift workers themselves, and the businesses who employ them, is the times are changing. Increasingly, more business across all verticals, are looking to embrace software and technology to give more to their employees.

Taking Flight

One such business is London City Airport. Based on the banks of the Thames and only short-hop away from central London, the airport prides itself on its speed, with its 30 minute turnaround times among the quickest in Europe. It takes the average passenger just 13 minutes to reach their gate after arriving at the airport, no mean feat for an airport based in the center of one of the world’s biggest cities. However, these levels of efficiency weren’t matched by their own internal processes.

And it was this need to streamline and optimise their operations that brought them to Quinyx, one of the market leaders in creating mobile-first workforce management software, designed to optimise the way businesses are run while at the same time empowering employees.

The impact Quinyx had on London City Airport and its employees was immediate, as Michelle Truss, HR Airside Business Partner for the airport, explains: “We used to have a lot of manual processes so it was a big leap forward to take Quinyx on. Manual rostering used to take each department at least a couple of days a week and that was without the ongoing upkeep of managing leave requests and shift swaps. Since we’ve started using Quinyx it’s increased the speed it takes to process our rosters and reduced the time it takes us to do them by 50%.

“Not only does this mean we have more time to focus on improving our business, it means staff now get their schedules much further in advance and this brings them huge benefits when it comes to planning their lives outside of work.”

By using Quinyx, which comes with its own app, London City Airport have empowered and engaged their employees by giving them choice and control they didn’t have before. The simple act of being able to manage when they work, managing their leave and seeing the hours they’ve worked (especially when it can all be done through an app) is empowering for staff who have, historically, felt like they haven’t been heard. In a recent study, 95% of part-time workers strongly agreed that using an app makes it easy for them to adjust their schedules in order to fit their needs.

What’s more, it’s the feeling of being in control that was especially welcomed by the airport’s staff.

“Quinyx has had a massive impact on my life,” says Aviation Security Officer, Belynda Maquis-Mondesir. “I feel like I’m in control. I can organise a shift swap through the app on my phone and then, bing-bang-boff, it’s there and we’ve done it. Since using it I haven’t missed a birthday, a social event or family time, and you can’t put a price on that.”

At London City Airport, employee engagement has doubled since they began using Quinyx to communicate with all staff. They sent out their annual employee survey through Quinyx and saw 80% of them answered, more than double the number they had before Quinyx. They have also used the system to improve their absence management and improve the way they manage overtime.

With more than 600 staff to look after, it’s not only vital the airport makes sure they have the right people in the right place at the right time, it’s essential for them to have a smiling workforce who enjoy work - something Quinyx has helped them achieve.