36 (131) 2018
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Time for a Revolution. A Time Revolution!

By Łukasz Chodkowski, managing director, Dehora Polska
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According to the latest research by GUS (June 2018), 5.1 million people in Poland are employed in the industrial sector.

The specific nature of the industrial sector, means that most of them have to work irregular hours and shifts.

In practice it means that around 10 million people in a direct or indirect way are affected by the social problems that working at irregular (including night workers) hours creates. Yes, this is no mistake. Imagine you are regularly working during night shifts and how this impairs your family/social life – your relatives are suffering as well.

When, in the early 1990s, the first international companies were establishing their premises in Poland, no one ever wondered what ‘work-life balance’ is and what exactly it is for, as the focus was to grow and to chase the mythologised West.

Nowadays, when the competition between companies for acquisition or retention of the best talents is very strong, the term ‘work-life balance’ has started to be implemented and better recognised and respected.

In 2018 if you investigate any report on the situation on the labour market (for instance Hays' report on overtime hours, Randstad's Employer Brand Research or Gallup Institute and others), you will immediately see that employees expect much more than just a good salary and benefits. Do you know that 72% of employees would like to have an influence on their working schedules? Those figures don’t apply to white collars only…

Impossible in the industrial sector?

Several years ago, when we were making our first steps at Déhora in Poland and asking a manufacturing plant management team about taking care of the health and social aspects of their shift workers, we were literally sent back to Mars. Really.

A difficult situation on the labour market caused by historically low unemployment rate had to dramatically change that approach.

If you want to be recognised as a good employer, you need to be aware of the health and social aspects when creating a work schedule. Although at first glance it is difficult, there are rules you can follow to minimise the negative effects of working irregular hours. Although according to research on fatigue, the time of starting and ending of shifts should be around 07:00 - 15:00 - 23:00, it is still common to start at 06:00 – 14:00 - 22:00.

Why not build some flexibility into the schedule to be able to provide greater predictability of working time for your employees? Imagine – predictable work schedules result in predictability in the free time and at the same time increases the quality of that free time. Shift workers will appreciate it!

What is the best employer branding tool? The grapevine.

Industrial revolution 4.0 is knocking at our doors. Machines will communicate between each other and the role of artificial intelligence in manufacturing will grow. That's the main development focus.

But imagine having the opportunity to implement, besides technical innovations, an innovation on a human and social level.

We call it self-rostering.

The general assumption of self-rostering is that employers give their employees more flexibility and independence.

The major advantage of self-rostering is that the employee can determine their own schedule. As a result, employees can engage in physical exercise when convenient, take care leave, pick up the children when necessary and work shifts on a part-time basis. And self-rostering makes working part-time a great deal easier. It has been scientifically proven that self-rostering helps employees to remain both socially and physically healthy as the employees themselves decide which tasks to perform and how to spend their time. Behind self-rostering lie clever algorithms, that based on production plans and real-time staff needs, can determine with great accuracy when a given employee can change working hours without upsetting output.

Now imagine how this can influence attracting and retaining staff!


It is time for a revolution. A Time Revolution.

Self-rostering from the organisation’s point of view:

  • Productivity rises between 3% and 8%.

  • Absenteeism rates drop between 10% and  25%.

  • Overtime hours drop between 10% and 25%.

  • Sustainable employability.

  • Improved employer branding on a competitive labour market.

  • Increased flexibility.


Self-rostering from the employee point of view:

  • Better work-life balance (family, friends, hobbies, sports).

  • Better work-rest balance (biological clock, larks and owls)

  • Increase in happiness and motivation.

  • Rosters built around on my own rhythm (healthier, less night work).

  • More possibilities to plan holidays.

  • Increased influence/self-steering.

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