The average full-time employee in the United States works 1,767 hours a year. Compared to our European counterparts, Americans are on the job for an additional hour per working day. However, longer working hours do not necessarily translate to more productivity. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US and Denmark shared the same GDP per hour worked outcomes last year but workers in Denmark worked an astonishing 421 hours less than those in the US. Similarly, workers in Mexico produced the lowest GDP per hour worked of all OECD countries, even as they put in 2,124 hours of work a year.
Let us go back, for a minute, to the Industrial Revolution. In the late 18th century, businesses sought to maximize the output of their factories by establishing a ‘sun up to sun down’ workday. Combined with low wages which led workers to endure long hours of work to earn a liveable salary, factory employees of the time were clocking a laborious 10-16 hours a day. In 1818, Welsh activist Robert Owen began campaigning for the eight-hour workday with the slogan, “Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” Despite numerous protests, strikes, and fair labor campaigns, the movement did not become a standard for nearly a century.
In 1914, the Ford Motor Company shocked the world by cutting the basic workday down to eight hours while increasing wages twofold. This change led to a marked improvement in worker productivity. Combined with massive innovation in their production and manufacturing process, Ford doubled their profit margins within two years of the change. As many businesses changed their standards to follow in Ford’s footsteps, the federal government finally put the eight-hour workday into law with the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1937.
Running on Real-Time
Coming back to current times, researchers are now suggesting that perhaps eight hours of work is still too much. Compared to the labor conditions of the 1900s, our modern working circumstances are definitely much improved. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the institution of the eight-hour workday was not based on the optimum number of hours we can concentrate or stay engaged; it was simply a humane response to the grueling conditions of the time. With the advancement of automation and engineering, the workforce of our grandparents’ era became free to take on less menial roles. As we ride on the peak of the Information Age, is it time for us to harness technological advancements to achieve better productivity?
According to our bodies’ circadian rhythm, we have two periods of peak productivity each day—in the morning and in the late afternoon. The middle of the day is the procrastination zone, where our energy and concentration are at their lowest. In fact, studies have shown that full-time employees are productive for only three of the eight hours on the clock. Many progressive companies are now experimenting with shorter work days or four-day workweeks, which are said to allow employees to be happier, healthier, more invested in their jobs, and ultimately more productive.
Of course, it is not just a matter of cutting down employee working hours alone. Information technology has now allowed us to automate and streamline many of the processes that typically take up a lot of our time. Instead of managers having to use pen and paper or manually filling in spreadsheets to plan employee schedules, a modern online calendar scheduling tool can help to save both time and effort. Businesses can likewise take advantage of a free online scheduling tool to display availability for their services and accept bookings remotely. By cutting down on administration, employees and managers have more time to focus on creative and constructive tasks that benefit from the human touch.
Scheduling for Success
BookMeToday is a premier scheduling appointment software designed to help companies effectively manage the time of their employees and customers. With almost 20 years of experience in creating customized online booking software for corporate clients, BookMeToday is now creating solutions to suit the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs. As BookMeToday is a cloud-based software, all information is updated immediately, and business owners, employees, and customers can access it easily using their laptops, tablets, or smartphones. They can also receive instant notifications and alerts of bookings or changes.
Staff scheduling and management are one of the most sought-after features of the BookMeToday platform. Through the dashboard, managers can allocate appointments to specific staff members, while receiving reports on their productivity, sales, and schedules. The software can also permit staff members to manage their own work calendars and leave requests, allowing a collaborative approach in schedule management. This releases managers from having to resolve minor scheduling conflicts between staff and offers employees both autonomy and accountability for their time.
For businesses that deal with a large number of clients, BookMeToday’s robust online booking system is an invaluable tool. The platform offers multi-channel bookings, meaning that customers can make a reservation from a social media site like Facebook, your business listing on Google, or your website. The online booking system displays real-time availability, allowing potential customers to pick a suitable time slot without having to tie up the reception desk. The software also comes with a secure payment option, so customers can make deposits or payments upon their reservation. If appointment slots are fully booked, the software can even offer potential customers the chance to join a waitlist and be informed of any openings.
Customers love convenience and simplicity. BookMeToday helps you to build trust and lasting relationships with your customers by shortening response times and providing personalized booking options. The platform allows customers to schedule recurring appointments in a single booking and companies can reward loyal customers with priority slots on the calendar. Should customers want to schedule multiple consecutive services, the intelligent platform can automatically find a time where this is possible. Even big groups are catered for, with customers having the power to schedule and pay for group bookings in one transaction.
BookMeToday is a feature-packed online scheduling solution. From smart time zone adjustment to the intuitive and informative dashboard, the software will modernize every aspect of time management for your business. Upgrade your scheduling process with the latest technology and let BookMeToday propel your company into new levels of productivity.