COVID-19: is manufacturing prepared for home working
A recent study conducted by Leesman, reveals that the UK manufacturing and industrial engineering industry is not prepared for working from home.
Surveying over 700,000 employees worldwide, 52,240 of those were from the manufacturing and industrial engineering sector. The survey highlighted that 53% of those within the industry have no home working experience.
As the Coronavirus maintains its pandemic status by the World Health Organisation, key players around the world are advising their employees to work from home to attempt to curb the outbreak and protect their workforce. With the UK currently advised to work from home if they can and to definitely stay at home if you are sick, Leesman stresses that with large scale remote working the manufacturing and industrial engineering sectors must prepare itself for a reduction in productivity and innovation.
Across the industry, those that do work from home, 90% typically do so for just one day a week or less, with 0.5% working from home more than four days a week, and 35% of sporadic home workers lacking a dedicated room to work from.
The main risks for the manufacturing and industrial engineering industry indicated by Leesman as a result from working from home, include:
A reduced sense of community (-21.1%)
A reduction in social interactions (-20.4%)
A reduction in the transfer of knowledge (-25.8%)
A reduction in shared learning (-11.0%)
“Home working will undoubtedly prove pivotal in limiting the impact of the coronavirus crisis. But the data suggests that many employers and employees across the manufacturing and engineering space will be out of their depth should British businesses be forced into lockdown. Our advice is for organisations to quickly quantify where their main obstacles will be and seek support.” commented Tim Oldman, CEO at Leesman.
“We know how and why corporate offices impact employee sentiment but have significantly less understanding of even the short-term impact of dispersing teams to environments designed for living, not working. Industries must brace themselves, but the manufacturing and engineering space must remain one of the most cautious,” added Oldman.
In light of the current actions businesses are having to take in response to the current pandemic, Leesman is mobilising its research tools to enable employers within the private and public sector to support newly remote workers.
Leesman’s index rating covering over 90 indicators in relation to physical, virtual and social workplace infrastructure, highlights how other employees are supported, monitoring key economic indicators including, personal and collective productivity, knowledge transfer and pride.
Established in 1992, Leesman began its operations in order to examine consistently and in depth the affect workplaces have on employees and organisational performance. Leesman prides itself on its intellectual curiosity and determination to challenge common thinking, leading the organisation to where it is today, “the owners of the largest independent database of workplace effectiveness data in the world.”
The team at Leesman have one purpose: “to exceed expectations in everything they do, whether that’s working for a client, a supplier, or each other. We’re here to turn your data into valuable insights so that you can make informed, evidence-based choices when it comes to developing your workplace strategies.”
For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.
SAP Whitepaper: Advantages of Intelligent Assets
A core pillar in SAP’s Industry 4.0 strategy, Intelligent Assets equip organisations to reduce downtime, empower employees and increase efficiencies across industrial equipment and manufacturing units.
In a whitepaper produced in partnership between SAP and BizClik Media Group, Rachel Romanoski, Solutions Manager, Digital Assets, SAP, dispels some of the myths surrounding asset intelligent, and shares insight into how even small investment in asset intelligence can pay dividends in minimising cost leakage and realising an asset’s potential.
As with all innovations, the ceiling for Intelligent Assets is as high as an organisation can dream, afford and implement. But Romanoski says that just a little intelligence can go a long way: “Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology. They can be super advanced, such as leveraging physics-based engineering simulations to forecast potential failures, and help mitigate them. But it could be as simple as a temperature reading. You can pull a lot of simple information from most equipment, and by enhancing that data through ancillary solutions and digital capabilities, you can create that Intelligent Asset.”
One of the most immediate benefits is reducing or, in some cases, eliminating unplanned downtime. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of disruption and can cause chaos throughout the supply chain.
“The true power of the Intelligent Asset is in changing the basic, reactive emergency work or time-based, planned maintenance and being more prescriptive and tailored to that specific asset and use case,” Romanoski says. “Ultimately, you can reduce the unplanned events that often carry a big price tag.”
"Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology... But it could be as simple as a temperature reading"
Other financial benefits include stemming cost leakage and “sweating assets” to the full potential. “Maybe you can consider the lifecycle of the asset and understand whether you can push it a little bit further,” Romanoski explains. “It might be that the best course of action for a low-cost item is to run it to failure. Having this information that we collect over time empowers those people to make those better decisions, but also has a trickle down effect to building resiliency and efficiency into the entire supply chain.”
To read the full report, including insight from Intelligent Assets, Intelligent Factories, Empowered People, and exclusive insight from Dominik Metzger, the lead on SAP’s Industry 4.0 programme, CLICK HERE.