How to manage your shift working schedule

Shift working can be tough sometimes, with regular changes in routines and long working hours. So how can you make sure you look after yourself when you’re working the long shift? Take a look at our top tips below.

Are you driving? Given the time and length of the shift, it’s important to consider if you should drive to work, or if it’s actually safer to take public transport. It may be more of a hassle, but if you’ll be finishing a long shift in the middle of the night it may be risky to drive home, if you’re not used to it.

Make your sleep pattern work! If your shifts seem to follow a similar pattern, try taking short naps before and after your shift and find a sleep pattern that suits your needs. Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable and blocks out any light, if you’re having to sleep during the day.

What are you eating? It’s important to consider your diet. Regular light meals or snacks will ensure you stay nourished throughout your shift. Avoid fatty or sugary foods where possible and keep hydrated.

Want a pick me up? If you like a coffee, keep your coffee breaks to a minimum. Caffeine can be used effectively, but too much can have opposite of the desired effect.

For more information about our latest vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916 or office@flexistaffuk.com.

What makes a great cover letter?

You might think your CV in enough when job searching, but it’s important to include a cover letter too when applying for a job. But why do you need a cover letter and how can you make your cover letter stand out?

Cover letters are important for telling your story. Hiring managers will receive a number of applications per role, and your cover letter is a great place to summarise your skill sets and addressing your potential new employer direct about how your skills and experience are the perfect fit for the job.

So what makes a great cover letter?

Address the letter direct. Do your research and try to find out who the hiring manager might be – you could research the company online or carefully scan the job listing to see if there’s any indication.

Be direct and personable. Short sentences full of enthusiasm as well as your own personality are key. Make your letter authentic to you to stand out from the crowd.

Tailor your letter to the role. Consider the job listing carefully and pick out key examples of your skills and experiences to show how you’ve got what it takes to take on the role.

For more information about our latest vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916 or office@flexistaffuk.com

Keeping your forklift balance in check

Forklifts are a vital part of any busy warehouse – but badly loaded they can be a huge hazard. No one wants to risk the accidents that can be caused by a tipped forklift – here’s our top tips for keeping your forklift balance in check.

Consider the environment. Check the surfaces you’ll be driving on are in good shape and take a note of any steps or slopes that could have an impact.

It’s all in the planning. Never overload the forklift and plan the load as you go, making sure everything is spread evenly. Think about whether or not what you’re carrying is stable and how you might have to adjust your driving.

Keep it smooth. Lowering your forks whilst moving can increase stability and ensure you drive smoothly. By driving slowly you’ll have more time to react and therefore avoid mistakes.

Be safe. Wear your seatbelt and adhere to safety procedures at all times – if you don’t know what they are, ask!

 For more information about our latest forklift vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your warehouse, contact us on 0844 556 2916 or office@flexistaffuk.com.

“Why do you want to work here?”

Interviews – love them or loathe them, they are a vital part of finding a new job. Whilst interviews can include a variety of questions, there are some questions you might expect to get – and some you hope you won’t be asked! Be prepared for your next interview – here’s some of the interview questions you might expect, and how you could think about answering them to have the best impact.

“Why do you want this job?”

Research the organisation beforehand and think about what it is about the company that really appeals to you as a potential employer. Think about the role in question, the skills and experiences required, and where the role gives you opportunities to grow.

“Can you tell us more about you?”

Maybe don’t go into all your habits and hobbies – stick to two to three minutes describing your education, interest in your work field and most recent work experience.

“Why should we offer you the job?”

Demonstrate you’ve understood the role and requirements of the company and give examples of how your skills and experiences meet the needs of the organisation.

“What are your weaknesses?”

This is a tricky one! Think about a skill you’ve tried to improve and name both the weakness and your tactics for managing it and improving.

For more information about our latest vacancies, of to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916 or office@flexistaffuk.com.

London’s DVS and LEZ changes – what you need to know

For those who drive for a living, keeping up to date with new and changing road legislation is really important – and there’s been two updates this week that you need to be aware of, especially if you are driving through the capital.

This week on Monday 1st March the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) comes into force in London. Any and all HGVs over 12 tonnes driving in London must meet DVS standards. Any vehicle over 12 tonnes not meeting these standards will face a daily £550 fine! If you know your vehicle has a zero star rating, you can apply for the permit and submit a written statement online. For more information, visit the TfL website.

There’s also been a change to the Low Emission Zone standards, with tougher restrictions brought into force. If you drive an HGV, van or other specialist heavy vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight or a coach over 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight within the LEZ and it does not meet Euro VI (NOx and PM), you will need to pay the daily LEZ charge. The charges are as follows:

  • Is Euro IV or V (PM) – you will need to pay a daily charge of £100
  • Doesn’t meet Euro IV (PM) – you will need to pay a daily charge of £300

Happy Driving!

For more information about our latest driving vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916.

How can you improve the safety of your warehouse?

Safety in the warehouse has to be the top priority for any organisation. Warehouses are busy, fast paced environments, and accidents can happen – so prevention is key! Here’s our suggestions for making sure your warehouse is as safe as possible.

Start with your equipment. Make sure everyone knows how to use any and all equipment, and that only those authorised are using equipment where required. Consider fitting bumpers to racking and other areas of the warehouse to avoid damage.

Think PPE. And we don’t just mean face masks! Make sure the team have access to all of the protective workwear they need at all times, and ensure staff are trained to know what equipment they should be using.

Think about the shelving. Make sure the team are distributing weight evenly across racking and ensure any damaged or broken shelving is repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Keep up to date with training and reminders. Make sure everyone knows the safety procedures – offer regular training and refresher sessions. Between training sessions lots of helpful signage will guide the team too!

For more information about our latest warehouse opportunities, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916.

Stop feeling nervous on your first day in a new job!

Looking for a new job can be a long process! But once all the applications and interviews are over, it’s easy to find yourself feeling a bit nervous starting your brand-new job. Here’s our top tips for keeping your nerves in check.

Remind yourself of the details. It’s easy to get consumed in your final days with an old employer and forget the details of the new job you’ll be starting – do your research and remind yourself of the organisation you’ll be joining and the role you’ll soon be starting.

Start as you mean to go on! Be on time, be polite, simply be on your best behaviour – don’t give yourself even more reasons to feel nervous and make sure you show up at your best.

You won’t be new forever! Chances are you’ll soon lose the crown of “newbie” to someone else who starts – and then you’ll no longer be new! As the weeks fly by you’ll be part of the furniture – and you’ll know exactly where the biscuit tin is kept!

No one expects you to know everything. How could you, you’re new! Ask lots of questions – the silliest question is the one you don’t ask.

For more information about our latest vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on  0844 556 2916.

IR35: What you need to know

IR35 was due to come into effect back in April 2020, but with the coronavirus pandemic the rollout was delayed until April 2021. But what is IR35, does it affect you, and what changes do you need to make when working?

If you operate via a Limited company, IR35 means you may have to change the way you operate. You can continue to operate under a Limited company if you meet two of the following criteria:

  • Turnover £5.2m or less per annum
  • Profit £10.4m or less per annum
  • Less than 50 direct employees in their organisation

If you don’t meet two of the above requirements, you will need to operate via a PAYE system.

The good news is that Flexistaff is IR35 ready! We have a fully compliant in-house payroll team able to provide guidance and advice as the new rules kick in. In addition, we provide full transparency on workers tax and PAYE payments providing our clients with full protection – making sure everyone is happy!

For more information about our latest vacancies, IR35 or how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916.

Explaining a gap in your CV

There are countless reasons why someone might take a gap in their employment, and simply sometimes things just don’t go to plan. However, job seekers should be prepared to answer questions about any gap in their employment – here’s our top tips to explain a gap in your employment history.

Honesty is the best policy. Trying to hide a gap by extending your previous employment can be risky – there’s nothing to stop a hiring manager checking dates with your previous employer, which could lead to some difficult questions. Depending on the situation you don’t need to give lots of detail, but in the long run employers will respect your honesty.

Make the most out of your CV. Depending on the nature of the gap to your employment, you could reference the gap outside of your employment history, or use your cover note to add more specific detail which may avoid any further questions later down the line.

Avoid gaps full stop. If you’re struggling to find work, try to be proactive – find opportunities for new learning or for taking on voluntary roles whilst you job search – not only will you be keeping active you’ll be developing your experience and you may even find a new job along the way!

For more information about our latest vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 0844 556 2916.

Preparing to cross the border – HGV / LGV Drivers

 

Travelling to the EU has changed since the UK officially left the bloc on Dec 31st 2020. It’s important for LGV and HGV drivers to make sure they are prepared with the right documents to avoid any delays at the border. Here’s what you need to remember.

Kent Access Permit

All HGVs over 7.5 tonnes travelling from the UK to the EU must get a Kent Access Permit before transporting any goods. You’ll need to complete a self-assessment for EU compliance, submit all relevant customs documentation and demonstrate you meet the UK customs declaration export requirements before you travel. For more information and to apply you can visit the government website here https://www.gov.uk/check-hgv-border.

Covid-19

Covid-19 has caused much disruption to the logistics sector – the long line of vehicles held up at the border made headline news just before Christmas. Now there are some European countries that require commercial vehicle drivers to have a negative Covid test before they travel. If you are travelling to France, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands you will need a negative Covid test to cross the border. Drivers can find out more and view the list of test sites available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations

For more information about our latest driving vacancies, or to find out how Flexistaff can support your business, contact us on 01582 696959.

Flexistaff Solutions Ltd

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