The Impact Of Extended Trading Hours Commerce Essay

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House of Travel is a Kiwi owned and operated business, this is unique industry because their outlets and a true business partnership between local owner operators and House of Travel Holdings having 75 plus retail outlets nationwide.

Their 75% of retail outlets are situated in Shopping Mall and rest of 25% are in local Business areas. Chris Paulsen, founder and managing director of House of Travel had a dream that travel could be delivered to the consumer in a different way.

The company gets suggestion from their consumers to extend the working hours of their retail outlets situated in local business area the present working hours is 9am to 5 pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. These hours may be extended to benefit more customers but before making this changes the company has to check thoroughly that how this will work and the advantages and disadvantages besides extending the business hours, for management and employees of house of travel.

He started collecting brief report from the Owner operator that "How the impact of extended hours will affect you economically, financially, and environmentally" (Paulsen, 2011) and we get this opportunity to do research on this topic.

It is with pleasure that we submit our report on extended working hours, the implications for public policy reform, and our recommendations for your consideration.

The report gives an overview of the actual and potential effects of extended working hours on individuals, families and communities based on the findings of empirical studies and the views of key stakeholders, employees and their families and peak bodies. It outlines the major approaches that have been adopted in other jurisdictions, which indicate the complexities associated with determining the most effective means of addressing extended hours.

Any measure aimed at minimizing the impact of extended hours has implications for the differing needs and aspirations of employees, employers and the community. Nevertheless, the majority of the Group felt that there was a solution although it may not be one which is perfect or which satisfies everyone.

Where individual members of the Group held views dissenting from the majority on specific issues, these opinions and the reasons for them have been included.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the management of House of Travel for research and executive support.

Introduction

1. The working hour's trend has been seen since long as 9 am to 5 p.m.in most of the areas of business in several industrialized countries we called as traditional and offices, there are limited changes for the retail business such as groceries, and supermarkets.

2. The interest in extending working hours for House of Travel in Auckland is that there customers may get more and more benefit from the extended trading hours.

3. There are examples for the overseas jurisdictions have regulated extended hours of working in order to minimize its detrimental health and social effects on workers.

4. The project was assigned to our Active Group to do the through research and submit the report that the" impact of Extended hours" how its work and what are the advantages and disadvantages.

5. We the student of Management Class in a Group ( Active Group )took the challenge and started the research with the help of our studies and research we will submit the report before 18th May 2011.

6. This was a challenge for us and we have to think that from where we start, so we decided in our Group meeting to distribute the work among the members of the group. The terms of reference was described for each member of the group as under.

Procedures

The Group is to receive and consider comment from the management and staff of House of Travel and make recommendations for extending trading hours for their outlets outside the shopping malls and to submit the feedback and recommendation that how its work and how its effect on the employee and management of company.

It was a big challenge for the group to deal in this and we started working jointly on this project and started collecting data relating to this project.

1. The first and the most thing was to check that how employees will be affected as a result of extending hours relating to health and safety issue , such as fatigue.

2. To check the specific models and general structures and to provide proper guidance to the management of House of Travel on working hours and to provide evidence for serious health and safety issues.

3. To check the Retail Trading Laws for extending trading hours from the Department of Labor New Zealand, and to do proper research for the betterment of the company as well as their employees.

4. To verify that how the employees and their families will be effected by this extended trading hours and how it will impact on the health of individual employees and their families.

The research

Objectives

The objectives of the project were identified as:

To take views of entire employee one to one basis and to know their willingness of working long hours.

The check the level of cost involved in extending trading hours and how it will benefit the company as well as employees.

To check that how this new implementation will work and affect the health and safety of employee.

Research methods

The research used both quantitative and qualitative methods.

The quantitative research

The quantitative research comprised two employer surveys:

First we had interview the employers to identify the knowledge and prevalence of extended working hours in retail outlets.

The survey from three employers from different sectors and different business was conducted as under:

1. Management of House of Travel, Auckland

2. Management of Travel2000, Auckland

3. Management of M.K. Tours and Travels, Auckland

Framework was set for questionnaire for the above employer and the following information was taken from them.

1. What benefit you think for extending Trading Hours?

2. How it will work e.g. roaster etc?

3. Will this affect the employee health and safety and security of organization?

The response we received from the above employers shows that on 50/50 basis some of the employers and willing the ready to implement the extending trading hour's rest of were was not supportive on several grounds.

The qualitative research

The qualitative research was conducted face to face with employees of House of Travel with giving the feedback form.

Those employees willing to give the feedback from some of them were not interested but those who were interested in survey has given the feedback and which is enclosed as Appendix 1.

The research was done and several websites and reports were referred to for preparing this report as under :

the employers in the quantitative phase

trade associations

Retail Business Regulation

Unions, including the Council of Trade Unions

Work and Income work brokers.

The respondents

The feedback from employers and employees were submitted here in the qualitative research.

The focus on the effect for extending hours and its amendments were discusses with the management of House of Travel verbally and explain them the procedure that if this implementation takes place there should be some specific models and rules to be referred and in light of the facts we have to give our suggestion that the extended hours and effective or not.

Data analysis

Quantitative

The initial and follow-up survey were analyzed by our group and discussed through to differentiate reasons that to what extend the extended hours are feasible.

Qualitative

The notes and transcripts from the interviews were taken on and Q&A forms for research questions. Extensive notes were made at interviews The recorded data was analyzed with reference to the participants' circumstances; findings for any one person or group were compared against those of the entire data set.

Findings

Structure of report:

The structure of the report was submitted on the specific pattern and the collected material was thoroughly studied and present accordingly to check that the if the extended hours and implemented it will benefit both employer and employee and to check the entire aspect of extending hours.

Limitations of the research

Keeping in mind the current law and health and safety issues we submitted the details in our report as well as the cost incurred by the employer and also comparing the margin ratio.

While submitting the report well also keep in mind the current law and the regulation of the New Zealand government as well as market trend and the area where the organization willing to extend the trading hours.

1. To present the findings of the Group appraisal relating to extending trading hours and how it will affect the employer and their employees.

2. To collect the statistical information on working hours from Auckland region and also from the various sources to analyzed working time arrangement and its effects.

3. To consult the oral interviews and written feedback from the employers and the employers for the House of Travel.

4. To meet the employees and Management of House of Travel to contribute and discuss about the effects of extended working hours on health and safety issues.

5. Oral and written submission was received through intensive fact to face discussion about employee experience of extended hours. The employees and employers were participated in the review process.

6. The Group has not investigated the merit of each employee's claim's but in general and keep in mind of their relative importance, but the report has been made in both written and oral submissions or in the literature reviewed.

Submission

Hereby submit that the oral and written interviews taken from the employer and employees of house of travel and other relevant sources; we also referred various websites, including Australian Government Website relating to extending trading hours which are also referred below with references.

As per our learning we has taken keen part in looking specific models and even code of conduct for retail operation from Government as well as private organization.

Our research shows that most of the employees not willing to work long hours but been on the key position they do not neglect and they have to work because the management wishes that he should work long hours.

Working long hours will defiantly affect eh health for the employee who can be seen from various angles and from various points of view we think that working long hours or extending trading hours are not feasible for both the organization as well as for the employee.

Even the organization has to involve in all sorts of legal steps towards employee safety, safety for their belongings and even cash handling. It is not advisable that a single person can work after hours in a hug office or retail outlets outside the shopping mall.

We have some examples cited below which shows that extended hours are feasible for big companies of consumer products but it is not advisable for a small retail outlets they has to do more and more paperwork before planning to extend the trading hours.

Our views and recommendation is submitted hereunder for House of Travel and we also offer our suggestion for implementing extended hours.

We have included the details taken from defferent websites and reports e.g. work for dole, government website, Australian Parliament website, police website etc indicating the health and safety issue fo the employee working long hours.

Results

Members of the business community agree that for many companies, hours of operation are likely to continue to expand, as demands for convenience on the part of both individual and corporate customers do not appear likely to abate any time soon. But small business owners should make sure that they lay the appropriate groundwork for an expansion of operating hours before committing to it.

"But the business owner who takes the time to study these issues in advance will be much better equipped to handle them in an effective fashion than the owner who tackles each issue as it rears its head". (Executive, 2011)

Competitive pressures-Analysts point out that simple economics have played a large part in the surge in expanded business hours for many companies. "The ceaseless search for efficiencies and the high cost of adding capacity are compelling many small companies to squeeze more out of existing facilities by adding second and third shifts," said Dale Buss in a Nation's Business article entitled "A Wake-Up Call for Companies (Executive, 2011)

It seems that that extended hours are feasible at some stage but not always, our research shows that it is expensive, risky and not at all time acceptable by the employers as well as employees

"But on other hand the Australian government has regulated and passes the extended hours in Parliament until 9.00 pm retailers able to open their businesses until 9pm on weekdays.

However, the ALP went to the last election with a pledge to extend weeknight trading hours to 7pm.

Mr Barnett made the announcement on the front steps of Parliament that, just as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry responded in the grounds nearby to what it called "vested interest groups" opposed to deregulation". (Sonti, 2009)

A New Zealand Perspective: Why do we need to act?

"Whilst work-life balance is a global issue, there are specific considerations for New Zealand. In 2005 the Business Council contributed to the Department of Labour's Consultative project on work-life balance.

While New Zealand has a high number of part-time workers, we also have a high number of people working very long hours. New Zealanders have increased hours worked per capita by around 18% since 1970 - the second fastest rate behind the US and in sharp contrast to Europe where hours have steadily decreased. We have seen the proportion of employed people who work a standard 40 hour week fall from 35% to 30% in the past 15 years with 22% people working more than 50 hours per week. On an average day, 40% of people are at work before 8am and one in four people work in the evenings. We continue to embrace a long hours' culture.

For many workers, cell phones, text messaging, e-mail and laptops have forced work into the home in new ways that lengthen working days and intensify work. Workers and partners in a survey by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions said that many employers held an expectation that workers were "available" well beyond their "standard" work hours. Some described being expected to have their mobiles on for long periods. This is particularly true for some part-time employees who are not necessarily 'in the office' full-time during normal business hours.

Excessive hours at work are equated with rising stress levels which affect health, fitness and personal relationships. A recent article in the British Medical Journal has reported that people who suffer from chronic stress caused by their job are more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes. Both of these are major health concerns in New Zealand.

Over recent years, lower unemployment means employees are more able to make employer choices favoring organizations that offer flexible terms and conditions.

However whilst large companies particularly in the service or consultancy sector have introduced initiatives to improve work-life balance, this may prove more difficult for production based organizations and SMEs.

The total workforce in New Zealand approximates 2 million people10. 96% of New Zealand enterprises employ 19 or fewer people and in total account for 29% of the total workforce and contribute 27% of the country's economy. The New Zealand manufacturing sector employs 12% of the workforce and contributes 15% of the economy. It is equally important that we find a way to ensure that these employees." (council, 2010)

It seems that the Extended hours for House of travel is not feasible as stated above it will affect the work life balance of employees and also it will cost more for the company the approximately cost graph is given below showing how it will impact on organization as well as employees.

Normal working hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday these are the limited times which are feasible for employers and employees both to work in safe environment and also stress less working.

The cost which we see for extending hours from 5pm to 9pm on Monday to Friday i.e. 4 hours daily 4 x 5 = 20 hours a week and on 1pm to 5pm on Saturday so total working hours come to 25 hours a week (Extra hours).

If the outlet hire minimum 1 counter staff and 1 back support staff + 1 Security Guard to look after the staff during extended hours so 25 x 3 if suppose the pay scale for each staff is $15 an hour so the organization has to pay NZ$1125 per week to the staff + the utility bills which comes to 12% of the average ratio so as per study the organization is paying nearly NZ$ 2000 extra a week.

If the company hires mobile manager then it will cost less only company has to pay the hourly charges to one mobile manager instead of opening extended trading hours of shop.

An as per our survey we receive just one or two customers after hours during the extended hours so it is not feasible to cover up the cost of extended hours and it is also risky to operate the outlets after hours where all the shops closed in the market.

As per New Zealand Law for employees safety comes first

"Thousands of people attend work daily and never experience any situation where personal safety is threatened. Whilst a workplace under responsible management may provide a reasonable level of protection, situations affecting personal safety could still occur. Employers are required under Occupational Health and Safety legislation to have policies and procedures in place to provide a safe working environment for staff. This can be achieved by undertaking a survey to assess security and potential risk situations. The information produced by a survey will identify measures necessary for ensuring staff safety and security, and form the basis of developing a work safety plan.

This information, prepared by the Police Community Relations Section, in consultation with various community groups, contains a series of guidelines for both staff and management. While primarily presented with the safety of women in mind, these suggestions can equally apply to any person in the workplace." (police, 2011)

Working irregular hours

"Some businesses may store items of considerable value or hold significant amounts of cash, which may be attractive to criminals waiting for the first employee to arrive with safe keys or access codes. Businesses should have a policy on safe entry procedures for staff arriving at work.

When employees are present outside of regular business hours, plan to have at least two staff working together if possible.

Make provision to escort staff to their vehicles when work has finished, or have arrangements in place to facilitate safe exit from the building and vicinity.

If staff must work alone, measures to enhance safety can include:

Ensuring the building can be adequately secured from the inside

Keeping doors locked to prevent casual entry, if appropriate

Displaying warning signs that video surveillance cameras are operating

Using security grilles for staff protection if the nature of the business permits

Providing staff with a remote control device that can be used to activate an audible alarm and alert a security company, if safety is threatened.

If you will be finishing late:

Park as near to your building as possible in an area that will be well lit at night

Consider other transport options if the only parking available is at an isolated location

Let someone know you will be working late

Check that you are secure inside the building and that no doors or windows have been left open or unlocked

When leaving the building check the immediate area outside for any people loitering, before opening the door

Use the best lit route to your car and have someone walk with you if possible". (police, 2011)

All the above factors are countable and considering the above factors we came to the conclusion that it is not feasible to try for extending hours for the outlets outside the shopping mall in the local business areas.

Conclusion

"We suggest it would be reasonable to embrace the general principle of reasonable hours but to require it to be operational at the enterprise and/or industry level. That is, to permit extended hours but within a framework that requires an individual organization to present a coherent argument as to why working extended hours in a specific context does not disadvantage the community or compromise safety in the workplace."

It seems that after through research the conclusion is that the extended hours are not feasible, it will simply increase cost for the company and stress for the employee referring to health and safety issues of the employee and security reasons for the employee working extra hours, even the regulation does not allow the company to work extra hours outside shopping mall i.e. in open market place where all the shops and office are closed at about 5.00 in afternoon and to work extra hours will create hindrance for management and staff both.

The group came to the conclusion that instead of extra hours there is few more suggestion that if the management finds suitable can adopt the same and as per our research it is same as working extra hours or extending trading hours.

The suggestion is as under:

Company can provide communication equipment like laptops, mobile phone to entertain customers calling after hours and deal with them or satisfied their needs or reply their queries relating to the business and that will fulfill the need of customer as well as will not cost much more to the company.

As seen from the market trend now days for e business the company itself is having Hot website which is much more advance and self-explanatory customer can use that website for their queries, or can call the mobile sales person after hours which is appointed by the company to fulfill the customer needs.

The company can provide commission to the staff for working extra hours outside the office anywhere and can earn extra income or may be company can pay any additional or extra pay to the employee working after hours from their own place as per their own suitability.

Recommendation:

The Group takes proud to recommend the following factors for the company and request the management of House of Travel to look into it and if they think it is feasible then can be implementing.

The group is available for any comments and explanation for their recommendation provided herein for the betterment of company.

Normal working hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday these are the limited times which are feasible for employers and employees both to work in safe environment and also stress less working.

The cost which we see for extending hours from 5pm to 9pm on Monday to Friday i.e. 4 hours daily 4 x 5 = 20 hours a week and on 1pm to 5pm on Saturday so total working hours come to 25 hours a week (Extra hours).

If the outlet hire minimum 1 counter staff and 1 back support staff + 1 Security Guard to look after the staff during extended hours so 25 x 3 if suppose the pay scale for each staff is $15 an hour so the organization has to pay NZ$1125 per week to the staff + the utility bills which comes to 12% of the average ratio so as per study the organization is paying nearly NZ$ 2000 extra a week.

If the company hires mobile manager then it will cost less only company has to pay the hourly charges to one mobile manager instead of opening extended trading hours of shop.

Our Recommendation is that the company can choose the employee after consulting them that who is available to work after hours from home to attend the phone calls so the office phone can be diverted to their home phone or company's mobile phone and the customer calling after hours can be attended and entertained.

The company will refer the policy which is in appendix 1 of this report and frame new policy accordingly for the employee who is working after hours, the condition of working may be discussed between the employer and employee by them self-keeping all ethical issue in mind and also the family balance life police which may not affect the employees personal life.

The employee who is volunteer to work after hours can be get benefit as per the company's policy and it should be fair and equal for every employee who are willing to cooperate in this new policy.

Even the company can hire a call center to work on company behalf after hours or can use the formula of telework as it seems that nowadays more and more companies throughout the world relying on telemarkers or call centers (England, 2010)

Bibliography

council, N. Z. (2010). Work life balance report. Auckland: New Zealand Business council.

England, B. (2010, september 09). Telework New Zealand. Retrieved May 11, 2011, from www.telework.co.nz: http://www.telework.co.nz/Benefits.htm

Executive, G. R. (2011). Business Hours encylopedia. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from Industries news from Inc.com: www.industries new from inc.com

Paulsen, C. (2011, January 17). How the impact of extended hours. Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

police, N. Z. (2011). Safety in work place. Retrieved April 16, 2011, from www. satefy in work place/New Zealand police.co.nz: http://www.police.govt.nz/safety/workplace.html#irregularhours

Sonti, C. (2009, June 16). Goverment to introduce Trading Hours legislation. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from wa.today.com: www.watoday.com.au

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