The latest Seafarers Happiness Index (SHI) has revealed a ‘steep and concerning’ drop in happiness levels in Q2, linked in part to the impact of COVID-19 hygiene requirements on workloads and the pressures of administrative work rising.
The SHI is the shipping industry’s barometer of issues facing those at sea today. In the report there were complaints of far too many emails from shore to ship. Previously there was a sense that office management and executives ashore were trying not to put too much pressure on ships, but now their demands for paperwork and data are causing major problems at sea.
Alexander Buchmann, Managing Director, Hanseaticsoft said that shipping companies need to move away from using outdated technology and legacy systems and embrace cloud-based digital solutions to lighten the administrative burden on seafarers. “The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the technology shipping companies were using, with many realising the systems they had in place were inadequate. There is now a growing need for companies to invest in flexible cloud-based solutions which can centralise data and information, reduce administration and help to manage entire fleets. Moving to the cloud can create a more connected workforce to ensure easy, real-time exchange of data between crews at sea and teams working remotely or in the office. With data accessible in one central place, people no longer work in silos and can communicate and collaborate easily with colleagues,” said Buchmann.
“This reduces the need for emails to go back and forth as information can be accessed by the entire workforce whether they are on shore or at sea, in one central place. Cloud-based software can be used to empower ship masters to take a more active part in crew management and do a variety of administrative tasks directly on board,” Buchmann continued.
“We have recently extended our portfolio of solutions for crew management with new apps that enable companies to easily manage all the documentation crews need, as well as their visas, allocate accommodation, and schedule their working and rest hours in line with regulations. Seafarers have access to a crew portal too, where they can view important information such as their schedules and rest hours or performance related data and manage their work documents – this element of self-service saves managers time and administration too. Streamlining processes and enabling the real-time sharing of data can make administrative tasks quicker and easier, reducing the workload on seafarers which in turn could improve their happiness. Moving to the cloud can transform how a company operates, improving efficiencies and driving down costs, as well as reducing the pressure on staff and improving their wellbeing,” he concluded.