Where does all the time go? If you are in charge of managing payroll or your business’s human resources department, losing track of time can be extremely costly. The fact is, accurately recording worker hours is considered one of the most challenging compliance issues modern businesses face.
If you want to achieve business success, then getting every aspect of the business right is a must. This includes time tracking.
The good news is, there is more than one way to track employee hours. New technology and software have relegated the historic punch clock to the trash, offering employers with much better options for their workplace.
From traditional paper timesheets to more innovative biometric time clocks, learn more about all the time tracking options employers are using to manage worker’s hours, here.
1. Using Pen and Paper
Tracking your employee hours using pen and paper may seem a bit archaic; however, there are many businesses that are still using this method. In some cases, these businesses may opt to make the move to a shared spreadsheet to move things forward, but regardless of how it is done, this is still a common time tracking method.
Due to the simplicity of this approach, and the fact that it is free, it’s an appealing option for many business owners. In theory, everything should move smoothly. At the end of the payroll period, employers only have to contact their payroll provider with employee hours.
However, as a small business grows, the limitations of using this method become apparent pretty quickly. They include:
- Incorrect time tracking by employees
- Handwriting is often difficult to read leading to mistakes
- Increases in errors
- The possibility of disputes with employees
While pen and paper are one method for tracking time, it is one that should be phased out, if possible.
2. Desktop Tracking
A more updated method is desktop tracking. If you are ready to retire the pen and paper, then cloud-based software, like what is offered by this company, makes it possible for workers to securely log hours regardless of where they are working.
Most available solutions should properly integrate with your existing payroll system. This is going to save administrators several hours of data entry work.
Keep in mind, the best software is going to go much further than just letting users “punch in.” Managers can also spot runaway overtime prior to it becoming an issue, generate custom reports, and even review employee schedules.
3. Physical Time Clocks Using ID Cards or PIN Numbers
The use of a physical time clock is a popular option in a wide array of industries. These include construction and manufacturing, while employees don’t always have access to computers or another device.
In these situations, it makes sense to keep your time clock in a central location. Making it easy and convenient to use is going to make it easier for everyone.
Even with this in mind, there are a few drawbacks to this approach. For example, if an employee is running late, they can just give their PIN to a colleague and have them clock them in. This is a practice that is called “buddy punching.”
Buddy punching costs approximately $373 million each year to employers in the U.S.
Similarly, the use of a system where workers have to clock in using an ID card poses a number of challenges. Some workers may misplace or forget their ID cards, which means that replacements may have to be provided at a moment’s notice.
One way to avoid this is by having your employees turn in their ID when their shift is over.
4. Use Mobile Apps
A mobile app is a time tracking option that can be used by employees at any time and from any location.
Regardless of if workers are paid hourly or on salary, most workers are not tied to a single location. The ability to punch in and out using a mobile device is a must for any employees who travel on a regular basis.
An added bonus is that these apps make it possible for supervisors to approve their worker’s hours, too. This means there are going to be fewer payroll processing day issues because of managers leaving the office prior to approving all the timesheets.
5. Biometric Time Clocks
Can you imagine a future where all you have to do to clock into work is use your fingerprint? You don’t have to imagine this anymore – as the future is here.
The biometric time clock has been around for several years. It offers a fast and easy way for employees to log in their time, and a foolproof way for businesses to verify it.
There are some time clocks that are even equipped with a camera. This means they can capture a picture of a person as they “swipe in.” This offers another layer of security.
There is a downside to use this method for clocking in and out. Some make the argument that having to physically touch the device isn’t very sanitary. However, there are studies that have shown that biometric devices aren’t any dirtier than the average doorknob.
Effective Ways to Track Employee Hours: Now You Know
If you want to ensure you are using the best method possible to track employee hours, you have to know what they are. The information here provides an overview of the options, which can help you make an informed decision.
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