In companies of every size, whether 30 or 300 employee-strong, there is a task that must be handled accurately at all times, and that’s tracking of working hours. Employee time tracking has direct repercussions on many key aspects of the business: payroll, accountability, productivity, and more. Today, the old-fashioned punch card has been replaced with time tracker software and time clock apps that make tracking work time easy and efficient. Why is that, and how to go about choosing an online time card calculator? Let’s explore.
The Advantages of Online Employee Time Clocks
Using an app to track work hours, or software for an employee time clock, is fast becoming standard practice in business. Online employee time clocks are an affordable solution for automation of employee tracking, taking a once cumbersome manual task into much more effective territory. Here are some of the key advantages of an employee time clock for small business and enterprise companies:
An online system is a centralized one, collecting all work hour data about every employee in one place. Cloud-based or network-based solutions are accessible from anywhere, making it easy for employees to log their work hours, and for managers to maintain control, even in remote working situations, or in the case of casual or hourly workers.
Time fraud can be a big problem among staff members, with miscalculations or even wilful errors in work time tracking. An online time card calculator processes data automatically and ensures monitoring of changes made in the system, so employees can not easily manipulate their work log. This helps managers ensure that their team is performing when they should be.
As an aggregator of work time data, employee time tracking software enables managers to easily detect patterns in employee work logs. If there are regular discrepancies in hours worked or for particular employees or teams, these can be quickly highlighted and dealt with via an automated time tracker tool.
Time trackers have a great advantage of encouraging employees to feel responsible for their work hours. The requirement to ‘clock in clock out’, and the knowledge that the data is recorded and monitored, naturally increases the sense of accountability and helps employees to be more accurate and honest in their work time tracking.
Makes payroll easier
Software for employee time clocks can be integrated with payroll software, making the entire payroll process smoother and streamlined. It effectively works as a time card calculator, feeding the work time tracking data directly to payroll, cutting down on the time and effort required to manage payment of salaries and casual employees.
Can Time Tracking Software be Trusted?
Like any software, online time trackers can be trusted if managed properly and if the necessary IT security precautions are undertaken. Plus, the ‘garbage in garbage out’ maxim applies here too – making sure that employees know how to use the time tracker tool is crucial to its accuracy and efficiency.
Another aspect to consider is how to round out employee hours. What happens when an employee works 55 minutes of the hour or works three minutes over the hour? Company management must make a decision in advance about how to manage rounding of employee hours, in order to ensure consistency and fairness for both the business and employee.
Lunches and other mandated breaks must also be built into the system to make sure these are properly accounted for. This will prevent confusion and complications in time tracking for employees who have different work arrangements or legal requirements.
Making sure employees track their out-of-work hours is also important. If staff members take work home, work overtime, or occasionally get urgent tasks done on weekends, this needs to be accounted for properly within the time tracker, to support consistency and accountability across all work situations. By properly managing these details and considerations, time tracking software is an extremely accurate and trustworthy method of work time tracking.
Are Online Time Clocks Expensive?
There are numerous employee time clock apps and time tracker systems available today, which means it’s a competitive and dynamic field. And that means that pricing is competitive and affordable too. There are even free apps to track work hours, however, the old adage “you get what you pay for” comes to mind. Most free solutions won’t be as sophisticated as paid ones, and won’t offer the kinds of features that really make online work hour trackers powerful and effective. Even so, as a beginner trial or for a very small business, the free option may be enough to kickstart the initial use of an online employee time clock. In the long term, though, it’s best to go with paid time card calculators that give your business more, like those that offer a complete system for time tracking, management and invoicing in one.
What Should You Know Before Implementing an Employee Time Clock?
After making the decision to go ahead and implement a time clock for work, there are a few things you can do to ensure a successful pick. Consider these tips before implementing a new online work hour tracking system:
Research all options
As already mentioned, there are loads of time tracker tools on the market, so it is important to do thorough research before homing in on one specific system. Ask around with other business owners, check out software review sites for customer testimonials and use free trials if they are offered. This will help you get the lay of the land before investing in a time tracker tool.
Solid, yet simple
In order to get the maximum benefits from time tracking software, you want to choose a product that strikes the perfect balance between sophistication and simplicity. On the one hand, you may need certain advanced features and capabilities (depending on the complexity of your business), yet on the other hand, you need a system that is intuitive and not overly complicated. If it’s a pain to use, with complicated logins, multiple passwords or other poor UX features, you won’t get the employee compliance that is so important for success.
Make sure you train employees about how to use it
Just like any software or app at work, it is critical to give employees a chance to get to know how to use it. The same applies to a time tracker for employees. Schedule short training sessions to show staff members how to use it, and have a training protocol in place for new recruits during the on-boarding process.
Look closely at the fees
Different time tracker systems have different fee structures. Some are free, and some charge a monthly fee. Others use a leasing model, and for some, pricing can even depend on the number of employees in the system. Plus, there are the costs of setup and installation to consider in some cases. Due diligence in the pricing aspect will ensure you get best value for money for your time tracking software.
Time Tracker Software – Recommended or a Must?
In today’s fast-based business world, using a time tracker app or time tracker software is commonplace, and highly recommended. There’s no need to fuss with manual work time tracking when it is so affordable and effective to use an online, automated system. While the initial move to online employee time tracking may seem daunting, the ease of use and smooth implementation that comes with the advanced apps and tools available today makes it a move worth making.