It is the Pandemic Era – the era of staying home and being safe. Due to worldwide lockdown, businesses have to move their employees to the ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) model. One of the biggest issues that businesses faced managing employees remotely is tracking time and attendance. To update and complete payroll processes, time management, and employee attendance are even more essential in making sure businesses track accurately. Technology has already prepared a solution, ‘Time Tracking Apps’ to keep track of employees’ workdays and hours, ultimately streamlining the payroll process.
Before moving on to the step-by-step guide, here are some five useful tips for sustaining performance while working remotely.
- Businesses should maximize the use of virtual collaboration tools.
- Irrespective of fieldwork or remote work, agile teams should stick to foundational rituals.
- Build a distributed team culture to promote trust among the team members.
- Allow the remote team to work out the ways that suit them best and only support them with the tools and tips that can help achieve the goals.
- Get your customers involved at all steps to build trust and loyalty.
If you are a business managing your employees remotely and facing a crisis, you should give a read to our detailed blog, “How to keep your remote teams agile during the crisis?”
Table of Contents
What is Time and Attendance Tracking Software?
Time and Attendance tracking software is a tool designed to track team members' time and attendance and optimize the hours' employees invest in the job. The tool also manages records of salaries and wages. After COVID-19, all sizes of businesses depend heavily on time tracking software for managing their teams remotely.
The time tracker app helps manage diverse tools to maximize cash flow and minimize waste. It can create, record, and archive essential payroll and income tax information. The records proved to be very invaluable at the time of audit by taxing authorities.
A Time Tracking App performs the following functionalities:
- Track Time input by each employee on the job.
- Calculate and manage salaries.
- Automate payroll processes.
- Comply with labor laws and government policies
- Minimize efforts and errors in bookkeeping.
- Provide compiled reports of events in the form of tables, graphs, and charts.
- Integrated with other business tools such as HRM, Financial Management Tools, etc.
Why is Time and Attendance Tracking Important?
Employees are an asset to any business. Without a marketing, sales, and production team, no company can sustain itself. It is very important to keep them motivated via perks. These perks are highly dependent on the employees' performance and hence depend more on the time an employee puts on his/her job. Time and Attendance tracking are very important because they help businesses make a future forecast for sales, ROI, employee benefits, expansion, and much more. The time and attendance is the tangible number that supports the decision of business’ owner and managers.
A manager can check if the absenteeism is high or low and during what periods by tracking attendance. It would help managers to approve leave applications. It also helps to control employee turnover and staffing issues. If you start micromanaging every aspect of your workforce, how would you make yourself available for more significant decisions? This is where an attendance tracker can help.
When most businesses are closed, and employees work from home during the pandemic, they cannot allocate a separate clock for each employee. With a time tracking app, a business can find a happy medium to avoid workforce management extremes. By integrating the payroll software with time and attendance tracking software, a company can save time and money. HR leaders must be involved when looking for a time clock system to ensure everyone is at the same pace.
How do I Track my Employees' Time and Attendance?
One of the most important steps is choosing the right attendance tracking software for your company that can help save time and efficiently log work hours put-in by the employees. To select the right software, you will need to understand what is available in the market. Here are some of the best ways to track employees' hours to help HR in payroll processes.
Mobile Attendance System
Remote employees' hours can be tracked with mobile attendance system. Global Positioning Satellite 'GPS' works on cell phones to confirm hours collected via a GPS-enabled company phone. GPS tracks employees' movement during working hours. This information can be integrated with HR software for tracking time and Attendance.
Card Swipe System
First, let us mention that this technology is not for remote employees as it needs a card swipe. Card swipe is an updated version of the punch card system. Instead of a timecard, employees use their ID cards to record in and out time. Data automatically transfers to a computer where hours worked are calculated with an integrated HR software.
An Automated Software for Regulatory Compliance
Companies need to meet regulatory requirements. Any tracking solution should make it easy to comply with government regulations and labor laws of the country.
Common causes of noncompliance are inaccurate or inadequate recordkeeping. Using an automated system to track time and Attendance can help reduce errors and prevent costly litigation that arises from noncompliance.
Accuracy of Time Tracking and Attendance Records
A best practice for tracking employee hours is to have a system that captures screen after a certain duration. It helps to deliver accurate information to HR and other managers. Whether the system is manual or automated, tracking and approving employee hours becomes more complicated with a system that is not followed consistently.
Select a System that can easily Integrate with other Systems
One job of the time tracking app is to track attendance, whereas the other part is to share data with other applications. This is very critical for payroll, leave encashment, and compliance needs. Ideally, a time tracking app should have the ability to integrate with any project management software.
A Cloud-Based Software
It is also very important that the software has the best features but is not too expensive to buy. Expensive software can increase the cost of maintenance. What works in this capacity is to host a time tracking system in the Cloud. Cloud-based systems offer easy solutions for entering hours and quickly routing time for approvals. Results cover every aspect of employee hours. Easy, timely, and accurate pay and regulatory issues are resolved.
Keep Online Attendance Records
Some advanced systems are still using old-fashioned techniques, such as scheduling tools, and online time clock. Employees keep a record of their hours worked through a web app that can also generate payroll reports such as a Google Drive excel sheet.
Key Features of Clock and Time Attendance Software
Below are some of the must-have features for a Time and Attendance tracking app.
Time In and Out
The basic feature of the time tracking app is recording in and out the time of the employee. It should be easy for the employee to clock In and Out, and the records should be maintained for the working hours. Employees can clock in and out using magnetic card swipe, PINs, thumb impression, or biometric scan.
Flexible Time Scheduling
Many businesses in the world work round the clock 24/7. A time tracking app should have the flexibility of scheduling that allows employees to start their day without marking them late. A good time tracking system offers punctuality monitoring of the employees.
The app should provide an option to create and manage multiple schedules and rosters. Such functionality should also come equipped with features that alert managers of any mismanagement.
A time tracking app should have the feature to manage Attendance. It should be competent enough to alert managers on absenteeism. The manager can easily see who is in or who is out. They can also track absenteeism reasons like illness, annual leaves, or last-minute day off.
Integration with HR Solution
A time tracking app should have the ability to integrate with HR software. It should provide accurate attendance data to the HR solution that can be used to calculate the employee's accurate wage. It can only be achieved if time tracking and HR solutions are integrated.
Regulation with Compliance
Time tracking apps should have the capability of regulatory compliance and internal policies. It should be able to monitor break times and record that data for reporting. It should also have the ability to report any disturbance if recorded that are not meeting the company compliance policies' legislative norms.
A company may have a diversified working pattern. Some of its employees might work from the site and some from home. A mobile version of the time tracking app can help all of them clock in and out of their time via mobile phones.
This will provide the company with an overview of hours worked by the whole workforce and not only employees that are 'on-premises.' Mobile apps may also include GPS tracking systems for worker safety or location monitoring.
Eliminate Double Entries
At times employees punch or swipe twice or more than one time. A time tracking app should have the ability to eliminate double entries.
There is another possibility where employees forget to punch or swipe at all. Let say an employee came into the office, punch in and start working. Later, after a few hours, he/she went out and came back but forget to punch in until the end of the shift. An advanced time tracking app would have sent an alert to the manager and the employee of a missed punch-in in such cases. It will eliminate the chances of errors.
Employees are entitled to breaks, overtime pay, sick and casual leaves. Either you have a group of employees entitled to overtime or other employees entitled to time off. Your ideal Time and Attendance system should be able to cater to such scenarios.
A time and Attendance tracking app should provide customized, detailed, and analytics reports using the system's data. Expect your software to give you the information to various attendance-related reports, offering insights into hours worked, shift patterns, and much more with suggesting lines for improvements.
What is the Best Time and Attendance Software?
What does "best" mean? It all depends on your company's requirements. Here are the four best Time and Attendance tracking software read-to-be-used.
It is a cloud-based time tracking software for small and mid-sized businesses. It offers a free trial version that lets you add only one member and give access to timesheet, labor compliance, GPS tracking, and payroll management functionalities.
Pros and Cons of ClockInEasy
- Free Trial
- Amazing Dashboard
- Facial Recognition feature
- Unfriendly app for tablet
Price for Premium Subscription: $5 per user, per month for up to 100 users for the Professional plan.
# 2: Homebase
Homebase is also a cloud-based time and attendance tracking app that provide you with a free trial. With the free version, you can track all the employees working at the same location, such as an office, site, or branch, using GPS.
Pros and Cons of Homebase
- Self-define employee time scheduling
- Photo capture functionality for remote employees
- Reports come with glitches that lead to inaccurate clock-in and out timings.
Price for Premium Subscription: $19.95 (straight price for the essential plan)
OnTheClock is cloud-based tracking software. Its free trial allows you to add up to two employees and offers GPS tracking, geofencing, fingerprint scanning, payroll reporting, leave management, and project costing functionalities.
Pros and Cons of OnTheClock
- Geo-fencing feature
- Employee Absenteeism management
- User-friendly and highly innovative Mobile app
- Limited reporting with limited customization
Price for Premium Subscription: $2.20 per user, per month for more than two employees.
#4: Time Clock Wizard
It is another cloud-based time and scheduling software for small and mid-sized businesses. The software lets managers add team members, track worked hours, and calculate their salaries accordingly. The free version only gives the ability to add up to three users and offers the employee time-tracking functionality.
Pros and Cons of Time Clock Wizard
- Accurately calculate Payroll
- GPS tracking functionality
- Complicated User-Interface
Price for Premium Subscription: $14.95 per month for the Value plan
If you feel these-ready-made software do not fulfil your requirements and do not fit in your company's environment, you can always go for custom-made time tracking software. Custom-made time tracking apps are better in more ways compared to ready-made ones. They are often preferred because of the customization of features, one-time investment, no monthly subscription fees, the safety of employees' data, always easy-to-make changes, and easy-to-date policies and no-dependencies and it can be monetized as per the budget of the company.
The Benefits of Custom Time & Attendance Software
Custom-tailored Time and Attendance software has more benefits than a ready-made one, and this is what we will discuss now. Here're some of the benefits that you as a company should consider while deciding either to opt for a ready-made time tracking app or go for a custom-tailored one.
- One of the drawbacks of the ready-made solution is that it lacks customization options. With a ready-made time tracking app, you won't be able to add the number of groups, departments, pay rules and benefit accruals as you wish. What if you have a complicated hierarchy placed in your organization? In such a case, a ready-made solution would only offer you a handful of pay rules.
- Many organizations compromise pay rules and system setup simply because they don't know the cost-effective solutions available that allow custom-tailoring.
- Out-of-the-box time and Attendance app is always lacking in interoperability. The best time and Attendance solutions integrate with payroll, ERP, MRP, databases, and other business systems to provide automation of processes and functionality to synchronize data between all the systems.
- With the best Time and Attendance software, a business can support three or four top-tier payroll programs.
- Custom-tailored software gives your business the ability to update policies, minimize cost as per the budget, and most of all, keep your employees' data in one hand rather than sharing it with other parties.
Need A Custom Tailored Time Tracking App?
Technology has taken over the business world. In this Pandemic era, one of the most surviving factors is 'Technology.' Imagine, if we didn’t have the internet, how would we conduct our businesses with Corona outside. How would we sell and purchase commodities? Thanks to technology, not only we survived, but we found new ways to advance. Now it is time for businesses to adopt these changes quickly. One way to do so is by ensuring you have the proper technology and understanding how to use it to elevate your business's efficiency.
Time and Attendance tracking software is the need of the hour. It will help businesses to maximize cash flow and minimize waste while maintaining and archiving important payroll and tax information. No one can predict the future, but if we have to live and survive with Pandemic, we as a business need to opt for a time tracking app for remote or work-from-home employees. You can go with a ready-made or a customized app. If you choose to customize the app, there are many options available to help you build one that fits your business requirements.
Selleo is one of the best App and Web Development Company in Poland. We have a highly professional and experienced development team who have worked on numerous technologies for different industries. If you need guidance for a custom-tailored time and attendance tracking app, contact us now!.