Time clocks are a necessary evil in the world of effective business. They provide an incomplete answer to a complex issue: how do you accurately and efficiently track employees and their tasks without impeding their progress and costing yourself valuable time and money in the process?
Enter digital timekeeping software and apps. Based on electronic timekeeping, it is an elegant alternative to the more traditional time clock. Rather than relying on an expensive, aging piece of finicky technology, you can go paperless, wireless—and largely effortless. Automated or electronic timekeeping minimizes wasted time, meaning that more time spent on the clock is spent efficiently.
Here are four benefits to utilizing an integrated electronic timekeeping system as an add-on feature to your payroll and HR processes:
#1 Tangible Time Management
Having an accurate picture of your workforce and your employees’ locations is crucial in ensuring your ability to optimize workflow. As an employer, you need to make sure your medical staff’s attendance keeps up with patient care demand, that your construction workers are meeting union or certified payroll hour and budget guidelines, or that your retail store has optimized employee schedules to meet customer needs.
Electronic timekeeping provides you with a vivid image of your staff’s efficiency through geographic location, historical presentation of past pay periods, and an overview of any given employee’s profile. These statistics provide more accurate insight to your labor costs, and can help you minimize slack and allocate resources more efficiently. Plus, using an automated app or software also awards your staff the benefit of real-time data to make real-time business decisions.
As the supervisor, you have open access to employment history through previous pay stubs, infractions, and a specific employee time card. With integrated payroll data, work-based statistics, and employee profiles, you can see a clear picture of your workforce, which streamlines the scheduling process. Having the information presented in such a tangible, visual way is extremely conducive to maximized productivity for both employees and the management level.
#2 Optimal Efficiency
Web-based operation means less effort, no paper, and no errors. While you save on expenses such as these, electronic timekeeping programs simply consolidate payroll information, automatically transferring punches, transfer requests, and infractions to one database. Say goodbye to spreadsheets and countless hours of manual entry!
Because manual timekeeping involves a human element, you will make a mistake in the transcription process sooner or later, no matter how meticulous you are. Transcribing scribble and illegitimate handwriting along with trusting employees’ memory for their time reports cannot always lead to the most accurate timesheet data. That being said, mistakes mean paperwork, extra hours, and disgruntled employees. Why risk a simple typo that leads to an expensive chain of events when an electronic interface can do all the heavy lifting for a fraction of the end cost? By switching to an automated system, your HR and payroll staff save time on data entry and can instead lend to the efficiency and growth of your business by working on more strategic matters and business initiatives.
One last way the automated and electronic timekeeping can aid the efficiency of your organization is when it comes to tax and labor compliance. Each year your HR and payroll staff members need to get accustomed to new legislation and deadlines, while simultaneously keeping up with pay run demands and the needs or requests of individual employees. Having clear logs and electronic records of employee weekly hours worked, overtime hours, and time-off accrued saves the company from possible infractions and liability down the line. Instead, the employee records can quickly be accessed and reviewed to ensure proper overtime compensation was paid and the correct amount of vacation/PTO time was provided.
#3 Mobile Access
If you have employees working in the field, requiring them to physically attend the workplace to punch in at a time clock can be a cumbersome, frustrating, and entirely unnecessary experience. The mobile functionality of electronic timekeeping negates this Achilles heel; additionally, the app’s built-in GPS allows you to confirm your employees’ location, which removes the element of deceit from the equation.
Another useful aspect of the mobile app is its ability to record time data without the internet. Should your employees stray out of cell or Wi-Fi range, your app will continue marking time. Once the connection is reestablished, the app can upload the accrued data to your server of choice without a hiccup.
Physical time clocks are unreliable at best with their bulky, often archaic hardware that is prone to electrical glitches or loss of data in the event of a power outage. They are also easily tricked, and buddy punching and other exploitations affect your ability to do business. However, if you integrate your time clock with a front desk computer, you also have to worry about employees disrupting customer service to punch in or out—or risk having an inaccurate time sheet.
Electronic timekeeping takes the imposition out of punching in and out with the following advantages over physical time clocks and other electronic methods:
- No loss of data or system reset in case of power outage
- Use of mobile app eliminates lines, congregation, or otherwise work-impeding grouping of employees at the beginning and end of a shift
- No hardware installation or maintenance cost
- Up-to-date technology with intuitive interface and a simple process, thereby significantly cutting down on number of mistakes
- Seamless integration with your existing payroll system
- Offline capabilities should the Wi-Fi or cellular data go down
Most electronic timekeeping software and solutions will not have an upfront installation cost, like a physical time clock would require, but instead have a monthly fee per user. This way, you can get started on implementation right away, which will speed up rather than slow down production.
Electronic timekeeping is more than just a simple solution to a complex problem: it’s a way for you to utilize your workforce in the most effective manner possible. If you want to see how our recommended timekeeping software will work for you at your business, contact us today to request a free demo.