The time for the traditional use of a time clock is over. No longer is there a need for employees to stand in a long line at the beginning and end of their shifts to punch a piece of paper – in the right spot and at the right time. With all the advancements in technology streamlining every-day processes in both daily life and business life, why not use some of those advancements to improve the time tracking aspect of your business as well?
Companies of all sizes have started utilizing web-based time clock software and biometric security measures to more efficiently track employee time and attendance. First, though, what exactly is a web-based time clock? It is a cloud-based online time management system that enables your employees to clock in or out of jobs or projects from authorized locations. Users can access the time clock through electronic devices such as smartphones or a terminal at the work site. The collected data is seamlessly integrated into your payroll system for you to use as you see fit. If web-based time clock software is implemented correctly, it can be an extremely cost-effective, convenient, and secure addition to your business.
Online time tracking software and systems can do much more than merely clock an employee in or out, though. Here are just a few of the many things that you can do with an online time tracking system:
1. Combat Time Theft
Undeniably, time is money. No matter what type of business you have, it is vulnerable to time theft. Some employers say that their employees would never lie about their attendance or “steal” time. However, whether intentional or unintentional, it can – and will – happen to your business if you do not put the proper security measures in place. While a few minutes here and there do not seem much of a cause for concern, misreported employee time adds up very quickly to result in a substantial loss for your business and your bottom line. A study conducted by the American Society of Employees showed that U.S. businesses lose 20% of every dollar earned because of employee time theft.
One of the most valuable benefits of a biometric time clock is its ability to all but eliminate employee time theft. A high-quality time tracking system can quickly detect fraudulent action in a matter of mere seconds, and it does not rely on any type of security camera, keyed in security pin, or badge that can be lost, forgotten or stolen.
Some typical examples of “time theft” are:
- Extended breaks
- Early arrivals/departures
- Unauthorized overtime
- Excessive personal time
- Time spent using the internet for personal reasons
- Sleeping on the job
- Buddy punching
Buddy punching is the largest cause of time theft for companies that have a large hourly workforce. Employers lose millions of dollars each year due to this practice. “Buddy punching” happens when an employee has a fellow employee clock in for them. Quite often this is because they are late or completely absent. The employee is then able to “steal” payroll from the company that they did not earn.
A biometric-based time clock uses an employee’s unique characteristics or attributes (i.e., fingerprints or facial scans) to record the employee’s attendance. These biometric security measures cannot be duplicated or forged, therefore eliminating buddy punching.
2. Increase Productivity
Web-based time clock software streamlines everything related to time tracking and can automate many processes that usually would take employees hours. Now, these tasks can be completed in a matter of mere seconds. All data entered is stored on an automated system and integrates into your payroll system. Employees can be more productive in their actual time in the workplace. They can concentrate on their assigned tasks instead of wasting time standing in line, punching a card, trying to find a manager to correct an error, and other common time tracking issues.
Management is also able to be more productive with their time now that they no longer have to spend tedious hours going over each employee’s time card line by line. Everything is already accurate and input into the system. Management also avoids having to track down employees with incorrect data, argue with employees about whether the clock is correct, enter hours into the payroll system, or spend time double or triple-checking their entries.
3. Faster ROI
A web-based time clock can offer a direct ROI through increased employee productivity, more effective cost management, and time savings. Employees can be more productive because they can rest assured that their time is being accurately recorded and they are being compensated correctly. Management can also be more productive because they will be less stressed about having to maintain time reporting accuracy. All of that is done automatically.
4. Efficient Payroll Processing
Companies will experience more efficient payroll processing due to time automation systems. The need for paper time sheets or time cards can be eliminated, saving time spent in filling them out and money spent on the supplies. Both employees and management can rest assured that human error is not a concern and that all time has been recorded with near perfect accuracy. Most employees are worried about this because it affects their payroll, but also because it affects overtime, sick time, vacation time, and other benefits. All information collected integrates into your in-house payroll department or can even be sent out to a payroll processing provider if you use one.
5. Improve Employee Accountability
Biometric time clocks also tend to increase employee accountability. No one can blame management for incorrectly entering or recording their data. When employees realize that they are personally responsible for the use and recording of their time, – breaks, time off, tardiness, etc. – productivity dramatically increases.
6. Provide Safe and Easy Access
Biometric-based time clocks tremendously increase security. Not only does it all but eliminate employee time theft, but it also ensures that PINs or forms of identification cannot be stolen. Employees can rest assured that their confidential personal and financial information is safe and secure.
This level of security and accuracy also results in effortless and straightforward access to recording their time. Lost or forgotten forms of identification are a thing of the past. Barring a severe disease or physical injury, no one can forget or lose their face or fingers.
7. Ensures Transparency
Transparency on the part of both the business and the employees is necessary for an effective and efficient workplace. Managers and business owners can get a more transparent, more complete understanding of how time is being spent and do not have to wonder or worry about whether their employees are honest and accurate with reporting their time. In return, employees do not have to be concerned that their hours were incorrectly input due to personal prejudices or internal conflicts.
Web-based time clock software also gives management live access to an employee’s time attendance records. Chronic tardiness or excessive personal time is much easier to be addressed right away as opposed to weeks later. This ensures tardiness or laziness is punished according to company policies.
The fact that time tracking systems relay accurate, objective information relieves a considerable amount of fear and distrust between the employee and employer as well as between fellow employees. Everyone can rest assured that they are being treated fairly.
8. Simplifies Schedules
Employees that have shifting schedules or locations can easily clock in or out without having to wait in the same place at the same time to do so. They can instantly record their time, no matter where they are. This is an excellent option for employees who regularly work at varying locations.
9. Instant Report Generation
Thanks to all information being automatically entered, it can also be instantly accessed by management. Reports can be quickly and easily generated in real time without lengthy processes or involving multiple departments.
10. Boost Morale
Employees are usually happy to put in extra time and effort at work if that time and energy are recognized and compensated in some way. Web-based time tracking software allows employers to accurately and quickly monitor those employees who go above and beyond their required job description. This enables employers to recognize and reward accordingly. Employees who feel valued and appreciated will be happier at work. Happy employees are productive employees.
Employees will also be more satisfied at work if they can feel confident that their extra time is not being taken advantage of or overlooked. They expect to be compensated fairly for their time, as well they should.
Conclusion: With these valuable benefits, what company can afford not to implement a web-based time clock software? There are countless options available, with more always becoming available as technology continues to advance. You can find a solution that fits your business and budget.