Time Tracking: Why You Need It for Your Business

We’ve come a long way from the days of punch cards. Thanks to modern technology, time tracking is a lot easier. But that doesn’t mean managers can’t do even better. Some organizations are happy to think that keeping track of hours using things like spreadsheets and other forms of data entry are good enough. While this certainly helps cut down on paperwork, it achieves little else.

Big or small, no business can afford to waste productivity on a function that – thanks to current SaaS options – requires little human intervention. Yet this is exactly what many companies still do to this day.

Simply put, time tracking is best left to a streamlined, automated system. It’s proactive, effective and sensible for a variety of reasons.

 

Accuracy

First and foremost, we need to acknowledge the most glaring problem that occurs when companies don’t take advantage of time tracking technology.

We’ve all heard someone use the expression “I’m human” to brush off the fact that they made a mistake. But as a manager, how far would that excuse take you when an employee has been shorted on his or her paycheck because of a typo in Excel?  If you’re lucky, all you’ll need to do is write a new check. But if you have to send the corrections to a payroll or accounting department, you can imagine how drawn-out and nightmarish that can get for both yourself and the affected worker.

 

Monitoring Schedule Adherence

Absenteeism and tardiness are always a problem, but detecting every single infraction can be difficult. When left up to a small group of supervisors, it is not hard for employees to slip through the cracks and get away with a few late arrivals or early departures. Maybe even some supervisors simply do not care enough about the extra one or two minutes their team members take on their breaks.

Such behavior is not just costly; leaving it unnoticed – and unpunished – will not deter people. If anything, they’ll continue pushing their luck and wasting valuable company time.

Of course, with an automated system, such issues would be easy to track and address. Computers don’t play favorites, nor are they prone to overlook “time theft.” It is a great way to ensure fairness when enforcing staff compliance, while at the same time identifying problem employees. It allows for a more proactive, rather than reactive, approach to schedule and task adherence. Plus, knowing that their time will be accurately tracked is an effective deterrent for would-be time thieves.

 

Avoiding “Buddy Punching”

Another proverbial thorn in the side of supervisors and HR professionals alike, “buddy punching” is an infraction where an employee has a co-worker punch in on his or her behalf. This was particularly problematic during the days of basic punch cards.

What makes this practice particularly heinous is the fact that tardy employees can easily get away with coming in late. With a loophole like this, it is not a stretch to assume that some individuals make a habit of this. In the end, they exploit their peers and are paid not to work. This is a terrible thing to do, both from a moral and financial standpoint. 

Time tracking software can help. These programs allow employers to set up individual user names and passwords for employees to log in electronically. Additional identification like the employee’s photo and location can be required. Consequently, it becomes difficult to have someone punch in on someone’s behalf.

 

Convenience

Considering how complicated it can be to run a business, any simplification is beneficial. Time tracking software is a useful tool in this case.

First, using an electronic system to track when employees punch in and out eliminates paperwork.   

Second, using time tracking software helps with accurate record keeping, providing a single, centralized real-time system where any employee’s hours are available for quick reference.

Third, these programs keep the function of time tracking centralized, regardless of how many locations or departments need to be monitored. Having a single system, accessible from any internal computer, is far better than co-ordinating attendance paperwork across different departments and offices.

 

Compliance with Labor Laws

The Ministry of Manpower is very clear regarding the issue of overtime. Unfortunately, human error can often result in miscalculation, depriving employees of the overtime pay they legally deserve.

Supervisors can easily refer to these electronic records to determine when overtime pay applies, and distribute it accordingly. It reduces the risk of potential litigation, while facilitating accurate payment.

 

For simple-to-use and easy-to-set-up time tracking software, try out eTimeclock for free today.

Yi Ting Kwa

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