How Do I Track My Employees Time? | Actionable Solutions You Can Implement Now
Got a feeling employees are skimming hours? Need to track time for accounting? Get the answer to “How do I track my employees time?” in this guide.
In 2015, the average American employee worked almost 173 hours more than a worker back in 1980. Back then, the yearly average work time was only 1,638.3 hours. 40 years later, that went up to 1,811.16 hours.
That’s almost 22 more work days in a year!
But even with these “long hours” at work, employers are still losing billions of dollars. Unhappy (and unproductive) employees alone may already be costing the U.S. up to $550 billion a year.
So, how do your people fare?
One way to know that is to first answer the question, “How do I track my employees’ time?” By knowing how much time they’re spending on actual work, you’ll also have an idea of how productive they are.
Ready to know the truth behind those “reported” billable hours from your employees? Then let’s dive right into it!
Track My Employees’ Time: Why Do It in the First Place
Before we discuss the how, let’s first talk about the why.
First up: To ensure your people are doing actual work and not spending up to an hour of their workday on their phones. Or watching too many videos that aren’t related to their work. Employee monitoring systems can even track the quantity of work activity done on computers.
You also need to track employee hours to know if they’re punctual, and if they’re late, how late they are. Tracking also lets you confirm that they’re not going home earlier than they should. And knowing that they went on over time can ensure accurate OT pay.
Measuring Time In and Time Out
Wall-mounted time card swipe systems are the modern version of punch card systems. Employee ID cards serve as the “time card”, which they swipe to time in and time out. The reader in the machine logs the exact time, down to the seconds, when the user swiped the card.
You can integrate these systems with computer programs for accounting. Your HR and finance and accounting departments can see right away who’s late, who did OT, or who timed out early. It makes billing billable hours easier and more accurate.
Some card swipe systems can even act as a form of added security at the workplace. These systems connect to a computerized door which only opens for users with chipped IDs. So, only employees with identification cards are free to get in and out of the office.
Swipe systems are great for tracking punctuality, but what if you don’t have an office in the first place? Say your team comprises of several of the 53 million Americans who freelance.
In this case, you can track employee hours through computer monitoring apps. These programs are like swipe systems, recording clocked in time up to when users clock out.
A time tracker app can also have a screenshot feature, which takes photos of the user’s desktop. The screenshots give you an idea of the programs and websites used by your people while at work. You’ll know if they’re concentrating on a project or if they’re only watching videos on YouTube.
You can also set employee time tracking tools to collect data from the computer itself. This can be info on what programs and apps are open and the URLs of visited websites. The data can even include the length of time an employee spends on these sites.
All these features allow managers to perform more accurate employee time tracking. At the same time, they can also ensure everyone is using their time at work to be productive.
Cloud-Based Employee Time Trackers
A cloud-based work time tracker eliminates the need for downloading software onto computers. Rather than having to install a program into a device, you can access these tools online. Employees also benefit, as they don’t have to use up valuable computer memory.
These time trackers pretty much do the same thing as computer monitoring software. They can also record employees’ time in and time out and gather data on how users utilize their work hours. You can also track how much time they spend on tasks and projects.
Furthermore, you can integrate these time trackers with your company’s own reporting tools. That can simplify accounting and reduce risks of payroll errors.
Cloud-based employee time tracking tools are a great option for businesses that outsource. That’s a lot of businesses, seeing as there are about 300,000 jobs outsourced every year.
Mobile Time Tracking Tools
If you have team members who hail from other countries, consider a mobile device time tracker. That way, your people can log in to work wherever they may be using their mobile device. These trackers also offer the added feature of tracking mobile device usage.
Plus, you can pinpoint where exactly in the world they’re working from. These time tracker tools have GPS functionalities, so you’ll know if they’re at home or in a cafe. You can also check the map to see if they’re “clocked in” but are actually somewhere they shouldn’t be.
Choosing a Robust Time Tracking Solution
The best time trackers offer computer, cloud-based, and mobile tracking in one service. But you still have the option to choose only what fits your and your team’s needs and preferences. Know that these multi-platform solutions offer the greatest number of tracking features though.
Also, before you start monitoring your people, ask them how they feel about it first. That’s why you should communicate the benefits of these time tracking tools.
Tell them how these allow for accuracy of reporting, especially of billable hours. Employees themselves benefit, since they can review their actual hours worked. They can also use the data to improve, as they’ll know how long they usually work on projects.
The fact itself that they don’t have to carry out manual record keeping already works on their favor. This already helps them ensure they’re paid right and on time. Plus, they have access to view their hours worked so they can report or contest deficiencies.
Get Tracking Now
Now that you have your answer to the question, “How to track my employees’ time?”, next is to choose the best solution. Consider the number of employees you want to track and your budget. To give you an idea, the most affordable tracking tools only cost $5 per user.
Once you’re ready to get tracking, explore your time tracking options. You can start by checking this comprehensive guide on time trackers.
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