Very technically speaking, a boss does not have to have a time clock for employees to check-in and out. You can take their word for it, and you can write the info down on a napkin if you must.
But, there are layers of laws that require you to pay fairly, timely, and accurately. That’s the bargain employers strike with their workers. And, if you are called upon the document their time and attendance, you need the best records possible.
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How big or small?
It doesn’t matter how big or small the business is, the requirements are the same although you do not have to meet them in the same way.
Small companies will often use paper records and move on to common software templates like Excel and Google Sheets. Off-the-shelf programs like QuickBooks or FreshBooks can do the trick, too.
Still, the data entry, information sort, payroll integration, and tax payment, these all take time, a precious cost to small business owners. Writing for The Balance, Susan M. Heathfield, says, “Tracking your employee’s attendance is important to your company’s bottom line.”
The biggest employers have moved into sophisticated and complex Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) at a considerable but necessary cost given the size of the business population and payroll.
In addition, there are businesses with unique problems at different stages of growth. They are not “simple” in organization or function.
Startups and entrepreneurship are more dynamic than organized, more fluid than straight-lined. Their success depends on their agility, flexibility, and innovation.
So, something in the style and purpose changes the needs for administrative support and response. According to the marketing team at Clockspot.com, an employee time tracking site, “Automate the stuff you hate! Run payroll reports in just a few clicks.”
Just for example –
Some bustling businesses present problems specific to time and attendance.
One is a medical practice with patient hours running from 8 A.M. to 7 P.M. That puts some employees on a part-time basis and others on full-time. Their work schedules float to cover the busiest parts of the day. And, some may move from one office location to another. That complicates things.
Another business does construction with crews at several locations around town. Skilled and unskilled labor arrive and leave, and some move from one place to another. Recording the hours and managing the talent complicate things. Companies such as Great Dane HVAC have service personnel in the field throughout the day, and it is important to know how long the average service call lasts to aid future scheduling.
Yet another business works with and through remote employees. Owners need to know where employees are as well as when. They and their performance benefit from real-time awareness of who is in the workplace and available at the time.
Making it digital.
Giving up the handmade and manual methods for technology presents a clear and logical alternative. Ilya Pazin, writing for Inc.com, recommends breaking the traditional time-clock as a morale and productivity killer.
He points out, “The nature of work has changed, but too many businesses still automatically adopt a rigid schedule without considering its effects on employee productivity and happiness.”
So, opting for a user-friendly employee timesheet system makes imminent good business sense.
What to look for?
The first key feature must be easy online access from any smartphone, landline, or computer device.
The inclusion of a GPS and caller ID tells you who is reporting and where. And, using job codes follows the talent and integrates with payroll and workers’ comp needs.
The ability to track PTO and leaves keeps the labor burden current and supports the strategic allocation of human capital now and in the future.
And, it must be easily navigated on both ends of the system at work.
Author’s Bio: Michael F. Carroll
Mike Carroll is a freelance contributor to OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.