employee attendance and time tracking software

The average full-time employee works 37.5 hours per week in the U.S. Over half of employers experience some level of time theft or labor issues with employees clocking in or out at work.

The total cost of this lost productivity? Over $400 billion per year.

But you can avoid it by installing an automated framework now that keeps employees on task and your projects on track.

Key Takeaways:

  • Time theft results in real business losses across the economy and a workplace culture of scamming
  • Paying employees on time for actual hours worked, overtime, and tracking their deductions through automated trime tracking can result in significant money and time saved
  • The best time tracking system is the one that hardly goes noticed and keeps everyone compliant with state and federal laws, as well as proves eligibility for certain benefits like healthcare and newborn childcare leave

In this article, we’ll help you understand the benefits of automated time tracking and payroll for your employees without hassling them or making them feel micromanaged. Making time tracking easier for your employees can result in a more productive and transparent environment at work, without unnecessary stress.

Most people have been around employees and staff who had no qualms against riding the clock or voluntarily working less, knowing they would still get paid. And, while not every idle minute at work has dastardly intentions, the financial losses still add up over time.

To make matters more complicated, most employees only work three or four productive hours a day as is, even at a full-time job, and labor issues are consistently a top challenge facing small business every year. Hiring, firing and rehiring is another time and resource waster.

And, you’ll benefit from getting rid of the paper timesheets and admin when you automate the payroll and time tracking with software or an app. It’s good for the environment, and it reduces your admin costs for storage, paper and ink while streamlining the total workflow.

Employee Attendance and Time Tracking Software Your Business Needs

During the course of a normal, potentially chaotic small business day, it becomes even easier to lose track of what each hourly employee did and for how long, which can result in payroll errors and conflict. Inaccurate timekeeping can also set up compliance minefields. This all results in more challenges facing business owners, which clearly no one needs right now.

Organizations that disobey local, state, and federal wage-and-hour and overtime laws are also subject to harsh penalties and fines. Maintaining lax standards or having no policy at all to track employee hours is an avoidable mistake, right from the get-go.

Save Money by Going Paperless with Payroll Timesheets

Immediate savings for your business, from going paperless with your timesheets to not needing extra file cabinets, and reducing square footage storage expenses are just one benefit, but there’s certainly more.

Most of the time your automated time tracking system will send out a reminder before each pay period concludes for employees and contractors to confirm and verify their time for the pay period is correct. That also means no more long lines by finance’s office trying to figure out hours, days, and weeks of confusing timesheets once or twice a month.

You can easily verify the hours of each employee in your dashboard, then process their payroll instantly.

Some popular time tracking software and apps for employee payroll are:

While Asana is not a payroll software, employers can use it to see how employees should spend their time more effectively by knowing how long it takes to complete particular tasks, but those types of options may be in your project management software apps instead. And Asana integration with Clockify can also produce timesheets and allow you to expense your clients with lots of line items for their invoices to see how their dollars went to work.

Having a clear system in place that makes it easy to clock in or out and log breaks, overtime and request time off that also automates compliance will save you a lot of time and headaches and help prevent fraud, but it can also have positive effects on your employees. Today’s younger employee is pretty adept with handheld and mobile technology, as well as doing things online. They may feel more comfortable with time tracking when it’s already in their habitual domain.

Avoiding Employee Problems from Micromanagement with Easier Manual Time Tracking

No one likes seeing their boss raise their arm, pull back their sleeve, and check their watch, then give you the stink eye. Going more hands-off will allow employees to choose their own unpaid break times without having to ask, yet they’ll be able to document it transparently as a general guide. Clearly, you don’t want employees taking untimed breaks because a 10 minute break can turn into 20 pretty fast, depending on whose internal timer we’re going off of.

Tracking time through an app will ultimately teach people greater responsibility, and they’ll still be able to edit previous hours (with your permission) if they make a mistake along the way (and they certainly will). The business owner will still be able to check on employees’ work habits and provide a potential paper trail on demand, when the inkjet is deemed necessary.

Additional ways to avoid micromanaging employees:

  • Delegate more
  • Respect boundaries
  • Set expectations early
  • Hold people accountable to meet basic requirements and deadlines

Allowing employees to track their own time with an automation software program or an app gives your team more freedom and also allows you both to hold yourselves accountable. It can also provide a reminder to employees that they’re on the clock, so it’s time to get to work without being overbearing.

Another benefit is that employee attendance tracking software will show you who’s at work, even when they are working remotely. Then you can simply pop in on Microsoft Teams and hit them with the instant pep talk/ leash-pull.

Time Tracking Apps Can Help Project Managers Plan More Efficiently

Project managers who have to plan out complex tasks with lots of billable hours and multiple staff members will benefit from more extensive time tracking software that allows them to see what their employees spend their time on. Gaining insights over the most effective behaviors with time management and project management tools can help allocate the right tasks to the right people, thus making entire processes and collaborations more efficient. Having a visual element that everyone can use and update is helpful keeping everyone on board with your vision.

Time Tracking Automation Helps You Avoid Labor Law Violations 

Automating the payroll procedure helps everyone, including your legal fund.

Wage and hour violations can occur without employers even intending to do so. The most frequent ones, as reported by Tittle and Perlmuter, are:

  • Minimum wage not paid
  • Not compensating employees for their time
  • Worker misclassification
  • Errors in calculating overtime

Each state has different overtime and break rules, so automating things across the board can aid in centraliziong the process and making it more manageable.

When your employees trust that you’re able to handle all the administrative tasks for them, it can often to help to strengthen and support your workforce at a time when labor is a hot button issue of every pundit on TV. Building trust means demonstrating the ability to pay on time, every time, with the least hassle, and without undercompensating due to clerical error.

The Importance of Automating Paid Time Off (PTO) Tracking

Employees typically receive PTO on an accrual basis. Without automation, accrual per pay period requires manual tracking. As a result, accurately tracking accruing paid leave becomes a challenging process that can waste time in HR that could be spent on more useful tasks.

Free Time Tracking App for Employees at Your Business

There are some free employee time tracking apps out there, but as usual, you’ll want to read the reviews of actual users before you commit such an important aspect of your business to a potentially glitchy mess that stops working eventually. Not when there’s affordable solutions on the free market that will save you from a disaster.

As the adage goes, you get what you pay for. Read our Gusto Payroll Review or check out Freshbooks for examples of paid solutions that takes care of everything for you every month, from tracking time to payroll and deductions. It all gets done automatically and explained in lay terms, with everything filed away for you and the authorities’ regulatory burdens satisfied.

Employees who use Gusto appreciate the simple interface that provides notifications for other important things like employer verification and healthcare insurance enrollment deadlines. Paid time off accrues according to your settings and it’s all visible to the user in one convenient place.

The Bottom Line on Time Tracking for Your Business Payroll and Labor Needs

As an employee, I always saw time tracking as necessary for compliance with state and federal government laws and not very intrusive. But that was when I was working at an hourly rate, not salaried.  When I had B2B contracts at a monthly rate, I appreciated the freedom of not having to prove or track time. But, I couldn’t blame any business owner for wanting to ensure the people they’re paying are actually working, especially when they’re working off-site or remotely.

These days, it’s easier than ever and requires very little overhead to automate your payroll and time tracking.

Instituting time tracking in a business that’s accustomed to using formal paper timesheets for clocking in and out might be met with some resistance at first, but it’s not likely for most work environments, even where a central computer allows individual login for clock-in, then logging out so the next employee can follow. In the end, we think having an app that centralizes payroll and time tracking has more benefits than disadvantages, and holds everyone to a higher standard of productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions – Employee Time Tracking Automation

Why should I get timekeeping software for my business?

Because it keeps your employees accountable, time tracking is crucial for your team. Employees may lose up to an hour or more of their workday to distractions on a typical day. They are conversing with coworkers, making phone calls, or using the internet at this time. But, they are costing your company a lot of money by not working, even though that’s probably not their intention. Employees with time tracking software tend to remember they’re on the clock and act like it more often.employee attendance and time tracking software

What are some good work timesheet apps?

Gusto, Timely, Freshbooks, Monday, and Teamdeck are some solid apps with easy-to-use, reliable timesheets and time tracking for workers, employees and contractors at your business or company. While some apps just track time like clocking in or out, others show advanced insights like how a person is spending their time, on what projects, and the time it takes for them on average to complete a task.

What does vacation tracking software do?

Tracking PTO (paid time off) and how it accrues automatically is a feature of most major time tracking software to augment your business staffing and accounting needs.