The Best Ways of Tracking Employee’s Hours

Category: Time | By Cristina Johnson | 4 minute read | Updated Dec 6, 2022
The Best Ways of Tracking Employee’s Hours

As an employer, you have a lot on your plate, and tracking employees’ hours is one of them. This is a duty that is prone to miscalculations, and it can cost you, literally. If the average worker works 2,000 hours per year, and you overcalculate by a couple of hours, those hours add up.

There are a few options to choose from that may make your employee time tracking process go smoothly and avoid miscalculations. 

What Is The Best Way To Track Employee’s Time? 

Depending on how many employees you have, it can be a hassle to track employees’ hours efficiently while avoiding mistakes. There are a variety of techniques and services out there to help you with tracking employees’ hours.

1. Pen and Paper 

Yes, we said it: Pen and Paper. You might be thinking this is an outdated technique, but in fact, 25% of small businesses still use it. So why are companies still using the pen-and-paper technique? 

Using this method to track employee hours doesn’t require any software learning, it is the easiest technique. Pen and paper also cost little to nothing to do. Some software services want you to pay for a monthly trial.

However, when using the pen and paper technique, it’s easy to lose paper and ruin timesheets. Plus, there’s no way to verify the accuracy of the information written down by employees. 

When it comes to adding up all employee hours, it’s tedious to have to manually input each number. It’s also harder to send out changes to employees. If this happens, what do you do? Print out multiple copies and send them out again? That uses more paper. Send an email informing employees of a change? This just adds more to your plate. Using this method of tracking employees’ hours has its pros and cons. 

2. Online Spreadsheets 

Online spreadsheets such as Google Sheets and Excel are additional resources companies use to keep track of hours worked. Employers can easily share this among their employees for them to manually record their hours. Adding up employee hours takes less than three clicks. 

In a previous article, we wrote about the use of Excel for tracking employee's hours. In that article, we provide readers with a free downloadable timesheet template.

3. Time Clocks 

We probably have all used a time clock to clock in and out from work. A time clock is a device that records employees’ hours using a working hours log, password, and/or handprint. Some even use facial recognition! Here are a few reliable time clocks you can order online. 

When choosing which time clock to use, make sure it’s one that’s easy-to-use and understandable for you and your employees. Take time to research the hundreds of time clocks on the market. 

4. Time Clock Apps

According to research, 75 percent of companies are affected by time theft which can cost you as much as 20 percent of each dollar you make. That makes mobile time clock apps an even more attractive option.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in far more remote workers than ever in history, which, in turn, increased the need to find time tracking solutions for employers. However, companies with multiple job sites or field crews were already in need of automated time tracking tools for their workers.

Time clock apps like ClockShark have increased in usage and adoption, making it easier than ever for companies to track the hours of their employees and enjoy the benefits of time tracking software.

Should You Use Time Clock Software To Track Employee Hours? 

Time clock software has become popular over the past decade and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was highlighted as a useful way to track the working hours of employees who were working remotely.

Time clock software is by far the easiest, and most accurate way to track your employees in the field or on a job site.

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Benefits Of Implementing An Automated Time Tracking Solution 

Tracking employees’ hours is challenging when you’re using outdated time tracking practices. However, using an automated time tracking solution makes it simpler and has many advantages.

Improve Project Management

Projects have stages and steps and with automated time tracking, you can keep track of each stage of the projects your employees are working on. You can also use it to ensure the right amounts of time are being spent on each task within the project and schedule your employees accordingly.

Process Payroll Accurately

When you use automated time tracking to keep track of employees’ hours, you can run payroll more confidently and quickly. By being able to import employee hours into your accounting system, you no longer have to worry about the accuracy of the information and with a few clicks, you can run payroll without having to worry about manual entry and risking errors.

Encourage Accountability

Tracking employees’ hours automatically holds them accountable for the work they’re doing. Your employees will be more likely to perform their best, when they know the work they’re doing is being monitored in real-time. 

Accurate Review Of Team Performance

Being able to review the jobs being done - and who’s doing them - helps you determine who your strongest players are and who might benefit from additional training. You can also more accurately determine which employees are best for particular jobs.

Comply With Labor Laws

Labor laws are always changing but to stay in compliance with the FSMA and ensure everyone is being paid the right amount, automated time tracking makes it easier. If you do government contracts, this is particularly important because of the high level of accuracy needed to run certified payroll.

What To Look For In An Employee Time Tracking App

Before you choose an employee time tracking app, it’s helpful to know some of the key features you should look for. While each business is different, there are some things field service companies really need to have for their employee time-tracking software.

1. Geolocation 

Geolocation allows you to track where employees are at the time of any time tracking activity. You can also use geolocation to review their location throughout the workday. This not only helps you see where they were, but helps you verify they were at the jobs they said they were at, in the event that a client says your employees never showed up.

Track employees hours

2. Leave Management

Also known as Time Off or Paid Time Off (PTO), leave management that’s built into your time tracking software makes it easier to manage. If an employee requests PTO, you can more easily schedule around that time off with a good employee time tracking solution.

3. Shift Scheduling

When you use automated time tracking to track employees’ hours, it should come with a scheduling option that allows you to manage their schedules. Whether an employee is sick, out for vacation, or heading into overtime, you should be able to easily shift their schedules around and provide automated notifications of schedule changes through your time tracking software.

4. Workflow Planning

Each employee has a job to do and a good time tracking software makes it easier for you to plan each step of a project in advance, so there is no confusion about who is doing what, when. Workflow planning helps you stay organized and keeps your employees on the same page when it comes to getting their work done.

5. Integrations

From accounting and payroll software to calendars and documents, there are hundreds of integrations that make time tracking software more functional for your business. When you choose a time tracking solution, make sure it integrates with the other tools your company uses, to make the transition easier.

6. Mobile Functionality

Of course, when you have employees out in the field, you need a time tracking solution that goes where they go. Your time tracking should include a mobile app to save time so employees can clock in and out when they’re ready, rather than having to go to an office to clock in and out.

7. Ease of Use

If you adopt an employee time-tracking solution that is hard to use or confusing, your employees will be less likely to use it. Be sure the app you choose is one your employees don’t need a lot of training to use.

Using Time Clock Software to Track Employee Hours

There is a lot to consider when adopting a new technology but in today’s competitive workforce, technology is becoming a necessary tool in every business owner’s arsenal. There are multiple benefits to using an employee time tracking system to track employee’s hours, but it can be confusing to know where to start. 

If you’re ready to find the right solution for your business and employees, take time to read our Complete Guide to Employee Time Tracking so you are informed and can answer any questions your employees may have.

9,500+ companies use ClockShark to track employees and save time every month.

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