Tracking employee attendance is important to every organization for many reasons. Up-to-date data is crucial for the purposes of processing payroll efficiently, accessing the optimization of time spent during working hours and calculating employee annual leaves.
Companies who do not time track often find themselves unable to account for the amount of time spent on a certain project or assignment, therefore making it difficult to effectively calculate ROI. When your employees track how they make use of their time, it paves the way for easy project costing and projections while giving you an insight to project costs. In addition, time tracking enhances customer support because you can better determine delivery dates with accurate estimates.
Here are 5 commonly practiced methods of tracking employee attendance:
1. Journals and paper timesheets
Hand-written journals or paper timesheets have been practiced since the beginning of paperwork. It may come as a shock to some but nowadays companies still do manually track their employee’s time and attendance. This is a preferred method of small companies (think a team of 10 or less) who have only one manager overseeing the schedules of all employees.
However, such traditional methods can be extremely inefficient and fruitless at a modern workplace. Firstly, as it is mandatory for staff to keep a manual record of what they do, they would feel obliged to make something up to fill up the form for the sake of filling it up. While doing so is absolutely timewasting for the employees, employers will be disadvantaged because of the possibility of dishonest time tracking. Secondly, manually processing paper time sheets is extremely tedious and takes up a lot of time that could be saved by using automatic time tracking software.
2. Punch cards
The use of punch cards involves the use of mechanical or electronic devices for employee attendance. Most widely used was the paper punch cards allowed for time stamps that were punched by a connected clock, giving the term “clocking in the hours”. While paper punch cards are still the norm for a lot of companies nowadays, a more contemporary method to clock in and clock out is a swipe technology that is compatible with magnetic card readers.
With that, employees can swipe in and out of work, to streamline the process of tracking attendance and save valuable time. Administrators can automatically build timesheets to track punctuality and hours spent at work. However, this way of tracking employee attendance allows for employees to take advantage of a flaw in the system; they can ask a co-worker to punch in and punch out on their behalves, as no personal verification is needed.
Organizations that manage a mobile workforce, such as field sales and delivery and dispatch, can use GPS for time clocking. Doing so enables HR departments to aggregate employees’ billable hours with zero-touch job site attendance records that integrate with standard payroll systems. Some obvious benefits of Global Positioning System (GPS) include the ability to manage employees in real-time with location information and activity alerts. Most GPS tracking software come with additional features such as messaging and push-to-talk call bursts.
A particular downside of using GPS would be employees’ concerns over personal privacy. According to Forebes.com, a lawsuit filed in California in 2015 raised questions for companies that track their employees by GPS. The case arose after a sales executive discovered that her employer was tracking her movements regardless of whether she was on or off work. Managers of GPS systems must therefore observe boundaries and not abuse the authority that was entrusted to them.
4. Biometric systems
Biometric systems have been used for security purposes and attendance tracking because it is impossible to copy a finger or handprint. Some biometrics terminals may even have the ability to recognize hand shape and size. Using such a system can help companies ensure that employees are truly present when they clock in and out of work.
Over the years, this technology is not limited to merely hands and fingers; there are some technologies that have the ability to scan a person’s iris to recognize the individual. On top of that, there are a few biometrics terminals in the market that can an image of a person’s unique face shape and use this to allow employees access to features on the terminal.
QR Code with Photo Audit Trial
This may be new to you, but the QR Code with Photo Audit Trial is the future of tracking employee attendance. Using it is simple. A special tablet software is installed for easy, unobtrusive face-scanning as employees arrive at work. All they have to do is present their QR codes on their mobile phones while facing the tablet’s camera. This will ensure that an employee’s face is captured, solving the issue of buddy-punching. The QR code will help to track sign-ins and new project updates. Thereafter, almost immediately, the software will sync to a cloud base where you can assess Time Clock activities in a glance!
5. Facial Recognition
A more advanced technology that eliminates ‘buddy punching’ and phantom hours is face-scanning. With a foolproof interface, the tablet software is able to print reports quickly.
Employers can track their employees’ hours in an unobtrusive manner. On top of that, payroll processing is made so much simpler with this sophisticated technology.
In sum, as technology progresses, we stand to benefit when it comes to tracking employee attendance with the abundance of time tracking software in the market. Employers can optimally and efficiently allocate resources with an accurate understanding of employees’ working hours.