Managing employee time and attendance (clock ins and outs) is a hassle in itself, but with a mobile workforce, you have an entirely new problem on your hands.
Time clock calculators are cloud-based automated systems that allow your employees to clock in using an app on their phones - and with the added geo-tagging feature, you know they are on the field when they punch in/out.
The fact that everything is digital and that data is king in the 21st century should be enough to convince any business to shift to more modern methods of employee timekeeping, but you’d be surprised to know that this isn’t the case.
Many small-sized companies become comfortable with age-old systems, such as punch cards or timesheets, as they may be living by the classic saying, If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. It’s a system that works for them right now, so they assume that it is the best solution.
But keeping track of when your employees come in, take breaks, or work overtime is only easy to track when you have a handful of employees to monitor, but as your workforce increases, you can’t rely on shift schedules alone to calculate payroll.
Additionally, these unreliable methods often lead to time theft because of improper monitoring. So, any business that wants to grow needs to switch to newer attendance solutions that require more accountability from the employee and also make your job easier.
Businesses that have employees working at remote sites, for example, servers catering an offsite event, can especially benefit from utilizing a time clock calculator.
If you’re manually calculating your employee’s working hours, there’s a high chance that you fall in with a large number of businesses that make calculation errors. In fact, there’s a 1%-8% of calculation error rate in organizations that use conventional methods of timekeeping.
This, no matter how unintentional, is a violation of labor laws and can open you up to IRS penalties and lawsuits.
Consider this, 40% of SMBs have to pay an average of $845 in IRS penalties each year.
One way to avoid this is to make policies that keep your business up to date with labor regulations; another is to invest in a smart timekeeping solution, such as a time clock calculator.
The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) is the federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime, record keeping and specifications for non-exempt employees, etc. The Act also requires businesses to keep precise records of employee work hours for at least two years, available for inspection.
While it doesn’t set a standard method of timekeeping, using punch-cards and timesheets can be very difficult - especially since you have to store and keep the data readily available for long periods of time.
For one, physical data takes up a lot of filing or storage space and is difficult to manage. It can lead to problems such as human error, data duplication, or having no backup of your records.
Consider that you misfiled an employee’s records and a government audit is upcoming; you now have to waste a lot of time and effort in finding that data to avoid a penalty.
Data loss is another very real issue that comes with manual data storage. Your records can be destroyed as a result of accidents or natural disasters, and this too can put you in a lot of trouble with the government. To make matters worse, a large number of small businesses never reopen after a disaster as they simply cannot cope with the loss of data.
With employee time and attendance apps - the modern method - you can store large amounts of information in remote cloud locations. This ensures that you have the data easily available at any given time and you no longer have to worry about surprise audits.
According to a report by NERA, businesses tend to get sued for improper reimbursement of overtime pay 42% of the time - and you could end up the same way if you’re not careful.
As per law, the working hours of non-exempt employees need to be efficiently documented to determine compensation eligibility.
In fact, FLSA demands that these employees be paid for over-time even if it’s unauthorized and there is no financial win in this situation - if you do pay, you will spend more money than you expected and if you don’t, then you might get penalized.
While paper-based systems aren’t completely inept at keeping these records, they can make calculating these hours a very difficult task.
With easily accessible and efficiently sorted data, you can track employee overtime and also decide if hiring additional workers would be more cost-effective.
It is far more difficult to keep track of an employee who works out in the field, than one who comes in every day and can be visibly accounted for.
This can cause a lot of trouble for your business which can easily be avoided by updating your attendance and timekeeping system.
1. Cuts Down On Memory Leaks
Let’s take for instance that you own a small catering company, and the location of each event varies from day-to-day, week-to-week.
To ensure that you can accurately and easily track the hours that your workers have put in, you ask them to fill out a timesheet at the end of each week.
This will allow you to calculate the weekly wages for each employee and even systematically account for overtime hours so there are no surprises at the end of the month.
While this may seem like a good solution, we’re here to tell you that it isn’t as great as it sounds. In fact, you’re losing money without even realizing it.
But you don’t have to take our word for it.
Typically, people who clock in less frequently are not as accurate at keeping track of their work, and employees who log in their hours only once a week are unable to keep precise records. Oddly enough, employees are also more likely to remember working more hours than they actually did.
A time clock calculator allows you to efficiently keep time of even remote employees on a daily basis, which means that you can cut down on any additional costs due to memory leaks.
2. Cross-Channel Accessibility And Availability
Paperless timesheet apps are great for managing remote and mobile employees even if you don’t want to get rid of your old-school punch-clock.
This cross-channel accessibility helps your employees - and you - keep a record of hours worked.
Managers can easily track who has clocked in or clocked out and whether or not they were late; work-hours not completed can be highlighted for better wage calculations.
With the geo-tagging feature that a good timekeeping app offers, you can see the live location of your workers at all times - even while timing in and out, so you know they didn’t sign in from a coffee shop a block away.
With such apps, you can even schedule work before time so there’s no communication gap or discrepancy between the on-ground workforce and managers.
It’s often difficult to keep tabs on the tasks that require more time and effort which is why most workers are paid the same across the board. While this may not seem like much of an issue, it can negatively affect your business in the following ways.
1. It Means That You’re Either Underpaying Or Overpaying Employees
The same salary across the board means that each worker is being paid the same hourly rate, despite the requirement/complexity of work.
Take two workers for instance; both are putting in 8 hours a day at work.
While one of these can spend more time on breaks because of less workload, the other is utilizing all of his work hours to finish the task at hand.
Paying both these employees the same wage means that you’re either paying one employee more than you should or the other less than they deserve.
2. It Can Make Workers Who Have Heavy Labor Tasks Feel Unappreciated
Unequal wage and work distribution can affect employee loyalty and you probably do not want to deal with a disgruntled workforce - especially if you aren’t on-site to deal with the consequences.
So what’s the solution? Simple, use a timekeeping app.
These can help you monitor the tasks that require more work and when each employee punched in and out of breaks so you can analyze and calculate appraisals/wages accordingly.
Communicating with remote employees can be a hassle.
How do you direct them regarding new tasks or making changes in the schedule?
More importantly, how do you ensure maximum productivity and engagement?
According to a study conducted by Gallup, disengaged employees are 49% more prone to cause accidents and 60% more likely to make errors. This can cost your business $450 to $550 billion annually in productivity losses.
With a time clock calculator, you can conveniently add up the hours employees have worked, schedule and reschedule tasks and track them through real-time notifications of breaks.
You can also use this feature to remind your workers that it’s time to take a break by sending out notifications that they can receive on their phones.
If you’re now leaning in favor of getting an automated time-keeping and attendance solution for your business, then you’re on the right path. But installing and upgrading doesn’t always mean instant results.
Here are a few things you will need to consider before you make the leap .
Your Current Problems
Before you can look for the exact solution, it is important to make a list of all the problems you need to be sorted.
How is your business suffering because of outdated attendance methods? It could be anything from buddy punching to employees working during paid vacation time.
Analyze each situation and see which feature of the app can help with the issue.
Understanding Your Employees
No matter how efficient a system you install, a dishonest employee will always try to cheat the system.
Before such workers threaten the security and credibility of your new attendance-keeping methods, it would probably be better to highlight them and take required measures.
Try to find out what their grievances are and what led them to take the steps they did. This can also help you become aware of issues in your work policies that you did not know existed.
In conclusion, consider how your employees sign in - both the method and the frequency - has when resounding impact on your business.
Not only can the wrong timekeeping measures lead to financial problems, but it can also put you in legal trouble such as lawsuits and penalties.
Employee efficiency can also be affected, especially if they work remotely - less check means less need for them to put out their best.
With Zip Clock’s time calculators, your employees are accounted for every second that they put in for their work, no matter where they are.
For more information on how online attendance software can help your business run, visit our website to see all the distinct features offered.