The days of using traditional clocking-in machines are over. Here's how cloud-based time tracking works and how these systems increase accuracy and save businesses time and money.
Getting employees paid in an affordable and efficient manner is one of the clearest indicators of a well-run business.
No matter the industry or size of the business, payroll is often one of the more intricate aspects of creating and executing an effective business plan. A well-structured payroll operation not only satisfies the workforce but also ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, saving the company from costly errors.
While payroll can often be a confusing process, the fundamental aspect is paying employees for the work they’ve done — making time-keeping essential.
When employees punch the clock, they need to do so with confidence that their work will be compensated and counted. At the same time, employers need to ensure they are paying for the correct hours. Timekeeping is a balance that should benefit both parties when utilized effectively.
Let’s dive into today’s time keeping options and break down what an employer should look for when deciding on the right process for their business.
What Options Are Out There?
Younger employees entering the workforce in recent years likely wouldn’t know what a physical punch clock looks like, let alone know how it works. For decades, clocking-in machines have been rudimentary and simple — but helpful.
Physical timeclocks are still necessary in some industries and can function with keypads, swipe cards, fingerprint or facial recognition.
Traditional clocking-in machines get the job done, but much like other areas of the business world, recent technology has helped make time tracking more efficient. There are now countless timekeeping software services and apps competing for businesses’ attention, becoming more and more capable over time.
Employees can utilize their laptops, tablets, or phones to punch in and out. There are geofencing capabilities to verify location with the punch along with a picture or IP address security features available. Scheduling and PTO tracking among other employee management tools often come with these technology forward timekeeping solutions.
These options provide a workable solution for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and locations, and it is all possible through cloud-based time tracking.
How Does Cloud-Based Time Tracking Work?
When moving away from a traditional clocking-in machine, businesses open up a new level of performance management and efficiency. They also make a move towards a fairer payroll process for both the employer and their employees.
The key to cloud-based time tracking is ease and availability. Being able to quickly access this essential information is key for a digital world where businesses must be nimble when it comes to finding the best practices for their needs.
Cloud-based technology takes those clocking-in machines and puts them online. Employees can track their hours on multiple devices wherever they might be working. Even with physical time clocks, the information is stored in a central database that can be accessed by the employer at any time, from multiple devices for management, tracking and payroll purposes. In a world where remote work has become increasingly common and as necessary as ever, these trends have a practical solution that can help everyone involved.
Benefits For All Involved
Timekeeping not only allows employers to know what their labor costs are paying for but allows employees the peace of mind that none of their work will go without compensation.
For employers, the biggest difference is easy and more accurate record-keeping. Cloud-based time tracking has revolutionized the payroll process for businesses to create reports, allowing for better-informed decisions regarding labor costs as well as simplifying the process during tax season.
Employees also benefit from the advancements in timekeeping. While it may seem like a one-sided movement based on lack of trust by the employer, these services do offer an incentive for a more flexible work environment.
Not only does the shift to cloud-based time tracking reduce the need for employees to work in one distinct location, it can also reduce unnecessary tasks that bog down the workday.
Studies show that workers waste more than 21 hours per week on menial tasks such as low-profile emails or other everyday nuisances. Introducing a more tech-savvy and automated time-keeping solution will make for a more accurate reading of what employees do on a daily basis, allowing employers to delegate more evenly across their workforce.
Is This Shift Good for My Small Business?
As with every aspect of running a small business, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when deciding what works best.
Some concepts may not require a shift towards cloud-based time tracking like others do. Small retail stores may be able to continue using traditional clocking-in machines because their employees will always need to be on site.
For businesses that run at multiple locations or have pivoted to flexible and remote work, these shifts may be perfectly suited. For those small businesses that are already spread too thin, it’s also possible to outsource to payroll providers that offer timekeeping services as well.
The key is to decide which type of timekeeping is best, and then deciding on which platform most closely fits your budget and needs.