Our workplaces are no longer the homogenous models they used to be! We are in an era where – along with all other aspects of life – our workplaces are undergoing a sea of change.
Driven largely, of course, by the advent of modern technology. Employers and employees now work on a plethora of arrangements: traditional on-site models, work-from-home, hybrid, retainer-based, gig-based…and, from recent trends, even moonlighting-based!
As a result, the number of hours worked by employees is not as easy to monitor as it used to be, especially for remote teams. Further, just because a remote employee has “clocked in”, it doesn’t mean he is working on tasks for you! Suppose he was goofing off in a park?
~~~ Managing Remote Employees ~~~
Modern technological advances have made it easier for firms to employ remote teams. Tech tools like high-speed internet, smartphones, and mobile hotspots have made such remote work teams possible.
Remote employees can often be less productive than their onsite counterparts because they may believe that “their work hours aren’t being monitored”.
Time-attendance software, however, helps companies collect data and analyze it against their assigned work schedules, critical operating tasks, deliverables (etc.) to see if there is any irresponsible behavior.
Additionally, due to such remote teams and their (often) varied work hours, especially for global teams, there are often errors in payroll calculations.
However, with today’s advanced technologies, companies have now rapidly adopted modern systems – such as time-attendance software – that goes a long way in managing such issues. With none of the stress!
This blog will focus on why time-attendance software is a must-have to manage remote teams.
1) What is time attendance software?
A time attendance software – as the name suggests! – is software that companies use to keep track of employee attendance, especially those that work remotely. Such software systems can also track employee activity on the job, improve payroll calculations, improve efficiency on the job, and prevent possible malpractices.
Remember, time attendance software isn’t because organizations don’t trust their employees, but, to monitor employees that don’t spend company work hours working.
Sometimes, they could even be moonlighting for other companies on your time.
Companies would – naturally- want to ensure that their paid employees are being productive during their work hours and not engaging in other activities, including extended lunch breaks, leaving early, being incommunicado (etc.). And, the first step toward that is making sure your remote employees put in their scheduled hours.
Time-attendance software does exactly that – it records punch-in-punch-out times, and tracks vacation, sick days, travel days (etc.).
~~~ Does Your Company Require Time-Attendance Software? ~~~
Monitoring employee attendance is an important task. Accurate data about check-in-check-out, overtime, and shift times must be maintained to assess employee performance. It is also important for payroll calculations.
Here are some common problems that would tell you you need such software:
- Attendance record errors
- Poor productivity
- Approving leave requests are cumbersome and manual
- Often, HR teams have to call up employees to figure out why they aren’t present during work hours
2) Top benefits of using time attendance software for remote teams
i) Monitoring employee productivity: Well, employee productivity is a key element in the growth and success of firms. If your employees aren’t productive enough (i.e. effective, result-oriented, goal-driven, and accountable), your organization will struggle to become a sustainable and profitable one. Soon, your competitors will surge ahead.
With time-attendance software, team leaders get a sense of how a remote employee is spending his work hours. Whether on tasks assigned to him or, for example, spending inordinate amounts of time on social media.
Identifying bottlenecks, analyzing which tasks take more work hours than originally planned, correcting the deviation, and checking planned deliverables vs. actual deliveries (etc.) are data and metrics that allow companies to improve productivity. As a result, they can steal a march over their competitors.
ii) Robust reporting suite: The software enables HR teams to receive comprehensive reports about the overall activity of the employees during work hours.
Mobile or browser-based interfaces allow HR managers to keep track of time taken to complete tasks vs. time allotted and work with employee reporting managers to match that against employee task lists, deliverables (etc.) over some time.
All this helps companies get a handle on maintaining checks-n-balances on ensuring employee productivity. For example, software coders that work remotely can easily take more than their fair share of breaks during the day.
Communications between employees, their managers, co-workers (etc.) can also be tracked to analyze employee activities and assign work schedules based on such information.
iii) Tracking internet activity: In today’s hyperactive – frenzied? – In the world of the internet and social media, companies believe they must monitor their employee internet activity. Again, not as a tool of crucifixion but as a means of ensuring that work hours aren’t being whiled away by long hours of internet surfing.
From a safety perspective, you also don’t want your employees to visit sites that are disallowed by the company e.g. online betting sites. The software notifies the employer by sending alerts and also informs the employee that such sites are banned.
iv) Tracking chat time: Time and employee tracking software is a proactive tool that also helps companies to monitor that one social media tool that we all use incessantly i.e. chats!
Companies can monitor who their employees are chatting with, any documents or information they are sharing (etc.). While a certain amount of internet activity or chat is acceptable to most companies, it is the misuse of the easy availability of such social media tools that companies try and prevent. This is especially true in the case of remote employees.
Such data can be matched with employee attendance, time sheets, and manager feedback to assess the overall productivity of the employee over a period of time. This, then, forms an important part of annual appraisals.
Conclusion: Time attendance software is an effective method of keeping track of remote employee activity during the workday. It is an efficient, easy, and cost-effective way of ensuring that company productivity is maintained.
Remember though, there are legal clauses that must be explained to employees and their consent taken when companies use such monitoring tools.
Lastly, such tools should not become demonic so that employees start resenting them, or even resulting in the company developing an undesirable reputation.
They are to maintain an overall framework of operational guidelines for remote employees and to guide employees to use their work hours as best as possible.
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