Time and attendance is one of a business’s most important resources, but how can you be sure it’s being used productively and efficiently?
You pay your employees and contractors to deliver results, so measuring and managing how your workforce uses their time is essential.
Are employees working their full contracted hours? Are some employees taking longer than others to complete a similar task? Are contractors ‘bulking’ their hours? How can we reduce the time spent on payroll processing?
These are just some challenges businesses face as they try to control costs, streamline workforce management and improve project management efficiency.
This article explains how time and attendance systems can simplify and automate time tracking, which is extremely important for attendance management, payroll processing, employee scheduling productivity and project management.
Time and attendance software can be used for time-tracking at the office or for managing the time of remote or home-based teams using a mobile version.
That makes these systems an essential element of a hybrid or flexible working programme.
Time and attendance systems don’t operate in isolation; you can integrate them with access control and RFID locks for doors, payroll processing, HR and project management systems to simplify processing and reduce administration.
Time and attendance software
Time and attendance software is part of a solution for tracking employee time efficiently. The data provides accurate input for other workforce management systems such as:
- Payroll management and processing
- HR management
- Attendance management
- Employee scheduling
- Resource allocation
The software manages time and attendance data by automatically calculating all hours worked, as well as vacation time, holidays, sick days, and overtime. Time and attendance solutions provide employees with convenient options for clocking in and out or recording time. The software may also include tools for analysis and reporting against key metrics.
Time and attendance systems are an integral element in effective workforce management as they provide a wide range of benefits for your business, including:
- Accurate time and attendance data
- Stronger cost control
- Improved attendance management
- Reduced administration
- Better workforce management
- Simpler management of remote employees
- Improved project management
- Better decision-making
Accurate time and attendance data
The software gathers information automatically from time recording devices or access control systems, providing accurate time and attendance data to your payroll or billing systems. The information requires no further calculation or manual processing, reducing the risk of human error.
Stronger cost control
Businesses are vulnerable to ‘time theft’ – overpayments for work that was not carried out. Accurate time reporting means that your employees and contractors will only be paid for the time they actually worked.
This reduces the risk of contractors ‘bulking up’ hours or errors in payments to employees on flexible hours.
Improved attendance management
Integrating time and attendance software with access control solutions provides the basis for an accurate, effective attendance management system.
Your employees use a ‘token’ such as a mobile app, a smart card or a biometric device to present their credentials to an access control reader.
The date and time of entering and leaving are accurately recorded for each individual, eliminating the problem of ‘buddy punching’. HR teams can then analyse the data to identify absenteeism or short-time working cases.
Time and attendance software can be integrated with payroll and HR systems to reduce the time spent on processing and administration.
A payroll processing system, for example, can take time-tracking data directly from the software with no need for manual data entry or further processing. This again saves time and eliminates the risk of human error.
Better workforce management
The information available from time-tracking software makes it easier for your line managers to analyse working patterns.
For example, comparing employees’ times for similar tasks may highlight a need for training or changes in employee scheduling. If the data identifies employees who are working excessively long hours, managers can take action to encourage a better work/life balance.
Simpler management of remote employees
If you have employees working from home, teams based in different time zones or field service teams, it can be challenging to track their time or get full visibility of their working patterns.
Time and attendance software is available as cloud-based mobile applications so that time-tracking is as accurate and manageable as it is for office-based workers. The availability of mobile time-tracking is an important element in managing flexible and hybrid working programmes.
Improved project management
Time-tracking software can help project managers improve efficiency and reduce project timescales.
The software can provide details of the time spent on individual tasks by different team members. This can help to identify any potential lags on critical paths.
Managers can then re-allocate resources to get the project back on track.
The data you have gathered can then be used to plan new projects more efficiently by providing information on timescales for individual tasks or identifying time-consuming tasks that are likely to cause delays.
It’s important to have accurate data when carrying out detailed analyses of working patterns and employees’ use of their time against key metrics.
The data available from time and attendance software can be used to improve decision-making in areas such as training, recruitment, resource scheduling or investment in additional workforce management systems.
An important contribution to productivity and efficiency
As you start to see the benefits to your business, time tracking and attendance tools can help you effectively use your most important resource – your people. You can help your business become more competitive by improving productivity, reducing administration, and lowering employee costs.
About the Author
Auria Heanley is co-founder of Oriel Partners, a boutique PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in Central London. She is extremely passionate about providing the highest quality of service to both clients and candidates. Oriel Partners’ clients range from global multinationals to small boutique firms, all requiring the same personal service and high calibre support.
With accurate time and attendance data, Chew on This reduced their labour costs by up to 30%, read their success story 👇🏻