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How To Keep Track Of Employees’ Hours


time clock

Keeping track of the hours your employees are working is essential. Upon starting out a business it may seem like a simple task. But once you start taking into account lunch breaks, people having to go home early or working overtime, holidays, sick days, jury duty and all other manner of paid absences, it can all get very complex. There are various methods in action today for keeping on top of your staff’s working hours.

Here are some of those methods:

Pen and Paper.

This old-skool approach is still used by many companies for its simplicity, although it has reliability issues. Time cards are a system used by many service industries that require staff to write down their hours upon clocking in and clocking out. There is a huge margin here for error and fraud, so this system generally requires few employees and an employer with a strong memory and a careful eye.

Some employees will sidestep employee-recorded-timekeeping altogether, recording it all down themselves, but this can be tricky and time-consuming business.

Employee badge swipe.

This electronic system is widely used and involves employees clocking into a machine manually either by entering a code, inserting a card or key, entering their fingerprint or a combination of all of these. This system prevents other employees from filling in false details, as well as digitally recording the precise time of clocking in and clocking out so that an exact hourly rate can be given.

Occasionally, employees will forget to punch in and out, and so some diligence is still required. Clocks can also play up occasionally, so having a backup written method can be advantageous.

Digital timesheets.

For employees that aren’t purely confined to one building or office for work, a digital timesheet could be the option. These can be accessed from a remote location such as a computer or phone. Some work on GPS, only beginning to calculate a worker’s hours once they enter a certain area. Others require the user to manually clock in and clock out. If your hourly calculation relies on a variety of different timekeeping methods, you can use Avaza for it or another all-purpose timekeeping software. These can be the most accurate timekeeping methods but are more suited to companies with lots of remote staff.

Other aspects to consider.

Even with a digital system in place, people will make mistakes, whether it’s the employee or you the employer. Aforementioned aspects such as overtime, holidays and absence due to sickness can catch people out.  It’s important to correct these as soon as possible to prevent underpaying or overpaying someone. Generally an employee would be quite happy if you paid them for too many hours, although you would lose out on it. The worst you can do is pay someone too little, as this could incite a lawsuit. Keeping observant is therefore important, to avoid swindling your staff or being swindled.  Having another trusted employee who can also keep on top of this and cover for you when you are absent may benefit.