It’s easy to switch from pen and paper to a clock-in clock-out app, that is of course once you know what to expect and how to best prepare. Let’s go through it together– with an in-depth overview of the benefits and how to utilize time clock systems to the maximum.
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Knowing where and how your employees are spending their time during work hours can provide real insight into your bottom line.
Although this is a super easy concept to comprehend, so why is the actual action of time tracking so difficult to master? Well, if you’re using pen and paper to write down your daily activities and the amount of time that was spent on each of them, you’re opening yourself up to a colossal amount of mistakes. But, never mind that, because if you’re not on it 24/7 and unable to jot everything down immediately, you’ll have to guess the time you clock in and clock out.
The likelihood of errors, payroll mistakes, and buddy punching from this, is all too real. But there is a solution, it’s time to make the switch to an online time tracking solution.
As many companies are making the switch to digital solutions to effectively track time, we are looking at the benefits of a time tracking software from real feedback, as well as the best practices for using it, in this guide.
Benefits of Clock-In Clock-Out Apps
Manual time tracking is hard. Digital solutions make tracking time much easier. Remember, time tracking shouldn’t feel complicated. But it often is because of the hours you must pour into accurate payroll and timesheet management.
Are you unsure if you’re ready to have an app help you track time? Check out the surprising benefits of using a clock in and out app.
Prevent Buddy Punching
According to the American Payroll Association, time theft affects 75% of U.S. businesses.
One of the most common reasons for time theft is buddy punching. Buddy punching happens when one person clocks in or out for another person. Unfortunately, it’s hard for many companies that use punch cards to detect buddy punches.
A time-clock app is incredibly useful for stopping buddy punching. Solutions like Connecteam require employees to clock in from their smartphones, eliminating the need for outdated time-tracking systems. When buddy punching stops, it can save your business a lot of money.
Learn more about time theft in this detailed guide. You’ll find out how time theft happens, why it happens, and how to prevent it.
No Rounding Up
An app for employees to clock in and out doesn’t round up minutes or seconds when it comes to how long an employee worked. No more losing minutes per day or hours per month. An employee time-clock app tracks time down to the exact second.
Time clock apps (or solutions that have robust time clock capabilities) can also provide an accurate overview of time-off during a week, month, or other pay period. Knowing how much time workers take off and whether it was paid or unpaid are helpful during the payroll process.
Low Error Rates
A clock in and out app might not eliminate every time tracking mistake — but it’s great at reducing them. The IRS reports that 33% of employers make payroll errors. These errors can be costlier than you might think.
According to the American Payroll Association, time-tracking errors cost 1-8% of a company’s payroll expenses. A solution like Connecteam can automatically track when workers clock in, clock out, or take time off. Having this information automatically prepared helps prevent costly payroll errors.
Using the right app for employees to clock in and out automates and organizes how you track employees’ time. It also stops you from tracking time by combing through Excel spreadsheets.
These apps should also keep time-off-related information easily accessible. This kind of solution can help you learn who’s taking time off and why.
The best mobile time-clock apps also integrate with payroll software. Connecteam integrates with Quickbooks Online and Gusto for quick and 100% accurate payroll.
Quickly React to Overtime
When an employee goes into overtime, time-clock apps send alerts and can help sort it out.
Sometimes, overtime is as simple as an employee forgetting to clock out. But in any case, it’s always beneficial to be a step ahead.
It’s not as spooky as it sounds! A time-tracking app tags a GPS location stamp when employees clock in and out. You’ll always know where and when workers clock out or in, eliminating unnecessary detours or unwanted stoppages. A time tracker also ensures you pay employees for their work instead of wasting money on lost hours.
Connecteam, for example, uses built-in Breadcrumbs technology to collect random location points, tracking employees’ movements throughout their shifts. This feature lets a manager instantly know where clocked-in employees are (or aren’t).
You can immediately see how many hours you need to pay at any given moment. There’s no waiting until the end of the day, week, or month.
Solutions like Connecteam let you:
- Track everyone’s time from a smartphone
- See when employees clock in or out.
- Create and update attendance policies quickly
- Prevent buddy punching and other forms of time theft.
- View how much time off workers have available.
- Automatically calculate hours and time-off pay
Manage Absence/Time-off Requests
From a time-clock app’s dashboard, you should be able to instantly see employee absences. With this information, you can take care of absences as soon as they happen. Solutions like Connecteam let employees request time off in-app while letting managers instantly approve or deny requests.
Add Additional Information
When an employee clocks in, a time-tracking app can add and display additional information – such as a client’s name, job types, material usage, etc.
A clock in and out app is an essential tool for any business. The benefits of these apps highlight how they help companies save money and avoid errors. Plus, time-tracking apps streamline the clocking-in and out processes.
Now, let’s dive into the best practices for using a clock in and out app. These tips will have you ready from day one.
How To Integrate Cloud-Based Time Clock Software Into Your Business
The leap from manualized work to cloud-based software is super simple. For instance, Connecteam only needs a smartphone (or computer) and an internet connection — and you’re all set! There should be little to no preparation required to use a time clock software solution.
It’s also important to find a clock-in and out app that stores information on cloud technology. Using cloud storage means saying goodbye to clunky, expensive software that takes up too much space. You might also reduce your company’s need for IT personnel.
Solutions like Connecteam offer intuitive time-clock software that’s self-sufficient and extremely intuitive. Find a time-clock product that offers a familiar and easy-to-use interface for all users. If not, your employees could feel frustrated having to learn complicated software.
How To Use Web-Based Solutions For Clocking In And Out
Most clock-in and clock-out web-based solutions walk you through a set-up process. You should also receive instructions that specify everything from settings to user experience. Every web-based solution for clocking in and out operates differently. But they all follow the same general guidelines.
For a real-life example, this is how Connecteam does it:
- Go to connecteam.com to create your free account.
- Provide a few basic pieces of information.
- Send out invitations to any number of employees to add them to the same account.
- Once your employees install our app and log in through their invitation links, they automatically have access to our time clock.
- Computer users find our time clock under the Operations tab. Mobile users access the time clock from our app’s top menu.
- Employees press the Start button, choose a shift title option, and begin their day.
- Once your employees are ready to clock out, they push the time clock’s stop button.
Get started with Connecteam’s intuitive time clock system, today!
10 Best Practices For Using A Clock In And Out App
We’ve broken down the benefits of using a clock-in clock-out app, and now it’s onto best practices so that you can maximize it’s full abilities.
Be A Good Example
Your employees want to see you using the same mobile time clock apps they use. Everyone using the same time-tracking app gets all employees on the same page. When this happens, everyone wins, and no one feels scrutinized or left out. Plus, actively using your company’s online time clock makes it super easy to train employees on how to use it.
Automated Everything Possible
A mobile time clock lets you instantly see openings that let you assign available tasks to employees. You can also save time by pre-programming timesheets or duplicating time logs for employees who work similar hours frequently.
As your workforce continues using employee time clocks, everyone will understand how best to track their time. What’s important is that your employees are all using the same product or system. Solutions like Connecteam let workers clock in and out from their smartphones, keeping everything consistent and simple.
Track Time Daily
Ditch the time-consuming boredom of rushing to input everyone’s hours before payday. When employees use time clock apps, it’s easy for them to track their hours.
Before your employees start using a time-tracking app, get them into the habit of clocking in and out. Once your workers know how to clock in, clocking out is just as simple. A product like Connecteam sends automated reminders to help your employees remember to clock in or out.
Keep Categories Simple
It’s always good to keep things easy. Connecteam lets you create categories to easily keep your company organized.
For example, companies use categories like these to keep things organized:
- Working from home
- Employee training
Categories make time clock apps easy for anyone to use — no matter how little technical knowledge your employees have. Some solutions, such as Connecteam, let employees leave comments or questions about tracking their time.
Let Employees Understand Why You Track Time
Some employees might feel like tracking time is like their employers watching them all the time. That’s not the case, and it’s important to communicate this to your employees.
Managers track time to help a business:
- Avoid slumps that come with insufficient workflows or daily processes.
- Charge clients accurately
- Pay workers correctly
No matter why your company uses time tracking, it’s a good idea to let employees know about every benefit of tracking time. Then, no one jumps to any false conclusions.
Share Data To Build Trust
Being transparent is key to building trust. A time-clock app lets your employees know how your company uses its available hours. This data can also help your company’s recruitment process, how HR handles their daily tasks, client billing, and how to improve workflows.
Use Descriptions or Notes With Purpose
An employee clock app should also let you add descriptions or notes to shifts. You don’t have to add notes to every shift, but adding details that help your employees never hurts.
Choose What You Track Wisely
Just because clock-in and out apps let you track everything, that doesn’t mean you have to track everything. For example, most employees won’t like tracking every bathroom break. It’s okay to let workers avoid tracking these actions.
A good rule of thumb when tracking time is that if a task takes more than 15 minutes, an employee should track it. Most employees will have a tough time spending their shift tracking a bunch of tasks that take less than 15 minutes to complete.
Tags Are a Big Help
Most clock-in and out apps allow you to add tags to each project. Tags are keywords that make it easy to filter reports or to have a clear idea of what everyone’s working on.
You can create tags for breaks, customers, project names, locations, or training. Solutions like Connecteam give you the freedom to create custom tags.
Tags are helpful for mapping out how long tasks take to complete. This information helps your company set aside time for similar tasks in the future. They can also help you learn where wasted time happens and how to stop it.
Clocking In And Out Rules & Regulations
Rules and regulations are parts of owning or managing a business. Personal expectations, national laws, and tax rules all dictate how you operate your company.
Many companies give workers an employee handbook that lists a company’s rules. As you introduce a clock-in clock-out app, reintroduce specified attendance-related policies. This step is a good refresher for your employees.
Do you need help coming up with time-clock-related rules? Here are a few ideas for inspiration:
1. Remember to clock in and out at the required job site.
2. Employees are responsible for recording their on-shift hours.
3. Employees should notify management of any accidental late starts, submitting a request for a shift change.
4. Set a timeframe before and after a shift when employees can’t press the time clock button.
5. Employees should clock out for personal matters when leaving a job site.
6. Supervisors or other approved workers can approve or deny shift adjustment requests.
7. Upholding additional compensation for overtime work. (this differs state by state).
8. Not allowing employees to use another person’s smartphone to clock in or out.
9. Reporting or terminating employees who attempt buddy punching.
These are all just ideas. You can incorporate all, some, or none of these examples. Also, consider creating variations of these rules. Whatever you decide on, make sure your employees know all of their company’s rules.
The Bottom Line On Clock-In Clock-Out Apps
Manual time-tracking can cause time theft, payroll inaccuracies, and waste everyone’s time. But clocking in and out doesn’t have to be complex.
Ditch outdated time-tracking systems to take the stress and confusion out of tracking time for everyone. A clock-in clock-out app is inexpensive and easy to start using.
With a time-tracking system, your company gains improved efficiency, less wasted time, and potentially more revenue. Plus, accurately tracking employee time lets you run your business with confidence.
Solutions like Connecteam help companies:
- See all employee’s timestamps
- Edit incorrect time entries
- Export timesheets instantly
- Approve or deny employee shift corrections
- Enjoy a seamless time-tracking solution
How does Connecteam stack up to the competition? Click here to find out.