If you take a moment and compare the typical workplace of today to that from, say, three decades ago, you’ll be able to see many differences, but the most striking one is the general policy on working hours. These days, working flexible hours is much more than another benefit - it’s becoming an expected standard.


In many ways, this is a very beneficial trend not only for employees, but also for the business as a whole. Your employees don’t come to work tired and sleepy any more, they get to manage their time, it’s more convenient for them to run their personal errands, and they work according to their natural productivity flow. Flexible working hours simply lead to better work-life balance, and everyone’s happy.


This is all fine and well, but let’s get something clear right away - having flexible working hours isn’t the same as not keeping track of working hours at all.


Even though giving your employees complete freedom over when and how much they’ll work might seem like a good idea that will only reinforce their job satisfaction and productivity, there are many compelling reasons why you should at least track the amount of time they spend at work. And this can be as easy and unobtrusive as installing an employee sign in and out software, so the only thing your workers have to do is clock in within an app when they start working, and all you have to do is look at the reports to make sure everyone is compliant.


So, now we’ll take a look at five reasons why you should definitely track your employees’ attendance even if you have a flexible working hours policy.


1. Fair Payroll


At its very root, the issue of tracking attendance in the workplace is all about fairness. It’s simply not OK for two employees to get paid the same amount for the same type of job if one works 8 hours a day and the other just 5. The thing is - you’re probably paying your employees for 8 hours of availability during working days, so working much less than that could and should be considered time theft. Ultimately, not tracking attendance leaves you with two types of workers: those who would do everything to work as little as possible, and those who work more diligently but compare themselves with the first group and end up dissatisfied with the treatment. Neither is good for the business.


Another important thing to remember is to track overtime along with attendance, which is made pretty easy and automatic with employee sign in and out software. This will ensure that you compensate your employees for any extra effort and time they put in.


2. Regulations


The fairness associated with keeping a closer track of employees’ attendance extends all the way to employment law and regulations. In many countries throughout the world, there are laws that require employers to keep a record of each employees’ working hours as a part of the initiative to protect employees from mistreatment such as uncompensated overtime.


For example, this type of regulation is called EU Work Time Directive in the countries of the European Union. In America, tracking attendance is regulated within the Fair Labor Standards Act. There might be other laws applicable in other countries, so make sure you check the regulatory situation in yours. This is one more reason why employee sign in and out software is so convenient - you get clear reports on every employee completely automatically, and you can use those to ensure your compliance with the law.


3. Planning


The next reason why you should track attendance is purely pragmatic in nature. Simply put, you should know when your employees come to work so that you can organize your team’s schedule. Employee sign in and out software has a handy feature which allows you to see clock-ins on a team level, which will tell you when you can be sure that all employees are in.


In general, this is important for figuring out how to structure your team’s workflow. By tracking attendance, you can be more certain about when you can expect your employees to finish their tasks. The accuracy of this estimate is a critical factor in ensuring proper collaboration process.


Another practical benefit of knowing when your employees come to work and leave is scheduling meetings. You can do it when everyone that you need is in the office anyway, and by doing that you’re significantly reducing the chance of late participants.


4. Remote Teams


Although it might at first seem like this one doesn’t apply to every company out there, the truth is that many, if not most, companies allow at least a couple of days of remote work a month. Whether you belong to this group or you have permanently remote teams, it’s a good idea to track their attendance for the same reason that it’s important to track other employees’ attendance - fairness across the board and proper payroll.


However, tracking attendance accurately (with employee sign in and out software, for example) is even more important for remote teams because there’s just no other way to know how much they work and whether they’re really as active as you pay them to be.


5. Proof of Work for Clients


Finally, we’ll mention one more practical benefit of having accurate and up-to-date employee attendance timesheets - they can serve as proof of work for your clients. If they happen to ask for an assurance that your employees are actually working on their project, you can simply share your attendance records either from your employee sign in and out software, or from other source or tool that you use. This way, you don’t have to do any extra work and compile reports, and your clients are happy as well.


Conclusion


By now, it’s clear that attendance tracking isn’t just a pointless organizational requirement. It’s actually much more than that - it’s the best way to ensure fair payroll and compliance with the working hours regulations, it can inform your planning, and it might be the only way to easily track remote teams and provide proof of work for your clients. And besides, attendance tracking is a really simple process with high rewards, especially if you use time tracking software to do it accurately and automatically.

Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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