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.
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.
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.
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.