Employee Time Tracking: The Best Time Clock Systems in 2021
Is time tracking important to you and your business? We believe that an employee clock-in system is your main connection to your workers. As an employer, you can use a time clock system to monitor employee performance. For example, it lets you identify workers who clock out late and those who often take time-offs.
It also plays a significant role in the accounting department when it comes to billing and tracking paychecks. In essence, a clocking system helps you to monitor employee attendance and calculate accurate payroll with ease. Moreover, it gives you all the data you need to measure how productive your workers are.
A clock-in system is also beneficial for employees who can use it to clock in and out of work, check their schedules, and track the hours worked – which will help them know how much they have earned.
The Benefits of Tracking Time With an App
Technology has transformed the process of recording employee attendance, making it easy, convenient, and digital.
If you still clock in manually, what happens when you forget to do that several times a week? You will resort to guesswork, and that can lead to inaccurate billing. Of course, that’s just one mistake of using pen and paper.
To avoid errors and payroll inaccuracies, you should use an employee clock-in clock-out system. These systems give businesses all the tools they need to track and manage employees’ time. Managers can view log-in and log-out data and even organize time-off requests.
Some benefits of tracking employee time with an app are as follows:
Low error rates – With an app, the likelihood of making an error is low. While it might not eliminate all mistakes, you can be sure of accurate information most of the time.
Automated processes – As soon as an employee clocks in, the time tracker starts to record the hours. Since the process is automatic, everything—including activity levels—is recorded. This way, it becomes easy to analyze the timesheets, subsequently eliminating hours that you’d spend combing through Excel sheets.
Accuracy – An employee time clock app takes the guesswork out of the equation. It records all the hours worked, down to the second, giving you accurate reports.
Real-time data – You can see how many hours each employee has worked and how much you need to pay at any given time. The data is real-time, and you don’t have to wait until the end of the week or month to calculate payments.
Flexibility – If employees work in the field, they can add additional information as needed to account for hours spent on business-related activities, like meeting clients.
Types of Employee Time and Attendance Solutions
There are several types of employee time and attendance systems that you can implement in your company. They range from the traditional pen and paper method to advanced employee tracking software solutions. Each has its pros and cons, and it all boils down to which type will be perfect for your kind of business.
Here are the most common types of employee time and attendance systems:
- Spreadsheets – Google Docs, for instance, comes with Google Sheets, which makes collaboration easier. If you are highly skilled, you can create macros and formulas to track hours. The spreadsheet shows who made the changes and when, thus allowing you to track changes whenever they are made.
- Biometric and fingerprint systems – These systems take employees' photos or fingerprints when they clock in. Other systems use time clock hardware, meaning employees place their hands in the scanning area, and they are instantly clocked in.
- Web-based systems – Time and attendance clock-in systems can be integrated into computer systems, and they are ideal for both remote workers and in-office workers. Employees can clock in and out, track their work progress, and request time off, among other functions, via the platform. These systems can be accessed from anywhere so long as there is an Internet connection.
- Mobile-based systems – Just like web-based clock-in systems, mobile-based systems ensure that employees can clock in and out from wherever they are. You will even find GPS tracking apps that allow management to see where employees logged in from.
Before you choose the kind of clocking system to implement in your company, you might want to think about your business needs. Since each business has a unique setting, what works for one company may not work for another.
Things to Consider When Choos ing a Clock-In Clock-Out System
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing an employee clock-in clock-out system:
- Do you only want to track time, or do you also want to monitor employee activities?
- Do you need photo capture? An app like Traqq randomly takes automated screenshots in the background, making it easy to track employee productivity. This way, you don’t need to micromanage employees since you can see what they are working on right from the app. Don’t worry – the screenshots are blurred to hide sensitive employee data. You can also take video recordings if the option is enabled by the account owner.
- What problems are you trying to solve in your company? For example, if buddy punching is a real issue with your employees, time clocks can help resolve this problem.
The right clock-in system will have all the features that you need to run your business seamlessly. Some of the features to look out for are as follows:
- Easy customizations
- Mobile support
- Task tracking and activity monitoring
- A timesheet calculator
- Time adjustment options
- Automated payroll processing
- Smart alerts and notifications
- Reporting features
How to Implement an Employee Clock-In System
Before you introduce a clock-in clock-out app to your team, make sure they understand why you want them to use it. More often, employees feel like they are being spied on by management through time tracking apps. Since you don’t want them to start thinking you don’t trust them, honesty is your best policy.
In reality, time trackers are used for employee monitoring, not spying. They help managers know how working hours are spent so they can estimate the duration it takes to complete projects. With that information, clients can be charged accordingly. It is especially useful for remote workers working from different geographical locations – it makes collaboration easy.
Make it clear how the clock-in system is also a good thing for them by sharing some of the benefits they stand to gain.
Remind Employees to Clock In and Out
It is important to track time daily. When starting out, employees can easily forget to clock in and out. Every second counts, including those spent with clients. Remind them to clock in as soon as they get to the office (or start work if they work remotely) and to clock out the moment they call it a day.
Use the Time Clock System Company-Wide
Don’t make only certain departments use a clock-in clock-out system. Employees in those select departments might feel scrutinized and start thinking they are being targeted. While this might be true, you don’t want to make it so obvious!
It is better to introduce the system to the entire company. Plus, it makes it easy for your HR and accounting departments to get all the data they need from one platform.
Keep Communication Lines Open
To enhance transparency, allow employees to contribute to various monitoring aspects, like customizing the time clock system. For example, you can ask them to think of categories that should be added or removed from the system. A time tracking system should be flexible and let you customize it to fit your specific business needs.
You can include categories like ‘Meetings’, ‘Employee Training’, ‘Copywriters’, ‘Designers’, and so on. Keep in mind that not everything needs to be tracked. Things like bathroom breaks need not be tracked.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 time clock apps that you can check out right now:
1. Traqq – Best for All Business Sizes and Freelancers
Traqq is an innovative time tracking app that contains an employee clock-in clock-out system. The software offers both employers and employees the benefit of tracking productivity and ensuring accurate billing. The built-in timer allows you to track your working hours and stay ahead of your tasks. For freelancers, this will ensure fewer disputes.
The clock-in clock-out feature is simple to use. All you need to do is click “Start” when you begin your shift and “Stop” when you are done for the day. Traqq is more than just a clock-in clock-out app. It helps you monitor employee activity and analyze your workers’ performance levels. Additionally, employees can track their productivity and adjust time manually to account for billable hours – for instance, when in a meeting. That info will come in handy when calculating billable time and during invoice processing.
2. Open Time Clock
If you need a clock-in clock-out app with attendance management features, consider using Open Time Clock. You can also use it for employees who are always on the road because it comes with GPS tracking. Open Time Clock even makes logging in and out easier because it lets users punch in using a barcode or RFID. With this work clock app, managers can also track absences, vacation days, and regular shifts.
3. Time Clock Wizard
Time Clock Wizard is another free time clock app that you can use for tracking attendance. As a manager, you can use this tool to check your team’s logged time. You can even learn where they punched in and what device they used to do that. The free version of Time Clock Wizard has everything you need in a time clock app. However, if you need advanced functions like shift scheduling and timesheet reports, you need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.
FindMyShift is a clock-in app that can help you manage employee shifts. On the dashboard, you will be able to see your team members’ punch-in time. This little detail allows you to ensure accurate records for payroll processing. On the free version, you can enroll up to five users. Now, if you want to access advanced features like payroll calculation, real-time reporting, and a customizable database, upgrade to one of the paid plans.
5. On the Clock
For advanced clock-in clock-out features, consider using On the Clock, which is an online app for desktop browsers. It can also function as a tool that helps you make sure that everyone clocks in and out from an approved location. It has a geofencing feature that limits punch-in permissions to specific areas. Moreover, it has a GPS tracking feature that allows managers to monitor their employees’ whereabouts. With the free version, you can register up to two users.
For anyone interested in time tracking and attendance monitoring, ClockIt would be a great option for a clock-in clock-out app. This tool makes it simple and convenient for employees to punch in and out from a manager-approved location. Even with the free version of ClockIt, an unlimited number of team members can access the clock-in function. However, once you start paying the monthly fee, you can enjoy advanced features like workforce automation, reporting, GPS tracking, and vacation monitoring.
7. When I Work
With When I Work, you can get an employee time clock app that doubles as a tool for coordinating tasks and shifts. It even has a messaging feature that makes requesting and approving/rejecting vacation days easier. On the free version, you can enroll up to 75 users as long as they are in the same location. Now, if you’re managing a remote team and your employees work from different locations, we recommend that you opt for one of the paid versions (Basic, Pro, and Enterprise). The subscription plans let you access an extended number of features, including labor reports, overtime management, and task lists, among others.
OpenSimSim is another time clock app that lets managers coordinate shifts while fostering effective communication. With this tool, you can get insights into your team’s cost, labor, and overtime indicators. As such, you can make data-backed decisions on improving internal operations. What’s more, you can use this app on various devices and platforms. So, with OpenSimSim, you can expect convenient team management.
With the free version, you can enroll an unlimited number of users. However, if you upgrade to the paid option, you can get additional features, such as automated clock-outs, tardy notifications, and payroll reporting.
With Homebase, managers can get insights into when and where their employees start their workdays. As such, they can easily identify if anyone is late or working longer than they should. In many ways, Homebase can provide you with the support you need to comply with overtime regulations.
As long as all your team members are in the same location, you can enroll as many users as you want in the free version of Homebase. Now, if you upgrade to one of the paid versions, you can access advanced scheduling, messaging, and labor cost control features.
You can finally say goodbye to paper time cards and Excel spreadsheets once you start using Replicon. This app offers a centralized system for running payroll, reimbursing expenses, and billing clients. Whether you’re in the office or on the go, you can monitor your employees’ time and attendance.
If you’re looking for a clock-in clock-out app that also serves as a time and productivity tracker, you can't go wrong with TimeCamp. Its attendance tracking feature works for teams of all sizes, whether they are working in-office or remotely.
With TimeCamp, keeping track of your staff whenever they enter or leave the office has never been easier. You can review their attendance by checking when they turned on/off their computers and how much active time was registered. Plus, employees can easily apply for leave or vacation without the hassle of filling out paperwork.
What’s more, TimeCamp works on every device. So, whether you're working on a desktop PC or using a smartphone to complete your tasks, you can clock in and out with ease.
The free version allows you to enroll an unlimited number of users. However, you can access advanced features like invoicing and timesheet approvals if you upgrade to the paid version.
There you have it! Employee time tracking has greatly advanced in recent years. If you are still using pen and paper, you are missing out on the convenience that digital clock-in clock-out solutions are offering. So, make the switch today and see what difference that makes for you and your business.