How to Use Online Time Tracking to Optimize Employee Safety and Productivity Time tracking is essential for monitoring commitment and efficiency, but traditional time clocks cause avoidable contact among employees.

By Ademola Alex Adekunbi

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The events of 2020 have led to an overhaul of standard workplace processes, primarily as a result of a shift to working from home. Employee time tracking has possibly been the biggest shift, as employers try to maximize employees' efficiency as they work remotely while ensuring their safety in those instances when they have to come into the office.

Doing business in a pandemic

Businesses and employees have had to make adjustments on a large and small scale to safely adapt to new ways of doing business during a pandemic. While some employees have been able to work exclusively remotely, others contribute in essential ways that still need to take place in person. If a company has transitioned fully to operating online, chances are they've upgraded their employee time tracking process to match.

Related: 5 Solutions to Your Biggest Work-From-Home Challenges

For businesses that still operate physically, ensuring employees are safe and feel supported is imperative. Employers must take all precautions necessary to keep employees safe, Doing so helps the employees stay healthy, but it also saves the employer the loss of employee time (and profitability) due to illness. When employees feel protected and valued, they are also likely to work more efficiently, thus boosting the company's bottom line.

Taking care of employees through new protocols

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to keep employees safe in the workplace is to keep people as socially distanced as possible and reduce points of contact and touchpoints in the workplace. Keeping people from congregating in certain areas, such as around time clocks, in break rooms, and other high traffic areas, can prevent the spread of disease, an essential element to keeping your company running smoothly.

Wiping down surfaces after each use is essential to workers' safety and can be done with shared workspaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and other necessary areas for the work environment. But for most companies, having somebody wipe down a water cooler or time clock after each use isn't feasible. Typically, the time clock is where workers say hello to colleagues on the way in and out of work, and is thus a place where they often gather, which businesses must avoid now.

Using the online time clock solution

Efficient employee time tracking is essential to a business's operation. Apart from helping management understand how employees are working, allowing staff to assume more control over their processes and procedures can be empowering in the workplace. A self-regulated online time clock software system makes it possible to retain these benefits without putting employees at risk. These systems are available as an online program and can be accessed by employees through internet-connected devices and apps.

"Using a specialized time clock system for employee time tracking allows workers to clock in and out on their own devices, thus eliminating overlap of close contact at the shared physical time clock and removing the need for sanitization of a machine that all people in the workplace share and touch throughout the day," says Eric Czerwonka, CEO of Buddy Punch. "It also makes it easy for employees to perform other tasks such as online scheduling, trading shifts, requesting vacation time, etc."

Implementing an online time tracking system is quick and easy. Most businesses can have the systems set up within a few days, and employees can start tracking their hours immediately.

Related: This Time-Tracking App Is a Must-Have Tool for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers Alike

Employee accountability using modern time tracking

Online time clocks help an employee stay honest by eliminating the temptation of asking a buddy to clock in for them before they've arrived or clock out for them on a day they left early. Additionally, GPS tracking is an option with some time clock software. This feature will show the employee's location when they clocked in or out, reducing the likelihood of time theft. Some software programs utilize job codes, which will allow employers to see which tasks an employee is working on while clocked in. This will be a great asset for employees who work remotely or from different locations throughout the day.

Improving HR efficiency

Managing a workforce typically falls under the Human Resource department. Implementing online time clocks makes that easier. Many of the time clock software choices integrate payroll to streamline the HR department's job. Additionally, features can be set on the software that notifies HR when an employee hits overtime or has been consistently clocking in late. This can help reduce errors or discrepancies when payroll is run.

2021 is the best time to change

Most of us agree that 2020 proved to be a challenging year for both companies and individuals alike. Adding an online time clock software to your business to help with employee time tracking is an easy decision, especially since most employees have gotten used to doing more things online. It is efficient, easily monitored by employers and helps keep businesses compliant. Implementing online time clock software could very well be the easiest decision with the quickest implementation that you've had to make during this pandemic.

Ademola Alex Adekunbi

Founder of Tech Law Info

Kunbi is a lawyer based in Lagos and is focused on the tech industry, advising startups on regulatory compliance, market-entry and investment (PE and VC). He is also the founder of Tech Law Info, a website to provide founders with essential legal information and resources.

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