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Small Business Tips

4 simple tips for employee time tracking

Manasa Reddigari

Employee time tracking is critical to stay on top of your small business. But, what approach should you take?

Here are 4 easy ways to track workers' time.

Time cards or time sheets

Paper time cards or sheets can be an effective solution. You can have your employees maintain their paper time cards or sheets on an honor system. Then, have them signed off by you or a member of the payroll department.

Yet, this approach can be tough if you have more than a few employees. Also, it's time-consuming for employees to maintain sheets and for you to approve them.

It also introduces issues of accuracy if the manually written hours cannot be read or understood. For medium to large teams, you are better off investing in a more robust solution.

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Time clocks

Time clocks are physical timepieces that record employee arrival and departure times to and from work. Employees "clock in" at the timepiece when they begin their work shift, and "clock out" when their shift ends.

Each time they clock in or out, the time clock stamps the date and time on a time card. This makes time clocks more reliable than paper-and-pen time cards or sheets.

Modern businesses use these less frequently because they can also introduce other inaccuracies. For example, other employees can clock in or out for other workers. They can also re-stamp over an already stamped date or time on a time card.

Time-tracking software and mobile apps

Laptops, tablets and smartphones are ubiquitous today. This means you can consider time-tracking software and mobile apps.

Toggl, Time Doctor, or Timesheet Plus for Microsoft Office 365 are some convenient tools for employee time tracking.

These come with user-friendly interfaces for digital time entry and approval. These can often work with your other business apps.

There's no need to waste paper or limited staff resources on manual record keeping, so your business saves time and money in the long-run. You also gain the benefit of more accurate time logs that are not prone to human errors.

Badge or biometric scanners

Scanning devices can be a more costly but worthwhile time-tracking option for larger businesses. In this time-tracking system, an employee ID badge is swiped or a fingerprint or face is scanned at a badge or biometric scanning device.

The date and time collected from the stamp are usually collected and stored through software that works with the scanner. This solution helps prevent employees from posing as other employees when they clock in or out.

Yet, the devices may require specialized training or ongoing maintenance which not every small business can afford.

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