Making Time Work for Your Business

Time Clock

Importance of Time Clock

Historically, workers just don’t like time clocks. The time clock was introduced in industrial settings where factory workers would check in and out by slipping a card into a clock at the door.

Time clocks then spread to office work, retail stores, warehouses, and any workplace that had non-exempt workers. The time clock initiated a record of the employee’s hours on the job and the pay earned for that time working.

Workers generally don’t like the regimentation and have tried their best to subvert the system.

What’s it mean to employers?

Employers are obliged to pay workers for all the time worked. There is no obligation to pay for time not worked because employee was late, left early, or stretched out an approved break for lunch.

As Sherrie Scott wrote in Small Business Chronicle, “Time clocks are an effective instrument companies use to ensure employees are available and ready to work at the appropriate times.”

The employer is obliged to the employee by social contract and, of course, by the law. In addition to the law, employers must pay taxes on income earned, report attendance and tardiness to Workers’ Compensation, and deduct taxes from employees.

All this tracking and record keeping takes time and administration.

work sheet

What does it take to get it right?

Diverse small businesses keep track of attendance on slips of paper or manual time sheets. Both of these are subject to serious human error or oversight. Those manual records might show favoritism, miss a late arrival or early departure, or simply overlook the employee’s performance.

The manual records lack organization and security, and they prove inaccessible or unavailable to the employee or to the supervisor who needs to evaluate the employee’s work.

Some time sheet templates are built into core office software as well as off the shelf business accounting software. But, systems have been greatly improved with an online timesheet app including that presented by Clock Spot.

How does a timesheet app work?

With no more paper, manual input, time cards, and the rest of the administrative burden, your app becomes a true and efficient tool.

For starters, you save money on such a system because you know exactly when workers arrive and leave. You know what breaks they are taking and how long they re away from the work.

There is no more guessing in the work, and employees are kept honest because they cannot use a buddy to check in or out for them.

Employees can report in and out from any location on any device that has an internet connection. This works particularly well when your business has employees in the field, at many retail locations, or on moving assignments.

With a GPS built into the system, you always know where your employees are. Such information helps you assign, replace, and rotate workers as needed.

You view reports in real time, and run reports quickly and easily. And, that data is available to all authorized personnel including employees and supervisors when they need it. That employee access removes the stigma of having to check in.

What’s in it for the business?

As mandated by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, “Nonexempt employees must be paid for all hours worked in a workweek. In general, ‘hours worked’ includes all time an employee must be on duty, on the employer’s premises, or at any other prescribed place of work.”

Taxes and benefits are a function of those hours reported, and all this adds up to an administration labor load that can backfire if you cannot depend on accuracy and thoroughness. Cost saving, work saving, and risk saving, an online timesheet app makes good management sense.


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