How to Track Remote Employees Time
Time Tracking for Employees Working in the Field
In the office, tracking time is easy…but how do you track employees time in the field? That gets a lot more challenging.
Waste can be a major focus of a company’s Lean initiatives….and time theft can be an egregious source of waste.
What can you do to ensure that employee time is being accurately tracked in the field? Following are some practical options that many firms find beneficial.
Start Work Day at Headquarters If Possible
A fairly easy method of tracking employees’ time in the field is to have every workday begin and end at company headquarters. This way, everyone gets clocked in / out at the right time and they can travel to job sites as needed.
However, this isn’t necessarily feasible for every business. Job sites can be far from company headquarters or where employees live, or a contract may specify that compensation for labor only commences when employees arrive at the job site.
Some work requires that employees make long commutes for work, which would make heading to the office to start the day impractical. For example, construction workers, service techs, and health care workers may be required to commute to remote work locations.
If clocking in at the office before heading out sounds like a viable solution, great. However, if you’re already seeing drawbacks, rest assured there are other solutions.
Mobile Time and Attendance Software Applications
The best solutions are mobile time and attendance software applications, which exist for major smartphone platforms. Many time and attendance software companies make a companion app to complement the main program, so if you are considering an attendance reporting system and have remote employees, make sure that it includes a mobile application.
Typically, firms have all employees with smartphones install the timekeeping application. They then can clock in at the job site to start and stop their shift. Depending on work requirements, options are available for employees to track working at multiple sites, commuting, and even their expenses. Sophisticated time and attendance systems will even utilize the smartphone’s GPS capabilities to ensure employees are at the assigned location.
Job Site Clocks
If you have employees regularly commuting to a job site or customer location, you might consider installing a time clock at the site. Employees can use badges or even sophisticated bio-metrics to authenticate. Clocks are relatively low cost and can help employers provide verifiable records to clients who are being billed based on utilized labor.
Web Site Tracking
In some instances, remote job site clocks may be impractical. In this case, employees might punch in through the time and attendance system’s web portal from their PC or even a kiosk. Additionally, the employee might utilize a USB finger scanner to punch in and out at the job site.
Make It Easy, Simple, And Keep Employees Accountable
A benefit of a modern time and attendance software system is that it allows timekeeping to become easy and simple, which supports employees reliably tracking hours in the field.
Reporting of time needs to be uncomplicated and straightforward for employees to consistently navigate. The more complicated it is to clock in and start work, the more errors you will have to devote time and energy to fixing. By making reporting simple and easy, you also help reduce the burden on yourself as the business owner and/or administrator.
As a former President once said, “trust but verify.” Employees must be able to easily log time, however, they also need to be kept honest with good policies, systems and company culture. Tracking hours in the field will become much simpler and far more accurate. If you are thinking about implementing a mobile time tracking solution give us a call, our workforce experts are here to help.