5 Effective Ways to Track Employee Hours

5 Effective Ways to Track Employee Hours

November 12, 2021

Your employees form the base of your business. They’re crucial to everything you do, so it’s important to make sure you understand how their time is being used, and ensure they get paid accurately.

How can you effectively track employee hours and attendance though and what benefits do the best time clock software offer?

Why Is It Important to Track Employee Hours?

How important tracking employee hours is to your business will depend on the nature of what you do. If your company runs on shift work, then it’s vitally important you know when people are working, but if people work fixed hours it might be less of a priority.

In its most basic form, time tracking is there to ensure everyone gets paid fairly for their time. People’s shifts start when they clock in, and they end when they clock out. The right time clock software should make this process seamless, syncing timesheets to your payroll so you can take care of other tasks.

Understanding how you deploy your employees and managing these costs is essential to many businesses, particularly ones where they need to provide quotes based on labor costs.

Even if your staff work a fixed 9-5 workday though, it’s always beneficial to know who’s clocked in, and the right time clock software can still make a difference to your performance.

The Benefits of Tracking Employee Hours

Being able to track employee hours is important for your budgeting, payroll, efficiency, and compliance. Without it, you may have a rough idea of what’s going on with your workforce, but not enough data to make the informed decisions you need to take.

Accurate Payroll

Payroll is relatively straightforward when your business has salaried employees. Everyone gets paid a set amount each month, so it’s not as necessary to keep track of everyone’s hours. Between 26 and 38 million Americans (18-26% of the population) are considered shift workers though. This group tends to be paid hourly, working different shift patterns that can make it difficult to keep track of hours.

To keep payroll accurate for these workers, there has to be an effective system in place to track employee hours. The more intuitive it is, the more accurate it will be, making sure payroll is correct and everyone is happy.


Smart time clock software can help ensure your business stays compliant with labor laws.

If you’re not aware of how many hours your employees are working, the vacation days they take, and the breaks they receive, then you could be neglecting your duty of care. Overtime pay and PTO can be tricky to manage, and they become even more difficult if you’re not able to efficiently keep track of employee time.

Improve Efficiency

Some employee time tracking software can give deep insights into how your workforce is using its time. By tracking the hours people work, and how they spend that time, you can see where employees can become more efficient and make changes to help make their jobs easier.

Business isn’t about how much time you spend on something — it’s about what you get done. Time tracking can help your business embrace this idea, making your employees more efficient and boosting output.

What Businesses Should Use Time Tracking?

Every business can benefit from time clock software.

Understanding exactly what hours people work is most important in businesses where shift work is common. In these companies, finding the best way to track employee hours can make all the difference.

When employees can effortlessly clock in, timesheets can be edited in a few clicks, and everything syncs with your payroll, it saves a huge amount of time. This helps with scheduling, allows you to instantly see your costs, and makes sure everyone gets paid for the work they do.

For companies with salaried employees, time tracking can be a useful tool to help unlock greater efficiency. By understanding how people use their time, it’s possible to optimize processes and improve performance.

5 Best Ways to Track Employee Hours

What options do you have to track employee hours? Traditionally, this might have been done with pen and paper, but with the advance of technology, there are a lot more efficient ways to do things.

Employee Time Clocks

A popular way to track employee hours is through a physical employee time clock. An employee time clock placed in a fixed location, like a break room or building entrance, ensures consistent recording of employee time punches. Depending on the time clocks you choose, you have options on how your employees clock in and clock out.

Employees can use a clock with the simple convenience of swiping a proximity badge, key fob or entering a personal PIN. Biometric time clocks offer individual fingerprint readers or face recognition scans for fool- proof identification and recording of employee time.

The best employee time clocks network seamlessly to web based time & attendance management software and come with offline backup. There is no need to worry if your network or Internet goes down, employees can still clock in and out because these clocks will record and store their time punches until the network is back up and synched again to the time clock software.

Mobile Apps

Mobile clock-in apps are one of the easiest ways to allow employees to clock in.

Your workforce simply has to download the app, create an account that’s linked to their employee information, and click to clock in and out. This option is simple and convenient, but it’s much easier for employees to forget to punch in/out than when using a physical time clock.

Mobile apps can be a good option for businesses where employees aren’t based in a central location, allowing them to clock in and out without being tied to a central base.

GPS Tracking on Mobile Apps

Mobile apps give your workers the freedom to clock in and out without coming into the office, but sometimes you need more details than just when they clock in. It’s no use people clocking in for a job when they’re still 20 miles away from the location, and this is where GPS tracking comes in.

GPS tracking recording in the time clock software adds greater accuracy to a mobile app, giving employees helpful reminders, and enabling you to verify their whereabouts.

Biometric Clock-In

A biometric clock-in adds an extra level of security to how you track employee hours. By scanning biological features like fingerprints or facial features, it means you can verify the person is who they say they are.

Biometric clock-in adds an extra level of security, so you know who is checking in and out. If they’re logging time for different projects, then they’re going to be clocking in and out a lot, so it’s much easier to do so with facial recognition and it can be a lot more convenient for your employees.

Combined Time Clock System: Online Software. Employee Time Clocks. Mobile Apps

The way we work has changed drastically over recent years. Technology has enabled us to work remotely, and for many of us, there’s no need to be based in a central office. While this opens up lots of opportunities for both employees and businesses, it also has its challenges. One of those challenges is keeping track of when people are working and how they’re using their time.

Just because people aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you can’t track employee hours.

A complete Employee Time Clock system combining web-based software; physical time clocks; and mobile smartphone apps is an excellent way to do this. It allows employees to effortlessly clock in and out, view their timesheet history, request days off, and it gives managers a convenient way to keep track of the work people are doing.

Quick Tips to Improve Your Time and Attendance Tracking

Time and attendance are essential for many businesses but it’s also a source of lost time when systems aren’t intuitive. The best way to track employee hours should be seamless, helping you with scheduling, tracking, and payroll.

Here are some things to consider:

  • What’s the simplest way for your employees to clock in and out?
  • Does your time clock software make it easy to see your labor costs?
  • Does it make it easy to edit timesheets on the go?
  • Can you manage PTO through the application?
  • Does it seamlessly sync with your payroll system?
  • Do you need extra features (eg shift differentials, multiple pay codes, custom reports etc.)?

There’s lots of time tracking software out there, but it’s about finding the one that works best for you and your specific needs.

Conclusion: Best Way to Track Employee Hours

At Lathem, we’ve been providing organizations with time clock capabilities since 1919, and we know the answer is always in a personalized solution.

That’s why we offer many different ways to track employee hours. Whether it’s a physical time clock for office-based employees, mobile apps for remote workers and their managers, or a combination of both, we’ll find the solution that works best for you.

When you have the right system in place, it can make your business more efficient, help you manage costs, and stay compliant, all while making life easier for your employees. With these benefits, it’s worth exploring your options to find the perfect solution for your business.

Request a Quote customized for your needs today!


The Benefits of Combining Time Clocks & Online Software

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