Cloud-Based Time Clock
It would be difficult to overstate how quickly technology moves in the modern world. Practices and innovations that seemed like science fiction just a few short years ago regularly become standard operating procedures seemingly overnight. For a case in point, look at cloud storage. Not so long ago saving data to the cloud was an exotic, high-tech concept. Now it has become a common tool for data management of all kinds. For an increasing number of employers across a wide range of industries, that includes timekeeping and workforce management solutions. As old solutions like paper time sheets, manual punch clocks, and even basic computer spreadsheets become rapidly outdated, moving your operations to the cloud becomes a more and more sensible approach to tracking employee time and attendance.
Why use cloud-based time and attendance software?
As employee time tracking
moves more and more online, cloud-based time and attendance software becomes all the more essential. Employers in labor-driven industries such as healthcare
, agriculture, transport and logistics, and construction are often overseeing workforces that are spread across multiple locations, with multiple shifts and non-traditional schedules to ensure coverage seven days a week, 24 hours a day. That makes high-tech, online time clock management almost a necessity for businesses trying to consolidate their operations. With employers across all of those industries battling a worker shortage and facing high rates of employee turnover, no one can afford to overlook the advantages provided by new technology. Let's look at a few of the arguments in favor of cloud-based time clocks.
More efficient payroll processing
Moving more of your organization's time and attendance functions to the cloud is an excellent step toward developing a more efficient payroll process. Rather than scrambling to collect and coordinate paycheck information from multiple departments and locations every time you run payroll, storing all of that data in a cloud server puts all of the necessary employee information in a single, easily accessible place. Not only does that consolidation make it easier to avoid errors that can lead to delays, overpayments, and underpayments, it also simplifies your payroll reporting
and recordkeeping processes. Payroll records that can be quickly accessed and sorted by customizable fields make your processes run more smoothly while reducing the chance of costly mistakes.
Mobile time clock apps
Now more than ever, American workforces are mobile. In blue collar industries like the ones mentioned earlier, workers are frequently traveling between facilities, making home visits, transporting goods over the road, and other duties that do not fall in line with old-fashioned methods such as stationary employee time clocks or paper time sheets. By tracking time in the cloud, an employer opens the door to a much more flexible time and attendance process that allows workers to log and report their hours from the places where they actually work. Using a mobile app
, employees can manage time and make requests in real time. A cloud-based time clock system allows your employees to clock in and out
, submit time sheets and other time data, request paid time off, and more, even while working remotely.
More accurate reporting
Because cloud-based time clocks can automatically calculate employee hours while storing data in one easily accessible location, generating accurate reports is much easier than it is with a manual system. Every time employees clock in and clock out, that data is uploaded instantly to your cloud storage, reducing the chance of misplaced data that can lead to payroll delays. An automated time and attendance system makes it simple to generate reports focusing on areas such as:
- Hours worked
- Sick days
- Vacation days
- Unpaid leave
- Other forms of unpaid and paid time off
Those reports can be useful to employers for a number of reasons, including creating more accurate budget and labor forecasts and making sure that your operations stay compliant with all federal, state, and local labor laws related to timekeeping.
Fewer chances for errors
On the administrative side, employee time and attendance is a complex and challenging field to manage effectively. Even a seemingly minor error can lead to overpayments, underpayments, or late payments, all of which can have a hugely negative impact on employee morale and ultimately on employee retention. A cloud-based time system helps to manage your employees’ hours quickly and efficiently, eliminating the chance for human error and time theft when an employee punches a manual time card. This can be especially important for employers with workers in multiple locations, or those whose workforces include a wide range of categories.
Managing complex workforces more easily
When your HR team is tracking time and attendance data from a mix of full-time employees, contract and contingent workers, seasonal hires, and freelancers, following all of the time recording and reporting rules for each group can become a real challenge. In jobs where organized labor is involved, following multiple sets of union rules only adds to the complexity. An automated time and attendance system
allows your team to customize fields and set different rules for different categories of workers. This approach also helps you avoid improperly classifying workers as full-time or contract employees, which is a major consideration for compliance efforts.
While there is some misconception that cloud-based time and attendance software is only necessary for large corporations, these online solutions are also tremendously helpful for any mid-sized to small business looking to manage remote workforces and track employees’ attendance more effectively. Many vendors even offer a free trial of their time and attendance solutions to help make the decision easier. The bottom line is that no matter the size or industry of your business, we are now squarely in an era of online workforce management. That includes your time and attendance functions, and any business that can not keep up with advancements in technology is setting itself up for trouble in the near future. Bringing your time clock operations into the cloud computing era not only helps to empower your employees, ease the workload on your HR staff, and increase the accuracy of your reports and compliance efforts -- it is also just plain good business sense.