How to track employee time the mobile way
August 15, 2017
Today, you can track employee time in the cloud
I only had one job in my lifetime where I used a time clock. Every employee was handed a yellow card that looked very similar to a library card. (Of course, no one remembers those either.) I was forever punching the time on the wrong date or punching the time over a time already recorded. I was time clock challenged. Thank heavens, the days of time cards and punch clocks are over. Did you know that mechanized time recording started in 1888? That’s over 129 years of keeping tabs on employees. Technology has come a long way from mechanized time clocks and printed time sheets. Now, everything is done in the cloud. (All good things happen in the cloud, don’t you think? Like cloud-based consignment software.) A “virtual time clock” system is the way to go today.
With Clockspot, employees clock in from any cell phone, store phone or desktop. Bonnie Kallenberg, owner of 4 Finders Keepers stores in Atlanta and a SimpleConsign customer says, “I like it because I can access it anywhere to figure payroll. It’s web based, like Traxia which is convenient. There is also a message center which is a great communication tool.” Neil Abramson, president of NARTS and owner of Cutie Patutie’s also uses Clockspot. He added, “It allows us to keep track of our team across locations. We can lock down the clock-in/clock-out feature to our different store IP addresses. They can view information at home or on their phone, but they can’t clock in or out from there.” Clockspot has 2 plans, but The Standard Plan is recommended for most small to medium-sized companies. The base price is $10 plus $5 per user each month.
Neil Abramson is in touch with a number of shops across the nation. He mentioned a few other online systems that are being used too. Whentowork offers a free 30-day trial. After your free trial, the monthly subscription price is based on the number of employees. With Whentowork, your sales team sets their “prefer,” “dislike” and even “cannot work” times. It’s an excellent way to schedule younger part-time employees. The minute the schedule is created and published, everyone is notified. They even offer a “Tradeboard” letting employees share shifts.
Humanity also offers a free trial. Their “Schedule Wizard” automatically creates schedules. I love the drag and drop feature as well. Humanity provides an online time clock, staff payroll processing and even a human resources tool that manages vacation and HR documents. However, their Starter and Classic Plan require a $40 a month minimum. To meet the minimum of $2 or $3 per user, you need to have at least 14 – 20 employees.
The beauty about homebase is it’s priced per location rather than per employee. Plus, their Basic Plan is completely free. As they state, they’re perfect for a seasonal shop or one with a lot of part-time employees. Every plan includes scheduling, time tracking, team communication, reporting and mobile apps. Obviously, the more you pay, the more additional features you receive though.
TimeStation states, “turn any smartphone or tablet into a cloud-based time & attendance system.” (There they go with the cloud-based again) With TimeStation, employees use employee cards with special QR codes or assigned PIN numbers. Their free plan includes up to 10 employees and 2 administrators.
Is it worth the investment?
Although printed time sheets seem easy enough, the accuracy and convenience of a system outweighs the cost. As Neil Abramson says, “While employees are not out to intentionally cheat their company, they do it all the time. To the employee, 9:05 am feels like 9 am. It not only cheats the company, it makes the employee that’s always on time, feel cheated too.”
If you are still searching for the right time clock system, Capterra (the company we use to refer SimpleConsign) features Top 20 Time Clock Software Product reviews.
I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.
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