It’s hard to believe, but time tracking systems for employees have been a part of the business world for over 100 years! It’s one of the best ways to fairly track the amount of time employees have put into their work, since it protects both employer and employee, with a verifiable document for calculating pay.

However, we’re in the 21st century now and times have changed. Even if you’ve been using more contemporary, digital time tracking machines, automation continues to improve our business and security practices. You no longer have to rely on a machine connected to a network to track time for your employees, you can do this online, and it makes a huge difference. Here’s how.

The Old Way

Traditional methods of tracking time require a central, physical location. This presents two big issues. The first is that if many people are starting a shift for work at the same time, work can’t begin until they go to the machine to clock in. Even if they’ve arrived on work on time, if there’s a line at the machine of other people waiting to clock in, they have to join that line and wait their turn.

The second issue is that if you want to incorporate a time-tracking system for all work, you run into trouble if your workers need to go elsewhere to start work. One solution is using some additional math to calculate the work start time.  You take into account their travel time as they clock in, then actually drive to the remote location, trusting their word for when they arrived at a remote site and started work. Another is not using the time clock and just taking someone’s word for it.

The New Way

With new technology, employees carry the time clock machine on their person all the time, as long as they have a phone. Time clock software can be installed on any modern smartphone, which the vast majority of people have. With the software installed, as long as there is wireless receptivity, the phone can connect to the network managing the time clock software. When people arrive at work, and they are ready to start, they pull out their phone, activate the time clock software and punch in.

This eliminates the need for anyone to wait in line, so the old “buffer” of waiting anywhere from 5-20 minutes for all employees to clock in and then go to their work before work starts is a thing of the past. And thanks to the wireless nature of the software, even if you have to send your workers to other locations, with no time clock machine, the time clock software can track their “punch in,” and you can verify it online yourself.

The Advantages

The great thing about using a time clock punch app is that it can do so much more than just record when a person punches in and out. With modern software, GPS tracking is enabled, so this means if you need to send workers elsewhere, you find out if they are at the correct location through GPS tracking. This even means you can see if a punch is at the legitimate location work is supposed to take place in, rather than a fraudulent punch in.

This also means you leave briefings for tasks, and even make special requests, such as requiring a photo be taken and uploaded to ensure everyone can see the quality of work. When you’re using the right kind of employee time clock app, you’re making your work management much more efficient and accurate.