Employee timekeeping: Better tools, systems and methods

Published on 16/04/2024

Employee timekeeping: Better tools, systems and methods

Published on 16/04/2024

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Employee timekeeping: Better tools, systems and methods

Do you want to know how to optimize employee control and maintain effective records? We’ll explain how to do it thanks to different management tools.

Royal Decree-Law 8/2019, known as the Employee Time Control Law, requires all companies to have systems to monitor compliance with employees’ working hours, meaning to keep a daily record of the start and end times of their working day.

Currently, there are different alternatives for employee and team time control, all guided by the same objective: to carry out adequate registration and control of personnel’s entry and exit. However, not all options available in the market adapt correctly to different work modalities and positions, or they may hardly provide reliable and objective data.

Mechanisms and systems for employee timekeeping

Essentially, a time control system records the entry and exit times of a company’s staff, generating reports of such records, some also include breaks and rest periods of the workers. But why is it so important to consider using time control systems or applications? Their aim is to analyze how many hours are worked, the punctuality of the worker, the incidents that may arise during the day, and the overtime worked.

When evaluating software for employee time tracking or any of the different time control systems available, we must set aside the traditional hourly record in Excel; otherwise, it will not be possible to take into account all the possibilities that exist in the current market.

Among the most used methods for employee time control are the following:

Employee time control through versatile systems

A versatile time tracking system is agile and flexible, adapting to different forms of work or types of workers: workers who carry out their work at a client’s site, telecommuting situations, workers with flexible schedules or reduced hours, etc. Additionally, it can be used from various devices: mobile phones or computers.

Versatile systems allow manual time tracking by employees themselves, but they also have the option of fully automatic and real-time registration, generating daily reports or within a certain period, and completely objective.

Time Management is a software for presence and working hours control, which allows for exhaustive control by managers and executives over the development of their employees’ working day, as required by time control law.

It is a versatile system; employees can record their working hours through the application on their mobile phones or tablets, and even forget about manual punching thanks to its 100% automatic time tracking, once the employee logs into their computer.

WorkMeter’s time management software records and documents the times dedicated to breaks, rest periods, or other interruptions, so that the effective daily working time can be defined. Additionally, it has a comprehensive vacation and absence manager.

It is a complete employee time tracking software. It will undoubtedly facilitate and streamline the work of the Human Resources department and talent management. If you wish to try WorkMeter’s time management software, request a completely free trial.

Declarative online systems as a solution for employee time control

Declarative online systems are another option for monitoring employees’ time both for their entry and exit and for supervising their schedule.

This type of time tracking software provides access to employees through a web environment that allows them to record the start and end times of each of their working days.

They are tools for manually recording hours, which means they can be subject to error since their information is subjective, providing data on labor attendance control.

Physical clocking systems for employee entry and exit control

Physical clocking systems are time control devices for employees that are incompatible with new work environments: hybrid work, telecommuting, flexible schedules, etc. These are physical devices placed at the entrances and exits of headquarters, areas, or offices.

Magnetic stripe cards

The operation of this time control system is simple: each employee has a card that must be swiped through a device dedicated to reading and recording their entry and exit from the office. The card has a magnetic stripe, a barcode, or a QR code that allows the employee’s information to be recorded.

Proximity cards

Proximity cards are an alternative for entry and exit control that is quite particular but widely used.

This type of card uses RFID technology (Radio Frequency IDentification), a plastic card embedded with an integrated circuit and a communication antenna in its core. Each card contains a serial number that is read by radio frequency, typically 125kHz.

Proximity cards can transmit a unique code, with more than 1 trillion possible combinations, when it is brought near the appropriate reader. 

Their durability is superior to magnetic stripe cards because reading occurs without physical contact, so wear and tear are minimal.

Biometric systems for employee time control

Biometric systems for employee control are very sophisticated and interesting systems because they eliminate the most common frauds. They are the result of applying mathematical and statistical techniques to a person’s physical or behavioral traits to verify identities or identify individuals.

Examples of physical characteristics include fingerprints, facial patterns, retinas, iris, or hand geometry. Their main disadvantage is their high implementation cost, due to the cost of the technology they use.

  • Fingerprint identification: It works by recognizing the fingerprint of one of the hand’s fingers. The automated fingerprint identification system has a security rate of 99.9%.
  • Vascular biometrics identification: It reads the vein patterns of the hands. The most reliable and secure technology within hand biometrics is the one that consists of a scanner that captures an image of the vein pattern of the palm through the reflection of short-wave frequencies (very similar to infrared).
  • Facial biometrics identification: Facial biometrics recognition is a technology that requires very specific conditions, especially light, so its performance can be affected by circumstances unrelated to people.
  • Iris or eye scanner identification: This system is technologically very secure but currently also quite expensive. It is usually used to protect premises that require a high level of security.
  • Hand profile biometrics: It works by recognizing the morphology of the hand.
  • Signature sheets: It consists of manually registering entries and exits, reporting them on spreadsheets. Microsoft Office itself has different templates in its catalog.

Activity control systems, beyond time control: Employee timekeeping

We have explained the different alternatives for real and objective time control, but how to monitor effective work activity of employees? A need increasingly present, especially during telecommuting modalities.

To control work activity, companies have different methods and tracking systems. 

Mainly, what companies seek is to block access to certain web pages, such as social networks, or program downloads, music, movies, etc. Among the most used methods are the following:

Blocking proxies

A proxy is a tool that acts as an intermediary between a computer and a web address. That is, through a proxy server, a team in the company’s network will be directly connected to the Internet, filtering and distributing access to the rest of the organization’s equipment.

It works by establishing “Whitelist” systems, where a list of permitted web addresses is set, which will be the only ones accessible; or “Blacklist” systems, where the list includes the non-permitted web addresses, so only that group of pages would be restricted, being all others accessible.

In addition to URLs corresponding to social networks, messaging services or download programs can also be blocked. The advantage of this method is that it allows adjusting the block to a specific schedule, being possible to schedule it to be released during personnel breaks.

Firewalls or firewalls

These are systems that come included by default in the computer’s operating system. Their main advantage is the simplicity that allows blocking any type of program or website from the same device, but this benefit comes with a drawback.

The disadvantage is that the computer user could modify the firewall settings to bypass the restrictions established by the organization, depending on their computer knowledge and the level of access they have, so it is advisable not to enable it as an administrator.

Geolocation via GPS

Some companies adopt geolocation systems to know, at all times, where employees are (inside and outside the company). This system is suitable for fleets and commercial vehicles, mobile sales positions, transporters, and general distributors.

It is important to clarify that all the systems mentioned can be perceived as invasive and aggressive by workers, having a completely negative effect on their work and causing:

  • An awkward work environment.
  • Job demotivation.
  • Little involvement from human resources.

The consequences of such action can even lead to talent drain with the consequent loss of competitiveness for the company in the market. Something no company can afford in these times.

An integrated software: Employee timekeeping

Many companies began to adapt the remote or telecommuting work model to ensure safety, well-being, and peace of mind for their employees. Now the challenge for companies, in addition to maintaining time control of their professionals, is to measure and understand their level of productivity while telecommuting, as well as to avoid absenteeism and optimize talent management in general.

That’s why, at WorkMeter, we took an extra step with performance management software. A tool that facilitates employee time control: it details the start and end times of the workday, actual activity, break time, and overtime worked. But it also measures productivity, evaluates performance, allows analysis of time investment in value-adding activities, without violating employees’ privacy, ensures digital disconnection, complies with legal regulations, and has a complete vacation and absence manager.

WorkMeter’s performance management software aims to help companies modernize their management and promote a data-driven culture, providing employees with objective information about their performance, measuring their productivity levels so that they can optimize time management and increase their performance.

A solution that brings together the necessary functionalities for effective monitoring and objective timekeeping. All in one software. A perfect combination!

Time management software - free trial

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