The Upside of Using Employee Time Clocks in Multi-unit Restaurant Operations
What are Employee Time Clocks?
A time clock is a device used in industries where employees work to record the number of hours they have worked for and the amount of compensation they are due. The invention of the first time clocks dates back to the early 1800s. Initially, these machines were used as a tool for employers to monitor the time-keeping habits of their workers, but they quickly became an essential part of any business that wanted accurate run payroll data.
Most businesses today are opting for digital time clocks while others are still using traditional devices like an analog clock with an hour hand that records when an employee has clocked in or out. There are also many different types of time clocks, including those that can be set off by radio waves or even sensors. A lot has changed since the invention of employee time clocks.
Nowadays, many companies have abandoned paper timesheets altogether, opting to keep track of hours worked electronically with software programs instead. This is also known as a punch clock system where employees mark their attendance at the start and end of the shift either using software or by using biometric time systems. These have been proved to be a much better way of counting employee hours and generating accurate payslips.
Traditional Employee Time Clock Systems
When considering time tracking devices, many people will think of the traditional time clock- a device in which an employee enters a time card to receive the current timestamp. It is done at the time of entering or leaving work. Then there are manual pen and paper time clock where the number of hours worked has to be calculated manually and then filling the same data again for salary purposes is additional work. But even after so much effort, the data is highly incorrect making companies waste their time and money on generating correct payslips every month.
Traditional employee time clock systems are becoming obsolete with changing technology and are being replaced by attendance and time management software that does not require any hardware system and all tasks are done from employees' personal systems like laptops and smartphones.
Time tracking is usually hard to do when small business use traditional time clocks as there is no mechanism of employee hours other than time cards. Even though traditional employee time clocks initially may look like a cheaper option with its inaccurate data collection it becomes a liability where HRs and employees are always solving payroll issues.
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Disadvantages of Traditional Employee Time Clock Systems
Here are some disadvantages of traditional employee time clock systems-
- They are notoriously unreliable because they rely on human interaction.
- They do not provide accurate information about overtime or work performed outside of standard hours.
- They have limited functionality as they cannot be used to track specific tasks/projects
- Are difficult to use in places with a high volume of employees such as factories or hospitals
- Traditional timeclock is difficult to install and move. Employees have to be physically present and walk to the system to punch in and out every day.
- Doesn't work for employees that work from remote locations or work from home.
Is processing accurate payroll a dream for you?: It is surprising to know that even renowned companies world over face payroll-related problems and are dissatisfied with their employee time clock management tools. Learning how to use the time clock software is easy but using it optimally is in the hands of the beholder. Giving proper training and making sure every employee is using the software to punchin correctly can help companies to minimize time theft and ensures more productivity from employees.
Challenges of Maintaining Time Attendance Across Multiple Units
1. Unharmonious Technology
If there are different technologies used in your restaurant, that's simply leaving you with more work to do. Ideally, everything in the business should use a single software platform - particularly when it comes to sales, payroll, and scheduling. Otherwise, managers will be hard-pressed to come up with solutions for all of their technology needs on their own.
2. Ensuring that employees are at the right place and time-
It is challenging for companies to ensure that their staff is where they should be, especially when they don't do it through effective systems. They typically experience time theft, gaps in operations, and inaccuracies in payroll because of employees not being physically located a certain way.
3. Unproductive and outdated workforces management platforms-
The biggest roadblock companies have to contend with is an outdated system, not just for tracking employee clock-ins, but for managing their workforce in general. Some of the time and attendance challenges that they face with their current platforms include-
1) manual errors
2) software difficulties
3) data transfer issues making payroll difficult
4. Difficulty in tracking employee break time-
A major reason for non-compliance can be no system available that can track employee break time, especially for remote workers or businesses that operate in different locations.
Benefits of Automated cloud based Attendance Software
Key benefits of cloud based attendance software are-
1. Use time and money optimally-
No more requirement of physical punches through time cards and manual punches using the chip, biometric, or any other device. Use your cloud based software app to mark your attendance. Your smartphones are accessible anywhere anytime and are a convenient option for remote working staff. The online time clock has many options to choose from when it comes to taking a break and letting your team members know about it. By putting signs or emojis like BRB, Tea break, snooze, traveling, and more your team can know about your availability and you no longer have to make excuses.
Employee punch-in data is collected and calculated automatically so the HR workforce spends minimal time verifying employee hours and managing timesheets.
2. Less scope for human error-
It is a daunting task for the accounts team and HRs to manually convert minutes to hours and get the correct working hours of each employee. Calculating overtime, paid leaves, breaktime manually can create miscalculations. On average, inaccurate calculations can cost up to 7% payroll costs yearly to a business.
Employees to fix their payroll errors put their problems and grievances in front of the HR and to solve payroll errors take so much time of both the parties and distraction from their work performance.
Online time clock software calculates and automatically transfer data of attendance to the payroll software and generate correct payslips. Humans are required to enter correct data and manage their daily practices, the rest software manages.
3. Eliminates buddy punching-
Colleagues can no longer take favors of other colleagues to clock in for them as was common in offices. Today, time-keeping software comes integrated with geo-fencing and a GPS tracking system that makes sure workers are at their working station by tracking their location.
For service businesses, this is a great tool as most of their employees are out there in the field.
4. Improves employee engagement and productivity-
A transparent system improves the efficiency and productivity levels of employees and helps boost their morale. Time clock software allows employees to see their payroll data and check payslip breakups that show work hours, leaves taken, and so on. When the employees are well informed about their attendance and daily activity it can help them improve their work quality and have more focus.
Employee engagement is more around work progress and less about office-related issues. HR can concentrate on nurturing the company with the best talent and employees can solve half of their problemS through the software itself.
5. Track labor costs-
Even though employee hours are no longer the parameter on which employee performance is checked anymore, tracking employee hours can give insight into their working style and discipline. employee time clock app comes in handy for service industry businesses that can reveal data about overtime hours spent by an employee to do their tasks and do the company requires more staff for a particular division.
6. Prevents work to get hampered-
Attendance software when integrated with scheduling software can cure all your employee time related issues due to which managers sometimes face a shortage of staff. This hampers the flow of work. But with attendance software the managers know well in advance about the unavailability of their staff member on a particular day, so that the manager can fill in someone else for that day and the work gets done as usual without any shorthand.
Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.
5 Best Employee Times Clock Apps
1. Hubworks Zipclock- an intuitive software app where keeping reminders for tasks to be done is easier than ever. Reviewing, editing, and approvals of employee time clocks are easier than ever with Hubworks Zipclock app. It also lets you eliminate any time theft by comparing employee punches with performance tools. Track your employees' whereabouts in real time with the help of geofencing and know whether they are abiding by labor laws and compliance. Zipclock app monthly subscription costs as low as $90 and goes up to $995 depending on the number of employees a business has.
2. buddy punch- a great software that increases employee accountability within teams, simplifies scheduling, and streamlines the payroll system. With its facial recognition technology and IP address locking system, employees can punch in their attendance from only certain locations. Their annual fee for the standard package starts at $2.99. This cost does not include the base fee which is an additional $19 per month.
3. Quickbooks Time- Approve and track your employee hours from your smartphones within seconds with The QuickBooks Time employee time tracking app. It is an app that has especially been made for remote workers and improves employee engagement, project tracking, and PTO tracking like no other. Their premium package starts at $10 per month.
4. Homebase- This employee time tracking software lets you work smarter by doing less work and still achieving your KPIs. This app tracks your work hours, breaks, overtime hour tracking, managing schedules and shifts, and leaves taken by employees in minutes. there is better compliance with HRs and employees also feel happier and connected to the organization than ever before. Their basic package is free of cost and their chargeable essential package starts at $14 per month per location and goes up to $70 per month per location.
5. Clockify- Time management and task tracking is fulfilled with this time management app. It lets you analyze business reports with the help of business intelligence tools like online timesheets, reminders, integration with other software, and project status that improves productivity and improves work culture. Their standard monthly subscription for employee time tracking starts at $5.49 per user per month and goes up to $11.99 per month per user.
Time Clock FAQs
1. How to manage employees across multiple locations?
Following standard operating procedures and the same technology for every employee be it an employee working from the office, work from home, or from a remote location on the field is very important. This is possible with cloud based employee time clock software that manages end-to-end employee attendance cycles that helps in giving rightly deserved salaries to its employees. Managers whose team members are working from different locations can keep all their records in one place and can communicate via chat systems together. This improves communication within teams bringing in transparency and better execution planning of their respective tasks.
2. Is managing employee scheduling for multiple locations a tricky business?
Maintaining employee schedules in a restaurant business is one of the most important tasks if you want to give great service to your customers. Employee scheduling app maintains all the data related to each employee's shift timings so that the restaurant owner can save money that they end up spending on overtime. Employee time clock app organizes employee shifts in a manner that any employee absence can be refilled with other employees. It is easier for employees to manage their work-life balance as they can ask their colleagues to swap shift timings with them for a day, this brings better co-existence among restaurant employees. Popular apps such as Hubworks are great for managing employee scheduling.