Paying Employees: How Do You Track Employee Hours?

According to a survey by, at least two-thirds of employees admitted wasting time at work. With employees raising salary disputes, spending so much time surfing the net, checking their phones, or chit-chatting with their fellow workmates, it is important to find a way of tracking their time to ensure that they are productive.

If your business consists of so many salaried employees, especially hourly employees, you may want to know how to track their working hours to pay them accurately. The question is, how do you track employee hours?

Whether you need to track a shift, measure how much time your employees take to handle a task or more, there are several methods that you can use to track employee time. 

Read on to find out more:

Why You Should Track Your Employees Time

Many employers tend to overlook tracking an employee’s time. However, time theft is not a small issue. Losing as little as one hour per employee in a month can cost your business thousands of dollars annually. 

Undocumented hours, whether intentionally or not, can lead to tax and payroll issues. Tracking will ensure that you:

  • Generate accurate payrolls that include overtime or deductions
  • Can understand where your employees time goes
  • Adhere to the set labor regulations
  • Do not have to deal with any tax issues that can arise from unbillable hours

It would be best if you also considered using a free paystub maker to ensure that you have all accounting and any other work-related document in order. 

Here are some ways that can help you track time:

Pen and Paper

Though this is a very outdated approach, especially in today’s digital age, there are some businesses that still rely on it. This is also an excellent way to record employee timings if you work in an area with poor internet connectivity.

The pen and paper method might only be ideal for startup or business that does not have a lot of employees; however, as the business grows, using it might not be ideal. Employees might not get paid for the actual hours they worked for because of the limitations of this method, and this can lead to payroll disputes.

A great tip would be to transfer the records to a spreadsheet tool to make it easy to calculate the hours to avoid doing it manually.

Biometric Clock-in

The biometric system uses an employee’s biological features like fingerprints, handprints, or facial features to verify their identity. This method is more reliable because it prevents buddy punching, whereby one employee clocks in for another.

With this system, you will have to register individual employees, and then they can clock in or out daily, and you will be able to track the hours that they have worked easily. Even though this method is a little pricey because you have to buy fingerprint or handprint scanners, you will have accurate data and no pay disputes.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are today a common method of tracking employee’s time. It is offered by software developers, and you can use it to track both the clock-in and -out times. You can also use it to track how much time an employee takes to work on a task. 

With this method, your employees can access a time clock or timer via their smartphones. The app can also be set to prompt them to clock in and out as needed. This makes it easy to track your employee’s time, even when they are working away from the office.

The data collected is integrated with the payroll software you are using for accurate working hours. To ensure that this system works, all your employees should have smartphones.  Consider a cloud-based app that comes with a back-up.  

Time Clocks

Time clocks have been used for several years now to keep track of time. The somewhat traditional time clocks like punch machines are not expensive but are quite tricky to maintain. They are also prone to employee abuse. Upgrading the hardware is also challenging because they can become outdated.

There is time clock software that offers more sophisticated ways of clocking in and out. You can set up a clock–in-station in the office and use the kiosk app or desktop to keep track of time. This will help you create a streamlined process.  

To set up the time clock, all you need to do is to get the app on your desktop, assign ID numbers to your employees that they will use to clock in or out, and integrate it with your payroll system for a seamless process.

Browser Plug-ins and URL Tracking

If, for example, your employees primarily use computers, have access to the internet, and you would like to know how they use their time, this might be the perfect tool for you. This method will allow you to track their activities, and you will know what they are wasting their time on because the timer will allow you to track the URLs they visit.

Your employees can also have a tool like a timer on their computers that they can operate with the touch of a button. They can start or stop the timer and record their work and transmit the same in real-time. You will also be able to know how long they take on a project.

It would be a good idea to let your employees know that you are tracking their internet activities and also share the reports with them so that they can know how to manage their time. Ensure your tracking solution complies with internal policies and government regulations. 

How Do You Track Employee Hours? Consider These Methods

Accurate tracking of employee time is very necessary for any business. To answer the question, “How do you track employee hours?” you can use any of these methods to get a solution that works best for your business. Today, the best time management systems can be integrated easily with any office systems like payroll tools to streamline payroll processing. 

Check out our other articles for more lifestyle, home, and business tips.

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