There is no blanket need to track employee time, and, in fact, tracking employee time can, in many instances, be pointless. Tracking time is a solution. If you don’t have a problem, then you possibly don’t need a solution.
The first step, thus, is to identify the problems you’re having managing your employees. If KPIs are clear and adhered to, then tracking time may serve no benefit. However, the reality is that in most jobs having all KPIs that encompass all aspects of a job role and then setting reasonable KPIs is not nearly as easy as many think.
No, it’s not at all necessary to use time clock software, but using one could make life much easier and thus save costs and minimize mistakes, especially for larger organizations where managing time can become a nightmare.
Yes. Agreed, the free option won’t work for everyone, but they are absolutely a viable solution. For example, with Jibble, the vast majority of our users never pay a cent.
There is essentially no difference between the two.
The former implies the software tracks time, while the latter implies the building of timesheets, but given nearly all time tracking software output time tracking data into timesheets, and nearly all timesheet software get their data from tracked time, in practice there is no difference between the two.
Time tracking software is a broad term for software that tracks time, and it could be used for desk-based employees as well as on-site ones. Time and attendance is a subset of time tracking, and given the word ‘attendance’ it implies it’s for on-site employees – you wouldn’t normally use time and attendance software for desk-based employees.
Here are some questions and answers about time and attendance.
That’s not the best idea. Your employees will feel a lack of trust, no-one likes being constantly watched and so your best staff will just leave the company, and getting around screen recording is actually fairly easy and focusing on the recorded screen time instead of output means screen time becomes the KPI, not output. It thus makes a lot more sense to track broad activities, projects and/or clients for transparency, and ensure effective management.
Generally speaking, no, an employer can’t force an employee to use an app on the employee’s mobile unless it’s explicitly stated in the contract. However, in most cases an employer and employee need to have some level of give and take to have a good working relationship, and an employee answering their mobile or using it to track time if asked would normally be considered reasonable.
Yes, if it becomes micro time tracking, no if its benefits are communicated well, and that communication means conveying to employees how it helps both employee and employer.
If you’re recording your employees screen without even telling them, yes, that feels an awful lot like spying. But time tracking software is rarely used in this way, and time tracking done right should not have even an element of spying.
There aren’t many free timesheet apps, but every timesheet app makes its money by charging for optional upgrades.
Communication is really important, as well as setting expectations. For staff paid hourly, you should explain that tracking time is as much to protect them as it is the company. Tracking time means employees being paid fairly, and employers paying fairly. For staff on fixed salaries, you should explain the need for accountability. Managers that aren’t aware what their staff are working on tend not to get very far.
Generally, it doesn’t really make sense to track attendance for your desk-based employees, i.e. to track how many hours they have been at their desk as it achieves little. However, what is often worth tracking is where any hours are going i.e. the activities, projects and/or clients. Without such basic accountability, it’s nearly impossible to effectively manage most desk-based staff.
Most are indeed trying to solve the same problem, i.e. to track employee time. However, each has its own focus, different software integrations, strengths, price and, perhaps most importantly, each has varying levels of execution – a time tracking app that makes it difficult for employees to actually track time is ultimately going to cause a lot more problems than it solves.
- Leverage off existing users’ experience so look at reviews.
- If it integrates with apps you’re already using it’ll save you a lot of time syncing employees and data.
- If you’re finding it difficult to get a free trial, in fact if a free trial is not being pushed to you, that should raise alarm bells. If it’s great software, they’ll want you to try it out.
- Get in touch with customer support a few times to test them. When you’re in trouble, great customer support will be a life saver, don’t underestimate it.
- Choose an app that does nothing except time tracking, its focus means it will likely do a much better job than general HR solutions.
Tracking employee time is not illegal in any jurisdiction in the world. In fact, in many, perhaps even most, developed countries time tracking has become required by law in some way, shape or form, to protect employees from being overworked and to ensure they are paid any overtime due, but lack of awareness means such laws are rarely enforced.
It can be, but doesn’t have to be. If you’re tracking attendance it’s necessary to ensure employees are on time or to get payroll payment correct. If you’re tracking desk-workers’ time recording screens is verging on the side of micromanagement. Recording broad based activities is just about being aware of where your human resources are deployed and is typically essential for management.
Since 2022, Tesla has been using Jibble to track employee time.
Micromanaging employees to the point their screens are recorded isn’t old school because it’s a relatively recent innovation, but the concept of knowing exactly every detail of what your staff are doing is indeed old school. That just doesn’t fly any more. However, using an employee attendance app or time tracker to broadly understand where your employees’ hours are going is an essential part of effective management.
Employers should convince their employees of the importance of using a work hours tracker. It isn’t so you could micromanage or spy on them but it is to ensure adequate workload is distributed and to identify and prevent severe burnout cases. For example, managers would be able to notice that their employee is struggling to complete tasks or spending more time but with little to no progress, then they may want to have a talk with them or offer them some time off to recover.
Time tracking is indeed big business. We estimate that the current value of all the time tracking software businesses is in the region of $100B, it’d be absolutely worth it for Google (Alphabet) if it could grab 1/3 of that.
But time tracking is not part of Google’s focus, it would not fit well within its current product offering, and time tracking is actually a very broad space that is best served by niche players targeting various segments. Google can’t do it all, and so ultimately it’d be very difficult for Google to gain that 1/3 market share or even close to it, and they have what they would consider more interesting things to focus on.
PTO stands for Paid Time Off, most of the world outside the US calls it ‘leave’. And so a PTO tracking software is the same thing as a leave tracking software.
Yes, there is, and it’s called Jibble. Jibble is 100% FREE for the vast majority of the businesses that use it, they never pay a cent, never need to enter any credit card details, and they can cancel anytime.
Not necessarily, for small teams with very basic needs a work hours calculator is possibly all you need.
You’d track your own hours and use the calculator to work out the total number of payroll hours. There is no need to even create an account.
You could print out timesheet templates where time would be recorded.