Online timekeeping is a great way to record and streamline work activities in your company. People often record their hours using a rudimentary method like paper and spreadsheets. Unfortunately, these are often error-prone, time-consuming, and impractical. 

In the meantime, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to track worked hours by “nonexempt employees,” who are usually  paid by the hour. Although you can choose your timekeeping system, the records you keep must be accurate and complete. That is why we recommend using timekeeping software. Certainly, these softwares will allow you to simplify the recording of the hours worked by your employees and stay compliant with the law. 

Timekeeping Software Options

There is a wide universe of timekeeping software available on the market. And each of them offers different features. Certainly, organizing timekeeping records is always a challenging task for RH, and finding the ideal software that works best for each team is often cumbersome. 

With the rise of the gig economy, time recording laws have made hourly billing a common practice. Therefore, companies require a more organized approach and a centralized tool to stay in compliance. In this scenario, timekeeping has become essential.

We have compiled the most popular timekeeping apps so that you can choose the one that best suits you.  

1. TrackingTime

All kinds of companies rely on this platform for transparent billing and payroll, from freelancers to large corporations. TrackingTime helps thousands of teams around the world to conveniently keep track of their working hours, bill them professionally, analyze their data and make decisions based on professional reports.

TrackingTime is a project management time tracking software, that provides a clear picture of your team’s work. Keep up with project progress with no extra effort, work efficiently and establish good habits that reflect your company culture.

2. Everhour

Everhour allows employees to keep track of the amount of time they spend on specific tasks or projects. This timekeeping and resource planning tool enables you to track time for work assignments, calculate budgets, and schedule future work.

3. Clockify

This timekeeping tool allows teams to track work hours across projects, keep track of hours with timer, log time on a timesheet, classify time by project, and mark time as billable.

4. Jibble

Jibble allows you to clock in and out from mobile devices and web applications. Biometric login (by selfie) is also available. The app collects statistics, prepares performance reports for employees and managers, and delivers daily, weekly or monthly alerts.

5. Beebole

BeeBole helps teams keep track of the time they spend on work assignments. The tool is also useful for tracking vacations and leaves. 

Record Working Hours

Unlike exempt employees, non-exempt employees can only be paid for the exact hours worked. Therefore, it is crucial to document their hours accurately. Usually, the roadblock companies run into is that they cannot record working time correctly by using a manual time tracking system. Certainly, manual timesheets often force Payroll departments to waste their time going over every little detail to determine who worked, how many hours, and who should be paid. 

Currently, in the United States, time recording is mandatory by the FLSA. Therefore, each employee must fully and accurately record all the time they work each day, without exception, in accordance with the rules and procedures that apply depending on the department to which the employee is assigned. No employee may alter or otherwise modify their time record, record another employee’s work time, or change or limit another employee’s time record in any way, unless specifically requested or permitted by a supervisor. 

Certainly, manual timesheets often force Payroll departments to waste their time going over every little detail to determine who worked, how many hours, and who should be paid. 

There are plenty of options for recording employee time, regardless of the method you use. This way, you will be able to comply with the law and keep your administrative and payroll processes organized. In turn, it will allow you to analyze the performance of each of your employees. Here are some of the most commonly used systems for record keeping and time tracking:

Different Time Tracking Options

  1. Using a timer: start/stop tracking tasks in real-time, “on the fly…”
  2. Filling out timesheets manually at the end of the day/week
  3. Geolocation and Geofencing: Track time based on your location. 
  4. Automatic time tracking: Record your computer activity and track time spent on apps and websites. 

Automatic Timekeeping vs. Manual Timesheet Filling

timekeeping manually

If you are wondering which method is better for you, that will depend on your needs. On the one hand, automatic timekeeping will help you simplify your processes. Therefore, if you’re tracking to measure and improve productivity, the timer will be useful. On the other hand, manual time tracking might be a good option for managers looking to align business processes and exercise control while workers keep track of how their working time translates into payroll.  

But which of these is the best option? Let’s check the pros that each one offers: 

Manual Record Keeping 

  • Employers have no additional technology costs.
  • Easy to incorporate into the work process.
  • Prevents any problems related to electricity.
  • Easy to maintain as it does not require significant updates.

Automatic Timekeeping

  • Accurate calculation.
  • Avoids mistakes associated with the human factor.
  • Reduces attendance management time.
  • Integration with internal departments and outer services.
  • Gather valuable data for performance monitoring and analysis.

Carrying Out Time Audits

Suppose you spend most of your day in meetings, calls, administrative tasks, interruptions, distractions, conversations, and appointments. Before you know it, the day’s over, and you’ve barely scratched the surface of your to-do list. In this case, the simplest way to reduce the waste of time is to perform an accurate time audit. 

A time audit is meant to help you see how you are spending your time. By tracking your activities throughout the day for three, five, or seven days, you can see what is consuming most of your time, as well as identify opportunities to increase efficiency and impact.

How to Do It? Easy:

  1. Determine how you will keep track of daily activities.
  2. Determine how and how often you will be reminded to track your tasks.
  3. Analyze the data to determine where you can make  improvements.
  4. Plan and prioritize your work.

After identifying where are you using your time, make a plan that prioritizes your most important tasks and eliminates any activities that keep you off your priorities.

Breaks, Meal Periods, and Overtime

According to the U.S Department of Labor, employers must provide meal, lunch, or break periods for their employees. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay non-exempt employees for any time classified as “worked hours.” This means that an employer may have to pay an employee for any work performed during a bona fide meal break, even if it is done voluntarily. An employer who is aware that an employee is “working through lunch” to complete a task, and allows them to do so, must pay the employee for that time.

Employers must pay non-exempt employees for any time classified as “worked hours.”

Dos and Don’ts 

If you are new to implementing timekeeping in your business, you should know that few things can become problematic when recording employees’ working hours. There are many different ways to adapt it to serve other purposes, depending on your career field, company culture, and the overall goals of your team. But in the meantime, let’s look at a few Do’s and Dont’s when implementing timekeeping for the first time. 

Dos

1. Use an Accurate Timekeeping System:

A timekeeping system is a very useful tool for any company. And it is the best way to track employee’ time per minute worked.  

2. Require Employees to Record All Time Worked:

Work-related activities outside the company, such as those hours answering emails and calls, attending events or meetings, checking phone messages, or performing other work tasks are generally considered as compensable work time. Make sure your employees get a record of each of those hours. 

3. Record Training and Travel Time:

According to the FLSA, employers must pay employees not only for time spent at work, but also for specific non-productive time, such as time spent in training or traveling (as long as these are during working hours or non-working hours, but whose activities are related to work). Make sure you understand the rules and instruct employees to record their time accordingly.

4. Require Employees to Verify Hours Worked:

Making your employees verify their hours after each workday will allow you to have more accurate time records and make corrections before running payroll.

Don’ts

  1. Withhold payment if employees fail to submit or sign their timesheets.
  2. Allow employees to work off-the-clock.
  3. Withhold pay for ‘unauthorized’ work time.
  4. Take automatic deductions for meal periods.
  5. Forget to address interrupted meal periods.
  6. Neglect record keeping responsibilities. 

Require Employees to Verify Hours Worked:

Correctly employing timekeeping techniques can help any company keep up with the requirements of the law and maintain an organized work process by measuring the performance of its employees and making payments on a month-to-month basis. That is why using an automatic timekeeping solution will help you correct and reduce error margins, speed up work processes, and collect hourly data from each of your collaborators.


How to carry out time audits?

  1. Determine how you will keep track of daily activities.

  2. Determine how and how often you will be reminded to track your tasks.

  3. Analyze the data to determine where you can make  improvements.

  4. Plan and prioritize your work.


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