Of all the variables comprising workforce analytics and reporting, employee time and attendance tracking is perhaps the most critical. Employee hours touch several areas of the employee experience—including pay and benefits eligibility—making them a key component of workforce management in any organization.
However, it’s not only the number of hours that impact your total payroll expense, but also how employees spend their time at work. In fact, tracking work hours and how employees spend those hours can help you understand your workforce’s productivity and more efficiently manage labor costs.
Are You Efficiently Using Employee Time?
Unfortunately, running a productive workplace isn’t as easy as setting a schedule and having employees clock in and out. You also need processes to calculate overtime, track exceptions, and measure how actual employee productivity compares to expectations.
Whether due to inefficient technology, manual processes, or interruptions that slow them down, employees could be wasting time at work, leading to higher labor costs and lower productivity. Some examples of how time waste can negatively impact the productivity of your workforce include:
- Gaps between when employees clock in and when they begin work: If employees are visiting with coworkers or staying in the break room for an excessive amount of time before they start the workday, you could be paying for unproductive, non-work time.
- Time spent in areas of the workplace unrelated to work: Your labor costs can soar if, for example, a production employee spends a significant part of the workday in the shipping department.
- Project completion times that frequently exceed expectations: When workers take 12 hours to complete a project you estimated would only take eight, you not only risk falling short of customer expectations, but also experience labor costs that are higher than anticipated.
Miscalculating employee work hours and productivity is not limited to hourly employees. Office workers can also suffer from a lack of productivity due to time waste. In fact, a VoucherCloud study found that full-time office workers in the U.K. wasted several hours in a workday, resulting in less than three hours of daily productive working time.
Instead of working, employees may spend more time than they realize checking social media, talking with coworkers and catching up on the news. The inefficiency of workplace tools and equipment can also be a source of waste. This is why it’s essential to have workforce analytics that can tell you when employees are working and how much time they take to complete specific projects.
How Workforce Analytics Delivers Money-Saving Insights
Whether you believe your employees are highly productive or you suspect there is some time waste occurring in your workplace, you won’t know for sure without tools to measure employee work time and productivity.
Today’s time and attendance software does more than record when employees start and end a shift. It also comes with powerful workforce analytics to help you track employee work hours and gain visibility into the projects employees spend their time on throughout the day. Furthermore, with geolocation tools, your time and attendance solution allows you to see where employees are spending their days, whether inside your facility or at another designated location, such as a construction site.
Workforce management software delivers money-saving insights that help you schedule employees with greater certainty and avoid overspending on labor costs. With these insights and reporting capabilities, you can take the following actions:
Compare employee hours to schedules.
Real-time time collection tools allow you to see when employees clock in and out, so you can track regular and overtime payroll spend. In addition, they help you see when employee hours vary from the schedule.
For example, you can identify workers who clock out past their scheduled shift end time and receive alerts when employees work unscheduled overtime. With this information, you can follow up to see if employees need help with their work or are spending time on productive tasks.
Determine if break times comply with state laws.
Several states require employers to provide employees with meal and rest breaks during the workday, usually after employees have worked a specific number of hours. Manually tracking employee hours and break times can lead to compliance mistakes and costly non-compliance penalties or lawsuits.
Conversely, a flexible time and attendance solution can deliver insights to help you determine when in the workday employees should take breaks. It can also be configured to help you comply with other labor law requirements—such as for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—and notify you in the event of any exceptions.
Track the time and costs associated with specific tasks.
Often, there is variability in the productivity of one employee or team to the next. Time and attendance labor tracking tools can help you determine how many hours a project or task takes a specific employee and team so you can create the most efficient schedule and get the project done on time.
By assigning job codes to distinguish employees and work crews, you can measure output and understand how long each job takes to complete. In addition, you can use a real-time job costing solution to track the labor costs associated with specific jobs and projects, allowing you to budget, schedule and bid work with greater accuracy.
See the on-site locations where employees are working.
The modern time clock offers mobile solutions to help you see in which areas of your worksite employees are spending their time. Whether your employees work at a 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility or a multi-acre construction site, badge tracking and mobile tools can help you determine where employees are working and for how long.
With this added visibility, you can see, for example, when employees are spending time in a part of the facility unrelated to their work.
Proactively monitor employee time tracking issues before they become a problem.
A flexible time and attendance tracking solution can be configured to notify you of exceptions, such as when employees approach or exceed overtime limits and when they clock in or out too early or late. Dynamic dashboards and reports can also help you keep track of individual employee hours so you can avoid overscheduling and prevent employee burnout.
Reduce Waste and Efficiently Manage Labor Costs
Labor costs are one of your organization’s largest expenses, and you need smart tools to use employee time as efficiently as possible. By leveraging the power of workforce analytics to schedule and track employee work time, you can cut down on waste and gain more visibility into the time and costs associated with the work employees perform. Learn about TCP’s reporting and workforce analytics capabilities for more information about time and attendance solutions that can boost your bottom line.