It’s every manager’s worst nightmare: A team of remote workers who never show up for morning meetings.
The work might get done in the end. But it’s hard to know whether your teams are productive enough if nobody knows how many hours they’re actually putting in.
Keep reading to learn how remote employee time tracking benefits global businesses.
The Rise of the Remote Worker
Remote work has undergone a revolution in the last decade.
And no, in spite of what most people think, it’s not only because of the coronavirus. Remote work was, in fact, on the rise prior to the pandemic as technological advancements enabled seamless collaboration across international borders.
The pandemic only accelerated the trend and – in many cases – forced companies to recognize the benefits of embracing a global workforce. The benefits of remote work are numerous and include:
- Reduced overhead costs
- Access to wider talent pools
- Larger networking opportunities
- Access to larger markets
- Improved employee satisfaction
Yet amid the benefits stands an elephant in the room, and it has been the bane of office managers the world over. That elephant is ensuring productivity – and being confident that employees are putting in their time.
This is where remote employee time tracking enters the game.
Why Global Businesses Need To Track Employee Hours
Managing remote employees poses unique challenges for global businesses. Chief among them is the nature of the work. Remote employees, by definition, aren’t anywhere near the office.
For supervisors, that makes it difficult to monitor their daily activities and ensure they’re working efficiently. Communication barriers and time zone differences further compound the problem of making sure everybody is working the hours they’re being paid for.
Without the traditional office environment, managers can’t check in on employees and ensure they’re on track with their tasks.
Tracking Solutions for Better Productivity
Enter the virtual time clock.
These software solutions address the challenges of remote workforces by implementing virtual time clocks or tracking software. By doing so, companies better understand their employees’ work hours. This sheds light on employee hours and helps keep track of days off.
In addition, remote employee tracking helps companies comply with labor laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the U.S., for instance, mandates that companies track employee hours and pay overtime when necessary.
Tracking and logging these hours for remote employees ensures legal compliance.
Effective Virtual Time Tracking Software
Effective web-based tracking solutions should have features that let managers see the hours their staff is clocking at a glance. That means the software should:
- Be easy to use
- Accurately track employee hours
- Offer real-time reporting
- Manage overtime
- Track breaks and time off
- Coordinate team schedules
An intuitive interface with standout graphics is ideal. That grants managers an overview without eating up undue amounts of their time, and ease of use means the software can be integrated into existing workflows seamlessly.
The main function of time clock software is to accurately track hours. That should include options for both manual correction and automated time entries. In addition, overtime labor reports should be tracked to ensure all employees are working regulated hours and remunerated according to their contracts.
It’s common for coffee and lunch breaks to remain unpaid, so it’s important for employees to be able to log them between regular working hours.
Finally, the ability to export data to commonly used tools, such as Excel, makes it easy for employers to track and store employee data without hassle.
Implementing Remote Employee Time Tracking Effectively
Implementing remote employee time tracking is only one part of effective remote workforce management. One of the most vital things for managers to establish is boundaries.
Employees must understand what is expected of them and feel accountable for their actions. Open lines of communication and regular check-ins are crucial.
One way to achieve this is by checking in with employees both on an individual basis and in groups. This creates the opportunity to discuss goals, tasks, and projects while addressing challenges as they arise. Doing so on an individual level helps to build rapport – while doing so in groups fosters a sense of cohesion and support.
Boosting Morale and Productivity
Remote tracking can help managers gain insight into employee working hours. However, it’s crucial for them to use such information responsibly.
Time tracking should not be used to invade privacy or to micromanage employee working hours. Remote work offers a lot of benefits, and one of the most common among them is the flexibility of a schedule. It’s natural to arrange specific meeting times, but reasonable to expect employees to have different rhythms that work for them – particularly with a globally distributed workforce.
Managers should use the data gathered to identify areas for improvement. Where possible, they should recognize the hard work and accomplishments of their team members while identifying areas for improvement.
This approach can boost productivity and morale while maintaining a positive work environment.
Keeping Track of Hours Across Continents
A key benefit of remote time-tracking software is the ability to log employee hours while their managers are not working.
This enables managers to review the hours their staff is putting in on a weekly or monthly basis. By doing so, they can rest assured their employees are holding up their end of the bargain.
Leverage Time Tracking for a Global Workforce
Remote employee time tracking is a valuable tool when managing a remote workforce. At Time Trak Go, we value ease of use and simplicity.
Our web-based time-tracking software offers the perfect blend of scheduling and time clocking. Click here to learn more.