It is no secret that employees do not like the idea of their time and attendance being monitored electronically. This has been the cause of much legal and regulatory trouble for businesses, government agencies, and even some schools. Some employees have reported feeling uncomfortable about having their time monitored and even fearful that they will be watched.
To determine whether using online time clock software tracking is a violation of privacy or not, you must first understand why companies monitor employee time in the first place. It’s important to note that this is not done to catch someone cheating on timesheets. It is used to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
The main reason for having an online time and attendance system is to reduce the costs associated with employing workers. If an employee is late or does not show up for work, and someone has to cover for them, your company could lose money. Employees may punch time for one another, commonly referred to as time theft, impacting your labor costs and productivity. These are all costs that can be mitigated through an online timecard system.
Employer monitoring is also used to determine the efficiency and productivity of employees. If an employee falls behind on their work, it may indicate an existing problem or potential issues in the future. You can view how much time an employee is spending on a particular task or how long it takes to meet specified objectives. With online time and attendance software, you can get ahead of issues by monitoring employee effectiveness in the workplace and take action as needed.
Not only is this beneficial to you as a business owner, but to your employees as well. They can take comfort in knowing that everyone is working to the best of their ability, and no one will be left taking on an additional workload.
Online time and attendance tracking is also vital to ensure labor law compliance. Businesses must pay employees for every minute spent on the clock, but without a reliable tool to track that time, you may run into legal issues and incur fines. Most employees are more likely to accept online timesheet software if they know it’s in their best interest to do so. They can rest assured that you, as a business owner, have an obligation to protect their interests and will invest in the best tools to do so.
Employee GPS tracking is almost always brought to the forefront when discussing online time and attendance tracking. Employees don’t feel comfortable knowing that their employer is watching their every move. To protect employees, some states have even gone as far as implementing GPS restrictions on time tracking.
However, there are some circumstances where tracking an employee’s location is necessary to run a business effectively. For example, construction businesses need to know which worksite an employee is at on any given day. If you have a company where you serve customers at their home and charge a different rate based on the task at hand, you must be able to provide proof your workers were actually at their home working on that task.
So, is online time and attendance tracking a violation of privacy? While there are certainly some cases where employers use features that can violate an employee’s privacy, most often, the answer is no. It’s important to discuss with your employees which functions of a cloud-based time clock they are comfortable with. Once you’ve decided on the best way to implement such a solution, ensure you and your employees are protected by adding time and attendance policies to your handbook. Hence, there is no room for interpretation.