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6 things you need to know about time tracking for remote employees

5 min Published on 22 February 2023
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The workplace has been changing with the development of remote work. Companies must adapt to legal obligations and new management tools. How to track time for employees working remotely, at home or in workation?

1. Why is time tracking for remote employees important?

The Covid-19 health crisis has required the implementation of remote work, resulting in a shift in the organization of work.

The appeal of this mode of organization is becoming increasingly evident to companies. HR managers must adjust in order to keep up with this revolution. Traditional methods of tracking time, such as manual time clocks and paper records kept at the company's main office, are no longer applicable due to the prevalence of remote work. Instead, trust and communication have become essential elements for monitoring work progress. For employers, choosing the right time tracking software is essential. Distance does not reduce the requirement to track employee working times. It is also a matter of work and project management.
 
 Young lady working in front of her computer
 

2. Remote, Hybrid Work and Workation: when working remotely becomes the norm

Remote work is much more than just a trend. It now takes several forms thanks to technology. Distances are no longer a barrier, and it has become more flexible.

The work from home experience during the pandemic has already evolved into hybrid work. It combines the advantages of working from home and working from the office. A new form of remote work is emerging: workation. A combination of the words "work" and "vacation", workation sees employees going to the beach, mountains, or countryside for a few days or several months while working. Thanks to the advances in technology, productivity now equates with distance. In the post-Covid19 era, geographic flexibility is becoming the norm. Working hours follow the same trend. Goodbye rigidity and welcome to the world of flexibility. Time tracking logically follows the same evolution.

3. Remote employee time tracking: a management tool

Employee time tracking is primarily used as a managerial tool with legal obligations.

Measuring worker productivity is a means of ensuring performance for the company. Additionally, the employer maintains an overview of employee absences and their reasons, which is sensitive information. The Human Resources department may find this control to be laborious. Automating tracking is a viable solution for both on-site and remote work, enabling HR to concentrate on their primary purpose: managing human capital. Organizing and centralizing information from geographically dispersed workers is essential in order to ensure real-time access to the data. Time tracking enables the implementation of flexibility, facilitating project development and team rotation management.
 
 young man working on a computer on his kitchen
 

4. The new time tracking tools

Forget about paper documents or badge machines installed at the company's doors. For decades, control instruments have been utilized to monitor employee activity; however, they have been surpassed by the remote working revolution. The company must pursue digitalization in order to effectively monitor its employees' remote work. There are two possible approaches that can be taken:

  • Digital spreadsheets
  • Online software for managing time and activities

The benefits of digital tools for monitoring employee activity in Remote Work

Spreadsheets and online software are already playing an important role in many companies. They are more accessible than traditional control methods, as they can be used remotely by employees. Furthermore, these software programs allow for greater flexibility in terms of working hours.
 
 hands typing on kiwiHR app

5. Spreadsheet for remote work time tracking: clear limits and well-defined rules

Spreadsheets are widely utilized by businesses and their personnel on a daily basis. Microsoft's Excel program is the most prevalent and well-established of these data collection tools. Other providers exist, however, they all employ the same approach: spreadsheets to be completed by the user. The most effective way to utilize it for tracking working hours is to install Microsoft Excel on the worker's computer. Subsequently, they can download the table created by their employer. It is essential that the data entry for hours worked be straightforward for the worker, and that the table is configured accurately. The programmed fields must include all necessary data to be collected. The document accessible to the employee must include their identity, department or service, date, and start and end times of work.

Benefits of Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are commonly used in the corporate world. Their application ranges from project management to financial calculations. Consequently, the implementation of their working hours control will not disrupt employees.

Disadvantages of Spreadsheets

The use of spreadsheets by the worker presents a challenge in terms of accessibility across multiple devices. Synchronization is required when switching between computers, other devices, and smartphones. Company-side obstacles include the complexity of processing each employee's spreadsheet, the investment of time required to centralize data, and the need for strict control of work time data. The complexity of use poses a risk of errors. Administrative fines for fraud can be severe, and poor data collection can have consequences on salary or the calculation of days off. Spreadsheets are used to monitor remote working hours, but more advanced technologies provide greater accuracy.

6. Time tracking software for remote work: an accessible solution

Online software is the most cost-effective and user-friendly option for tracking working hours. Initial implementation of the system does not require any physical installation. Integration is both instantaneous and cost-effective; the employer simply needs to register the employee in the system. The rest is simple: the employee connects using his computer or smartphone. Remote work offers an additional benefit in that online activity and time management software can do more than just record working hours. The geolocation feature is a convenient feature not easily available with other control systems. Finally, time-tracking data is centralized and available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. For teamwork and organization, this is a powerful tool for managing human resources. In parallel, it is a totally transparent and secure solution, especially in the case of control.
 
 kiwi hr product multidevice

To conclude

Using a time tracking software is making the choice of flexibility. Indeed, it can be used in the office or remotely. Employees working remotely or on workation can access it without worrying about installation constraints. Furthermore, this solution is easy to set up while being compliant with regulations. The flexibility of use for both employees and employers makes it the ideal time tracking tool for teleworking. This allows companies to focus on their core business activities.

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