Let’s take an in-depth look at how the world of work is set to change in the post COVID-19 world. Analyze how the issue of employee time tracking is especially vulnerable to the emerging workforce trends. Lastly, we’ll offer a few ideas and time tracking tools for how the digitalization of the workplace can allow business owners and managers to efficiently track employee hours despite the challenges that COVID has brought.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has certainly changed a number of things about how our world and society are organized. The world of work, to name just one example, has been drastically affected. According to a Coronavirus Impact Poll carried out in July by the United States Chamber of Commerce, 70 percent of small businesses are concerned about financial hardship due to prolonged closures caused by the pandemic. Similarly, a survey carried out by Yelp found that 60 percent of businesses closed during lockdown orders earlier this month will most likely remained permanently closed.
For those businesses that were able to survive the economic hardships that have come with this tumultuous 2020, the future of the economy and the workplace is inevitably going to change in the future.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing Workforce
As businesses begin to reopen, mitigating the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks is one of the biggest challenges facing workplace environments. Staggering shifts and reducing full-time workers to part-time status might help to enforce social distancing protocols and policies within the workplace. However, remote working is also a trending alternative. In June of this year, upwards of 42 percent of the entire U.S. workforce was working for home due to lockdown and stay at home orders.
While that percentage has slowly declined as more businesses have opened their doors in recent months, the remote working trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. A recent Gartner poll of business owners found that almost half of employees (48 percent) will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30 percent before the pandemic. Both small business owners and corporate executives are discovering that spending huge amounts of their operating budget on real estate (owning or rental a brick and mortar building) might not be the best way to spend their money.
The work from home movement not only allows businesses to comply with mandatory social distancing protocols and save money on renting a business local, but it also seems to be a rising employee preference. A recent Gallup poll confirms this, as around 54 percent of U.S. workers state that they would leave their current job for one that allowed them to work remotely, at least part of the time.
Despite these obvious advantages, the shift to large-scale remote working also comes with serious challenges. Finding ways to effectively monitor both employee time and performance when they are not physically present in an office or brick and mortar business setting can present difficulties. The Gartner analysis mentioned above also stated that 16 percent of employers currently rely on software and other technologies for employee monitoring. This number should only continue to increase in the future as businesses struggle to find an effective and operational strategy to track and monitor employee performance.
A Few Specific Employee Time Tracking Challenges
Besides the daily Zoom meeting, what other means and strategies can employers rely on to track employee time and monitor their performance? Even before the pandemic began, virtual clocking in and out, tracking work computer usage, and monitoring employee emails were beginning to be implemented by a number of leading companies, both for remote and in-house employees. Not only have these digital tools been shown to be able to increase employee productivity levels, but they have also played a major role in monitoring and encouraging employee engagement.
As the world of work continues to evolve in a post-COVID world,the leading employee time and attendance software and tools can be used to help businesses successfully adapt to the emerging workforce trends.
The Best Software Tools Can Help Businesses:
Time Tracking from Different Locations
Not every business will be able to accommodate a completely remote workforce. In many cases, employees might work part-time from home, and part-time at the office. The top digital time tracking tools will be able to streamline employee time tracking, allowing you to synchronize clock-in and clock-out procedures from different geographical locations.
Geo-fencing is a location-based service in which some time of digital tool (such as an app) utilizes GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location. Geo-fencing offers an easy way for a contactless employee time tracking system, essentially eliminating another potential source of infection where dozens of employees are punching the same time clock. These systems are also a great strategy to cut back on employee time fraud such as buddy punching.
Mobile Apps for Time Tracking
Mobile apps for time tracking can eliminate an enormous amount of tedious paperwork that often takes up the time of HR departments. These user-friendly apps can also synch with employee schedules, forms for requesting time off, and other elements that can help to unify certain elements of your workforce management.
Integration with Payroll and Hourly Time Allocation by Jobs and Different Pay Rates
Obviously, not every employee in your business will make the same wage. The best digital employee tracking software options allow managers and HR personnel to incorporate multiply pay rates into the app for digital time tracking and integration with your payroll systems.
Lastly, the best employee time tracking tools that integrate with your payroll systems can allow HR managers to seamlessly calculate employee accruals (such as PTO, vacation time, etc.) based on length of service with organization and other elements.
The digitalization of the workplace was well under way before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. However, the post-COVID world will most likely see a steady increase in remote working tendencies that will require effective employee monitoring strategies. Relying on the best digital employee time tracking tools can help your business successfully incorporate these emerging trends in the world of work.