How a Time & Attendance System Can Help Manage an Unpredictable Workplace


The workplace is no longer confined to a single location or eight-hour period. Employees work in the office or at home — and sometimes both. They work in different cities, states, and time zones, and they work different hours throughout the day. Outside of work, they juggle kids, school, care-taking, travel, appointments, illnesses, and sudden urgent demands — any of which can require time off to handle. A 2018 study reveals Americans use an average of just over 17 days of paid time off (PTO) per year.

Today’s distributed and decentralized workforce — combined with the unpredictability of life — makes it more critical than ever to have a watertight time and attendance system in place. Organizations have to rely on accurate, rules-based attendance information for payroll and compliance. And employees need it so they can make use of their PTO benefits. But if organizations continue to track time and attendance manually, they’re depending on processes that are too inefficient and error-prone for today’s dynamic workplace. 

Here’s a closer look at how automated time and attendance software can help you accurately track and manage when your employees are working, when they’re not, and why. It also gives you important data you need to better understand labor costs and needs, and make more informed decisions that can help you bring a little more predictability to the workplace. 

Better PTO accrual & absence management

An automated time and attendance system tracks critically important PTO accrual so that employees are aware of and can use the PTO they’re due, and so it’s capped appropriately for each employee — all based on your organization’s pay rules. An automated system also helps you know which unused PTO should be carried over or paid out. With accurate PTO data, you can reduce compliance risks, avoid litigation, and manage employee attendance more smoothly. 

An automated system can also help you track the employees who are taking medical, disability, or family leaves and identify those who are simply absent and possibly violating your organization’s policies. The system automatically enforces your leave policies and limits unauthorized time off. With more effective absence management, you can address particular attendance issues and help reduce the costs associated with absenteeism.

Increased visibility

In addition to knowing who’s taking PTO or leave, an automated time and attendance system gives you greater visibility into employee schedules so you can schedule individuals appropriately based on their preferences or when they’ve typically been scheduled in the past. You know exactly who’s working and when, so that if a sudden schedule adjustment needs to be made, you have the information you need at your fingertips. Greater schedule visibility also allows you to accurately forecast labor needs and overtime as well as track labor costs so you can make better business decisions.

Streamlined tasks

An automated time and attendance system eliminates the time-consuming, repetitive tasks that go hand-in-hand with manual time tracking processes, which take so many HR leaders and people managers away from other pressing tasks. By streamlining common tasks such as capturing time entries and calculating overtime — and making it easier for employees to record review, and approve their own time cards — you can spend less of your day hunting down information and correcting discrepancies and more of it focused on the strategic work that makes a true difference to your workforce and organization.

Improved accuracy

Automated time and attendance software is, by design, more accurate than manual processes. Instead of relying on paperwork, spreadsheets, and other manual tracking methods — and continually dealing with the errors and oversights that occur as a result — the software automates the time capturing and calculating process based on rules you define, and gives you access to information that’s always up to date. With an accurate record of hours worked, PTO, overtime, and leave, you can avoid the compliance, legal, and personnel issues that arise from sloppy, mistake-filled record-keeping. 

HCM paired with time & attendance

The workplace is always evolving — which requires your technology systems to keep up. Using a human capital management (HCM) system that includes automated time and attendance capabilities and is built on a position-based architecture enables much more efficient and accurate employee attendance management while giving you the visibility and data you need to:

  • Schedule employees appropriately and understand schedule effectiveness

  • Track labor and overtime costs

  • Forecast labor and budget needs

  • Boost workforce productivity

  • Comply with laws and reduce personnel issues

  • Integrate time and attendance data with a dynamic org chart for a comprehensive workforce understanding 

With access to accurate, up-to-date time and attendance information, you can know with more predictability and precision how to respond to changing labor and scheduling needs and stay ahead of workplace trends. 

Ready to upgrade your workforce management software with an automated time and attendance system? To learn how you can control your labor costs, improve workforce productivity and efficiency, and minimize your compliance risks with SyncHR’s time and attendance software, click here.

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