How to Keep Track of Employee Hour

Have you ever worked in a human resource department that is characterized with high levels of absenteeism and several accidental overtimes? That is the moment you will realize that keeping track of employee hours can get you crazy. The people who have the responsibility of making these schedules can find themselves having headaches day in day out.

As an employer, you can decide to use a pen and paper tracking system, employee badge swipe, or install the automated employee time clock software just to name a few. Each of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. The kind of system you choose will heavily depend on the number of employees you have and your financial strength. You may desire to install a sophisticated time tracking system but the finances of your organization may not allow you. Here is a brief overview of how to keep track of your employee working hours using the various available methods. The most important thing is to choose an appropriate time keeping system depending on the nature of your organization

Pen and Paper or Time Cards.

Some companies still use this old-school method of tracking time because it is simple even though it faces several issues with reliability. It is among the ancient methods that employees use to track the number of hours worked. The employee has to write down the hours that he has worked by clocking and out. It is a hand-written technique of keeping a record of the number of hours worked. The employer should have a reliable system that he will be using to manage the time cards. The system can only manage a few employees and the employer should have a very careful eye and strong memory to track the number of hours worked with a lot of accuracy.

Employers should keep timecards securely because they possess a huge margin of fraud and error. The employer should also have an excellent system of managing time cards and keep with them closely. The margin of error can extend to payment of wages since you have to punch them manually. You don’t have to pay employees for the time that they clock in when they are not working. The employees will have to compensate the time they are not working when they should be on duty. Some employers go an extra mile by overlooking the time that employees sign in the records and record the working hours themselves. This system can result into a big loss for the company if the employer is not careful.

Automated Time Clock System

Modern technology now allows employers to use an online time clock in tracking the number of hours worked. You will be able to maintain an online time record that each employee has been on duty. Employers can use a punch clock to electronically track the number of hours that each employee has worked. This is a complex web application that can generate payroll reports apart from maintaining online time record and has a very robust online time schedule. It is among the top systems that enhance accountability in the workplace.

Digital Timesheet

This is an ideal option for those employers who are not restricted to one physical office. Employees will be expected to report to any of the offices depending on the work they are doing on that day. Workers can access the digital worksheets from their laptops or Smartphones from any location. However, it is advisable to have the system accessed through the intranet as long as the employee is in one of the offices to reduce on the cases of cheating. An exemption can be to those staff who have to clock in while in the field as they may not have access to the office intranet. Other employers rely on GPS and begin to calculate the number of hours worked when the employee steps in a particular region. Companies that have several remote staffs find digital timesheets to be very useful. In some instances, you will be expected to clock in and out of the digital timesheets manually.

Badge Readers or Employee Badge Swipe and Hand Scanners

The popularity of this method has been on the rise and it allows the employee to clock in manually by inserting a key or card, or entering a code a combination of all these factors. Employers find it to be more secure than time cards because it is an electronic system that limits the level of fraud and cheating. It is very hard for employees to cheat especially when they have to swipe a card while on duty. Employees find it very hard to cheat because they have to clock in and out each time step in and out of the office.

However, it is wise to have a backup manual system because just in case this electronic system fails. As the employer, you can use a bar code or the Rf-ID technology to allow employees to swipe any time they get in and out of the office. Others go an extra mile by using bio data information such as retina scans and fingerprints for the purposes of clocking in. These systems are sophisticated and are designed to receive and send data to a software system that is highly incorporated.

The primary challenge with this system is the element of cost. The hardware and software required is a bit expensive in comparison to the other employee time clock systems. You cannot afford this kind of system unless your organization is large enough. The other costs that come with this system include troubleshooting, ongoing maintenance, and training of staff.


Given chance, employees will always desire to get payment for the hours that they did not even work. Therefore, all employers should be keen when it comes to tracking the time that the employees work. There are various methods of tracking employee hour including time cards, automated time clock system, digital timesheets and badge readers just to name a few. The type of system you choose depends on the size of the organization and the number of employees. The most important point is to ensure a high level of accountability of working hours.

Shruti is a blogger & a digital marketing consultant at with lots of passion to write about technology, startups & other niches. She has contributed to a number of famous websites. She live and breathe in digital marketing. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations. Stay tuned with her at: @shruti_gupta01 or via skype : shrutigupta2811