Do you keep track of your employee’s working hours? If yes, then how do you check if they’re present in the office or are running late? Is it a manual attendance system that you’re using, or have you adopted the modern solution?
So many questions and yet so few answers… We understand the frustration.
The reason for asking such questions is that a large number of organisations are using timesheets, biometric systems, manual spreadsheets and whatnot just to keep track of employees’ presence in the office.
Although the reality is slightly shifting in the corporate world, a great deal of businesses has already started moving from manual attendance systems to automated attendance software.
Still, the question remains, why do a large number of organisations do that? Don’t they feel the need to travel into the inevitable future? Is the manual attendance system not worth changing?
- Manual Attendance System: Meaning and Process
- How much data entry does manual attendance require?
- Problems in Manual Attendance Tracking
- Four Common Problems an Attendance Software Can Solve
- Manual Attendance or Automation Takes the Wheel?
Manual Attendance System: Meaning and Process
Relating to or to be done with the hands.
Manual Attendance Meaning
As the meaning implies, Manual Attendance System literally means filling manual attendance sheets manually. The process of the manual attendance system is quite simple, and employees are just required to follow a traditional way of filling the attendance sheets with their hands.
This just seems wrong in so many ways. You might be wondering what is so wrong with the manual attendance system?
Manual Attendance Process
As far as the manual attendance system goes, initially, it all began with marking attendance in registers; yes, the same method was used in our school. But as time passed, registers were replaced by excel templates or sheets, then came biometrics, and now we are in the automation zone.
It’s mid of 2022, and no business, those who have seen the disruptions and closure of companies in recent years, should be using an attendance method that is outdated and inaccurate.
Humanity’s most valuable resource is time. Individual and team productivity may be considerably increased if it is appropriately utilised. In other words, we achieve more while spending less; It’s the 80/20 rule, which is a critical strategic advantage.
Introducing and continuously using an automated attendance system is one of the most excellent strategies to optimise time usage in any organisation.
Manual Attendance Management Kit
(Policy, letter, Tracker, Checklist and more)
How Much Data Entry Does Manual Attendance Require?
When we think of recording attendance, we typically envision the first few minutes of work where we have an interaction with a biometric system, which is nothing but a semi-automated process, to mark attendance.
Of course, there’s an offline and online biometric machine which organisations need to pay separately to implement. This, obviously, involves immense costs. In addition, there’s an issue of fake attendance, and field employees don’t even stand a chance to mark their attendance.
Did You Know?
According to a 2019 Deloitte report, 50 percent of professionals accepted that manual data input and data adjustments are the most time-consuming parts of the process.
Therefore, organisations have to create other policies for their attendance.
In short, whether it is a manual attendance process or biometric machines, the attendance system is covered in dark clouds and is full of errors.
Behind the scenes
There’s a strange hierarchy in the corporate world; the higher the position, the lesser the need to mark the attendance. CXOs and managers are obligated to mark attendance, but it is not necessary or mandatory and varies from organisation to organisation.
But take a second and put yourself in the shoes of an HR who uses a paper sign-in sheet or biometric data to track attendance. And the attendance-taking process doesn’t end there either.
Once all the employees have marked their attendance, HRs need to take that data and meticulously go down the list of each employee and update the spreadsheet to show if the employees were present or not, possibly even entering the check-in and check-out times.
And this assumes that all this data is accurate and that not a single employee has found any loophole in the attendance system to forge the attendance.
Relieving the burden
As we’ve already discussed, running a company, or working in HR clearly indicates you’re always on the go. As a result, manually tracking and regulating attendance can be time-consuming, expensive, and divert you from other essential tasks.
Let’s have a look at it in more detail. You must undertake all these responsibilities on your own if you use a manual attendance system:
- Processing paper-based documents
- Managing data and Google sheets
- Setting a schedule in advance
- Disbursing payroll manually
All of this can be taken care of by an automated system at ease. This frees up valuable administrative time for your company, allowing you to focus on other, more critical issues.
Problems in Manual Attendance Tracking
And the Pandemic Effect on Manual Attendance System
There are fundamental flaws in the manual time and attendance tracking system that we will bring to the table.
Here are some of the visible flaws that no one gave any attention to
1. Breaks aren’t regulated
Most manual time and attendance systems have no method of automatically tracking a three-hour break taken by an employee.
To see if employees are at their desks and working, HRs have to manually keep the trails or set up management just to distinguish their break and work time. The loss of workforce and time can be seen here, and it is going to waste.
2. Punch In and Out doesn’t mean productivity
According to the manual time and attendance system, employees punch in at a specific time and punch out when they finish their tasks.
However, this isn’t the case when it comes to actual production. Instead, employees may punch in’ but then spend the entire day scrolling Instagram, on-call or just gossiping.
3. Manual system doesn’t fit accurately with telecommuting employees
If the system is only centred on punching in and out, it will be entirely useless for work-at-home employees or employees on in-field work.
For this type of employee, you’ll need a structure that makes the workday more accountable. You must know how productively employees have used the working hours, and the manual attendance system doesn’t tell you that.
Drawbacks of Manual Attendance System Post Pandemic
As the pandemic happened almost two years ago, it changed the entire structure of the corporate world. Yet, from marking attendance to client relations to hybrid work mode, few structures have fallen, and few have built themselves up to manage such events strategically.
We can all agree on one thing, “The most affected structure of an organisation was the attendance system,” and the pandemic did everything it could to keep employees’ thumbs out of the attendance marking the door. But here we are, once again, sitting with our colleagues and admiring the social atmosphere.
Did You Know?
According to a June study by Gartner, 26 percent of HR leaders report having used some form of software or technology to track remote workers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
With all that said, this must ring a bell to your ears on why it is so essential to take care of employees’ data as it ultimately leads back to their payroll, and payroll is one of the things that put a smile on almost everyone’s face.
Employees’ attendance data has to be accurate because if the foundation of a building is at fault, the entire structure will fall apart. It seems like lots of negativity, but the saddest part is that it doesn’t stop there.
The research was being done as simply as it could be, and we eventually were introduced to some data that just kept us changing tabs. The following are the spanners in the works.
Disadvantages of the Manual Attendance Tracking
1. Manipulation of Data
The data may be readily changed because it is manually documented. As a result, employees may enter incorrect information to maintain profitability. Furthermore, this might result in a “Time Theft” situation.
As a result, you’ll continue to pay your employees for hours they didn’t work.
2. Possible Human Errors
Employee attendance must be tracked while taking essential compliance, pay, and other factors into consideration when such operations are performed manually—unfortunately, the possibility of human error increases.
3. Slow in Nature
Manual Attendance reporting takes a long time. This can have an impact on employees’ productivity and efficiency. Managing spreadsheets and correcting time entry mistakes, among other things, might take up a significant amount of your time.
In the event of an automatic attendance system, you will be able to complete all of these activities with a single click.
4. Ineffective and Outdated
Manual techniques of monitoring attendance are ineffectual and are becoming obsolete as new technology becomes available. As a result, employing such antiquated procedures can substantially impact corporate operations while also being costly.
Four Common Problems an Attendance Software Can Solve
Automated attendance management software allows organisations to keep track of their employees’ attendance and work schedules and appropriately pay them. Is there anything else about them that appears beneficial?
1. Payroll is more accurate
The software removes the possibility of human error, resulting in more precise payroll data. As a result, HR managers do not need to be concerned about regulatory difficulties, and employees do not need to be worried about being underpaid.
2. Avoid time theft
Employees are frequently asked to clock in using fingerprints and location stamps, accessing the facility’s Wi-Fi, or snapping photographs of themselves at work sites, as per the attendance system. Employees logging in/out for their buddies or punching in/out at the wrong time are among the time theft practices that are limited and prevented.
3. Improves Engagement, Productivity, and Efficiency
Employees will no longer fear getting paid unfairly if they perceive your attendance system as credible and trustworthy. Because then, Instead of tricking or deceiving the attendance system, they may concentrate on their work, creativity, and efficiency.
Attendance applications are advantageous not just to employees but also to managers. However, you may spend more time on activities that demand your focus rather than monitoring attendance.
4. Employee Self Service: More Accountable & Transparent
Employee self-service plays a vital role in marking attendance, applying for sick leaves, raising requests regarding payroll or anything that concerns employees’ life cycle.
With this step, employees become accountable for their actions, everything is documented and password-protected, and information is visible to management, making it more transparent. Ultimately, it decreases queries and eliminates confusion.
More integrated features
Other services, such as workflow management or group discussion, may be available in addition to attendance tracking. You may also have attendance tracking software integrated with HR and payroll software, or you can customise it according to your company’s needs.
Manual Attendance or Automation Takes the Wheel?
With all the seismic shifts going on around us, the commercial and technology revolution has also been witnessed in the field of time and attendance.
Because of the internet, mobile communications, and new ID technologies, the practice of clocking work time is experiencing a fundamental digital transformation.
For decades, paper and later plastic cards were the only thing organisations relied on for an automated time and attendance management, but now they’re moving to #MobileFirst on a massive scale.
Users’ mobility is also rising, including field salespeople, warehouse employees, sales clerks and delivery drivers.
For years, we have been hoping for a future in which we can expect the locations we enter to automatically recognise us and log our arrival and departure, bringing additional automatisation to timeframe, location, and activity logging.
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. The future is here; all the above activities can be done simply with attendance automation.
The Final Verdict
With the advancement of technology, the majority of businesses has begun to lean more toward automated attendance systems. As a result, such systems have become universally acknowledged practice.
On the other hand, manual attendance systems are still in use at firms with a small number of employees. While automating attendance might save you time and cost, it also has certain stages of adaptation.
First, you’ll have to look for a system that meets all your criteria. Because each system is unique, it’s critical to select one that has the features you require.
You and your employees will also have to buy into the new program. Advanced technologies can take some time to adjust, and few employees may be unwilling to change.
Employees will be glad to join on board once they see how straightforward it is to integrate the new system and how much more information they have at their fingertips compared to the manual attendance software.
From finding the software that meets your needs to make it adaptable for the entire office, the stages, you require a greater understanding of how it works efficiently.
So, be prepared to implement new-age automation system.