Save costs through modern time tracking

March 10, 2020

Time tracking is a topic in companies where the spirits are divided. Some of my accurate time clocks are the best. Others say that trustworthy working hours are the optimal solution. Which of the two theories is correct? Both. Because they have both their strengths and their weaknesses. Modern systems are characterised by the fact that they can combine both and thus save a lot of money.

Time recording with a time sheet

Time sheets, preferably with a stamp clock, they are the classic. What is reminiscent of scenes from old movies actually still exists in some factories. The problem is that this method is incredibly time-consuming. Someone has to check the slips of paper and record possible overtime. A lot of paperwork and immensely high administrative costs are the result.

Of course there are modern solutions available today in electronic-digital form. Such devices are usually connected to modern software for time tracking. This in turn can ideally be connected to a system such as SAP, Navision or others. In this way, the data is posted directly to HR or payroll accounting. In addition, a direct comparison with shift and duty rosters can take place, etc. Clever software offers countless possibilities to increase efficiency.

Time tracking sheets used to be common even in large corporations. However, this has led to employees starting to accumulate overtime. Many managers rumored that these were not even necessary. But in this way, employees have earned a nice extra income by having them paid out.

The other variant was that they took advantage of the overtime by taking time off in lieu. In this way, they were able to obtain additional leave for which they did not always really work.

This was of course expensive for the companies, a lot of money was spent on services that were not available.

Time recording with trusted working time

For the above-mentioned reasons, numerous companies then went on to introduce confidential working time. What was supposed to sound like flexibility and family friendliness was in reality due to the goal that employees should no longer simply accumulate overtime. These always had to be approved first. As a result, spontaneous overtime was swept under the carpet by many employees without pay. They simply didn't want to go through the red tape to get them approved afterwards. Companies rubbed their hands at first.

Over time, however, the managers conjured up another problem. Over time, the attitude and bargaining power of employees changed. Many company employees used their confidential working hours to obtain an indirect salary increase. The way to do this was simply to work less than was stipulated in the contract. Because without time recording nobody could really prove misconduct. Especially in huge, anonymous departments, where nobody knows what the other person is doing, this is child's play. In addition, many employees transferred private activities to the company. With online banking, transfers can also be made at the office PC. Just like shopping and writing e-mails.

So not having to do without time recording is not an ideal solution either.

Conclusion on time recording

Working time recording has become a complex issue. There is no such thing as a perfect solution. However, technical systems that combine contractual working time with time recording have proven to be helpful. For everything that goes beyond that, working time on trust applies. But other variants are also quite conceivable.