Tracking work hours and time on task for a distributed team can be difficult unless you have a good remote time clock working for you. These apps come in all shapes and sizes, and some even offer more than just the basic tracking features.
In this article, we discuss the essential components of a good remote time clock and how to choose the one that’s right for your business.
Table Of Contents
Essential Features Of A Remote Time Clock
1) Remote Time Clock Accessibility
Accessibility is vital for any remote time clock you choose for your team. If the app you use is only accessible in the office or at a single location, it’s going to cause a lot of issues for your distributed workforce, field service team, and remote employees.
The best time clocks operate in the cloud and provide access to everything your team needs to get the job done — no matter where they are or when they’re working.
With cloud-based software, as long as your team members have access to the internet (via WiFi or cellular), they’ll be able to clock in, clock out, and track their time on task anywhere, anytime.
2) Device Versatility
Another essential feature of any good remote time clock is device versatility, or the ability to use the software on any device.
The most advanced time clocks allow you to use the tools and access the information on any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, whether they’re running Windows, Android, macOS, or iOS.
That means employees can start and stop their time with whatever digital system they have on hand at the moment — all they have to do is log in and choose an action — and don’t have to waste time and energy trying to find a particular device or OS.
Such versatility makes it possible for your team to track work hours and time on task without restrictions and opens up a whole new world of flexibility.
Geofencing allows you to create a virtual geographic boundary around a certain area within the remote time clock software.
You can then set the system to react in a certain way if a remote employee is inside or outside those boundaries when they try to do something with the app.
For example, you might set a geofence of a few hundred feet around an employee’s main work location (e.g., their apartment or a nearby coffee shop). You can then prevent the employee from clocking in until they’re within the boundaries you’ve defined.
Similarly, you can instruct the software to stop tracking time (or send a reminder) if the employee crosses the boundary you’ve set.
4) Payroll Integration
The numbers you record with your remote time clock aren’t going to do you any good unless they integrate seamlessly with your chosen payroll solution.
If the app you use doesn’t play nice with your payroll software, someone — probably you — is going to have to enter all the timesheet data manually.
Not only does that take a lot of extra time, but it also increases the potential that errors will occur and affect your payroll for the worse.
You can avoid all of that and simplify the payroll process by choosing a remote time clock that integrates with your bookkeeping and recordkeeping software.
5) Data Security
As more and more business activities go online, data security becomes more important than ever.
A good remote time clock will include strong security measures to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your team’s sensitive data.
How To Choose A Remote Time Clock
1) Start With A Free Trial
You can scrutinize every screenshot that the company provides, pour over every review online, and research every aspect of a remote time clock, but you won’t know if it really works for you, your team, and your business unless you try it.
That’s why it’s so important to look for software that offers a free trial.
It doesn’t matter if the free trial gives you access to all the features for a certain number of days or access to the basic features indefinitely, hands-on access will tell you almost immediately if the program is right for your business or not.
2) Investigate The User Interface
The user interface is the gateway to all the tools and functionality that the app provides. As such, you want the controls — and the program as a whole — to be as easy to use as possible.
Clocking in and out should be as simple as one or two clicks. Even more advanced features should be intuitively placed and easy to access within their own specific menus.
An app with a user interface that is too difficult to navigate can cause difficulties down the line for you and your team members.
Take the time to investigate the program in as much detail as possible with a focus on ease of use so you can get a feel for the controls before rolling it out to your employees.
3) Test More Than Just Time Tracking
Some of the best time clock apps come with more than just time-tracking tools.
Inch, for example, offers:
If the app you choose includes advanced features like these, it’s a good idea to test them out as well before purchasing the full program and implementing it in your workflow.
You may have selected the software for its time-tracking features, but the additional tools may come in handy later on.
Try everything before you choose so you know exactly what the software has to offer, what it can do, and how it can help your business grow and improve.
4) Prioritize Automation
Some of the more advanced remote time clock apps can automate the regular processes you and your team deal with every day.
Inch, for example, uses data from your business, user-defined parameters, and artificial intelligence to coordinate employee activities when it comes time for them to clock in and start work.
When doing this, you can instruct the software to consider a wide variety of variables, including:
This automation can make your job — and the jobs of your employees — easier than ever.
5) Experiment With Detail Control
Even the most basic remote time clocks give your employees the ability to track the start and end of a specific shift (e.g., Jim clocks in at 8 a.m. and clocks out at 5 p.m.).
And, while this type of time tracking is the foundation of everything your team does, sometimes you need the software to give you a bit more control over the fine details of whatever schedule your team works.
Some advanced time clocks — like Inch — come with extra detail control so you can divide the workday into any fraction of an hour necessary.
So, for example, after Jim clocks in at 8 a.m., he can subdivide his time into other activities, such as:
- Giving a presentation to his teammates from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- Meeting with an important client from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Taking a lunch break from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Meeting with his manager from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The only way to discover if the app you’ve chosen allows for such comprehensive and detailed time tracking is to experiment with it before you commit.
Get More Than Just Time Tracking
If you’re looking for the best remote time clock for your business, look no further than Inch.
With the Inch app, remote and on-site team members can perform a wide variety of tasks from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, including:
- Clocking in and out of their workday
- Recording time on task wherever they are
- Communicating with managers and each other
- Working from a shared task list
- Getting clarity on work that needs to get done
- Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
- Completing work assigned to them
Take your time tracking to the next level by downloading the Inch remote time clock for free today.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, save time and energy, and keep your team on task, visit TryInch.com today.