What to Look for in Time and Attendance Solutions

Today’s office environment stretches well beyond the four wall of traditional office spaces. Thanks to increased productivity and mobile technology, employees are now able to work from virtually anywhere. While this is great for reducing office expenses and in improving employee morale, it can lead to some headaches when it comes time to cut the paychecks.

It is important to have a solid online system in place for monitoring productivity, time and attendance. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect online tracking solution for your company.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

We no longer exist in a PC versus Mac world. Thanks to Android, Chrome OS, and a dozen smaller operating systems, it is becoming more and more difficult to rely on locally installed applications to monitor employee attendance and productivity. One of the easiest ways to avoid this issue is to utilize a resource common to all modern computing platforms – the Internet.

A well-coded web application can run off-line, allowing an employee to work anywhere and have the results transmitted when he or she returns to a network accessible location. By having the system fully automated, employee metrics may be obtained without stress for you or the monitored employee.

Practical Applications

A time management and attendance program is only effective when the employee actively utilizes it. By integrating other features with the program, such as interoffice chat and file relay, the employee will be more apt to stay within the program during working hours. Remember–the purpose of the program is to create a readily observable pattern for human resources to project payroll expenses and recommend optimizations for employee scheduling. Having employees do any work outside of the program, just creates a challenge later on.

Ease of Adaption

Any tool utilized in the workplace by most, if not all, employees must follow the guidelines stipulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the subsequent federal regulations. A quality application will include features for those with hearing, vision or other challenges that may hinder the normal utilization of technology.
When discussing with a service provider a potential solution, bring up this component and confirm that the program has been certified to meet ADA standards. From a liability perspective, ease-of-use is second only to security.

Security Arrangements

Maintaining a secure digital work environment is becoming more difficult every day. Thanks to the rapid pace of technological development, what was considered secure, even just a few hours ago, may now be considered a potential liability when utilized in a corporate environment.

Considering how tightly integrated this service will be to the functioning of your company, a dedicated security staff is vital for the long-term viability of the program and the data generated. When discussing with a service provider a potential program, bring up two key points:

1. Active Development

There is an old adage in business, “if you’re not growing, you are dying.” The same can be said for software development, at least concerning security. Any software tool that is not actively maintained poses a security risk when utilized in a business setting. A key component with any service contract is the response time between the identification of a potential security risk and the resolution. Make sure the contract includes language designed to indemnify yourself against potential damages that results from unmaintained software.

This is true regardless if the program is hosted on your servers, or the public cloud. If a component of the system must access the public Internet, then you are placing your company in the hands of the security staff of the sourcing firm.

2. Secure Access

The manner through which an employee accesses internal resources can determine if confidential information will be secure in the future. It has been long known that a simple password is insufficient when attempting to guarantee confidentiality. The current industry standard is two- factor authentication.

Public cloud service providers such as Microsoft and Google already utilize this, making it something your employees are probably already comfortable in using.


Most online solutions already meet all of the standards listed above. Thanks to the open standards of HTML5 and related technologies, as long as the product does not rely too heavily on audio or graphics, you are nearly guaranteed to be in compliance with federal and state employment regulations.

Service providers are constantly competing with each other to release the most secure and user-friendly time and productivity management programs possible. Ask any recent employees about what they may have used in the past with other companies, they may provide you with valuable insight as to what will work best.

Talk with the technology team of your company. Considering market trends, it is common practice for many competent IT departments to maintain a list of potential programs in case the need may arise. If you have a smaller company, contact service providers directly about a free trial.

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