Methods of time tracking
The concept of "working hours" means the period during which an employee performs work duties. The concept is enshrined in article 91 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. The length of the period depends on the terms of the employment contract, the work schedule and the company's internal rules. The legislation does not prohibit the employment of employees to perform professional duties at other times.
To optimize the workflow, increase labor efficiency and meet the deadlines for completing tasks, you cannot do without clear planning and control of the use of working time. A clear organization of working time is equally necessary for the manager and subordinates. Control by the employer or supervisor maintains work discipline in the team and guarantees fair wages.
The leaders of large organizations with a large staff of employees do not have time to personally follow each subordinate. In addition to the control function, the manager, department head or project manager also performs other duties. During work, unforeseen difficulties or circumstances arise that are not provided for in the plan, and even the leaders of time management cannot fully predict and plan the workflow.
Simultaneously with the increase in the staff and the number of projects, the tasks multiply, so that personal control of the working time becomes impossible. One of the solutions to the problem is proactive management, which helps to reduce the number of difficult situations in the work of an individual employee and contributes to the successful performance of work duties.
The concept and legal basis of accounting of working hours
Working time monitoring is tracking the activities of personnel during the working day and monitoring compliance with the work schedule. Monitoring belongs to a group of preventive measures that help maintain discipline and prevent abuse of employer confidence. This method is primarily aimed at identifying offenders who decide personal, not business issues.
Control and accounting of working time is carried out within the framework of the Labor Code. By law, workers are entitled to breaks, weekends and vacations.
Why keep track of working hours
Control as part of monitoring working time allows you to solve several problems:
- Fix the time of arrival to work in order to calculate systematically late and absent.
- Check the timely return of the employee after lunch and attendance at the workplace throughout the day.
- Determine the end time of work.
- Identify truants.
- Divide paid periods of working time into actual hours worked, vacation, sick leave, downtime due to the fault of the employer, etc.
In practice, managers are often faced with such a problem as non-compliance with deadlines. It is easy to calculate the terms: the norm of working time according to Article 91 of the Labor Code is 40 hours per week. The norm is compared with the qualification handbook or the employee's functional responsibilities. As a result, we get a rational scheme for the distribution of staff time.
A significant drawback is that the scheme does not take into account:
- the human factor, for example, constant smoke breaks, sick leaves, late arrivals, personal affairs at paid time, etc.
- force majeure: emergencies, natural disasters, accidents, delays by contractors, etc.
All this leads to the difference between the time spent and the actual work performed.
The introduction of methods for controlling the time indicators of work is primarily necessary for the employer. This will allow you to pay for the hours actually worked, and not for late arrivals, smoke breaks and computer games at the workplace. Analysis of the collected data, on the one hand, written reports and explanations of employees, on the other, allow the manager to make informed decisions about the rationality of using the working period and, accordingly, calculate wages.
Working time control methods
The employer is interested not only in the timely appearance of employees at the workplace, but also in the productivity of the team. Productivity is directly related to what the employee does in the workplace.
An employee hardly has time to complete duties if he spends time on social networks, chatting with friends, watching the news, reading books or surfing the Internet. Employee working time control methods include fixing:
- tasks completed between turning on and off the computer;
- telephone conversations with clients, partners and contractors;
- screenshots of the desktop during the working day using specialized IT solutions;
- the content of corporate correspondence, including e-mail correspondence;
- presence on site during working hours using video surveillance.
Before applying control methods, personnel should be notified in advance. To do this, the additional agreement specifies ways of monitoring the use of working time; it is allowed to change the conditions only with the consent of the staff. Moreover, it is illegal to install surveillance cameras in offices without notifying employees.
Monitoring data on the use of working time form the basis for analyzing the effectiveness of personnel. Performance metrics include:
- final - an assessment of the results of the completed project as a whole;
- intermediate - control of the work done for the specified period;
- periodic - summing up after a certain period of time;
- selective - irregular selective monitoring of individual employees at the discretion of management.
Any monitoring methods are aimed primarily at assessing how effectively and efficiently the employee allocates working time, and at the same time assessing the level of professionalism.
Ways to control working hours
Methods for monitoring, recording and assessing staff time have evolved over time, and yet organizations, especially government agencies, have adopted traditional approaches. For example, a person in charge, a watchman or a person on duty, is appointed for keeping a time log. The responsible person records the time of arrival and departure and systematically prepares reports for the manager.
Another option is to introduce the position of an administrator into the staff, who will be in the same room with colleagues or in a separate office and monitor the continuity of the workflow.
Another way is for employees to keep personal records, independently monitor and record the spent working time. The method helps to evaluate the work done from the point of view of performers and develops independence.
A more familiar way is to set up an access control and management system using passes or fingerprint scanners. Information on each employee is saved in a file and is available for viewing at any time.
A reliable but expensive method of monitoring and recording the working time of company personnel is a video surveillance system. It will be necessary to spend funds not only on the purchase and installation of video cameras, but also on the salary of an individual employee, whose duties include continuous monitoring of personnel activities and recording violations of the internal labor regulations. In addition, the introduction of a video surveillance system causes psychological discomfort among employees from constant monitoring. Therefore, the installation of cameras is most often a special measure that is applied at critical facilities.
IT solutions for time control
Controlling the work of a small team manually is a feasible task for a direct supervisor or one dedicated to specialists. But if the staff of the enterprise numbers more than one hundred people, who also work in branches or remotely, only automation can cope with such a task.
In addition, monitoring the work of personnel is needed not only to record the performance of an individual employee, but also to ensure the safety of the enterprise. Two tasks simultaneously execute IT solutions to monitor performance during business hours. Automated systems capture information, analyze and generate reports.
The cost of implementing an automatic program for monitoring working hours is covered by minimizing the employer's costs associated with the absence of staff at the workplace: absenteeism, tardiness, long breaks. IT tools capture and analyze data, on the basis of which the management encourages the "leaders" of the office, thereby motivating the entire team to work more productively and disciplined.
Automated IT systems make it possible to identify:
- violators of discipline - employees who are systematically late or go home earlier than expected, heavy smokers or coffee lovers, the duration of "five-minute" breaks for which exceeds the duration of work.
- employees who, during their working hours, solve personal affairs, read news and social media feeds, conduct friendly and not official correspondence in messengers, play on a computer.
- employees who are so overburdened with work tasks and are forced to constantly stay at work, which threatens professional burnout and, in extreme cases, a nervous breakdown.
- employees who are not satisfied with their position on certain issues and are looking for a new job.
In the ProfileCenter you can analyze the psychological characteristics of employees and create risk groups for which you need special control.
Automated monitoring of working hours is not limited to the installation of specialized software and also includes the installation of control equipment at the entrance / exit from the building; equipment of checkpoints; use of a system of personal identifiers for each employee; recording the movement of personnel during work on the territory of the enterprise using GPS-beacons.
An integrated approach to controlling working time involves analyzing the work of specialists by checkpoints: staffing, work plan, deadlines for completing tasks, territory of performance, production schedule.
How to choose an IT solution for controlling working hours
When choosing software for monitoring working hours and assessing staff efficiency, it is worth considering the specialization of the solution and immediately answering the question for what purpose the program is being installed: only to collect data or analyze the efficiency of staff work.
Next, you need to decide whether it is sufficient for the implementation of a program that provides quantitative reports on the arrival and departure of an employee, or a decision is required that will record what exactly the employee did during working hours. A useful option is the ability to take screenshots on a predefined schedule or when certain processes are launched.
Managers are interested in the effectiveness of not only an individual employee, but also the entire team. Most often, top management is not interested in information about which games the employee was distracted by or with whom he corresponded, but the total amount of time wasted. Therefore, an additional advantage of the program is the ability to generate not only detailed, but also summary reports.
You can evaluate the capabilities of ProfileCenter SearchInform during the 30-day trial. A fully functional program is provided for a free test. Leave a request.
Special cases of working time control
If the company has employees who work according to a special schedule, so that it will not be possible to control them according to the general scheme, the individual conditions are included in the employment agreement.
For example, contracts with remote personnel include additional clauses: a strictly set time for communication, deadlines for completing tasks, the obligation to warn of force majeure, etc.
In any case, the manager or the employer must not force staff to work overtime. Additional hours of work are fixed in the employment contract at the same time as compensation in the form of an increase in wages or time off. The administration of the enterprise discusses the issue with each employee individually within the framework of labor legislation.
A flexible work schedule, which gives the employee the ability to independently control workload and employment, can increase labor productivity and reduce the employer's cost of hourly wages.
Time tracking must be kept in each company, regardless of the adopted schedule. Time management practices increase productivity, discipline staff and reduce costs.
The use of automated tools for monitoring working time and labor efficiency facilitates accounting in companies with a large staff of employees, provides an objective assessment of the work of each employee and contributes to the adoption of motivated management decisions.