Buying an attendance application is inevitable for small- and mid-sized businesses in 2020. Due to the pandemic, lots of SMB employees are working remotely and of course, that has led to some tracking and payroll related issues.
You don’t want to pay someone for the time they’re taking a nap, right? You need your workforce to respect the schedules and deadlines—even though you’re not supervising them personally. However, working from home has its challenges. Many employees fail to manage their time. And it reduces your company’s performance quality.
So, how do you cope with that? Buying a time & attendance tracking app is one way. You get to trace the workers whenever you want. Plus, you have the chance to assign them for new tasks with deadlines.
However, that arises another problem, which one to buy?
4 Ways to Find the Best Attendance Application for SMBs
You can find plenty of buying guides on how to purchase a time and attendance software. But they either promote their own products or suggest certain names. This article, however, lets you know how to find the most reliable app yourself. Here are 4 ways to discover a web-based time clock application that suits your needs and desires.
Analyzing Google Play and App Store Reviews
The most basic method is searching for candidates on app markets. Search for time & attendance applications on Google Play and App Store. Then analyze their download rate and user scores. Make sure that the number of voters is more than 5K. Otherwise, the results might not be reliable. If an attendance app has a fair number of downloads and 4+ star reviews, it’s a proper candidate for further investigation. It’s also a good idea to read a couple of written reviews as well.
Talking to Current Users
Do you know any other SMBs using an employee time tracking tool? If yes, talk to them. See if they have any useful information to share with you. Your goal is to find out whether they are satisfied with the tracking app or not. However, if you don’t know any other businesses using such tools, look to find one. Social media is an excellent place to share experiences. Create a Reddit or Facebook post and ask other SMB owners to help you. You might also end up finding similar posts and join the conversation.
Comparing the Prices with Features
Prices matter to small- and medium-sized businesses. Most applications offer monthly/yearly subscription plans. But others sell the lifetime license. So, it’s up to you to choose the one that suits your budget and needs. However, keep in mind that the rates should match the features you get. You don’t want to end up paying for an app that is the same as a free employee attendance tracker—with a slightly better UX/UI. That’s why you should compare the fees against the features.
Consulting the Attendance Application Developers
Nothing is better than a free trial chance for buying a time clock wizard or app. If you’re an SMB owner, email several developers and ask for an opportunity to try their product. Let them know what your needs are and why you chose them. Plus, explain what happens if you like their program/app. Developer companies are interested in long-term contracts. So, include information about the type of deal you’d want to sign—especially if you’re looking for enterprise agreements.
Note: Some companies offer free trials with no need to send an email or request.
Features of a Professional Attendance Application
You should look for 10 crucial features in premium versions of time and attendance tracking apps. Anything extra is an advantage. However, you should not pay for products that offer fewer options.
Geofencing is a GPS-based technology. It allows the employer to define a virtual office or workplace on the map. When an employee leaves the area, the employer is notified. However, the only downside is that the person can place their phone in the location and go. If that’s a concern, schedule random calls or ask the employees to report task status every 2-4 hours.
- Location Track
Showing your employees’ location is the most essential feature of an attendance application. But that doesn’t mean it’s not crucial. While most free and paid apps offer this option, few can track the targets precisely. A professional online attendance app must be able to locate your employees’ exact place.
- Work Space
An attendance application helps you get rid of all the paperwork. However, you still need information and data. So, you must have a virtual office where you can store the requests, calculate the work hours, schedule new shifts, and manage your team. Like the HR office of your company, a proper employee tracking tool should give you workspace. You should be able to sort files, send messages, and change the rules if necessary. Buying a product with robust management and organizing tools is a must for your SMB. Otherwise, the unsorted files and data will only cause more harm than good.
Digital clock-in and clock-out is a modern method to track your workforce. It’s not time or money consuming as the traditional techniques. However, that’s not the only advantage of modernism in your office. Having all the information on an application or in software is an excellent opportunity to analyze your performance. A professional product should be able to generate reports based on the data your workforce enters. Some statistics that a pro software/app can generate are:
– The average time-off of the employees
– The average number of requests per month
– The present-absent ratio for each day
– Your company’s performance based on the tasks’ schedule
– Monthly performance comparison
- Request Management
One of the main features of attendance applications is sending an online request. Through this option, your workers ask for your permission online. However, you don’t want to end up missing or losing such requests. So, a reliable time and attendance application should let you manage the requests correctly. You need to have all sorts of features to help you gather, process, respond, and store those virtual files. You’re also better off without complicated products. It’s best to choose an app with a simple User Interface that makes the whole managing process easier.
Working from home is unpredictable. There might be situations where you should change the shifts and schedule new programs. So, you need an employee tracker that allows sudden changes. Low-end applications might still offer such features. However, the problems arise when they need to inform other users of the changes. Some employees may not get any push notifications and therefore miss the changes.
Your company, your rules. You should buy a worker tracking tool that understands that. Customization is a must when it comes to supervising your employees remotely. The top time & attendance applications let you change every detail. Most of them also have specific sections for you to enter, edit, and change the rules.
- Payroll Generator
It’s a good idea to buy an employee clock-in app that has an automatic payroll generator. But it’s always best to have specific software for that. Since payrolls are a severe matter in SMBs, you don’t want to take any risks. You must buy an attendance application that is able to transfer the data to payroll generators.
If you have less than 10 employees, you can count on the tracker’s default payroll generator.
- Reports and Notifications
The tracker should work as your virtual eyes. It must send you notifications when something changes. Plus, it needs to keep you up-to-date through daily, weekly, and monthly reports.
Synching is an essential feature when it comes to time & attendance software and application. Your tool should be synchronized with emails, calendars, task management tools, CRMs, etc. Otherwise, you’ll end up having tons of manual data transfer.