Managing the schedule for a couple of employees is not a very difficult task. With a little bit of free time, you should be able to handle the job easily. However, as the number of employees grows, so do the requirements for the management of their time. Eventually you'll need to invest in some professional solutions if you want to keep this problem under control, and keep it fair to everyone.
Employee time clocks exist precisely for this purpose – they can provide you with an adequate overview of how much time everyone is spending at the office, while making it easier for you to manage all that information and ensure that there are no gaps or other critical points in the overall schedule.
There are various different solutions on the market for employee clocks today, and they're not the bulky, clumsy devices that they traditionally were. Most employee time clocks are actually quite compact and even portable in most cases, while they not only get the same job done, but even more.
The important features you should be looking for in a typical employee time clock will differ slightly from one business to another, but in most cases you'll want the device to be electronic, with a clear display that shows the current time and any relevant shift/schedule information, as well as good customization features. Some cheaper models come with hard-coded schedule times, for example, and while this can work for a small number of businesses, it's far from a universal solution.
Don't forget the maintenance! An employee time clock is a small and relatively uncomplicated device, but this doesn't mean that its maintenance is inherently simple. Some models can be very prone to breaking down and needing e.g. a “cold” reset, while others can be left to work on their own for months without even needing to change the batteries.
A little bit of research will show you which of these scenarios you can expect from the time clock you're buying, and obviously you should be leaning towards the option that requires less maintenance. Sometimes it will be unavoidable that you'll have to perform at least some basic types of procedures to keep the device in a good condition over time.
Don't go overboard with the number of time clocks you're buying either. Many business owners and managers who are new to the modern trends in this technological field tend to be a bit foolish when they're determining their needs for such devices, and invest in far too many units relative to their business needs. In most cases one, maybe two employee time clocks should be sufficient to cover your operations adequately, and you should scale this up according to the number of sites that you're covering.
So stop burying your head in complicated time sheets and tables, invest in a device that will bring you into the 21st century and allow you to manage your operations with ease and a high degree of flexibility. Read up a little about the current trends, and move towards the better solutions.
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