The concept of tracking employee work time has been around since the Industrial Age, when machine-based manufacturing brought about major economic change in America and Europe. In an effort to regulate work hours, employers needed a way to keep track of how many hours their employees worked – hence, the advent of the time clock.
Workers were required to stamp a special “time card” in a machine to mark their in and out times, which came to be known as “punching” in and out. Time card and “punchclock” systems were created and used in manufacturing plants, offices, retail establishments, and any other work environment where employee time needed to be tracked for payroll and regulatory purposes.
Nowadays, time card and punchclock systems are still used; however, the dawn of the Internet age 20 years ago brought about a new way of tracking employee time – using web-based software. Because of the ability to access timesheets online, many companies and industries have moved to using web-based time tracking software – which not only allows easy accessibility, but provides a more robust set of features for accounting and project management purposes.
The Rise of Mobile Time Tracking
Since the iPhone debuted in 2008, the smartphone has dominated our lives, not to mention the myriad smart devices (tablets, watches) that have spawned from that single culture-changing invention. According to a recent study from global research consultancy TNS, millennials (those born between 1982 and 2004) spend a total of one day per week on their phones. So, it should come as no surprise, as millennials enter the workforce in higher and higher numbers, that more companies will have a need for mobile time tracking.
But it isn’t just a generational push causing this shift to mobile. Companies that employ field workers – in industries such as oil and gas, utilities, and even some professional services – have a need for easy time tracking from any device. Getting employees to fill out their timesheets is notoriously difficult and a challenge felt by many payroll and accounting professionals. By giving employees in the field the flexibility to fill out and submit their timesheets from their phones, companies are making it much easier for them to do something they generally loathe to do.
Are YOU Mobile-Ready?
If you’re not already providing an option to your employees for tracking time on their mobile devices, no time is better than the present to evaluate the benefits of doing so. By making it easier for employees to enter and submit their time, you’re making it easier on yourself to collect timesheets for payroll, billing, and project accounting – because the quicker you receive timesheets, the more efficient your processes will be. And that goes straight to your bottom line.