Common Time Management Challenges During COVID and How to Get Back on Track

by Shree Krupa

When the pandemic sent the global workforce to work remotely, businesses had to quickly find a way to enable their employees to manage their time and attendance to ensure labor compliance and accurate payroll processing. Organizations that were using traditional methods such as emails and spreadsheets or physical punching to track employee time were scrambling to adapt to the new normal.

Businesses across the world needed a secure and scalable solution that allows their employees to manage their time from anywhere, anytime, and on any device without any hassles. Organizations needed a configurable solution that could accommodate the new attendance and leave rules, along with flexible work times. They needed a way to accurately identify the total worked hours of remote employees and integrate that data into payroll systems with minimum administrative overhead. As businesses are yet to recover from the pandemic, these needs are still present and continue to grow.

Do these challenges sound familiar to you too? If you are looking for the right tools to pull your employee time tracking processes back on track, then look no further. Replicon’s Time and Attendance solution is designed to help businesses like yours navigate remote work challenges and support employees as they return to office spaces. In this blog, we’ll cover how our solution solves the top three time management challenges seen during COVID.

Time Tracking for Remote Employees

Remote working gives employees the flexibility to work at a time when they feel most productive. Ethan Taub, CEO of Goalry, told us that their employees prefer working from home and at their convenience during this new normal. “We are giving staff however much time they need. There are still rules like when we were working normally, but with such extenuating circumstances and more people having more responsibilities at home, it is only right to allow them the time. Productivity seemed to be slower at first, but a lot of other members of staff stepped up and took on more work to keep us afloat, and I am incredibly grateful.”

Accurate time tracking is an inevitable challenge that accompanies flexible and remote work schedules. When employees are working at their convenience, they need a way to seamlessly track hours and account for the tasks completed. Any timesheet error — intentional or honest — exposes the business to wage and hour compliance risks, time theft, or missed accounting of billable time. This directly impacts billing, payroll, and, ultimately, the revenue.

You can easily overcome this challenge by using advanced timesheet templates like the ones Replicon provides. These timesheet templates are configurable to your unique business needs and allow your employees to accurately track their time against a specific project, task, activity, and project. You can even set productivity targets for employees to see who is meeting their goals and who needs help. The cloud-based platform enables your employees to record their time from anywhere and on any device. The agile capabilities allow the employees to submit their timesheets as soon as a task, job, or project is complete to enable real-time approvals, billing, and payroll processing.

Labor and Leave Policy Compliance

When the pandemic started, labor policies were modified to help employees transitioning to remote work. But organizations lacked the tools needed to comply with the new regulations as the policies varied based on the location. For instance, several companies modified their leave policies to encourage their employees to take days off and re-energize from COVID-induced burnout. While a few organizations capped leave encashment, a few others offered extended wellness day-offs. Sharing their modified leave policy details, Roxanne Massey from Honest HR told us: “I feel there is more of a flag in the overall absences taking place from those working from home has significantly dropped compared to when they were onsite. They may be working through illness to not be penalized or there were problems when on site. Enhanced sick pay continues for those who have passed probation. Unused holidays were rolled over.”

A time and attendance solution like Replicon allows organizations to implement their leave policies with ease without having to worry about compliance issues. It even lets you automate the application of pay rules and labor laws based on where employees are working from. For instance, the pre-built rules from Replicon’s compliance library saves HR teams from spending countless hours analyzing which region their employees logged in from and which pay rules to apply. Replicon can automatically track location or have employees enter a location to get the pay rule application right. The library helps organizations stay on top of time off and sick leave compliance requirements mandated by the regional governments. You can model custom time-off policies as needed in specific locations or as per your enterprise agreements.

Manual Clock In/Clock Out

Businesses put safety first for employees returning to their workplaces after the COVID-19 restrictions. There is no doubt that safeguarding employees’ health is of the highest priority and employees are counting on their employers to help them get back to work safely. Monica Eaton-Cardone, the co-founder and COO of Chargebacks911, shares how they have implemented safety measures: “When the COVID-19 outbreak first began, we transitioned the majority of our workforce to remote capabilities with minimal impact to the business. In recent months, we slowly transitioned several departments back into the office. We’ve been able to ensure that social distancing protocols are followed and that employees feel comfortable being back in the office. We implemented daily temperature checks, mask wearing, and have avoided any in-person meetings or activities that did not follow social distancing rules.”

Removing physical time punches and biometrics is another common measure businesses took to avoid the chance of contracting the virus. A touchless time clock gives employees a contactless way to punch at arrival, breaks, and end of shift. AI-enabled features like facial recognition and voice commands are a safe and innovative alternative that reduces the risk of exposure to the virus, encouraging your employees to safely resume punching in and out without fear.

Don’t Get Left Behind

There’s no doubt that managing a remote workforce is challenging. If not tracked accurately, time and attendance management could become the biggest business hassle as it is directly connected to payroll and labor law compliance. This is more important now as organizations need to adapt to a hybrid workforce accommodating both remote employees and those returning to the workplace. The ability to adapt and overcome has always defined the most forward-thinking businesses, but in a post-pandemic society, it’s a non-negotiable trait.

This article was originally posted in Replicon.

https://www.replicon.com/blog/common-time-management-challenges-during-covid/

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