How To Choose The Best Remote Time Clock For Your Business

remote time clock

Tracking work hours and time on task for a distributed team can be difficult unless you have a good remote time clock working for you. These apps come in all shapes and sizes, and some even offer more than just the basic tracking features.

In this article, we discuss the essential components of a good remote time clock and how to choose the one that’s right for your business.

Table Of Contents

Essential Features Of A Remote Time Clock

Man using remote time clock

1) Remote Time Clock Accessibility

Accessibility is vital for any remote time clock you choose for your team. If the app you use is only accessible in the office or at a single location, it’s going to cause a lot of issues for your distributed workforce, field service team, and remote employees.

The best time clocks operate in the cloud and provide access to everything your team needs to get the job done — no matter where they are or when they’re working.

With cloud-based software, as long as your team members have access to the internet (via WiFi or cellular), they’ll be able to clock in, clock out, and track their time on task anywhere, anytime.

2) Device Versatility

Another essential feature of any good remote time clock is device versatility, or the ability to use the software on any device.

The most advanced time clocks allow you to use the tools and access the information on any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, whether they’re running Windows, Android, macOS, or iOS.

That means employees can start and stop their time with whatever digital system they have on hand at the moment — all they have to do is log in and choose an action — and don’t have to waste time and energy trying to find a particular device or OS.

Such versatility makes it possible for your team to track work hours and time on task without restrictions and opens up a whole new world of flexibility.

3) Geofencing

geofencing for remote time clock

Geofencing allows you to create a virtual geographic boundary around a certain area within the remote time clock software.

You can then set the system to react in a certain way if a remote employee is inside or outside those boundaries when they try to do something with the app.

For example, you might set a geofence of a few hundred feet around an employee’s main work location (e.g., their apartment or a nearby coffee shop). You can then prevent the employee from clocking in until they’re within the boundaries you’ve defined.

Similarly, you can instruct the software to stop tracking time (or send a reminder) if the employee crosses the boundary you’ve set.

This feature is extremely useful for coordinating the activities of multiple remote employees, preventing time theft, controlling overtime, and reducing the operating costs of your business.

4) Payroll Integration

The numbers you record with your remote time clock aren’t going to do you any good unless they integrate seamlessly with your chosen payroll solution.

If the app you use doesn’t play nice with your payroll software, someone — probably you — is going to have to enter all the timesheet data manually.

Not only does that take a lot of extra time, but it also increases the potential that errors will occur and affect your payroll for the worse.

You can avoid all of that and simplify the payroll process by choosing a remote time clock that integrates with your bookkeeping and recordkeeping software.

5) Data Security

As more and more business activities go online, data security becomes more important than ever.

A good remote time clock will include strong security measures to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your team’s sensitive data.

Advanced Features Of A Remote Time Clock

remote time clock

6) Communication

While some remote time clocks are just that — time clocks — others come with advanced tools that make your job easier. The ability to communicate with your remote employees through the app is one of those advanced tools.

Inch, for example, allows you to send messages to groups or individuals at the touch of a button. You can also locate and communicate with employees within those groups, geographic areas, or specific positions (e.g., technicians, drivers, salespeople, etc.).

You can even share files, photos, videos, and links for faster and more comprehensive communication between your team members.

7) Scheduling

If your team is completely remote — meaning they don’t report to the office at all — using an app that includes scheduling features in addition to a time clock can be a real game changer.

Advanced software programs like Inch allow you to create and distribute work schedules (for the week, the month, or even longer) in the cloud for easy access and interactivity.

Team members can then access the schedule wherever they happen to be working at the time (as long as they have internet access). This unique feature even gives you the power to allow your employees to do much of the scheduling for you.

With Inch, for example, you can post open shifts in the cloud, give your team access to that information, and then allow them to volunteer for the shifts they want to work.

After a time, you can turn off changes, tweak the schedule according to your business needs, and then post the final version in the cloud for all to see.

No more emailing or texting attachments that might never arrive. Cloud-based scheduling allows you to post the work timetable in one place and give read/write access to everyone involved.

8) Task Management

While scheduling and task management may, on the surface, seem like the same thing, they are actually very different.

Scheduling is the long-term organization of your team, while task management is the short-term organization of your team.

You schedule your employees to work specific shifts for the next week, two weeks, or month. But that schedule says nothing about what they’ll be doing during those shifts. For that, you need task management.

Task management gives you the ability to assign your employees to the jobs that need to be done on any specific day.

For example, Rebekah looks at her workday and sees that she has a service appointment at 9:30 a.m. and then another at 1:30 p.m. So, she knows what she’s doing that day — and can get right to work — without you having to talk to her directly.

Now, imagine that the remote time clock you use includes that time-saving feature!

Rebekah can clock in on the road, find out what tasks you’ve assigned to her, and head in that direction. You can also include extra information (e.g., instructions, entry codes, contracts, documents, etc.) as attachments so she has everything she needs to complete the job.

With an app like Inch, you can even update those tasks in real time so team members see any changes the moment you make them.

9) Labor Cost Control

Labor costs are often one of the largest expenses a business will have to contend with. What if you could get better control of those costs, reduce spending, and redirect those funds into other aspects of your business? Would everyone be better off for it? Absolutely!

Now, what if such cost-saving controls were built into the same remote time clock app that you and your team use to track work hours?

You would have the capability to manage labor costs down to the last penny, minimize overtime, build a budget (and stick to it), and so much more.

You would also have the ability to monitor that information in real time so you have a better chance of staying within your labor budget every day.

That can have a profound effect on the way you do business and the bottom line you have to work with.

10) Team And Individual Automated Notifications

We’ve already talked about how the right remote time clock app can help you communicate with your team and help them stay on task throughout the day.

Advanced apps can make that process even easier with team and individual automated notifications.

With Inch, for example, you can set the software to perform a variety of automated tasks to keep everyone in the loop, including:

  • Sending updates to all members attached to a task
  • Sending those notifications to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop devices
  • Informing you when team members clock in for the day
  • Informing you when team members start work on task
  • Informing you when team members complete a task
  • Reminding team members about due dates

You can even set the Inch app to ping you if someone tries to clock in when they’re not in the right location and to notify your employees if they leave a job site without first clocking out.

Remote Time Clock Benefits

remote time clock on a phone

1) Ensures Accurate Employee Compensation

All businesses are required by law to provide accurate employee compensation. A remote time clock app can help with that.

Apps like Inch allow you to keep track of who worked when and for how long (down to the minute) — even if they’re working across town, across the state, or across the country.

Those numbers are immediately available when it comes time to “write checks”. You don’t have to wait for remote employees to email or otherwise submit their numbers, nor do you have to put in lots of time reviewing work hours.

The Inch app does all of that for you so employee compensation is as easy as possible.

2) Prevents Time Theft

Time theft can occur in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Unintentional mistakes
  • Rounding errors
  • Unauthorized personal time
  • Unauthorized overtime
  • Buddy punching
  • Extended breaks
  • Hiding or disappearing

Whether the theft is intentional or unintentional, even a basic remote time clock app can help prevent it from occurring in the first place.

These apps can automate the clock-in/clock-out process and remove the potential for some of the most common types of time theft (e.g., buddy punching, rounding errors, and mistakes).

Advanced apps even help you monitor overtime and breaks so those activities don’t spiral out of control and start to affect your labor budget.

3) Streamlines Payroll Tracking

In many cases, payroll involves more than just adding up work hours, multiplying by the employee’s regular rate, and cutting a check.

Your business may have other components to factor in, including:

In the past, tracking and conducting these calculations was often done by hand. But with the right remote time clock app, you may be able to program these variables into the software itself so the app does the calculations and the bulk of the work for you.

This may save you time and dramatically reduce the potential for errors that come with such complicated math.

4) Helps You Monitor Attendance

If you only have one or two employees, monitoring their attendance typically isn’t a problem. But with five, 10, 15, or more employees, attendance issues can quickly get lost in all the other activities you have to keep track of.

You can address this issue by creating a company attendance policy and incorporating software into the workflow.

In many cases, an advanced remote time clock can help you track attendance issues and prevent them from becoming a problem by notifying you when team members show up late for work, leave work early, or start to exhibit a pattern of sick days.

5) Boosts Productivity

Maintaining a good level of productivity for days, weeks, and months on end can be a challenge for any business.

An advanced remote time clock with many of the features mentioned in this article may be able to help boost productivity both in the short term and in the long term.

Apps like Inch can provide helpful analytics and insights into your team’s performance as well as unprecedented control over the important tasks that need to be done every day.

With the clarity of work that these apps provide, you’ll be better positioned to boost team and employee productivity in every corner of your business.

How To Choose A Remote Time Clock

Woman working remotely

1) Start With A Free Trial

You can scrutinize every screenshot that the company provides, pour over every review online, and research every aspect of a remote time clock, but you won’t know if it really works for you, your team, and your business unless you try it.

That’s why it’s so important to look for software that offers a free trial.

It doesn’t matter if the free trial gives you access to all the features for a certain number of days or access to the basic features indefinitely, hands-on access will tell you almost immediately if the program is right for your business or not.

2) Investigate The User Interface

The user interface is the gateway to all the tools and functionality that the app provides. As such, you want the controls — and the program as a whole — to be as easy to use as possible.

Clocking in and out should be as simple as one or two clicks. Even more advanced features should be intuitively placed and easy to access within their own specific menus.

An app with a user interface that is too difficult to navigate can cause difficulties down the line for you and your team members.

Take the time to investigate the program in as much detail as possible with a focus on ease of use so you can get a feel for the controls before rolling it out to your employees.

3) Test More Than Just Time Tracking

brainstorming in a journal

Some of the best time clock apps come with more than just time-tracking tools.

Inch, for example, offers:

If the app you choose includes advanced features like these, it’s a good idea to test them out as well before purchasing the full program and implementing it in your workflow.

You may have selected the software for its time-tracking features, but the additional tools may come in handy later on.

Try everything before you choose so you know exactly what the software has to offer, what it can do, and how it can help your business grow and improve.

4) Prioritize Automation

Some of the more advanced remote time clock apps can automate the regular processes you and your team deal with every day.

Inch, for example, uses data from your business, user-defined parameters, and artificial intelligence to coordinate employee activities when it comes time for them to clock in and start work.

When doing this, you can instruct the software to consider a wide variety of variables, including:

In some cases, you can incorporate such information as attendance rates and even past labor data to automate the process even further.

This automation can make your job — and the jobs of your employees — easier than e

5) Experiment With Detail Control

Even the most basic remote time clocks give your employees the ability to track the start and end of a specific shift (e.g., Jim clocks in at 8 a.m. and clocks out at 5 p.m.).

And, while this type of time tracking is the foundation of everything your team does, sometimes you need the software to give you a bit more control over the fine details of whatever schedule your team works.

Some advanced time clocks — like Inch — come with extra detail control so you can divide the workday into any fraction of an hour necessary.

So, for example, after Jim clocks in at 8 a.m., he can subdivide his time into other activities, such as:

  • Giving a presentation to his teammates from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Meeting with an important client from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Taking a lunch break from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Meeting with his manager from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The only way to discover if the app you’ve chosen allows for such comprehensive and detailed time tracking is to experiment with it before you commit.

Get More Than Just Time Tracking

Inch app for remote time clock

If you’re looking for the best remote time clock for your business, look no further than Inch.

Inch is a voice-operated time tracking, team scheduling, task management, and communication app that offers everything on this list — and then some.

With the Inch app, remote and on-site team members can perform a wide variety of tasks from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, including:

  • Clocking in and out of their workday
  • Recording time on task wherever they are
  • Communicating with managers and each other
  • Working from a shared task list
  • Getting clarity on work that needs to get done
  • Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
  • Completing work assigned to them

Take your time tracking to the next level by downloading the Inch remote time clock for free today.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, save time and energy, and keep your team on task, visit today.

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