What’s new normal in time and attendance management? What has become a priority in this area?
Two main changes – flexibility and availability. These aspects rushed into our work lives as a storm last year. Well, not for everyone. Many companies have already been operating on these principles. Mostly in creative industries of IT or marketing, since these are the minds that tend to be more open to trends and progressive visions. Today, even lawyers, economists, accountants or officers provide their service remotely. Most likely, this is so called “new normal”, which means permanently settled changes in society.
For company internal processes, this means more automation and digitization, less paper. More cloud, less hardware. More freedom, less “clocked in/out” hours. Does this sound too optimistic? Maybe. But it is one of few positive changes that covid pandemic brought, so why not to emphasize it?
So, what’s new normal in time and attendance management? What has become a priority in this area?
Done with biometrics
Yes, we know it’s not applicable in manufactures and factories. This segment will not abandon clock in/out hardware systems for some time yet. But as a time and attendance management system provider, we are occasionally requested to provide biometric solution to „white collar“ companies with employees working as clerks with 40-hour work week. Once at a business meeting, we were asked from client’s HR manager a question of how she should deal with the fact that her colleague came to work at 08:05, but he was supposed to work from 8:00. Well, it is really difficult to answer this kind of questions, since for many companies, flexibility and trust are a key element in their firm’s life. Not mentioning that a „late“ employee from the previous story was a sales manager. They should have flexibility in their attendance and their evaluation is supposed to be based on completely other things than 5-minute delay in office entrance.
Last year’s media attention at one point was focused on the USA and India, where some important institutions cancelled their attendance management via biometric systems with required touch. Understandably it was done for hygienic reasons to help to stop spreading the virus. New York Police Department or New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority were the ones mentioned, however, we believe way more institutions approach to this step. These cases are good examples of why cloud is the first choice for time and attendance management – it’s safe and reliable. Take into consideration data storage on provider’s side, no on premise installation and availability 24/7 from any device with internet connection and there is no doubt that cloud was a number one choice long before covid and “new normal” has just strengthened its position.
Flexibility in working time
% of Czechs immediately react to work messages/phone calls outside work time
% people deal with their personal matters during work
% of them feel pressured by their superiors to work during their vacation
We have already mentioned flexibility but let’s look at the details. At the times when home office is recommended, flexibility in working time should be in line with it. Employed people with kids at home or other family members who require special care need flexibility. Every reasonable employer understands that with Monday’s deadline, it really doesn’t matter if documentation is prepared on Saturday, if you have other objective reasons not to work full 8 hours on Friday.
Based on some studies, there are data that people with flexible working time feel healthier, more relaxed and have better sleep. These employees are more valuable for the company, so it is a win-win situation for both parties.
Workmonitor research from Randstad company, provided in the Czech Republic, shows that 58 % of Czechs immediately react to work messages and phone calls outside their working time and in 17 % of cases they feel pressured by their superiors to work during their vacation. This research was done in 34 countries and the Czech Republic can be named as a typical representative, since their results were an average of all collected data.
Merging personal and professional life works both ways. In 77 % cases, people replied that they deal with their personal matters during work. This is how flexibility is manifested and implemented. The research shows that it suits to all parties involved.
What does it mean for time and attendance systems?
Two main changes – flexibility and availability. Maybe current situation with home office work will not last. People are social creatures, and we want to get back to our rituals and gatherings. But to ask your colleagues to return to old “clock in/out” systems and daily transportation to the office and think that they will forget about the freedom they have had for past months could be a significant mistake. And many HR managers and team leaders realize that. Maybe new generation of digital nomads is growing right now, so we should create proper creative work environment for them.
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