Benefits and Compensation, HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development

Shaping the Future of HR: How Businesses Can Invest in Timekeeping Technology to Evaluate Workplace Productivity and Streamline Day-to-Day Operations

COVID-19 changed the way businesses in every industry operate, leaving many companies to grapple with the challenges and lessons learned over the past year. Now, as the country stands on the precipice of life after the pandemic, HR representatives are adopting emerging technologies to overhaul daily business operations as they turn to the next phase of the opportunity-filled “new normal.”

Adhering to the changing landscape of today’s employee experience while streamlining day-to-day business operations, HR professionals are primed for an excellent opportunity to help shape the future of the workforce. As they respond to changes, it is critical to implement technologies that will simplify workplace management. One such technology is an integrated human capital management (HCM) system to handle payroll tracking and attendance management. This automated tool gives HR managers more time to foster a positive workplace culture in a post-COVID world. Businesses can adopt this technology to monitor employees’ time and labor activities to view opportunities for better productivity, track schedule vs. accrual and PTO and streamline the payroll process.

According to a recent survey, many companies are outsourcing complex admin tasks like payroll and compensation to reduce costs and eliminate the potential for human error. The survey found that more than 54% of respondents outsource payroll and benefits to consultants or firms, with 53% of companies using a payroll processing service. By implementing cloud based HCM platforms, businesses can integrate time, attendance, and production labor data to enhance workplace productivity, reduce payroll processing time, streamline benefits and enrollment, and streamline labor management processes to improve overall efficiency. An HCM system also allows a company to proactively create/update policies to better align the new at work norm throughout the post-pandemic operations.

It is mission-critical for HR teams to use automated workplace management processes whenever possible to eliminate the need for time-consuming manual workflows. As HR managers are trying to promote productivity among employees, they must lead by example and allow themselves more time to build a positive employee experience. After all, work culture and productivity go hand-in-hand.

A robust time-tracking solution will simplify day-to-day HR processes while increasing visibility into the daily time spent by employees to expose gaps in productivity in a way that is not impeding upon employee privacy. Additionally, it will generate valuable data on how employees spend their time at work to help HR shed light on opportunities for increased daily productivity.

Timekeeping systems offer various capabilities to give HR teams more time to devote to other vital workplace areas like expanding learning and development opportunities and streamlined communication between departments.

Touch-Free Technology

Observing employee location and behavior while on the job site is crucial for adhering to employee health and safety regulations. Bluetooth beacon technology creates usable insight into how and where team members spend their time and ensures everyone is adhering to workplace policies.

Wearable Bluetooth devices can replace physical timecards with touch-free voice control time clocks and temperature readings that give real-time results. These capabilities can be set up through employee mobile devices to help streamline contact tracing if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and stop a viral spread from shuttering operations. It also allows HR representatives to track employees’ time electronically rather than manually processing physical timecards. Additionally, employees can use phone-in-time monitoring when they need to clock in and out from a field location where mobile data is not accessible.

Interoperability Between Payroll and Attendance
Many businesses use outdated and time-consuming processes to manage payroll and attendance separately. Utilizing software that combines the two increases productivity as well as the employee experience by eliminating headaches caused by human error. Not having to deal with discrepancies caused by the complex side of manual payroll leaves HR managers time to position their energy and time elsewhere. In addition, an automatic time-tracking system helps keep companies compliant with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations.

Shift Scheduling Technology

Shift scheduling technology streamlines the process of managing employees’ schedules and time-off to ensure shifts are adequately staffed when employees are out due to either planned vacation or an unplanned event. This tool increases productivity for those who would otherwise be manually managing the updates to employees’ schedules.

Given these points, time-tracking solutions allow companies to focus on providing employees with a positive and efficient work environment while having the resources to tailor day-to-day operations to what team members are looking for in an employer.  In a time of high turnover and hiring surges, it is best to be positioned as a company that people want to work for, leading to higher retention rates and better recruitment opportunities for talented job seekers.


Teresa Levis is the Vice President of Presales at Ascentis. She has over 30 years of experience in the HCM industry, with a focus on helping clients meet their needs through change management, technology, and best practices. As a senior leader with Ascentis, her teams’ focus is working with companies to align their business strategies and processes to solutions.