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Forget About an Employee Attendance App - There’s a Better Way to Know Who’s in the Office

By law, some countries such as France and Spain, require their employees to clock in/out to record their working hours. Originally installed as a way to protect employees and ensure they weren’t doing too much overtime, the adoption of an employee attendance app to track hours, has also brought about the adoption of a mindset of mistrust and micromanaging. In companies where this existed before, the implementation of an employee attendance tracker only made it worse. And, for employees, this new form of monitoring didn’t feel like it was for their protection but as a way to control them. In today’s flexible working world, a lot has changed, and we’d like to think so has the mindset around employee tracking. In this article, we’ll dive into why you should forget about an employee attendance tracker and what you should adopt instead.

Employee Attendance App: If you have to use them, make sure it’s for the purpose they were intended

If you’ve used an employee attendance app before and found yourself swimming in the pool of mistrust and micromanagement with your employees then you definitely haven’t been using your employee attendance trackers for the right reasons.

To be honest, unless it’s a legal requirement in your country, there’s really no reason you should be using employee attendance tracking apps. If the relationship with your employees is built on trust, then there should be no questions about whether an employee is completing the hours they are scheduled to work. If you’re not sure what an employee attendance system should and shouldn’t be used for, here are a few pointers.

What should an employee attendance app be used for:

  • To track the number of hours an employee works in a week/month
  • To keep a record of employee hours so that employees can be paid according to their scheduled hours.

What should an employee attendance app NOT be used for:

  • To track every movement of your employees
  • To micromanage their time and how they’re distributing it over the week
  • To deduct hours from employees who took an extra break because they needed to take a breather from their desk for 10 extra min

Now that you know what you should and shouldn’t use an employee attendance app for, let’s talk about an alternative. There’s a better way to know who’s in the office and when without crossing the line into mistrust and micromanagement.

Note: If your mindset is one of trust and empowering autonomy among your employees, but legally, you do need an employee attendance app to ensure compliance with labor laws, then skip directly to the end where we cover the best employee attendance trackers of the bunch - from free employee attendance tracker HR software with time tracking to stand-alone easy attendance app trackers.

Forget About a GPS Based Attendance System: There’s a Better Way to Know When & Where Your Team is Working

Some of the online and offline attendance app systems, have the ability to track employee attendance using GPS. Sounds great! Right? Well, not so much. Let’s explain why. Some GPS based attendance systems automatically check in employees when they arrive at the office, which means that the moment they step out, and go anywhere, the GPS based attendance system knows. That’s taking a bit far I’d say. Especially since most work is not done in a formal office anymore. These GPS attendance with location-style systems are thankfully being replaced by a new age version that respects employee privacy and enables autonomy.

What is the best way to track employee attendance then?

Rather than using an employee attendance app with location, companies have switched to apps like Where.team. Tools like this encourage employees to come into the office but do so in an unrestrictive way. With this simple Slack app, employees can easily let their team know when they’ll be in the office and where they’re working. Or, if they’re working remotely, which city/country they’re working from.

How ‘Where’ is a Better Way to Know Who’s Working from Where.

Let’s face it, forward-thinking, distributed-first companies don’t care when or where the work gets done. What’s important is that it gets done. However, with the rise in companies transitioning to hybrid, knowing when and where your team is working is very important. It’s not only crucial for team coordination, or managing office capacity, but it’s especially important for team relations. No matter how much working remotely works for most of us, nothing beats a good face-to-face interaction with our colleagues. Using a tool like Where helps promote more facetime while at the same time easily managing your team’s return to the office...all from Slack.

👋 Bring your hybrid team together

There’s a better way to schedule your days in the office...right from Slack!

Here are just a few reasons why ‘Where’ is a better way to know who’s working where?:

  • It’s people-first - Employees can easily update and modify when and where they’ll be working from, down to the space, and even the desk. Admins cannot place restrictions on when or where you’re working on any given day.
  • It lives in Slack - You don’t need to jump into another app to let your team know where you’ll be. Set your schedule and location all from Slack.
  • It’s more social - ‘Where’ makes work more social. If you’re coming into the office and want to find out whether your team members will be in, a quick Slack command will let you know. Plus, with the announcement option on Where, employees can decide when they want to come in, based on what’s happening in the office.
  • It allows you to plan better - When you know who’s in the office and where they’re working from, you can better plan for office space usage.
  • It’s built to help you scale - An employee attendance tracker can only tell you the hours an employee works, but with ‘Where’, you’ll see the workplace analytics most crucial to scaling your team.

We could go on and on with more reasons why ‘Where’ is the better alternative for hybrid teams to track employee attendance. However, instead, why not try out this free employee attendance app [10.0 hybrid team focused version] on a trial and see for yourself.

Stand-alone Work Attendance App

Which is the best attendance app for employees? If you do still need a work attendance app to remain legally compliant, here are a few of the better ones to look into that serve a greater purpose.

  • Time Doctor - The employee time tracking system that isn’t just for tracking hours, but helps you get more done.
  • Clockify - Employees can track time and log it towards specific projects to have more visibility on where they’re spending their time.

Is there an app specific for taking attendance?

There are a few tools that are specific to recording attendance such as Connectteam, but they fit more in the category of GPS attendance trackers and tend to breed more micromanaging habits. Other employee attendance trackers and time tracking apps that you may come across in your research include:

  • Jibble
  • Hubstaff
  • Buddy Punch
  • Homebase
  • Harvest
  • When I Work
  • TimeCamp

Best HR Software w/ Attendance Tracker App

Looking for the best employee attendance app that’s integrated into an HR software platform? Here are some of the best ones that have attendance tracker app features.

  • HiBob
  • Factorial
  • Roots
  • Personio
  • Bamboo HR
  • Zenefits

Final Thoughts

Let’s wrap up with a knowledge check question to see if you were paying attention...

How do I track my employee's time and attendance?

It depends on the reason why you need to track it in the first place. If it’s required by law, then you’ll want to use one of the best employee attendance trackers mentioned before. If your reason for using an employee attendance app is anything other than for legal purposes, then the answer to the question above is - with a team coordination app like ‘Where’, Robin, Envoy, Officely, or one of these other desk booking apps.