If you haven’t heard, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer informed employees this year that if they work remotely, they need to start coming into the office or they should leave Yahoo. This mandate is intended to help build a stronger corporate culture, as Yahoo struggles reign in its workforce. Marissa’s announcement has caused journalists to start writing stories about the pros and cons of working remotely, and whether or not employees need to be onsite to build culture.
But like it or not, the US workforce is becoming increasingly mobile and virtual. Perhaps in situations such as Yahoo’s, a temporary commitment to being on-site is sensible, but it’s unrealistic in the long-term. According to the Telework Research Network, regular telecommuting grew by 73% between 2005 and 2011, and may grow an additional 69% to 4.9 million by 2016.*
That’s likely a conservative estimate. With new technologies coming on the market daily that support and even encourage telecommuting and worker mobility, it’s unlikely that Yahoo’s on-premise policy will sit well with existing employees for long, and it will likely make it difficult for recruiters to sell jobs to new talent.
Possibly a better way to nurture a strong corporate culture is to make it easy –and essential– for employees to stay productive, accountable and connected, wherever they are. Really, that’s what the cloud is all about. Instead of insisting employees work in a controlled environment, companies can leverage the automation and flexibility of cloud-based time and attendance software to stream line processes, create accountability, increase transparency, and ensure compliance with time and attendance policies.
- Streamline processes. A centralized time tracking process built with the end users in mind, promotes rapid adoption. Centralization of time capture and management also makes timesheets accessible online for easy and consistent time capture. Employees and approvers receive automated email reminders to encourage a smooth workflow and discourage late submissions. There are many administrative tasks that can be easily taken care of reducing the burden for one and all involved and freeing up their time to be put on activities that add more value.
- Create Accountability. Keeping track of how much time people spend on various tasks encourages productivity and is a great tool for employee reviews. If employees understand that you’ll be using time and attendance software in their evaluations, they’ll be motivated to fill out timesheets with accuracy and consistency.
- Increase Visibility. Cloud-based time and attendance software provides enhanced visibility into how employees are spending their time and how productive they actually are—wherever they are. At any point in time, managers can see where time is being spent, on what tasks, and make the necessary course corrections to keep projects on track.
- Ensure compliance. Cloud-based time and attendance software makes it easy to configure business rules, so administrators can automatically apply overtime, time off, meal breaks, rounding rules and other attendance policies. Cloud vendors such as Replicon create applications for a wide audience, so they design a great deal of flexibility into their products to accommodate a wide array of user requirements with simple configuration choices. And because all time and attendance data is centralized, creating reports for labor law auditors is fast and straightforward, eliminating hours of laborious work preparing for compliance audits.
Regardless of a company’s telecommuting policy, accurate time and attendance tracking is essential to keep employees productive, accountable and connected. Cloud-based time and attendance software makes this easier.