The idea of the traditional table and desk office setup has become obsolete in the current global scenario. Today’s smart working employees have overcome the psychological boundaries of the four-walled archaic office settings. The modern workforce can work either from home, from the client’s premises, while traveling or from remote locations, and without going by the traditional 9-5 working hours. The global work community has seen a transitional phase where flexibility to work is not a luxury anymore. It is a basic requirement for the timely completion of business projects.
However, to ensure the trust between employers and tech-savvy employees never breaks, and no party plays foul to take advantage of the provided flexibility, it is important to have a perfect monitoring system in place. Proper planning, well-defined policies, clearly written compensation programs, and seamless technology for attendance management is required to keep employees motivated and regular at work.
Therefore, employers seek innovative and efficient systems for managing the attendance and work progress of their teams. attendance tracking software is a perfect tool to meet all goals for attendance management and reporting.
What is Attendance Management?
Attendance management is a set of strategic actions and initiatives companies take to deal with employee's unnotified absences, leaves, and irregular attendance. The goal of the attendance management plan is to ensure that employees are consistent in their attendance, and the time that they spend at work is productive.An attendance management program includes the below components:
- Attendance Policy: A clearly written and implemented attendance policy that describes all rules and regulations that employees need to follow regarding their job attendance.
- Attendance Monitoring: A system to track, monitor, and report the attendance pattern of employees.
- Absenteeism management program: A strategic absenteeism management program to tackle both unavoidable and avoidable absences.
- Compensation system: Compensation system to reward employees that come regularly. Employees who are aware of the benefits that they can avail of if they regularly come to work, apply less for leaves. For instance, if there is a policy to encash non-availed leaves, employees will refrain from taking avoidable leaves.
Challenges faced by employers in attendance management:
- Productivity Leakages due to Absenteeism: Irregular attendance, prolonged leaves, and frequent Absenteeism cause companies to lose a great deal in project completion. Work quality deteriorates, teamwork suffers, and productivity decreases due to low attendance.
- Unethical Practices: Unethical practices such as proxy attendance and buddy punching are perennial issues for the HR department.
- Unable to access real-time information: Inability to process information in real-time, and get detailed reports and analysis is a major challenge that employers face, especially if they have a traditional attendance management system in place.
- Holding employees accountable: Without efficient attendance management, companies cannot come up with a standard protocol to hold employees accountable for work losses, undue liberties with time, poor attendance, and irregularity.
- Human Errors: Punched cards, excel sheets, pen, and paper attendance sheets, come with the risk of human errors. Errors in attendance sheets can cost companies dearly. Manual tracking of errors leads to more wastage of employee hours.
- Meeting compliance and avoiding labor issues: Employers find it challenging to record accurate attendance for meeting regulatory needs and labor standards. Inaccurate and error-prone attendance recording causes litigation issues.
What can Attendance Tracking Software do?
The software that monitors the daily attendance of the employee of an organization is called attendance tracking software. It is a set of powerful application tools for tracking employee attendance, leaves, working hours, vacations, holidays, and more. It comes with payroll integration. The software is used by all small, medium, and large-scale organizations.
Below are the elements of the attendance tracking system:
Why choose open source Attendance tracking software?
The benefit of an open source attendance tracking software is:
- There is no lock-in with a vendor. Once you buy the license and deploy the system on your system, it's entirely yours. So, you are not dependent on the vendor for future support and upgrades.
- You don't need to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
- Also, you don't need to depend on the software vendor to fix issues, and you can use the source code to modify the system as per your needs.
- Another benefit is that they are cheaper than the web-based system.
Apart from the free and open source attendance management software, large organizations that need to save a bulk amount of data can go for cloud-based attendance tracking software for complete attendance solutions.
What are the benefits of using Attendance Tracking Software?
1. Protection from employee time theft
Due to time theft, there are unnoticeable losses that occur to the company in terms of project delay and making pay-outs for unproductive staff-hours. The attendance tracking software enables efficient management of employee attendance, schedules, and current projects and reduces the risk of time theft. Companies can analyze the work patterns of an employee who fails to meet up the deadline.
2. Compliance to labor laws and adherence to company policies
Failure to comply with labor laws and lack of adherence to company policies may lead to legal violations for any company. It can incur huge costs, loss of reputation, time, and efforts. The attendance management system comes with seamless integration of data management and analytics with the policies. It prevents companies from avoidable lawsuits. The software calculates the payments done as per the work hours along with the exact number of employees hired for the projects and keeps well-documented records in case legal suits are filed.
Adapting the traditional methods for attendance management may lead to various additional costs on work operations like time taken in job hour calculations, paper costs, register costs, etc. Free attendance management software saves all the above costs.
4. Accurate analysis
An integrated and expedient attendance software serves to create customized reports that can be accessed in real-time. Companies can take benefit of the accumulated data to track and improvise the performance of their employees. It gives companies a fair idea about the actual employment days and related factors, such as production and profitability. The attendance system also prevents inaccuracies in computing information and points out any productivity leakage due to irregular attendance issues.
5. Empowers Remote Work Tracing
An efficient attendance tracking software tool can enable the company to check the attendance of any remotely working employee. This results in improved work efficiency even when the employee is working from home.
6. Streamlines the payroll system
The manual methods of employee payment calculations can be erroneous, tedious, ineffective, and time-consuming. The automated computerized system ensures the accuracy and authenticity of the attendance results. The attendance tracking software renders huge support to the HR payroll team for employee pay calculations by keeping track of absences, leaves, late arrivals, etc. It has an automated system of compensation calculations that keeps track of employees' leaves- both used and pending.
7. Keeps track of employee work progress
The attendance tracking software facilitates to provide detailed and extensive reports of work progress of each employee to managers. It also serves as a tool to the employee to track their own work progress leading to timely completion.
8. Avoids paper usage
In the absence of the attendance software, you need to physically store documents of each employee such as timesheets, expense reports, and punch cards. This leads to heavy usage of paper. Businesses now look forward to going green and saving office space and time for the HR team. The attendance tracking software stores the entire information of the employees into the local servers or cloud-based software database. It can be easily accessed through computers or any wireless device.
9. Manageattendance for on-field employees with multiple locations
The attendance management system helps corporate businesses to manage employee attendance for employees that work on fields. For example, attendance tracking software is crucial for companies whose employees go to multiple locations. Attendance tracking software allows such employees to log in from a particular site without a biometric device. Employees can log in to the portal from anywhere with their mobile phone and login to mark their attendance. The GPS integration ensures that the employee has reached the spot.
How to make employees more accountable for their absences?
Employees may come up with challenges at work or on the personal front. It may prompt them to commit time-theft and procrastinate work. Employees may resort to unethical methods, slackness in activities, and irregular attendance. As a result, work gets hampered to a great extent and takes a huge toll on the project completion goals. Employers can't track the real-time data of jobs done by every employee manually. With the help of the attendance tracking software, most of these difficulties come to an end. With accurate data, on-demand reports, and exact attendance percentage in hand, companies can hold the defaulters responsible with proper documentation.
Comparison of the Attendance management system with other standalone systems:
1. Excel sheets vs. Attendance management software:
Managing employee attendance databases with manual systems such as excel spreadsheets is a time-consuming and out-dated approach. There are limitations in excel sheets to retrieve data in multiple-forms. It also cannot be fully integrated with other HRMS tools. Excel Sheets have to be filled by people and, therefore, prone to human errors. Moreover, spreadsheets cannot be automated to record, compile, and verify the attendance data.
2. Biometrics devices vs. Attendance management software
Employees may sometimes forget to punch in or punch out their ID cards or swipe cards on biometrics machines, but this issue won't happen with the attendance management system. As soon as an employee logs into the system, the attendance management software automatically records attendance. Attendance software can record attendance automatically and can integrate with the biometrics system too. Even if you don't have a biometrics system, attendance software can record and track attendance by other methods.
3. Manual Registers vs. Attendance management software:
Manual registers are poor attendance entry methods and prone to the input of false information and register theft. Also, there may be an altercation between the person handling the register and employees over the wrong entries. There are other issues too. Employees can enter their attendance in another employee's place by mistake. Attendance software comes with a unique ID and password, and therefore no one can wrongly put attendance in another’s place.
What are the features of a comprehensive attendance tracking software?
Some of the essential features required while choosing the attendance tracking software are:
The list of 7 free and open source attendance tracking software
- Php Payroll
- Open Hrms
Comparison of 7 free and open source attendance tracking software:
TimeTrex is a free and open source attendance management software for efficient attendance tracking. It comes with four versions: Community, Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise. The community version is a free and open-source edition supported and maintained by volunteers from over 50 countries. It is accessible 365 days/24/7. For more features and functions, you can upgrade to other plans.
- Track and monitor employee attendance in real-time with a rule-based software
- Track time and attendance via multiple mediums PC, Mobile app or Biometrics and facial recognition device
- Allows managers to monitor employee's time and attendance remotely
- Automatically tracks employee's vacations, sick days, etc.
- Employees can access their schedules from all devices and multiple browsers.
- Integrated attendance and payroll
- Admin control options for management
PHP Payroll is a free and open source attendance tracking software. It has features to rule out any glitches in attendance tracking. Its flexible pattern minimizes data entry and eliminates errors in the attendance management system. It is an integrated time and attendance management software that enables more accurate and punctual scheduling of employee's workflow.
- Accessible at any time, from anywhere on multiple devices
- Optimal coverage throughout the day
- It can easily handle attendance records even with multiple shifts and other additional elements such as grace time, break time, and off days.
- Designed to centralized attendance management
- Track and manage attendance at events
- Able to manage the entire workforce
- Enable staff to view the schedule and create task lists
- Manage records for paid time off, multiple shifts, and leaves
Open HRMS isan open source attendance tracking software that envisions building a happier workforce for both small and large-sized enterprises by streamlining their attendance management activities. It provides significant attendance information and helps to track employee performances. OpenHRMS provides insightful reports that help employers to drive more efficiency in attendance percentage and employee engagement.
- Real-time attendance processing
- Integration with biometric hardware
- Integrated with payroll and leave management system
- Multiple sources to capture employee attendance such as Biometrics, login portal, swipe card, etc.
- Configure various leaves such as casual leave, compensatory leave, sick leave, unpaid leave, etc
- Automatic leave request and approval
MyAT or My Attendance Tracker is a free attendance tracking application made for teachers, employees, students, and schools. It is very simple as it is developed and devoted to maintaining the communication of a class, group, event, and gathering. It is designed specially to export and import the general attendance report of a classroom of any standard and share it among teachers and parents.
- Faster and reliable to use than pen and paper-based attendance systems or spreadsheets
- Track multiple classes and an unlimited number of students
- Integrated reporting features
- Share the data via Excel and PDF
- Customize your tracking and add categories
- Simple and easy to track, view, and create reports
TimeForge is an attendance tracking software by Truno Human Capital Management solutions. It is used for attendance tracking, vacation requests, scheduling, payroll, and more. It provides employers real-time views into labor costs. It eliminates paper tracking to save costs, increase efficiency, and reduce errors. TimeForge is free upto 25 employees.
- Employees have multiple modes to clock in/out.
- Managers can set grace periods.
- Schedule staff breaks
- Ensure compliance with local labor requirements
- Set overtime and tailored pay rules for the state or region
- Working hours can be exported to a payroll program.
Clockify is a free attendance tracking software to track work time and employee attendance. It works on all operating systems and is compatible with multiple devices. Employees can log in via Web, desktop, or mobile app to track their attendance. Weekly reports about working hours are available with data filter options and export in various formats. You can use Clockify for employee attendance tracking, student attendance management in classrooms, event attendance tracking, etc.
- Log in, select activity, and enter time
- Unlimited users/admins
- Free for unlimited team members
- Track attendance from any device
- See who works on what in real-time
- Reminders: Get automatic reminders if you forget to log time
- Prevent users from changing historical data
- Tracking on phone and computer simultaneously- all time is synced online
primaERP is an easy-to-use free attendance tracking software for tracking working time and breaks upto three employees. For more employees, you need to buy higher plans. It has a set of intuitive timesheets to provide you an overview of your work activities. The main benefits of this attendance tracking system are easy clock-in and out, android mobile app, automatic and exportable timesheets, and overview reports of your team's work.
- Clock in and out with PC or phone
- See the time in & out, duration and breaks.
- Admins can see the timesheets of their team members
- Email and export timesheets
- Easily records attendance activities
- Attendance in the cloud-based servers (can be accessed from anywhere)
- Analyze and report the attendance data
- Available for mobile devices with Android app
- Available in multiple languages (7 supported languages)
- Work offline and sync your data automatically once online.
- Quick and easy user interface
You can utilize the services of the above list of 7 free and open source attendance tracking software to streamline your employees' attendance. If you need more features and more robust software with high-end functionalities, you can addMitrefinch to your list. Mitrefinch is one of the most popular and highly sophisticated attendance tracking software available in the market. Let us see its features in detail:
Mitrefinch is an integrated attendance tracking software that enables companies to record employees' attendance and working hours accurately. It provides complete attendance solutions for all types of business types and sizes. Mitrefinch provides comprehensive attendance reporting, a diverse range of punching options, compliance tracking, and automated tracking of employees' attendance.
- Accurately capture employee time & attendance
- Eliminate inaccurate reporting
- Achieve payroll accuracy with payroll integration
- Integrates also with 3rd third party payroll systems
- Employees can manage their time from their PC, tablet, or smartphone
- Time and attendance of employees is visible in real-time to supervisors and managers
- A locked and secure system to confirm the employee's identity
- Manage the time of multiple employees from single dashboard terminal
- Requires no additional software installation
- Various options to record attendance: Mobile phone clocking, SMS punching, Desktop Fingerprint readers, Web-based Online Time and Attendance, Landline Phone Clocking, Biometric Time Clock
- Create attendance rules based on local regulations to ensure compliance
- Customize reports
- Automate tasks to save time
- Receive real-time updates to employee data
The attendance tracking tools render productive, efficient, reliable, and viable results to benefit the employee and employer both. It is one of those office automation tools that make the functioning of offices smooth and hassle-free. To round it off, the usage of attendance management software has become inevitable in prevailing times. Businesses can choose from any of the attendance tracking software discussed in this article. Apart from the discussed free attendance tracking software, Factorial, Time Dynamo, greyHR, HR-One, Tsheets, TimeClock365, and Jibble, are some other attendance management systems that you may choose for your business.
We welcome your views about the article. Please comment in the section below. If you have previously utilized any of the free attendance tracking software mentioned above, share your feedbackwith us.
If you wish to analyze the features of anyotherfree attendance tracking software or software categories other than the attendance tracking software, then visit GoodFirms' software directory page.