How to Track Employee Attendance?

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 07/09/2019
employee absence

Absenteeism is a deeply rooted and costly issue. It leaves many scratching their heads, wondering how can it be addressed. We are here to put you on the right track. HR staff, MDs and Founders - let’s talk about how can you track employee attendance.

Workplace absenteeism is one of the most common reasons why businesses lose money. However, only one-third of organisations monitor the cost of employee absence. Tracking attendance is essential for identifying staff sickness patterns, properly compensating workers and minimising the disruption caused by missing employees. In a small business, this task can seem simple since you have a small team, and it’s easy to know who is on leave, why, and for how long.

However, the more employees you have, the harder it becomes to keep track. This can lead to low productivity and create an unfair work environment. But there’s a way to avoid these problems and make sure things are running smoothly in your organisation.

Best Ways to Track Employee Attendance 

There are several methods that will help you keep tabs on your workers’ attendance. 

  1. Using designated time tracking tools like time clock apps, online timesheets, etc;

  2. Adopting an accessible timesheet management hub for easy approval processes;

  3. Maintaining visibility over your teams via a centralised employee management system;

  4. Introducing a scheduling tool for instantly visible changes;

  5. Tracking time off, sick days and other absences by utilising a holiday management platform.

In this article, we want to focus on online time tracking tools specifically. Mostly because they often involve other items we’ve listed. 

Automated Online Time Tracking Tools

Unlike the old pen-and-paper method, automated online time tracking tools are much more effective and easier to use. They don’t leave room for human error nor take a lot of valuable time, Moreover, they instil a sense of fairness in the workplace because employees know that they are treated equally.

Key Benefits of Time Tracking Systems

As the above statement hints, there are many benefits to employing a digital solution to track the attendance of your staff. First of all, it will completely eliminate the threat of buddy-punching, a malicious practice that costs businesses a lot. Secondly, digital timesheets will be stored at a centralised location where they won’t be lost, tampered with or damaged.

Finally, if your staff tracking tool integrates with the payroll system, the timesheets can be exported straight there. It will save time and potential mistakes originating from keying the data in. This way your staff will be paid quicker, there will be a lesser chance of payroll errors and you won’t have to lose time to manual labour that can be automated.

Overcoming Internal Resistance 

Your staff might be opposed to the digitalisation of the process. It doesn’t mean they are involved in malicious practices that would be revealed. Some people are simply creatures of habit and are sceptical of changes. This can lead to staff not complying and therefore not using the software you’ve purchased.

Punishing them may solve the issue, but it will also damage your relationship by creating resentment and mistrust. Instead, employ empathy. Try understanding why they are unwilling to accept changes. Then communicate what will they gain from it. It’s a common misconception that online tracking tools are a form of micromanagement. You need to prove that your employees benefit from them as much as you do.

Things to Consider

Adopting an automated time tracking tool can save you time and money. With it in place, no one has to deal with the tedious task of recording leave periods manually. However, before you can enjoy all these benefits, there are a few things you should consider.

Compliance with Labour Laws

Work absenteeism data may contain sensitive information about your workers’ personal life. This is why you should make sure you are complying with all data protection and labour laws. Before adopting software to track employee attendance, take extra time to investigate its security.

There’s a high chance that the solution you choose will cater to more uses than tracking employee attendance only. For example, our Project edition also handles employee onboarding. It, therefore, stores a lot of data on your staff. Ensuring the vendor of software takes the right measures to protect information is in your best interest.

Transparency Concerns

In general, employees are open to using automated attendance tracking tools. Especially self-service ones, because they can get insights into their absence and performance. However, you should never install any monitoring tool without informing your employees.

Since absenteeism data can be sensitive, it’s important to let the staff know who can access it (management, HR, etc). Reassure them that you will not pass their information on to third parties.

Track Employee Attendance with Timesheet Portal

Each organisation has different needs and you should choose a tracker that aligns with your long-term goals. Features also range from basic to advanced and it’s up to you to decide which of them are useful for your company. At Timesheet Portal, we’ve put a lot of thought into how to help you deal with the problem of absenteeism.

Designated Features

To help you have better visibility and control of employee absence, our software is inclusive of the following features:

  • Reporting and analysis options: get worker absence statistics to find out the ratio between planned and unplanned absences, as well as the most common reasons why your employees are missing work. For example, an inadequate work environment may be causing health issues for your employees, and you may have to make some adjustments to reduce absenteeism.

  • Notifications whenever someone announces their absence. This way, you’ll be able to adjust the workflow and plan processes in advance without overwhelming the other workers.

  • Cross-platform functionality – access the same features on desktop, tablet, and mobile, so you can be in control even when you’re away.

  • Cloud-based platform – cloud-based options are more affordable than locally stored ones because they don’t require any maintenance and you know you can’t lose your data.

  • Integration with other business software – import data to other software you are using so you have all relevant information in one place.

  • Ease of use – the very purpose of absence tracking software is to save you time, so you should choose an option with a short learning curve that everyone can get used to quickly.


Employee absence costs businesses a lot. Especially when it’s frequent, unauthorised, unexpected and prolonged. Tracking employee attendance is the best sort of damage control that can be applied.

The market is full of online tracking tools that give you visibility of your employee attendance. They allow you to identify patterns and are historically difficult to cheat. They also streamline other processes within your organisation, such as calculating correct pay in regard to hours worked.

Ready to solve the oldest problem in the book. Give us a shout.

Free trial

See for yourself how you can save time and money. Enter your details below for a free 30 day no-obligation trial.
Cyber Essentials logo Cyber Essentials Plus logo

Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.