The Pros and Cons of Making Your Work-at-Home Employees Clock In

Posted on 21/02/2018

The time clock debate is one that has been going on since the beginning of organized labor. Which is better for employees: punching the clock or task-based monitoring? Salary or hourly wages? Set hours or flex time? The debate goes on and on. With the introduction of the virtual office and work-at-home employees, the debate can become even more complex. In order to help you decide what's best for your business, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of each approach.

Advantages of Clocking In for Employees: It Establishes Boundaries

For employees, the most significant advantage of clocking in is that it establishes clear boundaries between work and rest. These days, many employers expect their employees to be available at all hours of the day, and this can be very stressful for employees who are trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Especially when an employee works from home, creating barriers between work time and off-work time makes a huge difference when it comes to stress levels and overall mental health.

Disadvantages of Clocking In for Employees

On the flip side, clocking in can also erode the sense of trust between employee and employer. When an employee is forced to clock in, especially when they are in their own home, this can give the impression that the employer does not trust the employee to get the work done on their own time. It can also lead the employee to believe that they have no value outside of an hourly wage.

Advantages of Clocking In for Employers

From the employer's side, virtual time clocks can act as a cost savings tool. By keeping close track of employee hours, you can be sure that you are paying your staff only for the time that they are actually working. It can also simplify administrative practices to pay employees by the hour rather than working out salaries or paying based on productivity levels.

Disadvantages of Clocking In for Employers

While requiring your employees to clock in gives you a better idea of when they are working, paying your employees hourly in this manner can sometimes harm productivity. While clocking in allows you to keep track of when people are working, it doesn't actually tell you anything about how productive they are. In fact, studies have found that flexible working hours actually boost employee productivity. (“Flexible working arrangements boost productivity: Survey”, The Economic Times; “Focus on Workplace Flexibility”, Boston College Sloan Center on Aging and Work) For many modern work-at-home employees, the 9-5 schedule simply does not provide enough flexibility, and as a result, productivity often suffers when employees are expected to follow a rigid work schedule.

For employers in this new working world, the answer to the age-old time clock dilemma might not always be clear. Through consultation with your employees, though, you should be able to find a flexible solution that works for both parties. In addition, virtual office solutions can also help you deal with this issue in a manner that works for both you and your employees. You can use your virtual office's meeting rooms to bring employees together for face-to-face gatherings, and you can take advantage of a virtual PA to help you keep on top of your staffing administration needs. For virtual office solutions to help you manage your staff no matter where they are in the world, visit

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