The annual American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the federal Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities. The 2015 survey revealed some interesting data about the work lives of American employees.
For instance, the survey results show:
- Overall, about 24% of all workers aged 15 and over do some or all of their work from home — up from 19% in 2003.
- 38% of workers in management, business and financial operations, and 35% of those employed in professional and related occupations, do some or all of their work from home. 22% of those in sales work at least part of the time from home.
- On an average day, 26% of employed people aged 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree work remotely (away from their “official” workplace). Overall, 39% of these workers do some or all of their work from home.
- Of full time wage and salary workers who do some or all of their work from home, 26% earn less than $870 per week.
It’s that last one that caught my attention, especially given that the minimum wage to qualify for the overtime exemption is scheduled to increase to $913 per week as of December 1.
Of course, not all of these folks are classified as exempt now, but I’m sure a substantial number of them very well may be. This means there could be a lot of employers out there who will need to begin tracking time for a contingent of newly-overtime-eligible telecommuters. While you could try to keep track with spreadsheets or email files, frankly that’s a recipe for disaster.
To start with, you could end up paying for time folks aren’t working. People are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to recording time, especially when it’s done after the fact (as with a spreadsheet). Everyone remembers clearly the times they start work early or stay late. The times they come in late or stop work early? Not so much.
And what happens if there’s a disagreement over how much time an individual has actually worked? Do you really want the outcome of a court case or a wage-and-hour audit to come down to “he said/she said”? To protect yourself and your business, you need accurate, reliable, indisputable time records.
Enter AcroTime Workforce Management Suite’s Time & Labor module!
With a wealth of remote-worker-friendly data-collection choices including web-based clock-in and clock-out, a (free) smartphone app, and a telephony option that even works with traditional land-line phones, AcroTime makes it easy for your workers to accurately record their start and stop times, no matter where they’re working. You can even configure approved punch-in locations and times to ensure that workers are where they’re supposed to be when they’re clocking in or out. Job costing features allow you to track time by the project or the location where they’re working. Robust, configurable reports, which can be scheduled and produced on demand, mean you and your managers and supervisors can stay on top of key labor metrics.
Because AcroTime is cloud-based, your supervisors can review and approve timesheets online. This reduces paper-shuffling, eliminates the problem of &ldqou;lost timesheets” and means supervisors can easily manage work hours for employees located, well, just about anywhere. Even when the supervisor is also working from home!
Do any of your employees telecommute all or part of the time? Do you have any outside employees or mobile workers, such as sales reps and service technicians? If so, give us a call (800.298.0330) or visit our website to discover more about the many ways AcroTime can increase the accuracy of your time records, cut your payroll processing effort, and help protect you from wage and hour lawsuits.