While the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching its last stages, certain matters are here to stay. To elaborate, the idea of remote work is brought center stage as the “future of work.” Logically, it makes sense; the opportunity to work wherever you want, you get to set your hours as long as the deadline is met, and the chance to do more things outside of work. It’s estimated by 2025, 22% of the workforce will work remotely. TrackTime24 researched current workers and their feelings about remote work as opposed to going back to the office. In their findings, 22% of respondents said that they are happier working from home. 30% of them said that they are more productive and engaged at home compared to working in an office.
However, the loss of work/home boundaries and longer hours creates a new set of challenges when choosing remote work. 75% of remote workers experience stress and burnout at work. Going further, 43% are more likely to work over 40 hours a week, 37% report working longer hours than they did previously, and 22% find it difficult to unplug from their jobs. Apart from time, Remote work can lead to disorganization – lowering productivity, and increasing stress. Some other effects it could have are project delays due to a lack of project management, coupled with a lack of direction could result in a lower-quality end product.
To first solve these problems, companies started implementing time tracking using technology. This method was beneficial to both businesses and employees alike. For employees, it helps them unplug from work to life by having hours to track so when you “clock out” online you have that disconnect from your job. Also with time tracking, organizing tasks will be much easier since you have a set number of hours, you can prioritize what tasks need to get done first and go down from there. Lastly, time tracking can help increase focus leading to better progress when working.
For businesses, time tracking helps them in sufficient ways as well. The first is transparency in work processes so they know where time is allocated for the employees. Time tracking also gives accountability to employees which helps track down any weak points in the budget and fix them immediately. Time tracking gives businesses an understanding of billing and operational efficiency. Moreover, time tracking saves money as opposed to standard timesheets. In the U.S. filling timesheets wastes $7.4 billion a day in productivity – just from workers forgetting to log in their hours.
While time tracking is a step in the right direction, it brings its challenges as well. According to a recent study, they interviewed managers and employees that have used time tracking and asked them what were some common issues using time tracking methods. Of the managers, 82% of them said that time-tracking remote work has led to reduced employee productivity and focus. On the employees’ side, they mentioned that they spend up to 4 hours a week on unproductive tasks. When asked to elaborate, this is what they had to say: 28% spend their time just checking and answering emails; 53% spend 3 or more hours per day on non-work activities; 34% waste 2-5 a week on calls and meetings that achieve nothing. Despite this, time tracking is still a viable way to track work, but it just needs another step in the right direction to perfect it. Given all the data that this survey has gathered, they have proposed a solution: incorporate the use of AI to use facial recognition to track working time.
The effective thing about facial recognition is that it can be operated anywhere and anytime making it perfect for remote and hybrid work. Another great feature of facial recognition is its anti-spoof detection so it can’t be fooled by photos, lookalikes, videos, etc. It’s workable on both Apple and Android devices no matter the version number. It works by the browser so downloading and data space is not a hassle anymore. Finally, facial recognition allows a distributed workforce more time and less busywork.