Q: How do I verify hours worked from home for an hourly non-exempt employee?
A: The amount of technology available concerning the tracking of time can be a little overwhelming. How you track work from home for hourly non-exempt employees will depend in large part on the capabilities of your current payroll system. Some payroll systems will have the option of allowing employees to log in on their laptop to track their hours, or through an app on their phone. If a more basic approach is needed, you can always utilize a tried-and-true paper timesheet.
The main thing to keep in mind is if the employee performs a small task, such as talking on the phone, even just for five or ten minutes, it still counts as time worked and must be tracked as such. Even if they are responding to phone calls and emails, you still owe them their time for those activities. That is what sometimes makes it tricky with hourly pay for non-exempt employees; just remember you are paying them for the hours they work, so you have to record any time they are actually working.
The real concern for many employers is not so much the logistics of tracking time, but how to verify the hours they are recording as time worked. It really comes down to trust. Having a written work-from-home policy that sets accountability for reporting and work production allows both the employer and the employee to understand the expectations from the work from home arrangement. Work with the employee to set clear expectations regarding the quality or quantity of work, as well as realistic goals for completion of different items. The missing piece for many organizations is the follow-up and feedback. As a leader, it will be important for you to dedicate time to check in with employees who are working from home to remain connected and focused on results.
Is your business struggling with employee issues related to COVID-19? We can help with that. Contact Jennifer Heylmun at 281-469-1800 or by email at jennifer.heylmun@