1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2014 9:35 PM by TKnTexas

    Employee Time Tracking



      Employee Time Tracking


           I'm working on a database that incorporates the ability to track employee time both for the day's time (when they check in,check out,Lunch break out, lunch break in) and for their project/task time (hours spent on a project [rounded to the nearest quarter hour, ideally]). I already have the database set up to track Work Orders, Projects, and Tasks (essentially, a beefed up version of the way the 'Projects 'starter solution works). It also has the function of recording Employee and Customer information. It will eventually have estimate and inventory functionalities.

           For the "Day Time" Tracking: What I need to know is the best practice for going about this. I've tried working on the "Day Time" and can't get it to work reliably enough. Basically, the employee presses a "Clock In" button when they want to clock in that populates the Clock In Time field with the time that they clocked in AND populates a date field with the Clock in Date (the same goes for the way that the clock out, lunch in, lunch out fields work). My problem here is that I need to record MANY times and dates for each employee but the ways I've tried to get this working have not functioned properly thus far (using a portal by copy/pasting field data from the single fields to the portal...this works to some extent but isn't reliable) so I know I'm not doing something right. I know that this can be done with simplicity in mind, I just it to capture the time an employee clicks the button and record it in the database, it sounds so simple but I think I'm missing it.


           For the "Task Time" Tracking: Same idea, only this tracks time on each task an employee is assigned to. The employee will only have to interact with a "Start Time" button and an "End Time" button. I think I can get this to work easily enough but I haven't logged any hours working on it because I've been trying to get the day functionalities working first.


           The main objective is not not have the employee entering in data manually. It needs to be automated.


           For future purposes I need to be able to have this data be reliable, right now it's definitely not. I just need a fresh perspective.


           Thank you in advance for any help!

        • 1. Re: Employee Time Tracking

               Some thoughts to consider.   Clocking In creates a record.  It is an open record until Clocking Out.  A drop-down for the task handle that.  

               When I worked for a restaurant chain, employees knew to clock in/out when changing job codes.  A day bartender might first clock in to do the Daily Admin duties.  When completed, clock out of the Admin code.  Then they would clock in for the bartending code.

               In a number of companies, the employee merely clocked in and out for the shift.  Meal Period was adjusted by a calculation.  Employees had the option of a 30 min or 60 min meal period.  This would be noted in the Employee Profile, and picked up in the calculations.  

               If an employee forgot a PUNCH (in or out) management had the permissions to overwrite the punch.   Some practices to consider for your system.  

               I know of one FileMaker Timekeeping system that incorporated bio-metrics for the clock in/out control.  Before bio-metrics he used a cardswipe issued to employees.  On the computer prompting for a passcode will do the same.

          • 2. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                 Thank you for your reply! I think I see what you're saying but I really need to make this as automated and simple as possible. Using a special code to clock in and out each time, I would think, would become cumbersome. The way I will have it set up is when the employee logs on to the database, their account name is captured and matched to their employee record with via script. There are only about 2 dozen people that will/could be using the database and only about 3/4 of them will need the ability to record their hours worked. I already know the calculations I'll need once I get this working but I need a reliable way to record and see the information first. Once the employee clicks that clock in or clock out button, it needs to be recorded and show it as one day's record for time and date information. No manual entry and no cumbersome extra steps is the desired process.

            • 3. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                   I would think that logging into your system to start the day would trigger the "clock in".  At the end of the day, logging out of the system would trigger the "clock out".  

                   How you collect the "task" information through the day would be the question.

              • 4. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                     There are several employees clocking in and out of the system throughout the day with their account names, many of them have a different access level. Most of the ones that are logging their time have data entry only access level permissions. Administrative employees aren't recording their own hours, only auditing the hours of lower level employees that are. But they all will be logging in and out of the system, sometimes all on the same computer, throughout the day. It sounds funny but the company has computer stations that aren't necessarily specific to only one employee. They have enough computers to to this but it would be limiting to them to have a dedicated computer for each employee.

                     I see where you are coming from and I see how it would work the way you're explaining it with the employee logging in and then using codes throughout the day to log any additional hour information but I don't know how that would work for this company when they are logging in and out often, it would seem too cumbersome which is what we're trying to avoid but maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture.

                     The task information would be recorded from the "Tasks" page, the employee can click a button that records their start time on the task, then they go and work on that task..they come back later and record their "stop" time on the task and it's all recorded for that employee on that day for that task. 

                     Maybe I am making it too complicated lol, Let me know if you'd like me to clarify anything further.

                • 5. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                       If people log in and out a number of times a day, it might not be good to tie that to clocking in/out.  

                       It might be best to have a clock in/out routine separate from the log in.  

                       I am very guilty of overthinking and possibly overcomplicating my stuff.  


                  • 6. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                         Yes, that's what I was thinking. It wouldn't hurt to try tying the clock in/out process to a special scirpted code though, it would get the employee login info and "set field" for the respective time, like you said but if I can do that with only the click of a button that runs the same script and avoid the extra step of the employee entering the code, it's worth it. Now just getting it to work the way I'm seeing it in my mind is another question entirely because right now I can't get it to do what I need.

                    • 7. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                           A separate button tied to a CLOCK IN, would need input of the Employee ID Number and a password.  It would do a quick find for an open record, to do a clock out, otherwise a new record for a clock-in.  

                      • 8. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                             by "employee login info" I mean their logged in account info. The code would be entirely part of a scripted process seperate from the filemaker authentication process. I've done this on a database before and it tied the "code" to an account name and logged the person in without having to use the filemaker authentication process but it was for a much smaller company that has had the same employees working there for 10 years so their need to any changes to usernames and passwords is basically non existant. The company I'm doing the database that this thread is about could have one employee quit or get fired tomorrow and administration would need to easily change authentication info through filemaker's system. They don't want to have to mess with scripts, that's what they hired me for lol. I'm trying to make it as simple as possible for them in that way too.

                        • 9. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                               We are on the same page I think.

                          • 10. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                                 Oh that's a smart solution. I'll give it a try tomorrow. You're saying a new record would only be created when the employee clicks CLOCK IN and they would enter the code only once for that and the rest (Clock out, lunch in, lunch out) would be recorded as part of that one record, right?

                            • 11. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                                   Maybe.  As a practice, clocking in/out for lunch has been eliminated (with companies I am familiar with) for a calculation.  

                                   Clocking in would create a record.  And the IN field would be filled in.  When the employee is at the end of the day, clocking out would bring that record up to stamp the time out.  

                                   BUT, you need to trap for FORGETTING.  I forget to clock out, that leaves a record hanging.  The employee clocks in and gets the RECORD from yesterday.  So it completes the stamp for out (which is wrong).  Then the person repeats the clock in for TODAY, notifying the manager to adjust YESTERDAY.  

                              • 12. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                                     Thanks, for this company it seems as though knowing the lunch in and out time is important. Personally I don't really know the logical reason behind it for database purposes as the task time AND the day time will be recorded so seeing where the employee's time was spent that day isn't hard to figure out but the client would like the lunch break time recorded on principal I think, most of the employees that are recording their time are paid hourly. So it makes auditing time and cutting checks a no brainer.


                                     I will give it a whirl tomorrow with the coded clock in you're suggesting. I know I need the management audit in there anyways so I'll work through that as I go. What do you suggest as the best way to approach this, though. Is there a filemaker way that a notification can easily be sent to management?

                                • 13. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                                       A warning FLAG could appear on records that have elapsed time longer than 8 hours.  Always good to know for overtime purposes as well.

                                  • 14. Re: Employee Time Tracking

                                         (This particular client has been using Spreadsheet software for a couple years prior to hiring me to create a Filemaker solution for them so they sometimes don't entirely see/understand how a database solution can oftentimes totally eliminate steps they previously has to do manually but I digress.)

                                         Very good, I will work on implementing this stuff tomorrow and let you know if I have any additional questions!

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