Study: Age a Factor in Time and Attendance Preferences

Study: Age a Factor in Time and Attendance Preferences

How does your employer address time and tracking? Yes, there are still companies that use paper time sheets filled out by hand or paper cards inserted into a punch clock. There are others that use digital time clocks activated by scanning employee ID cards. But there are also more modern systems that involve clocking in or out using a mobile device or PC. Did you know that age factors into a business owner’s preferences for time and attendance?

The results of a recently released survey showed that older business owners still prefer legacy time and attendance systems while younger owners are more amenable to modern solutions. That should not be surprising given the technology gap that normally exists between the generations. Still, companies like Dallas-based BenefitMall have to work very hard to convince company owners with legacy systems to move into the digital era.

The good news for proponents of digital systems is that the most preferred methods of time and attendance are now web-based apps accessed through mobile devices and PCs. Data shows that online time and attendance is quickly gaining ground across America.

Approximately 61% of business owners from their late teens into their mid-30s prefer web-based time and attendance. On the other hand, 47% of business owners in the 50 or older group still prefer paper time sheets or cards. Among those legacy users, paper time sheets are preferred by 20% while punch clocks and cards are the preference of 17%.

A Fear of the Digital Age

In a day and age in which over-50 business owners will go online to check e-mail and read the news, why are so many reluctant to use online time and attendance systems? What’s more confusing is that many of those same business owners have very good websites that are critical to their day-to-day operations. Yet they still do not trust online technologies for time and attendance.

It could be a simple matter of a fear of the digital age. In other words, over-50 business owners did not grow up on technology like their younger counterparts did. They remember the days of the ‘blue screen of death’ and dial-up internet access. They lived through the infancy of internet technology when it could not be relied on for much of anything. They do not want to take risks on something as important as online payroll.

Younger business owners have just the opposite experience. Consider that a 30-year-old business owner was born in the late 80s. That business owner probably doesn’t remember a world without e-mail or internet access. To him or her, online technology has always been a part of life. Trusting it to be reliable is normal.

If It’s Not Broken…

Another potential stumbling block for older business owners, according to BenefitMall, is the long-standing principle of not attempting to fix something that’s not broken. Because older business owners did not grow up with internet technology, they may not necessarily see their legacy systems as needing improvement.

What they may not understand is that a modern, electronic payroll system is a lot more efficient and less prone to mistakes. Electronic systems can automate a number of tasks from time and attendance hours to calculation degenerating quarterly tax reports. Most importantly, they can do so safely and securely.

An ever-increasing demand for electronic payroll systems is evidence that America’s business owners are slowly but surely embracing new ways of tracking time and paying employees. Older business owners are slower to get on board, but they are getting there. In the meantime, their legacy systems are hobbling along.

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