Does Your Office Play “Where’s Waldo?”
How does your office keep track of where employees are and when they will be back?
Unfortunately, too many agencies are still stuck on using old-fashioned “analog” in/out boards to monitor the whereabouts of employees. It is probably time you give up the old and explore new options available to you with a Windows-based electronic in/out status board. It can be a great solution for saving your employees time and, at the same time, letting everybody know who is where.
It is still helpful to keep track of who is coming and going. To do this accurately, we need to shift from the old and out of date tools and adopt tools that are up to date. With the help of an electronic in/out board, your staff’s status, availability, and location are now just a few clicks away. Instantly, you receive the information that you need!
The modern versions of the in/out board are typically Web-based, which leverages every employee smartphone for quick and automated updates of their location. It is easy to get started: create an account and then add the users. As a user signs in through his Web browser, iPhone, or Android phone, it takes just a few clicks to update their status.
There are many other options where you can add status messages such as Out for Lunch or Unavailable. The electronic in/out board will automatically reflect the updated information to all users.
Features to look for in an electronic in/out board:
Geo-fencing: It should have an onscreen map that can be used to designate a virtual boundary around your office. So when an employee comes in or leaves that particular area, the GPS on his smartphone automatically updates their status accordingly.
This solves one of the biggest issues of ensuring that staff uses the electronic in/out board. With geo-fencing, you do not have to run after your employees. Also, remember that the iOS and Android apps don’t go beyond the given location while tracking, so any privacy concerns are taken into account.
Usernames and passwords: Adding users can be a tedious job so you can request employees add themselves by sending email invites. Once they receive the information, they can set their usernames and password individually.
Reasons to use in/out status board software:
Staff collaboration and management: This information improves collaboration among employees within a company. Many services have a built-in private social network enabling you to create public and private groups.
Improves customer service: The two aspects that make a business or company successful are exceptional customer service and fast response. It is easy to let people know the status of an individual and when they are scheduled to return to the office.
It tracks the available resources: The software helps you track the resources and manage them. It covers the working status of the used resources, the user it is assigned to, and precise schedules of those resources in the Calendar.
Attendance tracking and time: It gives precise data for when an employee arrives and leaves the office.
Mobile device accessibility: Employees can use mobile devices to update and maintain their current location and status.
Using an in/out board continues to be sound management practice. Translating it to an electronic version enhances its usefulness.
I have included a spreadsheet with information on a few vendors. I have not done an in-depth review on any of the products but included it as a tool you can use to start your research.
What do you currently use to keep track of employee whereabouts? Let me know if you have any recommendations on products and services that we can pass along.