Working hours play an informational role about the work you do and the compensation that goes with it during the period. This is because your period of engagement spans the agreed working time and the activities that are supposed to be done during that period. Whilst this has been agreed by both parties, the next stage is for employers to ensure the maximum use of the time between the reporting and departure periods.

In most organizations, the first point of call is to certify one’s presence in an attendance system, which you may have done or are about to do today. Normally done through the traditional notebook/logbook or its redefined technological tools like biometric system, the major objective is to check compliance to attendance system.

Even though the objective is clear, varying and emerging trends are questioning the sole objective of the system.

The attendance system places only a record of one’s presence at the workplace. In effect it is available to evaluate your compliance to appear by a certain time period and not leave before a specific time period. However a yawning aspect of only full compliance is also the measurement of productivity of the worker. How does one’s compliance to the rules contribute to one’s productivity at the end of the day? It then becomes a matter of presenteeism rather than productivity. Mr. A enters the office before 8am regularly in accordance with the rules but exhibits poor work attitude. Despite his full compliance, there is a gap in the main objective of work; to satisfy the needs of man.

Another aspect worth considering is the one size fits all approach.  Does one’s work organization take into consideration one’s personal productivity pattern? Some employees are wired to be very productive within a particular period of the day whilst others are also at various portions of the day. Based on the type of job, the attendance system should be made flexible to still capture the presence of the worker but also consider the work schedule and productivity pattern to ensure that work is still done effectively. After all, the most important measure of work will be to produce a particular result. That will not only become possible through attendance but transforming one’s attendance into activities to produce the desired results.

In terms of its usage, some attendance systems are largely exclusive to junior officers and supervised by senior officers. Instead of serving as a check on the whole institution, it is then situated as an evaluation of the junior officers. Meanwhile the responsibilities and actions of all staff contribute to the growth or otherwise of the organization. Work is expected to be a team endeavor therefore all hands must be on deck to achieve the goal. Our presence at work is the beginning but our collective effort will bring the bigger results. Let accountability be the way to go.

The narrative on attendance should move from the solely compliance point of view to include productivity. Let us marry the two areas to ensure that our organizations are disciplined in terms of time and also be productive at work.

By: Delali Atsuvi


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