Setting up Activity names

A guide to configuring timesheet formats
Written by Dan Gubler
Updated 5 months ago

The Activity name is the basis or unit against which you log your time. The Activity's setting determines the timesheet format (ie. which input fields are displayed) and any special calculations applied to time recorded (ie. hourly factor). In addition, the Activity name is assigned an access level to control user access (ie. general, role and group).

To make it easier for you to get started, a basic set of typical Activity names have been installed by default to your account which you can adjust to your needs as you get familiar.

Check-list to determine level of time tracking

To determine your requirements and level of tracking, please review the following criteria:

  1. Should time logged support billing of project work? should time recorded be processed downstream? > option to create "groups" for your projects and attach Activity names for services rendered (two-level hierarchy).

  2. Should only staff attendance be recorded ie. minimal records-keeping requirements according to the labor law? > option to use a general Activity name for all staff members like "At work" as provided by default. Refer to our labor laws section which may apply to your industry.

  3. Is there a Flexwork model in your company? is home office enabled? > option to create a specific Activity named "Home Office" or use the general name "At work" for all situations. Overtime is automatically accrued based on your employee's weekly hours plan and profile (if tracking mode is configured as 'Full-time' and 'Part-time').  

  4. Can accumulated overtime be compensated in the form of time-off or paid out? >  yes, for time-off compensation proceed as follows;
    Option A: your staff member does not log a timesheet on the date of compensation, which results in a negative balance (refer to 'Missing timesheet' in Detail report) or
    Option B: create a specific Activity named "Overtime compensation" which is configured to not count hours logged against plan hours thus creating a negative balance for that day. 

  5. How to make an adjustment for paid out overtime? Once overtime has been paid out on the monthly paycheck, use the overtime adjustment feature within the Employee's profile section (menu item: manage users, page Set terms) to log the total hours being paid out. This will generate an hours adjustment entry inserted into the mobile app. The accrued overtime balance is then updated on the reports.

  6. Is there late-shift, on-call duty and weekend work with special rates? > option to create a general Activity name like "on-call duty", "Late shift", "WE work" configured with an hourly factor (e.g. 1.5x hourly multiplier). NB: the Employee profile will soon be furnished with a Daily conditions section to add applicable rates in an upcoming update. Check our blog about latest developments.

  7. Are external or temporary staff employed? Is an hourly payroll required? > option to set job type to 'Basic' in the Employee profile section which deactivates weekly plan hours and vacation monitoring. If you'd like to keep a running tab of charged amount, a separate Activity name (e.g. named "At work wage") can be created whereby the amount field is configured with an hourly rate. 

  8. Should specific absences and leaves be monitored (for example, illness, seminars, etc.)? > option to create additional Activity names that are configured absence type and will appear on the mobile app absences button. A default set of absences like Out sick, Vacation/Holiday have been provided

  9. Should breaks be recorded beyond lunch? > option to run timekeeping in real time using the timer/stopwatch method. Simply use the check-in / check-out button in the mobile app. The check-in activity named "At work" is defaulted based on the selected activity name found in menu item "Default settings" (see setting for "Fast Check-In Activity"). Alternatively, you may prefer a single daily Activity name entered manually which is configured with a breaktime input field used for flat time deduction.

  10. Do you have multiple language regions in your team? Take advantage of the ability to provide location profiles and deploy activity names for your users in multiple languages.

Baseline configuration

We suggest you initially adopt a basic configuration to allow yourself and your pilot users to get familiarized with Staff Times as follows: 

  • Simple attendance time management for all employees. Input using the general Activity named 'At work'. The recording takes place in real time (with continuous check-in and check-out) via the mobile app menu 'Check in' or the working time can be recorded manually via the page 'Daily Activities'. The plan time defined in the employee profile builds the daily and weekly balances. Working days that have not been recorded will be reported with a negative daily balance until they are logged or the profile is updated (see Manage Users and creating a profile).

  • Absences/leaves: this generally refers to paid absences which count as a working day. Vacation: this is managed separately in the employee profile section including setting an annual leave allotment with yearend carryover. We suggest you the default activity named 'Out sick' for reference when creating additional Absence names. Absences are normally set up as full day leaves. Absences are recorded via the blue app button named "Report an Absence". All Activity names of type 'Absence' are available for selection in that dialog. Vacation leave can be recorded using the same button with full or half-day option.

  • Public Holidays: this menu item shows a standard set of public paid holidays for the current year. Please update these to your local regional standards. Please note that these items are not managed at employee level but rather apply to all users. Therefore it is important to adapt them to regional specifics. If employees are entitled to different holidays, the employee can delete the holiday in the app or enter a corresponding absence separately. If work is subject to special rates, an appropriate Activity name can be created (e.g., holiday work) and set up with an increased hourly rate if applicable.

  • Weekend work / night shift supplements: if this is relevant for your company we recommend creating specific Activity names configured with special hourly rates to be used by the staff when applicable, for example "At work 1.5x".

Creating an Activity name

When you are ready to update the standard list of activities to your preferences please check the following explanations. First, click on the menu item Manage Activities.

Initially, you are furnished with a list of common activities provided by default as illustrated:

Click on any of the Activity names shown or create a new Activity name by clicking on "Add Activity" button (top right) and which will open the detail view as follows:

In the detail view, you can define the Activity account with 8 different configuration settings. On the right side, take note of the mobile phone's illustration which simulates the Activity's setting form a user perspective. 

The available settings are explained as follows:

  • Name: Name of the Activity account as it appears for selection. 

  • Level: regulates access to this account. A distinction is made between the following areas: General area for all users. Role only visible to employees of a department or team. Group area for employees who assign their services to customers and projects.

  • Apply against Planned: yes / no. Generally Yes for logging of paid working time. As "no" for overtime reduction or compensation, for non-paid absence or for work which should not count towards the balances.

  • Breaktime input: yes / no. Enables a flat value field. The value is deducted from the total working hours. Default value possible. Any default value can be updated in the mobile app.

  • Amount field: yes / no. If yes, enable a field with a fixed amount or apply the calculation per hourly rate. Hourly rate calculates the amount based on total working hours. The amount field can be edited in the mobile app. Calculated values can be overwritten.

  • Time entry format: radio button. Choose whether to record the time log with start and end time or as a fixed amount (lump sum).

  • Hourly rate multiplier: numerical value from 0.001 to 9,999. Set to 1.000 by default. The time logged is multiplied by this factor. For special rates for weekend work, late shift and on-call service, a dedicated Activity name with an hourly rate is recommended.

  • Own account: yes / no. If yes, the hourly value in the detail report is maintained under a separate column named 'Own account'. Will not count towards plan. Recommended for special activities which should not appear in the usual reports.

  • Absence Activity: yes / no. If yes, used to record paid absences. Listed in the Absences dialog of the mobile app.

Please note that it is not possible to update the Activity settings once you have saved the Activity name. You will need to create a new Activity name and delete the old one. This is required in order to distinguish the Activity settings applied on existing timesheets from the updated Activity settings. Please note that existing timesheets will be retained and not be impacted when you delete an Activity name from the list of Activities. When you create a new Activity name your users will be notified by email and asked to refresh the Activities pick list, as follows:

To apply the update Activity name to previous timesheets please ask the user to revisit those timesheets and re-select the Activity name for those historic dates. 

Still not sure? please contact us using the in-app messenger (call-out icon on bottom right of your screen). We are happy to help.

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