How to Make a Work Sign-in Sheet

If you ever have searched for an employee and finally discovered -- after asking three different people -- that he's on vacation or out to lunch, a work sign-in sheet could be a valuable time-saver. Work sign-in sheets can be helpful for monitoring employees' comings and goings, as well as an informal method for tracking employee time for calculating paychecks. In addition, you can use work sign-in sheets to determine what projects employees currently are working on.

Determine the purpose of your work sign-in sheet. Designate a human resources staff member to maintain the accuracy, completeness and storage of the work sign-in sheets. Some sign-in sheets are for timekeeping purposes that payroll uses to calculate wages, therefore, it’s essential that you maintain these as official records just like other employment records. Other sign-in sheets are useful for indicating which employees are at work and on the premises, and who’s out of the office or on vacation. If you use sign-in sheets in addition to official time records, it’s not as important to store sign-in sheets as part of your company's official payroll and employment records.

Obtain an employee census and sort employees by rank or position, department and job title. Based on what you intend to accomplish through tracking employees signing in, you may want to cross off high-level managers and executives from the list. If the list is for attendance purposes or to determine when certain employees are in or out of the office, leave the list intact with the names of all employees. If your purpose is to delegate work assignments, determine whether employees should be privy to the work assignments for managers and executives and revise your list accordingly.

Sort employees by shift or work schedule. For example, create three separate lists or sign-in sheets if your company is a 24-hour operation. Employees’ names should be sorted by day, evening and late-night shifts.

List employees’ names, first by department and then in alphabetical order, on the vertical axis of your spreadsheet. For example, on the left margin of the vertical axis, list “Human Resources” and the names of human resources employees below the department name.

Type headings in the columns along the horizontal axis of the spreadsheet. If you don’t include the department names on the vertical axis, create a column to the right of each employee’s name for listing the department the employee works in. Continue with column headers such as “Employee ID number,” and a column for “Out of office.” To track daily hours, type "Time in" and "Time out," followed by two identical columns for "Time in" and "Time out" to record lunch time. Consider another column on the far right of the spreadsheet for notes or additional information, such as project or work assignments.

Post the work sign-in sheets in a conspicuous place at an employee entrance and replace them daily or on an as-needed basis.


  • If your employee identification numbers are the same as Social Security numbers, maintain the confidentiality of employee information and don't include this column on your spreadsheet. Use your independent judgment in your decision to include any other forms of employee identification numbers.