Penn replaced its timesheet system this summer with Workday@Penn after over a decade. Months later, some students have expressed frustration, saying the new system is missing key features, while others say they are hopeful that the system will continue to improve.
While many students say the new system is easier to use, those who work on-campus jobs say they can not automatically set their hours in Workday and do not receive notifications for deadlines to submit their hours, features that were previously provided through "eTimeSheets."
Wharton senior Shichen Zhang has worked on campus as an administrative assistant at Penn’s Department of Romance Languages since her sophomore year. Zhang said she hasn't had any problems with Workday and prefers the new system's user interface — which reminded her of Penn InTouch.
But the new Workday system is lacking some of the functions that Zhang said she used on eTimeSheets.
“One thing that eTimeSheets did that was nice was that it would send emails to remind me to submit my hours,” Zhang said. “But Workday doesn’t do it anymore, so that is one thing that I didn’t really like as much.”
Zhang also said she missed the ability to automatically fill in the hours that she worked every week.
“eTimeSheets let you set your weekly schedule so you can submit your hours every week with one click, but I don't think the Workday system lets you do that,” Zhang added.
Penn Information Systems and Computing Director of Communications Jaron Rhodes said the system will likely continue to be updated and improved.
“The July 1st go-live was just the start, as data improves and the community learns and adapts. Workday undergoes continuous innovation and improvement, with two major releases per year,” Rhodes wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Many of Penn’s peer universities and institutions have already adopted the Workday system, Rhodes wrote, adding that Workday's updates have improved user experience for students.
“Workday@Penn is a cloud-based technology, which replaces multiple aging systems, reduces the University’s security, expense, and compliance risks, and increases the integration and transparency expected by a 21st-century workforce,” Rhodes said.
College sophomore Isabella Cossu, who currently works two jobs on campus, said Workday is easy to use and understand.
“Workday has been really self-explanatory to me honestly. I really like the calendar function, which tells me when I need to submit hours and get paid,” said Cossu, who is also a Daily Pennsylvanian multimedia staffer.
Cossu also said that she had encountered some difficulty with submitting hours because she works two on-campus jobs, and submitting hours for one would backlog the hours for the others. But Cossu said she was able to figure out the problem quickly.
Rhodes said the Workday team at Penn will continue to evaluate and improve the new Workday@Penn system.
Zhang and Cossu both said overall, recording and submitting hours in Workday is simple.
“I think that Workday does do a good job, and I think eTimeSheets did too," Zhang said. "To me, they are just ways for me to submit my hours, and they are both straightforward and easy to use."