managing employee time and attendance with a biometric time clock

Last Updated On September 05, 2019 / Written By Michelle Jaco

Managing Employee Time and Attendance with a Biometric Time Clock

A growing number of businesses are opting for biometric systems to keep accurate records of employee attendance. These digital solutions have automated time-tracking features that lower the possibility of time theft and associated labor costs.

Traditional Methods Of Measuring Employee Attendance

Gone are the days when managers could maintain journals to track employee time and determine the number of hours worked.

Such hand-written timesheets have been in practice since time immemorial. It may be shocking for some, but many companies still use the same methods to track the time and attendance of their employees.

However, this method is extremely inefficient and unproductive for modern offices. It wastes time for employees as well as employers and runs the risk of dishonest time tracking for both.

Other companies use punch cards, another traditional method of keeping track of employee attendance. This involves putting timestamps on employee paper punch cards with a machine - interestingly, this practice is what gave rise to the term ‘clocking in the hours’ back in the day.

The trouble with punch cards is that it allows employees to exploit a weakness in the system; they can give their card to a ‘friend’ at work and ask them to punch them in or out as no personal verification is required.

The two methods discussed also make it difficult for companies to monitor the attendance of remote employees. Consider this -- Up to 70% of professionals work remotely at least once a week. Whereas, 53% of professionals work remotely more than three days a week. Companies that offer their employees the added flexibility to work from home can find it backbreaking to track the number of hours worked; especially in cases when an employee isn’t able to send out emails when clocking in/out.

If this wasn’t enough, the use of hand-written timesheets and punch cards complicate your payroll process. The absence of digitized attendance data also means it’s impossible for you to streamline your bookkeeping process with the help of digitized software.

With all these reasons in mind, more and more businesses are now looking for smarter solutions for timekeeping - and one popular option is the biometric time clock. Simply put, this is a reliable and secure alternative to traditional methods of noting and tracking employee time and attendance.

Biometric Employee Time & Attendance Apps Are the Solution

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Not too long ago, fingerprint scanners and facial recognition software were only seen in movies or deployed in highly-sensitive workplaces, such as government agencies.

Now, biometric time clocks can be used by businesses in almost every industry, with a number of applications. Essentially, this technology uses fingerprint and facial recognition to eliminate any chances of falsified punch-ins, and amplifies efficiency across the board, in comparison to old fashioned swipe cards.

Biometric technology also offers many other benefits. For example, it allows businesses to collect information about employee time using digital time clocks, internet browsers, mobile apps, etc.

In other words, a biometric attendance app/software is an automated means of identifying a worker based on their physiological or behavioral characteristics.

Other commonly measured biometric attributes include voice, veins in the finger or palm, and irises. This is unique identification data that cannot be reverse-engineered or otherwise used for fraudulent purposes. Also, these credentials can’t be lost, cloned, or forgotten.

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How Biometric Hardware Works

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As an employee attempts to clock-in, a biometric hardware device compares their latest scan to the templates that are pre-stored in its database. Once it finds an exact match, the employee is granted entry and the time is noted.

When the employee times in or out, the information is saved automatically in an online system that can be accessed from anywhere. This gives managers the ability to log into the system at any time and review reports with just the click of a button.

They can easily monitor the performance of each individual employee by reviewing how long an employee works every day or if they clock-in/clock-out early. They can also maintain a check on all employees and see if a certain employee is available on the premises at the moment.

Furthermore, using the information stored in the database, managers can easily review paid time off and access several reports without having to spend way too much time compiling data and getting in touch with different departments within the organization.

Benefits of Implementing Biometric Time Clocks

Did you know that companies found guilty of labor law breaches can be fined up to $10,000? An ineffective employee attendance management system, paired with increased chances of human error, means that there is quite some room for discrepancies.

Let’s admit it, in modern workplaces, HR and office managers are much more involved in complex processes around the organization. From hiring the right talent to promoting a healthy work culture, and maximizing efficiency - they already have plenty of responsibilities.

Having said that, there is barely enough time left for them to ensure that every employee remembers to clock in and out of work and takes their breaks on time.

Better yet, one of the most challenging tasks in any business is keeping track of how employees use their time. If you do not keep an eye on their daily or weekly progress, chances are that your overall productivity will take a hit.

In their efforts to overcome these challenges, businesses across the globe are integrating biometric apps into their workforce management. This technology offers the most stringent security measures, along with a convenient identification method that is not available with other timekeeping solutions.

Modern biometric time clocks can be beneficial to your business in many ways

Eliminate "Buddy Punching"
Buddy punching is an illegal act that costs more than $373 million to US employers every year. It is the practice of clocking a colleague in or out when they aren’t present at work. With a biometric time clock in place, there are no chances of employees taking advantage of a flawed system.

Stop Time Theft
Deliberate time theft accounts for 1.5% to 10% of gross payroll - this essentially means that businesses lose hundreds of thousands of dollars paying employees for work that they have not done. You can easily eliminate this problem by using a biometric attendance system instead of managing employee time using paper sheets and other antiquated methods.

Prevent Recurring Consumable Costs
Punch cards, magnetic readers, and fobs, etc. get lost or wear-out. With each lost badge or ID card, not only does your business lose money, but the HR has to spend considerable time reissuing these.

What’s more, it also has consequences for a company’s security since lost cards can be used for a number of criminal activities such as identity theft, data theft, etc.

Consider this, about 3,800 data breaches have been reported so far in 2019 -- a 50% increase over the past four years. A fingerprint is for life and that’s why a biometric attendance system is a one-time expense that will last you a lifetime.

Improved Operations
There is no longer a need to track time manually if your organization has biometric clocks to do the job. This helps reduce staffing overheads, saves time, and gives the payroll department access to the labor-related right at their fingertips.

Ultimately, this translates into better business operations and an increase in productivity. When buddy punching and other payroll problems are eliminated from the attendance system, your organization can recover from the ambiguities and inaccuracies of older timekeeping devices.

More Accuracy
Every employee at your organization is unique, and so should be their credentials. A biometric system is the most accurate way to recognize an employee and ensure that they don’t arrive late, leave early, or put in unsanctioned overtime.

Since employees no longer have to keep track of key cards or passwords, it’s a lot easier for them to time in and out with just a touch of a thumb or a swipe of their finger.

Increased Employee Accountability
Biometric timekeeping not only eliminates the chances of time theft, but it also creates an audit trail for employees.

So, if and when an employee is suspected of wrongdoing, the evidence is available and they can be held accountable for their actions.

Trustworthy Data
According to recent studies, companies surveyed rank biometric authentication as an "effective" or "very effective" way to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that is stored on-premises. They also deemed that it was effective at guarding the data stored in a public cloud.

The data and resulting analytics in real-time can be used for filling-in shifts and creating work schedules efficiently.

Prevent Absenteeism
Enforcing an attendance policy is easier when you have the numbers to back-up your claims. A biometric attendance system can create accurate reports that clearly show when an employee worked his or her shift and how much time they spent at work.

Managers can detect tardiness, prevent employee no-shows, and catch other minor issues that have the potential to become a massive problem for your company later on - it’s not just about managing time theft, but dealing with labor more effectively.

Enhanced Job Satisfaction
Employees that put in extra hours at work often face a decline in their morale when their efforts go unnoticed. With the help of data collected by a biometric time clock, companies can identify and reward workers that deserve recognition.

Remote Job Monitoring
Since many of the US workforce is estimated to be working remotely in the near future, employers need a solution that can track and monitor employees working from anywhere in the world.

A biometric attendance system can be seamlessly integrated with internet-enabled or mobile devices. For instance, if you have salespeople who travel across the state or country often, you can easily set up a biometric clocking system on their smartphones. With the app, they can easily sign in through one "swipe" of their finger.

The Last Word

Employers aren’t the only ones benefitting from a biometric time clock.

It is important to train employees and help them figure out the benefits it brings to them -- no more payroll blunders, overtime payment issues, and ghost logins on their behalf.

When you deploy biometric time and attendance software, tracking employees becomes effortless, which in turn also helps strengthen corporate security and augments employee privacy.

Even better, biometric clocks help ensure regulatory compliance and allow your organization to maintain precise time and attendance records in line with labor laws and regulations.

Want to learn more about biometric time clocks and how they can help your business?

Check out ZipClock, the online attendance software for companies that value their time. Whether you have employees who travel or work remotely or on-site staff, it is vital to ensure timeliness and attendance every day. ZipClock lets you do that, and much more at the touch of a button.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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