Employee Time Clock | 9 mins read

Everything a You Need to Know About Employee Time Clocks

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

What is an Employee Time Clock?

Modern businesses are increasingly adopting employee time clocks into their business systems. Time clock software is a tool that tracks employee work hours by enabling staff to clock in and out on a device. With new technology, these systems are always innovated with advanced features. The following are the latest employee time clocks that organizations are implementing.

  • Punch Card - This is a traditional type of employee time clock. Staff members have to insert a time card into a machine, which then stamps the card with the time and date. Punch cards are most commonly used by small businesses because of their easy use.
  • Digital Clock - With digital clocks, employees can swipe an I.D. card or input a pin code into a machine that records the date and time.
  • Time Station - This is a software system that allows employees to clock in and out from a desktop. Companies can have a designated computer in the establishment or have employees download the software on their work computers.
  • Fingerprint Clock - These systems utilize employee fingerprints to record work hours. By using biometrics, there is less room for fraudulent recording. It is also easier since employees will not need to keep I.D. cards or memorize a code.
  • Palm Clock - This is similar to fingerprint clocks, however, it scans employees' palms. This tool can effectively prevent the practice of buddy scanning, which is when an employee clocks in or out for a colleague.

Why are Employee Time Clocks Important?

Utilizing time clocks are critical, especially for businesses that have hourly employees. With these systems, staff can input the exact dates and times they are coming into work and leaving. This allows managers to have accurate data for when they are conducting payroll and compensating employees. It also holds employees accountable for their time management, ensuring improved timeliness.

Additionally, time clocks give employees a better idea of when their workday begins and ends. This prevents accidental overtime and promotes productivity during their shift. It also helps remind employees when to take their breaks and ensures they maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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How are Employee Time Clocks Beneficial?

Employee time clocks can provide many benefits to businesses of all sizes and functions. For example, data from the time clocks will streamline payroll processes. So not only will managers have accurate paystubs, but it will simplify compensation. Other advantages to a time clock solution include the following.

Prevent Fraudulent or Inaccurate Records

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Manually clocking in and out can allow room for human error. For example, staff members may forget to write down their times or they may have illegible handwriting. This can result in inaccurate time records, which will cause further delays to productivity and payroll. With time clocks, employees can record their time with automation via a punch card, I.D., or fingerprint.

A digital time clock can also prevent fraudulent timekeeping, such as time theft and buddy punching. Many solutions will have alert features that remind employees when they need to take their breaks or clock out. The system also requires proper identification of the employee in order to record time. In turn, managers can save costs and avoid unnecessary labor spending.

Boost Productivity

Managers can easily process payroll since all employee work hour data is in the system. Most time clocks are also automated and can send data to an existing payroll software in minutes. This eliminates the need for collecting time cards, data entry, and review. By streamlining this tedious process, managers can save time and allocate their efforts to other operational tasks.

Time clocks also improve employee productivity and engagement. Since staff members can monitor their work hours in real-time, they can effectively manage their time. It also helps them keep track of their project completion progress.

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

Enhance Employee Job Satisfaction

With time clock and attendance software, employees can guarantee that they will be paid accurately and on time. This is all due to the solution's elimination of human error and inaccurate data entry. By ensuring accurate pay, employees will be more satisfied and will have more trust in their workplace. These systems also allow staff to access their work information via their mobile devices. This allows for more transparency and empowers employees to assess their own data without the need for human resources.

Streamline Remote Employee Management

More and more organizations are employing remote staffers, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An online time clock system makes managing these employees easier since they can clock in and out from a remote location. It also simplifies time tracking for employees and is convenient, as the software can typically run on most mobile devices and desktops.

Easy Scheduling

Advanced time clocks have employee scheduling and shift management features. This allows managers to create smart schedules and assign tasks to employees using the software. They are also equipped with other capabilities, such as shift swapping and time off management.

What are Employee Time Clock Rules?

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There are various standards that employers must comply with when managing hourly employees. It is important that business owners are aware of these regulations and follow them accordingly to prevent fines or penalties. The rules include the following-

Tracking Time

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers can track employee time with any method. However, they must ensure that the system they use accurately records work hours. Some tools to securely and correctly track time include biometric time clocks, desktop clocks, and mobile device clocks.


FLSA guidelines allow business owners to round the number of minutes that employees report working. This means they can round up or down to the closest full number. For example, 29 minutes can be rounded to 30, and 22 can be rounded to 20. Doing so will eliminate the need to account for every single minute of a workday, which oftentimes can be stressful for managers.

7-Minute Standard

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Companies will generally record employee work hours in 10 or 15-minute increments. With the 7-minute rule, employers can round down or up to standardize the time records. For example, if an employee worked for at least 9 minutes, then the employer can round the time to the nearest 10 or 15.

Be Fair

The standard for rounding is to make time record-keeping easier and more practical for employers. However, it is important that businesses are fair towards employees and their time. The Code of Federal Regulations ensures employers are not misusing the rounding system to exploit employees.

Why are Employee Time Clock Rules Important?

Various labor regulations are important for both employers and employees. It ensures managers are scheduling employees appropriately. It helps them keep track of overtime and what activities require overtime pay. For example, under FLSA, employers must pay employees overtime if they spend extra time serving a customer, prepping for a shift, or completing tasks after business hours before or after their shifts.

By maintaining workplace compliance, employers can create a transparent and reliable workplace for employees. Business owners can also avoid hefty fines and penalties by strictly following labor laws. As for employees, compliances ensure they are treated fairly and are compensated accurately.

How to Manage Employee Time Clock and Attendance

With a variety of guidelines and regulations employers must follow, it can be time-consuming to manage time clocks and attendance. However, mismanagement can lead to absenteeism and inaccurate time records. To prevent this and improve time clock and attendance conduct, employers should utilize the following best practices.

Show Recognition

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Managers should publicly praise and recognize employees for their superb attendance records and time tracking methods. This will help boost morale and demonstrate the rewards of following protocols. It can also drive other staff members to improve and come to work on time.

Encourage Employees to Take PTO

Overworking employees can negatively impact morale, which can result in lowered productivity levels and stress. These factors can cause employees to be absent or come to work later than expected. To deter this, employers need to encourage staff to take time off and take care of their mental and physical health. Time away from work will enable them to recharge and refocus their energy.

Provide Wellness Programs

Oftentimes, mental health or physical sickness can cause employees to frequently miss work. Employers should promote the importance of taking care of one's health by having wellness programs. For example, allowing employees one day a month to relax away from work can help enhance their well-being. Companies can also provide discounted gym memberships or in-office self-care classes.

Give Incentives

Providing staff members with incentives, such as attendance bonuses, gift cards, or more time off, will help decrease absenteeism. Employees will be more likely to work more productively and complete their shifts, knowing that they can reap rewards. An incentive program can also effectively boost morale at the workplace.

Why an Employee Time Clock Attendance Tracker Matters

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Utilizing an employee time clock attendance tracker is advantageous for companies. It helps ensure employers are effectively managing their workforce, which is one of the most important assets to an organization. Other benefits of an attendance tracker include the following.

Easily Identify Attendance Issues

A tracker will highlight pressing attendance issues, which enables managers to address them promptly. For instance, it will show employers when employees leave work early or when they do not take their breaks. Identifying these issues quickly will ensure policies are enforced and that employees understand their responsibilities.

Allow for Remote Work

Online attendance trackers enable business managers to embrace the idea of remote work. The tool ensures remote staff are clocked in when they need to be and are completing their designated tasks. Therefore, employers and supervisors will not need to constantly check in with their staff or micromanage.

Boost Morale

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Employees will be more satisfied with attendance tracking software because they can manage their own schedules. These systems allow staff to send time-off requests in real-time and plan their workdays. This form of empowerment can increase morale and overall productivity.

Remove Bottlenecks

Attendance software will automatically consolidate employee schedule and time data. Therefore, management teams will not need to enter data for everyone in the company manually. This saves time and ensures the accuracy of data, which then prevents delays in processes.

Conclusion for Employee Time Clock

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  • Employee time clocks are devices and software systems that enable staffers to input the time and date they arrive to work and leave.
  • Time clocks are important for businesses that have hourly employees because they ensure accurate data collection and payroll.
  • Benefits of time clock solutions include streamlined business processes, decreased absenteeism, and boosted productivity.
  • Time clocks also help employers ensure legal compliance with labor laws.

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