If you own and operate your own business, your time most certainly equals money. If you have employees, their time also equals your money. The benefits of automated timekeeping are obvious and well-covered throughout this site but when it comes to the major decision that is selecting a time clock, additional guidance certainly couldn’t hurt.
When it is time to select a time clock, more factors must be taken into consideration than you might expect. One question must be asked up front: Is this time clock the “best fit” for my organization? Start by asking some simple questions:
- How would you like your employees to punch in and out?
- How will the data be sent to the Web from your location?
- What features do you prefer, i.e. built-in printer, a bell chime, a biometric finger scan, etc.?
Once you’ve asked yourself these primer questions, it is time for a crash course in time clocks.
First, we have the:
Mobile Time Clock
As you may have guessed, this time clock is an app that you must download to a Smartphone. Employees can clock in and out, remotely, from anywhere. Conversely, you will be able to manage their time from the office, at home or on the road. All punches, early or late, are instantly visible. Your employees will know this, making them more accountable and more productive.
Upon hearing ‘mobile’ or ‘Smartphone’, you should also have guessed that GPS capabilities are involved. That’s right, you can tell precisely where an employee clocked in or out. This feature will provide you with:
- A precise address for where the employee punched in or out.
- A date stamp.
- GPS coordinates.
- A visual map that plots the punch location.
Biometric Time Clock
As cutting edge as the mobile time clock is, the biometric option is the one that may leave employees feeling as if they stepped into a Mission Impossible movie. That is because this feature requires a fingerprint or hand scan. One of the purposes of this method is to prevent “buddy punching”. Those mobile phones also come in handy when Employee A is running late and wants to call ahead to ask Employee B to punch them in. This is not possible with biometric time clocks, unless your employees truly are in a Mission Impossible movie.
Proximity Badge Time Clock
Shy of biometric data such as a fingerprint, your next best bet is to issue each employee a unique badge or key fob that can be swiped. Badge cards may already exist for security purposes. Having them double as time cards is at least efficient.
Online/Web-based Time Clock
This is most likely the most time-honored and familiar choice. As long as there’s been an internet and employees have had workstations connected to the web, simply clocking in or out and viewing time cards via web browser has been the way to go. This remains an option and can be made to work in conjunction with other timekeeping options. Its advantages include:
- All you need is a web browser. IP filters will allow you to restrict which computers act as a time clock.
- There is no software to install or hardware to set up.
- Data is transmitted to the web in near real-time.
Card Swipe or PIN Entry Time Clock
The Card Swipe or PIN Entry Time Clock is really a precursor to much of the above but still a viable option nonetheless. If your employees are using a badge card, they will have to swipe it rather than wave it over a sensor. They may have to create and remember a unique PIN number. That will mean there will have to be a process through which they can retrieve their PINs when they forget.
For further information about our time clocks, please visit our Time Clocks Page. Regardless of your choice, we guarantee your business three things: convenience, compliance and savings.