Keeping track of employee time and attendance is one of the central tasks of any business. Payroll needs to be calculated according to actual hours worked, not on scheduled hours or individual estimates of how long a particular employee spent on the job.
“Fair pay for a fair’s day work” describes the ideal conditions of a productive and profitable business. But unless a business has some sort of clocking in system in place, it’s practically impossible to accurately track employee hours. The result is a business which is either overpaying its worker or not paying for the work they have received.
Advantages of a Clocking in System
A clocking in Systems, a time-clock, creates a physical, indisputable record of when an employee clocked in and out of work on any particular day. It can be used to calculate an accurate payroll which, in turn, can lead to an accurate amount the business spent on labour.
With this type of accuracy, workers are paid only for the hours that they worked and businesses can have a clear understanding of how much they actually spent on labour, a figure which can then be compared to budgeted labour to identify how well or how poorly the business is performing.
When employees are required to use a clock-in machine at the beginning and end of every shift – and in some instances, for clocking in and out for breaks and lunch periods – there are fewer mistakes and disputes. Managers and supervisor can go back to the physical record to see definitively such things as whether or not a particular employee punched in too early or too late for their shift, or didn’t punch in altogether.
This information can then be used to accurately enforce work rules such as those regulating tardiness, call-offs, early punches, and other potential infractions. Disciplinary action and even terminations can then be based on provable facts, rather than hearsay and conjecture, which means they have a better chance of holding up in an employment hearing should the employee choose to challenge them later.
Types of Clocking in Systems
The old-fashioned time clock is something you are more likely to see in a museum than a job site these days. Today’s clocking in systems are more sophisticated, more versatile, and more mobile.
One of the biggest problems employers face is time clock fraud. This is when workers punch in and out for shifts they didn’t work, or punch in or out other employees who aren’t actually at work. This type of fraud can cost a business a lot of money and negatively impact their performance against budget, which can affect their reputation in the business community.
But many of the clock-in machines protect against this type of fraud by recording employee biometric data, using such things as fingerprints, retinal scans, or even facial recognition scans to verify that the employee is who they say they are. Biometrics make it practically impossible for employees to clock in and out for each other. And they can prove that an individual employee was at work when and where they are supposed to be.
Track Off-Site Labour
Many companies today use workers who don’t go to the traditional office or factory to perform their work. Some may work remotely from home while others may show up to work at some remote location in the field or at the site of a client or customer’s business.
Today’s clock-in machines can accommodate this by providing different types of timekeeping. For example, there are software programs remote workers can download onto their home computers or laptops that can record when they start and stop working for the day or on particular projects. These types of software programs can even include built-in safeguards –such as screen shots or video cameras – that supervisors can use to verify that the remote worker is working and what they are doing.
Some clocking in systems can even be downloaded onto a Smart Phone so that workers in the field can clock in and out of work wherever they find themselves, whether they are in the car, at a client’s business, at home, or in the field. In some systems, text messaging can be used to track workers’ time.
Land-line clocking lets workers clock in via a telephone, calling into a centralised location to start and stop their time clocks. Or desktop readers can be used with employee badges, ID numbers, or biometrics to track labour.
All of these systems can then be seamlessly integrated with the time and attendance tracking system so managers can make sure workers are where they are supposed to be when they are scheduled. Once the work week is done, all of this data can then be uploaded and used to accurately calculate payroll.
Today’s clocking in systems do so much more than traditional time clocks.