Over the past decade, biometric devices have revolutionized the check-in process. Thanks to the advances in technology, business owners can now trust that their employees’ check-in and check-out times are unique to them.
The biometric time clock is the latest must-have technology for small to medium business owners. Many have pondered the difference it would make to their operations if they chose to replace the traditional card-punching methods. While the traditional method once brought an element of convenience, it can no longer keep up. Biometric time clocks provide a new dimension of reliability. And that is why they are so popular in many industries offering shift work.
Before we look at the many benefits, let’s discuss what a biometric time clock actually is.
Biometric time clocks
A biometric time clock is a time and attendance tool used to track employees’ working hours by monitoring their check-in and check-outs. These time clocks have helped to enhance business performance and general operation.
Instead of the more traditional punch-card methods, biometric time clocks help to identify a person through their physiological or behavioral characteristics. These will determine the employees’ uniqueness as recognition when checking-in. Using biometric time clocks, employees can be identified by:
- Face shape
- Hand shape
Biometric time clocks are typically placed at the entrance of a site as to provide easy access. Once a check-in is complete, the biometric data to be processed into a software system to record the data. In order for this data to be fully validated, business owners should choose the best option to suit their needs.
Let’s discuss the different software that can be used to store biometric time clock data.
Which software should you use?
The inbuilt cloud software provided by many biometric time clocks may be enough for smaller businesses. But for those who have a lot of shifts to record, it may not be the optimal choice.
Integrating biometric time clock data within employee scheduling software has helped to streamline operations for many businesses. Creating a best-fit schedule can be complicated enough. But having employee scheduling software will give you a greater understanding of how the time clock’s recorded data is impacting your business.
The all-important autonomy
Having greater autonomy over any missed or late check-ins can help a business owner to realize trends effecting their productivity, growth and finances. If they use this information to make important decisions, then there’s no doubting that their business operations will improve. Integrating other time and attendance software can become a big asset to many small business owners.
Before we look at the reasons why biometric time clocks are so important, let’s talk over a potential issue to be wary of.
We’ve become accustomed to a world where priority always lies with the recent COVID-19 pandemic and meeting the demanded compliances. And when it comes to biometric time clocks, there may be a few things to consider.
One of the most prominent ways that COVID-19 and other diseases spread is through contaminated surfaces. While the idea of employees using a fingerprint sensor to determine their clock-in seems straightforward, it’s not hygienic. This may mean that businesses will be more inclined to use facial recognition or any other biometric time clock that doesn’t require physical touch.
Once a business has planned for any potential changes, they can utilize the many benefits of biometric time clocks.
So, why do so many businesses use biometric time clocks for employee check-in?
Benefits of Biometric Time Clocks
Eliminates time theft
“Buddy punching” has long been known as a dark area of time and attendance. Buddy punching occurs when one employee asks another to punch-in for them. To add to the threat, falsified timecards are another very common way of employees ‘stealing’ the time they haven’t actually worked. This can make all the difference to a business’ payroll over a longer period of time.
The unfortunate reality is that time clocks requiring punch-in cards and employee IDs will always remain susceptible to untrustworthy behavior.
Numbers too great to ignore
Nobody wants a time thief working at their business. But just like a leopard never changes its spots, a dishonest employee won’t change their ways. According to the American Payroll Association, 75% of employers face the potential of losing 4.5 hours in employee wages per week. A report in 2017 suggested this is costing them as much as 373 million dollars per year.
There are a few reasons why employees persist on carrying out these acts of fraud. One of the most obvious is that they’re completely disengaged with their job. Or the outdated time clocks a business is using are leaving them vulnerable to these unwarranted acts.
How can time theft be stopped?
For small businesses, a biometric time clock will eliminate any time theft. The verification process that requires an exact form of biometrics means that it’s impossible for another employee to do offer a favor. Or for any kind of shift duplication to occur.
Increasing employee accountability
Removing time theft is also about increasing employee accountability for any wrongdoing. Using the accurate data provided by your biometric time clock, it’s easy to set apart the loyal hard-workers from the less-engaged lazier ones.
A biometric time clock will help you to catch sight of any time-tracking trends. Persistent lateness or not showing up for shifts will be frowned upon by all businesses. With a biometric time clock, you’ll have evidence to make informed decisions. It may take a while to reconnect or remove the bad attitudes from your workforce. But in the long run, it will help to create a more honest workforce. You may even choose an incentive or reward scheme to boost your team.
Better time-keeping accuracy
The dream for any business owner. With the guarantee of real-time accuracy, all employee check-ins will be recorded efficiently. This means you’ll be paying for exactly the labor your employees have worked. Rather than the unreliability of timesheets and text messages, your biometric time clock will ensure that none of that is necessary.
To make the process even easier, you can integrate all of your data into the form of payroll software. Your employees will be grateful that their overtime is being accurately calculated. And your HR department will be able to avoid any embarrassing miscalculations.
The process of employee check-in through a biometric time clock is significantly faster than punch-in methods. This means less queues and more production. It also means that employees won’t have to worry about that extra time filling out timesheets. Which is likely to be completed during shift time.
Employees will embrace the implementation of a biometric time clock with open arms. The less effort they must make proving the hours they’ve worked, the more they’ll be able to focus on the job at hand. The simplifications that a biometric time clock brings can be a huge boost to employee morale.
Reducing the errors
A business owner doesn’t have the hours in the day to monitor their employees’ every movement. And manually processing employee check-ins is only going to cost more time than it’s worth. According to research, up to 3.14 hours a week can be lost with inefficient scheduling processes. And that’s far too much for a small business to be giving away.
By using a biometric time clock, you’ll be provided with efficient and reliable data. But also, you can integrate any software necessary to eradicate user error and streamline your processes. This may mean integrating your time clock with payroll or employee scheduling software.
A thing to remember: Check-in on the law
It’s important that you’re not breaking any biometric time clock laws. So, the first thing you’ll need to do is check up on any that may apply to you. And what you’ll be required to do.
You’ll need to check if the data you’re collecting, using and storing falls under any category of biometric data in accordance to any current laws. This should also show you how the data is being shared and collected.
The current state of the law
At present, there is no comprehensive law in place at federal level when it comes to the use of biometric data. In the U.S., there are 5 states that currently have active biometrics laws. The restrictions in place vary from the length of time a business can store data, to privacy acts governing how businesses can collect and use it.
These laws are ever-changing and can be costly if not adhered to. So if you’re considering integrating a biometric time clock, make sure to put in the essential research first.
Why a biometric time clock may be right for you?
Biometric time clocks offer a range of benefits for any time-tracking process. But is this technology essential to businesses at this current moment?
Biometrics time clocks are especially useful for businesses that rely on shift work. Keeping track of many check-ins can be a time-consuming process. But the option of using a biometric time clock means that check-in is a simple as a single touch or glance. That means no more buddy punching, lost timecards or forgotten passwords.
Biometrics time clocks can also be indispensable for businesses looking to integrate with payroll or employee scheduling software. They will process all of your data accurately for you. Meaning any lates, no-shows or overtime will all be accounted for. Having payroll or employee scheduling software in sync with a biometric time clock will give you an entirely streamlined and optimized business operation. This will alleviate some much-needed time for you HR team.
So yes, we believe that biometric time clocks can be of great value to small to medium businesses looking for a simplified time-tracking solution.