What is the Best Way for your Employees to Clock in and out of Work?

By Matthew Reymes Cole
19 Nov 2018

Clocking in and out of work may be a necessity for your workplace, but it can also be a cause of stress for your employees.

It’s in your interest to streamline the process and make it as user-friendly as possible for your employees to reduce stress and time waste—but what is the best way to do this?

A clock in clock out system that works for you

First, if you rely on an analogue clock in, clock out timesheet (pen and paper records, for example) you need to update your process. 

Paper methods are too unreliable for a number of reasons, including the fact you can easily falsify or lose them. It is worth keeping a paper method on hand however; should digital systems fail or encounter a major error, so you have something to fall back on.

There are several methods available to you for clocking in and out, here’s a few of them:

ID-based time clock systems

An ID-based time clock system is clock in and out software based on employee ID or passcode. In this method the employee presents their staff card or badge, the system registers them as present, and again when they leave the office at the end of the day. This system is simple and easy to use, and gives operational data almost immediately.

However, there are issues with this method; the main one being the use of ID cards/badges. Stolen or lost ID can cause disruption, and it is possible to cheat the system by using colleagues’ ID.

Luckily, with the data provided by the system, it is easy to monitor and spot any irregularities in attendance.

Biometric time clocks

If you want to go a step further (and want your office to be super high-tech), you could get a biometric time clock.

This method uses finger or handprints to let the employee clock in and out. There are also methods that use voice recognition or retina scans, if that sort of method appeals to you.

Biometric time clocks provide further security, as it is impossible to replicate a colleague’s fingerprint.

The downside of this method is the privacy implications, as it will require employees’ to provide highly sensitive personal information, which you will responsible and liable for. Make sure you are storing employee data securely and that it is GDPR compliant.

Time clock software

There is plenty of time and attendance software available, so it is worth taking a look at a few options before you decide which is best for your business.

These methods are usually the most user-friendly, meaning your employees won’t stress too much when they clock in and out.

There is no physical ID that the employee is liable to lose, and staff can access them via their phone, laptop, tablet, or work computer.

The main issue lies in security. Time clock software (although secure) is probably the least safe of the three methods, due to the fact it is reliant on employee passwords. It may be worth implementing extra steps to keep your employees’ passwords secure.

How do you clock in and out at work?

If you’re still uncertain, ask others who work in the same sector as you what method they use. How rigid are they about shift times? Do they have other methods in place outside of their main system? Are in all employees required to clock in or just those with certain roles?

Also, communicate with your employees about the system, as they will be the ones most affected by its implementation, and be open to their feedback.

Time and attendance software is only half of the battle when trying to improve attendance and punctuality.

To make things easier for your employees, make sure you clearly communicate shift or rota changes with ample notice and use an accessible-to-all timesheet, if possible.

A state-of-the-art clock in clock out system cannot improve poor communication, and employees will struggle if there isn’t a solid system in place for managing their own time.

When implementing a new system, give employees a crossover period, allowing them time to fully integrate themselves with the software. Monitor staff use, and outline any boundaries you may have on use of the new system, as well as the consequences they can expect if they abuse it.

Different sectors might need clock in software for a different purpose. ‘Work clock in and out systems’ track the amount of time employees spend on certain projects rather than attendance or working hours. Is this applicable for your business?

Implementing such a system may put added strain on your employees, so only do so if necessary to track time spent.

Expert support

For secure and easy-to-use clock in and out software, why not try a free demo of Simplify HR?

The system allows users to clock in and out at the touch of a button, with the functionality to request time changes.

Get comprehensive reports on time worked, grace periods, and other absences, as well as access to our 24/7 support line, should any issues crop up. To request a demo, call 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Matthew Reymes-Cole

Matt joined Croner in 2007 as an employment law consultant and has advised clients of all sizes on all aspects of employment law. He has worked within management positions since 2017 and currently oversees a team within the litigation department, whilst continuing to support a number of clients directly.