Time Attendance is the common phrase used to describe the recording of employees arrival and departure at a place of work. Other common terms for these events are Clock IN/OUT, or Punch IN/OUT. The recording of start and end of work breaks such as Lunch or coffee breaks are also expected within any Time Attendance system.
Time Attendance Software
There are now many options for time attendance software.
Hosted Web enabled software
These systems are provided by a time attendance specialist company. The software will be hosted on the attendance company’s severs. As such it will be fully backed up and should always be running the latest version. There should be no chance of being left behind on an old software version. You should be able to take advantage of all new modern trends as they are developed and added to the system. Support for the software and its use will also be built in so you will always have help to hand.
Typically these services are provided as a subscription or rental option and can be scaled up or down to suit a particular company’s requirements. But there can be a free starting level with basic time attendance features that can be useful for smaller companies with lower numbers of staff register for a free account now . These systems can include a mobile app which allows clocking and reporting facility’s such as roll call or a list of that employees attendance records. These also normally provide a GPS location of the attendance records so management can review locations later if required. Alternatively an attendance unit or time clock with RFID or Fingerprint scanner can be added which will record the in out records at a fixed location and transfer these to the online hosted solution to be processed automatically into usable reportable data.
Local Windows or Web Time Attendance application
Traditionally time attendance software has been available to install as a windows application locally and this is still available although is becoming less popular as a choice. But this is still a preferred option for some companies and offers full control and responsibility for the solution.
These systems can now be complemented with a web enabled client access option giving many of the benefits of the hosted solution allowing the use of standard browsers with mobile devices and access to the system without the installation of any windows application on desktop or laptop devices. This in turn allowing larger organisations to avoid the issues associated with software application deployment across a large IT estate.
Time Attendance terminal hardware
Time Attendance terminals have come a long way in recent years and now incorporate new technology at an affordable price that was previously only available in premium equipment. Examples of this are :-
- Built in Fingerprint scanners .
- RFID smart card readers.
- Built in WiFi,
- High security Palm Readers
- Face readers.
- Full colour screens or touch screens.
Some units will contain several of these technologies along with live data capability where the attendance unit can send the In Out records live straight to the software be it on the internet or a local installation this gives management access to live up to date information. Some will also have options for USB download of the records, useful where there is no network or internet connection.
Other add on options for time attendance hardware are features such as:-
Break bell / sounders to sound when employees should start or end work or breaks.
Access control . 3G/4g sim card based mobile phone connectivity. External secondary RFID readers typically used where you might need out of hours attendance records or weather proof attendance recording.
Biometric Time Attendance Terminals
Fingerprint Time Clocks
By far the most widely used biometric for time attendance is Fingerprint. This technology has been around for some years, but modern algorithms and optical readers have greatly improved these units, and allowed them to be manufactured in large quantities, which has in turn bought the price of them down to a level that any company can afford.
As with any biometric the accuracy of the enrollment of the fingerprint is key if you want to have trouble free use. Dirty or damaged fingers will lead to poor registration or poor recognition later on. Users will inevitably blame the equipment. But the reality is that a little more care and time at the point of enrollment by the manager can avoid many of these issues. User training is also very important a lack of training may lead to users presenting a fingerprint in an inconsistent way to how they enrolled for example pointing at the sensor will not show it the full pad of the finger.
High security biometrics
Palm Vein biometrics. This is the use of near infra red wavelength light as found in most remote controls around the home. This is used to read the blood veins in the palm of the hand as a unique identity, and can be up to 10 times more accurate than a standard fingerprint reader. This lends itself to high security uses and this form of biometric is found in ATM machines and high end banking systems throughout the world. This technology has now been incorporated into time attendance and access control devices. This gives a convenient and possibly contact less read in mid air without the use of any 2nd factor such as id card or pin number.
Allday Time Systems are UK based Time Attendance solution Manufacturers and developers . We offer both installed and hosted solutions for time attendance.