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Time and Attendance Tracking: Newest Technology

newest-technology-banner Ask a business owner the hardest part of their operations. They may regale you with tales about employees taking long lunch breaks without clocking out, employees clocked in but never coming to work, or employees calling their buddies to punch them in on time as they arrive an hour late. The time and attendance tracking area of managing employees has become the hardest and costliest part of operating a business. It becomes even more frustrating to know you are paying employees to waste your company's time. Time and attendance tracking systems have eliminated many of the problems associated with late employees and "buddy punching." These systems have also gone beyond the old-fashioned clock punches seen in some of our favorite movies. Today, new technology allows time and attendance systems to create a secure business and more accurate employee tracking data by providing:
  • log records of when employees clock in and clock out
  • time logs of employee breaks and meals
  • data for the HR department to review employee attendance and address issues
  • a system for employees to schedule time off
Some of the newest technology incorporated into time and attendance tracking include Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, fingerprint scanning, and facial recognition software. The type of time and attendance system suited for your business will be based on many factors including cost, type of business security sought, and the number of units needed within the building.
  • RFID and Barcode Attendance Tracking
The simplest systems to operate are barcode and RFID time and attendance tracking systems. Barcodes iStock_000010327279XXLargeBarcode technology involves an employee ID card with a black barcode printed on the surface. This barcode is scanned by a reader device hooked up to a computer system. The barcode represents a security access code or employee ID number. Once the reader device scans the code, the employee will be clocked-in for work.  Barcode time and attendance tracking systems work best in businesses that require a quick and efficient method for employee’s to clock-in for work while requiring that specific employee to physically scan his or her ID card. RFID RFID technology is relatively new for business use in tracking time and attendance.  Similar to a barcode ID card, an RFID system involves using an employee ID card with an embedded radio-frequency chip. When the ID card comes into close proximity of an RFID reader, the radio frequency is detected and the person is allowed access into the building and clocked-in for work. The person does not need to scan the card directly on the reader or even take it out of a wallet or bag. When an individual mentions "biometrics,"  images are created of science fiction movies and novels where a person has their hand, face, or eye scanned by a computer to gain access to top secret information or areas. The days of this technology being a science fiction dream or available only to the government are over. Large and small companies now use biometric technology to track time and attendance for both increased accuracy and increased security. Fingerprints iStock_000000536442SmallFingerprint technology has existed longer than any other form of biometric technology. Using a person's unique fingerprint, a system scans the ridge patterns, deltas, cores and other factors of the fingerprint and converts the information into a digital data format or graph stored on the computer. After this initial enrollment period, every time the employee places his or her finger on the scanner, the fingerprint is compared to the stored data and access is granted or denied. Facial Recognition Facial recognition technology is another biometric factor used in time and attendance tracking systems. Facial recognition involves many of the same processes as fingerprint scanning and storage. At the enrollment stage, an employee stands in front of the camera as the system records their facial features and characteristics in 2D or 3D images. Depending on the system, the employee may also be asked to make certain facial expressions. All these images are stored in a computer system to be used for future identification purposes of the employee whenever they stand in front of the camera.
  • Time and Attendance Tracking Systems Offers Benefits to all Businesses
For increased security of business operations and to keep track of employee attendance, deploying a time and attendance tracking system offers too many benefits for businesses to ignore and include: reducing buddy punching, streamlining HR processes, and addressing employee attendance issues. If you are looking for the best security measure for your business, consider a combination of biometric and barcode or RFID technology. Having more than one employee identification method ensures the right employees are entering restricted areas, as well as, reducing the chance of employees becoming time thieves.