As an old proverb says, “time and tide wait for none”. In the modern world, a lack of time management skills is highly noticeable in young people who spend most of their free time on social media. Sooner or later, they find out that the time they have spent doing something is lost forever, thus, a search for efficiency and better time management habits begins. The search continues into their adult life when they need to spend time on little things like monitoring their working hours to report to their employers. In 2021, technology innovations are saving everyone’s valuable time by introducing innovative automated attendance monitoring systems in the workplace.
The history of time clocking systems
The first employee time clock was introduced in the late 1800s once the government stepped in to regulate factory owners’ conduct towards their employees after the industrial revolution. The idea behind it was a simple one – track each employee’s time entering and leaving the workplace to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. It was a bulky mechanical machine stamping time on a thick paper card for each employee. Since working hours were recorded, punch cards granted employees protection from any possible salary deductions and their employers from time theft. Over the years, employee clocking machines got smaller and more innovative. The biggest change in the industry was the first time and attendance software, released in the 1990s, that removed the need for cumbersome machinery by automating the process.
Is monitoring attendance necessary?
In 2017, the Finnish government carried out a two-year basic universal income experiment. 2000 randomly selected individuals, who at the time were entitled to unemployment benefits, started receiving monthly payments to meet their basic needs to pay for their food and housing, no-strings-attached. Compared to the control group receiving the unemployment benefits without any additional payments, the participants stated that they felt more secure, had better mental wellbeing. Overall, they had more average number of days of employment than the control group, meaning that even when receiving a certain amount of money every month, they did not work less. Knowing the results of this experiment, is it necessary to monitor employees’ attendance at work?
Indeed, it is. Attendance monitoring is beneficial for the employer since it does not allow falsifying working hours for malicious employees, and vice versa, it creates a secure environment for the employees in regards to hours worked for the company, therefore, they get a fair salary appropriate to what they have worked for. It gives an accurate picture of how much the company’s labor costs.
Attendance monitoring in 2021
Following evolving technologies, there are new innovative ways to monitor individual attendance. While hundreds of years ago attendance monitoring was carried out with time punch cards, continued by manual presence marking, the newest attendance monitoring systems provide biometric integrations with automatic data enrollment into the system. Needless to say, there are numerous advantages to such systems:
With traditional attendance monitoring systems, the human resources department needs to track and calculate each employee’s working hours by manually inserting this data into the system. This may lead to input and calculation errors resulting in inaccurate data and incorrect salaries. The American Payroll Association has estimated a staggering 1-8% error rate from manual attendance tracking. Automated attendance tracking systems make sure only accurate data is inserted into the system, therefore, the payroll data average error rate is reduced to less than 1%.
Complex physical timesheets are time-consuming for employees, their managers, and the administration. By switching to an automated attendance monitoring system, employees would not need to spend time reporting their working hours, requesting time off or holidays. Subsequently, their managers would have a broader picture of employees’ workflow, save time and effort in keeping track of their employees, and the administration would not need to manually collect, input and pass on data, resulting in greater efficiency of all parties involved.
Since the human resource department and payroll do not need to manually collect, input, and calculate data provided, fewer human errors reduce the workload of the teams. They do not need to work overtime entering the data themselves or fixing existing errors, therefore, automated time and attendance software systems save time for the company’s administration.
Although purchasing a smart attendance monitoring system (SAMS) might be costly, it will definitely pay off in the long run. Reduced workflow means no overtime payments, accurate data – no need to find any additional help to fix existing issues, and improved efficiency allows employees to complete more tasks in the same time period. In short, no additional unplanned expenses will be needed to fix manual attendance monitoring system errors.
Speed and reliability
We are all humans. While we may feel as if we are working quickly, automated processes outperform us instantly. Manual clocking systems require patience and time not all companies have. On the other hand, automated attendance and monitoring systems, especially biometric time clock ones, work instantly. You come in, look at a camera or press your finger against a fingerprint reader, and voilà – you are checked in and the record is saved in the database. You do not need to worry about the time stamp card being lost or damaged, as the check-in information is immediately saved on the server.
Of course, automated attendance monitoring systems, particularly biometric ones, have more benefits. They make sure employees are present in the workplace and doing their job, reduce the possibility of buddy punching, timesheet fraud, and absenteeism, and employees do not need to carry any additional items with them. Moreover, analyzing data from the attendance monitoring systems can improve company policy and provide flexibility, benefiting in unexpected situations, such as the need to be working from home.
Try for free
NCheck Bio Attendance by Neurotechnology is offering a biometric time clock system that does the tedious manual attendance tracking for you. It is a turnkey multi-biometric solution offering face, fingerprint, and iris scanning possibilities. Our web and cloud based biometric attendance system is available on both Cloud and On-Premise, with each solution easily integratable, cost-effective, and user-friendly. They ensure accurate and reliable data, contactless attendance monitoring, identification with face masks and other face coverings, and comprehensive reports accessible both by employees and their managers. Needless to say, the system also detects whether a person attempting to check-in is real (in other words, they are not a recording). Although its use cases cover educational institutions, healthcare organizations, and retail, the most popular applications remain office spaces, especially since work from home has become the new normal.
You can also find out how this innovative technology applies to visitor management.
Time is a limited resource that we must use wisely. Consequently, using automated processes for tasks such as employee attendance tracking and monitoring is beneficial for all parties involved. The biggest advantage is that it improves data accuracy and reliability. With fewer human errors, it allows for better time management, employees are able to concentrate on more pressing matters, thus improving their efficiency in the workplace, and fewer payroll data errors reduce workflow for the administration. Additionally, contactless biometric attendance monitoring systems grant an opportunity to recognize people wearing masks and allow remote connections.