Date icon10 August 2020

Recent months have been an unprecedented challenge for us all. And, although it’s great to see staff returning to their workplaces as things tentatively get back to a ‘new normal’, this brings with it fresh hurdles to overcome to ensure employee and visitor safety.

This is where time and attendance systems – traditionally designed to help organisations manage their staff attendance and compliance at work – can become an important tool in preserving a healthy and safe working environment. As your team members work from home or start to come back to your organisation’s premises, a time and attendance solution can help you implement essential government guidelines and stay on top of your workforce’s activity, wherever they are working from.

Contact or non-contact time and attendance hardware

When your team members need to clock in and out of your premises, or enter particular buildings or areas with specialist clearance, time and attendance readers offer the most convenient and efficient means to manage access.

Biometric readers offer quick and convenient identity verification, often by scanning a fingerprint. With extra hygiene measures in place – including handwashing and/or using hand sanitiser before and after use - this form of time and attendance hardware is still safe for multiple people to use. The use of hand sanitiser doesn’t interfere with the scanning process.

Many time and attendance readers and terminals also provide more than one way to verify your team members as they move around your premises, or feature purely non-contact methods of identity authentication. Employees simply hold their own unique pass up to the reader, which is unalterably connected to their own identity, to be recognised by the system and confirmed as clocking in or out. These passes negate the need to touch the reader at all.

Keep track of staggered start times

The social distancing rule is likely to be with us for a while, and it’s vital that we all continue to maintain a safe distance from others to prevent the spread of coronavirus, even in the workplace. However, this can cause significant logistical problems for businesses, especially those with a larger workforce.

Staggering shift start and finish times is one way to ease this issue, while also varying the days staff spend in the office or workplace or alternating with days working from home. Yet manually keeping track of a new workplace attendance rota or knowing which staff are due to start at which time is just one more headache managers can do without, not to mention paying staff accordingly.

Automated time and attendance solutions that integrate with payroll systems offer an answer. Through clock in and clock out technology, a cloud-based time and attendance solution seamlessly and automatically registers the movements of your employees and stores this data in a central hub accessible by payroll, HR and other relevant systems. This means you can implement an agile attendance schedule that minimises contact between staff without creating extra paperwork. 

Mobile time and attendance for staff working from home

As many businesses and organisations have discovered, it’s more than possible for their team members to work from home when needs must. That said, prolonged home working isn’t without its challenges, one of which is managing working hours when staff are based at home.

Many organisations are still opting to work from home even as restrictions lift, while others plan to mix home working with a slow phased return to the workplace. What’s needed is a way to track employee work hours even when they’re not on-site, especially as home working is likely to become even more of a staple working practice moving forward.

Thanks to cloud technology, the capabilities of modern time and attendance solutions extend far beyond the workplace, working with GPS navigation to verify that a team member is in a set location before enabling them to clock in via a mobile device. This means that even when staff are working from home or from another remote location, an organisation can verify their whereabouts and manage productivity.

How we can help you use time and attendance to improve workplace safety?

This is an uncertain period , but we’re here to help you get the most from your time and attendance and access control systems. To find out more about how we can help your organisation, please get in touch.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – LYNDEN JONES

Lynden joined Touchstar ATC (formally Feedback Data) in a sales role for Access Control in 2010.  Prior to joining the company, Lynden held both Production and Account Manager roles, gaining wide technical and commercial experience within the electronics market.  

In 2013 Lynden was promoted to Sales Director and in 2017 he took overall responsibility of the business as Managing Director. As well as running Touchstar ATC, Lynden still remains extremely active in the sales and key account management aspects of the business. When not involved in the business, Lynden is a keen performance car enthusiast.