Date icon15 November 2019

Time and attendance in 2020

It seems that virtually all aspects of our working days have been revolutionised by technology over the years. Just as laptops or the desktop computer have replaced the typewriter, we are carrying out even the most unassuming of administrative tasks in increasingly digitised ways.

Not only are these digital systems helping businesses to save time and money, they are creating streams of invaluable operational business data that can be used to improve the way we work further. Digital time and attendance solutions are a good example; these systems automatically log employee working hours without any human effort and record quantitative real-time data that can highlight productivity issues, such as repeated absenteeism or lateness.

Future trends in time and attendance systems

As part of the ‘workforce management market’, the time and attendance sector is growing steadily, with 10% global market growth expected in 2020 and 2021. The technology is still very much evolving though, so we’ve looked at what time and attendance could look like over the next few years.

A wider range of biometric time and attendance scanner technology

In the same way that access control systems are becoming increasingly dominated by biometric technology, time and attendance solutions are following suit. Many T&A systems already make use of biometric fingerprint scanning, but as other forms of biometric authentication gain traction, we expect to see a wider range of scanner technology within the time and attendance arena.

Implementing time and attendance management via a digital access control system with biometric authentication makes good business sense in several ways; employees can clock in and clock out with just a quick scan of a finger, rather than having to remember an ID card or token. It’s more secure too, today’s biometric scanners are notoriously hard to fool with lifted prints, prevent the practice of ‘buddy-punching’ and are far more difficult to steal or copy than passwords or ID cards.

Fingerprints are a form of sensitive personal data though, and this type of biometric time and attendance technology may not be suitable for every organisation. As the tech allows, we may start to see T&A systems built on less-contentious facial recognition or iris scanning instead.

Artificial intelligence and chatbots

All aspects of HR management, digital or otherwise, comes with an almost constant stream of employee queries, from questions about overtime hours to payroll clarification and queries about holiday allowance. As it stands, when digital time and attendance solutions are integrated with HR and payroll systems, this sort of information is much quicker and easier to access, but it still takes a human team member to do so.

Artificially intelligent chatbots could make this a thing of the past. With chatbot functionality built into a T&A system, employees may be able to type or speak their query directly to the software and receive their answer straight away without disturbing any of the HR team.

New and emerging T&A technologies

It’s one thing to be able to clock in and out via a digital time and attendance system when employees enter the office, but what about when they work remotely? More and more of us are regularly working away from our normal place of work; in 2017, researchers predicted that if recent trends continue, half of the UK workforce would be working remotely by 2020.

Time and attendance technology is already adapting to allow for this shift, and we should see this emerge as even more of a focus next year.

Remote time and attendance management

The ability to accurately record remote working hours is a benefit for both employers and employees; the former can monitor productivity while the latter can ensure they are paid correctly for the hours they work. With mobile device integration and pre-assigned GPS locations, time and attendance systems can enable employees working remotely to clock in and out the same way they would at the office, no matter where they are working from.  

At Touchstar, we have already introduced remote time and attendance functionality to our systems through our mobile app. With ‘Geo-Connect-Me’ installed on their smartphones, employees are asked to confirm clock in once they are picked up in a pre-programmed remote working location, defined by a GPS geo-fence. Employers are then notified in real time when a remote worker has clocked in or out, is taking a break, or travelling to or from their working location.

Revolutionise your time and attendance management today

While tech developments like the ones we’ve mentioned above are exciting, current digital time and attendancesolutions are more than worth investing in right now. We are always looking to expand the capabilities of our intuitive, cost-effective  and cloud-based time and attendance systems, so implementing a Touchstar solution is a great way to futureproof your T&A management. Get in touch today to find out more.



Lynden Jones, MD

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.