09 September 2019
With so many digital
time and attendance solutions now available, there’s no need to spend precious
resources manually managing your workplace and workforce. But, if your business
is ready to digitise time and attendance, the range of system terminals can present
you with another decision to make - which type of input hardware is right for
Here’s an overview of
the various input methodologies your time and attendance system could include, plus what to look for depending
on your industry or business sector.
Types of input for automated time and
Input hardware for
time and attendance solutions provide the physical points at which your
employees will effectively ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ with their registered
company identification. The type of hardware you choose will obviously dictate
what type of ID your employees will need to provide to automatically time stamp
their working hours and/or access the premises. If you already have a media in
circulation, this too could be used on secondary systems such as time and
Some of the main types of input terminal for time and attendance systems
include the following, from longest established to
newest to market:
Hardware that reads barcodes works when your
employees swipe barcode ID cards through a reader slot.
Also known as Mag-stripe terminals, this type
of input hardware scans the black magnetic strip on an ID card when it’s swiped
through the reader.
Proximity input terminals
These input terminals
read ID badges or cards when they are held close to the reader, though not
necessarily in direct contact.
Biometric input terminals
Negating the need for
an ID card or badge, biometric terminals read individual characteristics such
as fingerprints and match them against data stored in the system to identify
Features to look for in a time and
No matter what kind of
business your organisation is in, there are several key features of time and
attendance hardware and software that will give you optimum functionality and
return on investment.
Automated clock in and clock out
Despite providing a
digital platform within which to record working hours, some time and attendance
solutions still require employees to enter their shift times manually.
Attendance data may be collated and stored digitally and in one place, but the
fact that employees can enter a time arbitrarily rather than log an automated
time stamp can leave you open to inaccurate records, so make sure your chosen
system features automated clock in and clock out.
Ease of configuration and management
Both time and
attendance input hardware and the software supporting it should be easy to
configure and use on a day-to-day basis. Look for solutions with quick and
simple reader technology, and software with an intuitive dashboard-style
interface, so all important attendance data can be viewed in one place and at a
Ability to identify and differentiate
As your HR team will
be well aware, there’s more to managing payroll than simply logging the hours
each employee spends at work. Depending on your organisational set up, there
may be overtime hours or flexi-time to factor in, as well as holiday and
breaktimes. Every company is different, so ensure that you can programme your
system to accurately record total payable hours for each employee.
Choosing the best option for your
Beyond the essential
features that make any business’s time and attendance solution more beneficial,
much of the functionality to look for will depend on your organisation and what
it needs from the technology.
For example, if your
business has multiple branches or your employees regularly travel to third
party or partner premises, opt for a system that enables you to set up time and
attendance logging in remote locations of your choice. The best software allows
you to create geographic clock in zones that record an employee’s attendance when
their smartphone is within range.
Or, if it’s likely
that your organisation will need input hardware that recognises more than one
type of ID – say biometric and proximity – ensure you invest in a time and
attendance system that can be easily and economically upgraded or adapted.
Seek the advice of the time and
Making the right
choice when it comes to time and attendance input hardware and supporting
software needn’t be guesswork. We can help you find a solution that will
optimise your workplace administration in a way that compliments your
operational practices, so give our friendly team a call today.
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