Which time and attendance system is right for your business?
More businesses are turning to time attendance systems rather than keeping paper-based records or using mechanical clocks to keep track of their employees and their wage bills. Faced with the demands of increasing paperwork and complexity as businesses grow, companies are looking for time-saving and economical solutions. There are various time and attendance systems available which can be confusing. So which is best for your business?
PC-installed software or cloud-based time and attendance?
PC-based software often means that time and attendance data is only available on one PC which isn’t very convenient if you are out of the office or on another site. Software may also need to be manually updated by your IT team which adds time and cost.
A recent BT / British Chambers of Commerce survey found that 69 per cent of UK SMEs now use cloud-based applications. Cloud-based time and attendance systems are growing in popularity because they eliminate the need for you to install and update software. Cloud-based systems are web-based so there’s no software to install and any updates are done remotely so you don’t have to worry about them. A web-based time attendance system also means that information is available using PCs, Macs, tablets, or smartphones wherever you are. Cloud-based SaaS solutions are ideal for businesses of all sizes, smaller businesses can now benefit from the advanced features that were once only available to large enterprises.
There are numerous clocking-in options
- RFID swipe cards or proximity fobs – employees only need to pass the fob or swipe card past the terminal which then reads the information on the card or fob and records the time. Clocking in terminals are available as wired or WiFi versions. One drawback is that swipe card and fob terminals don’t prevent ‘buddy-clocking’ where workers can ‘clock-in’ for each other.
- Biometric fingerprint and facial recognition clocking in – biometric clocking in terminals prevent ‘buddy clocking’ because each employee is identified via their unique features. As fingerprints and faces are added to the system they are encoded, when an employee subsequently clocks in their fingerprint or face is matched to the stored code. Actual fingerprints and faces are not stored which makes the system far more secure and ensures the personal privacy of members of staff. Another advantage is that it eliminates the need for employees to be issued with cards or fobs – it can be a pain when staff forget them!
- Phone and free Smartphone app clocking in – employees can use their own smartphone (some customers issue company smartphones) to clock-in via a free app. Or they can phone a freephone number and follow the voice prompts to clock in. Businesses with employees working on remote sites find phone and smartphone app clocking particularly useful and cost-effective. Supervisors out-and-about can also use a smartphone or tablet to see who’s clocked in right now, as well as look at employee timecards and clock-in groups of employees if they are a gang leader or foreman. We find that phone clocking is used by a lot of our customers in cleaning, on-site maintenance companies and carers making home or other site visits where clocking-in terminals are not viable.
- Web clocking – this is another easy way for staff to clock in. Wherever staff have access to a PC, Mac or laptop in the office or on the move, uAttend’s range of six clocking in options makes it easy to capture accurate clocking in data on the move.
All the clocking in data is seamlessly collated by the uAttend system. It’s also easy for supervisors and managers to keep tabs on employee’s whereabouts, approve holidays and deal with absence on-site or on the move too.
Businesses who find these features especially useful include:
- Cleaning and facilities management
- Staffing Agencies
A time and attendance system like uAttend is fully scalable too – essential for growing businesses and those with seasonal or project based workforces.