Biometric Time and Attendance Systems Overcome the Weaknesses of Traditional Time Clocks

Despite still being found at workplaces around the country, the classic time clock is often seen as a relic of the past. These mostly-mechanical devices have never entirely satisfied those who made use of their services, whether its hourly employees or the managers and executives who count on their output to help make sense of work hours. Though they are simple to use, time clocks of this sort have a number of inherent weaknesses that often frustrate those who rely on them. Modern biometric time and attendance systems address these issues and frustrations, all the while delivering flexibility and efficiency that had once been unthinkable.

One of the biggest, most well-known problems with traditional timekeeping systems is the issue of employee attendance fraud. Since the inception of the mechanical “Bundy” time clock, unethical employees have sought to subvert it by colluding to clock each other in and out, despite one party not actually being in attendance. Without a proper timekeeping system in place, this is easy to do as it generally means little more than punching a coworker’s easily accessible time card, and has undoubtedly resulted in businesses losing incredible sums of money over the course of the years.

Biometric time and attendance systems make this problem a thing of the past. These systems include reliable, precise fingerprint readers that verify and authenticate an employee’s true identity when he or she is punching in and out. Powerful in application, a fingerprint time clock is surprisingly easy to use. Employees do a one-time registration by simply scaning their fingerprint using a small reader on the time clock. Once the image has been encrypted, it is stored as a numerical value that serves to identify employees each and every time they punch in and out from that point on.

While fingerprint-based readers provide sufficient security for any business, there are other forms of biometric time clocks available as well, including facial recognition time clocks. Facial recognition time clocks require the presence of several uniquely identifying facial features in order for attendance to be marked. Like the fingerprint devices, they are extremely difficult to manipulate or bypass with practices such as buddy punching. Also like the fingerprint devices, the time involved in punching in and out is minimal as the employee simply has to stand in front of the device for a few seconds for their face to register.

Overall, the savings and efficiency gains that biometric time keeping systems provide make them a strong investment and a powerful tool when it comes to tracking and storing employee work hours. When used properly, they can save your business valuable time and money.

The Love/Hate Relationship with Business Technology

Oh technology…. we certainly can’t live without it (nor would we want to). Yet, while technology can open up endless opportunity, it can have adverse effects as well. For example, as efficient as it is, technology actually creates numerous ways to reduce one’s productivity. We live in a mobile world where personal phone calls can be made from any location and where there is constant perusal of email and social media apps on Smartphones (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). So, even though technology has become a must in the business world, it has also bred a sort of love/hate relationship for managers who struggle to find a balance between regulating the usage of these tools.

In many instances, companies need to leverage technology, but at the same time restrict usage during business working hours. There is one key area, however, where technology does not need restriction and has proven to be a huge asset – the area of employee monitoring and surveillance. Think about how difficult it is for busy managers to keep tabs on every single employee throughout the day. The human eye can miss a lot, and as much as we want to think there is no bias in the workplace, personal surveillance is a subjective concept. Technology is the best way to properly monitor employees and to accurately reduce (and hopefully eliminate) malpractices such as employee time theft.

uAttend-time-clockIn fact, a recent research article has indicated that using technology and software for employee surveillance, such as time attendance systems with biometric fingerprint and facial recognition time clocks, helps effectively monitor employee behavior and prevent work theft and fraud. The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity is a study done by several research professionals to explore the impact of information technology on employee theft and productivity. The researchers conducted a study at 392 restaurants throughout the United States by implementing an IT monitoring solution intended to track employees for possible theft. Before and after data was analyzed and the results showed a considerable positive impact in revenue savings and productivity levels.

According to the study, restaurants increased revenue by nearly $3,000 a week (on average). Another positive outcome was better productivity and performance levels. Researchers hypothesized that employees who know their work is being monitored will start doing their jobs better. What they found is that monitoring tools like uAttend’s employee time tracking system not only keep employees accountable for their work hours (i.e., they show up on time, leave on time, etc.), but they also keep employees from gaining money by stealing thus forcing employees to reallocate their efforts to earn money the way they are supposed to  – by actually working!

While there will likely remain a love/hate relationship between business owners and business technology, there are certain solutions that will always be beneficial to have. As research indicates over and over again, time and attendance systems are one of them. On that note, uAttend’s Employee Management System is a highly effective IT monitoring tool that leverages biometric technology and the power of the cloud to encourage employees to be accountable for their time. Our solutions are smart, effective, sleek and user-friendly, not to mention reliable and affordable. If you’re ready to fall in love with what the right business technology can do for you, check out our innovative time clocks and time keeping software at www.uAttend.com.

uAttend Featured in the San Diego Union Tribune

The San Diego Union Tribune, a leading newspaper in Southern California, wrote a feature on how “buddy punching is taking a body-blow” as a result of businesses implementing fool proof time and attendance solutions like uAttend’s fingerprint time clock. The article also did an interview of our very own CEO, Chad Buckmaster. The fact that the San Diego Union Tribune chose uAttend to highlight as one of the leading time and attendance solutions provider speaks volumes of the prominence the company has gained in just a short period of time.

Small businesses are constantly plagued by practices like time theft and buddy punching, both which put extra strain on their already thin resources. It is estimated that time theft costs U.S. businesses as much as $123 billion per year in terms of lost productivity. Considering the magnitude of this problem, it is not surprising that small businesses are cracking down and protecting themselves with solutions like biometric time and attendance tracking.

The San Diego Union Tribune asked Buckmaster various questions about the need, as well as the effectiveness of time clocks and biometric solutions. With his expert knowledge of time and attendance management systems, Buckmaster discussed these issues in detail and provided insightful answers to help business owners. To underline the effectiveness of time and attendance management solutions like a fingerprint time clock, Buckmaster said “It eliminates buddy punching, which is a big issue in the time-and-attendance world. Basically, you can’t clock in for one of your fellow employees, which obviously saves employers tons of money.”

Buckmaster further elaborated, “You can also clock in from geo-locations on a mobile phone…you can go ahead and clock in with our mobile app and the employers can actually designate geo-locations for that. If they have a remote site, like construction companies, they can put in the address and the employees can only clock in from that location. If they’re not in that hot spot, it won’t allow them to clock in.”

uAttend is a distinguished name in biometric time and attendance solutions in the U.S., and has also formed strategic alliances in Australia and Europe. The company plans to roll out a facial recognition time clock in coming months to further strengthen its robust product line.