The current state of Employee Time Clock technology 2006

By and large, the day of your father’s old mechanical punch card is gone. Though it still exists in some places, most workplaces have done away with this traditional system whereby an employee places his card into the time card slot to have it punched with the current time -remember the old Cincinnati Clippers?

Two other standard types of attendance systems that remain in use are employee paper time sheets and supervisor visual checks - which are incredibly unreliable. An employee time sheet is simply an employee’s marking down of his own time. A supervisor visual check philosophy, on the other hand, lays the burden on the supervisor to ensure that the employees are at work when they should be. These forms of attendance systems work especially well at workplaces with few employees and high levels of integrity. They are based on the honor system and are less exact than time clocks, but they are far simpler to employ, and they show employees that their employer trusts them.  They also provide no legal proof someone was or was not there.

In contrast to these loose forms, however, there are many technologically advanced attendance systems. Some companies have a desktop or network computer where all employees log in and out. Companies may even set up additional computers in break rooms to allow employees to clock out for lunch and breaks. Other companies utilize telephone-based and/or internet-based time clocks that allow employees to clock in and out from remote locations. These can be complicated to set up, expensive to operate, and are easy to beat.

Finally, some companies use biometric time clocks. To some degree, these attendance systems are the kind you would expect in a spy movie retinal scans. The more technological an attendance system is, the more expensive it is, but it is usually more secure and accurate as well.  Check out fingerprint and hand readers, they work fine. 

Cell phones do not place the individual on site - unless you have GPS included, and calling in from the remote location can also be unreliable.