What time clock should I choose for my ?
There are three common types of time clocks for :
- Punch clocks
- time clocks or fingerprint
- time clocks. or tablet
All three types of time clocks have their own advantages and disadvantages, so review your options before deciding which is the for your . Regardless of what system you use for , you’re going to need some way to .
Punch clocks are the oldest form of time still in use. It’s what’s often used in movies and TV shows when people are clocking in or clocking out of their shifts.
, like , are called punch clocks because you punch your time card with a timestamp when you clock in or clock out of your shifts. These are physical , with stamps.
As you might guess with such an old form of time , there are a lot of disadvantages: all the records are kept manually, which means that also needs to be done manually. With physical and a punch clock for time , can take or even be a full-time job, depending on the size of your team. A manager on your team will have to manually enter in all the time card data — a clock in and out at the beginning and end of their shift, plus at least one clock in and clock out for their lunch break — for every single day and every single into a timesheet to process .
Punch clocks also make legal compliance a lot more complicated. To stay compliant with the Federal Labor Standards Act, you should keep for two years after they’ve left, just in case someone files a complaint against your , for something like failing to pay proper overtime. To prove your case, you’ll need time card records. If you don’t keep them, you may be liable not only for the unpaid overtime, but for a fine to the Department of Labor for failing to retain time card records. Your best bet is to keep electronic — there’s an audit trail, and they also take a lot less physical space (not to mention you don’t have to worry about fires, flooding, or any other natural disaster wiping out your time card records).
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to physical punch clocks is their lack of security. With punch clocks, you can’t prevent buddy punching, where an clocking in or out for each person’s time card, you run the risk of an — even accidentally — clocking in or out of a shift or break. clocks in or out for another . There’s no additional data beyond the timestamp, so unless you have another keeping an eye out on who’s
Likewise, with physical punch clocks, you can’t prevent clocking in early, or going into unapproved overtime. Those are the most common forms of . Clocking in early, even just a few minutes, really adds up. Businesses save, on average, $192 per month by preventing early clock-ins. With overtime, it can be much more, but with a punch clock, there’s really nothing you can do about it. Using a , however, keeps you in control. You’ll receive an alert whenever an is about to hit overtime. from
Time card errors are also much more difficult to deal with when you’re using a physical time clock to worked. If an misses a break, or misses a clock out at the end of their shift, you’ll need to them down and hope they remember the time they were supposed to clock out. And, most likely, you won’t even realize the clock out is missing until you’re about to run , adding an extra layer of complexity.
Bottom line: there aren’t really any reasons to use physical punch clocks any more. They’re bad for you, and they’re bad for your .
Time Clocksor Fingerprint
have one main advantage over punch time clocks: using unique body data, like a fingerprint, owners can be sure the right is clocking in and out. In other words, eliminate the risk of buddy punching.
But that’s where the advantages end. Without integration with your time clock does not know whether the that just clocked in was scheduled to work that day, or for how long. That means you’re still at risk for unscheduled overtime costs, and you can’t prevent early clock ins. schedules, the
Likewise, most do not integrate with providers, meaning your managers will need to spend time entering time card data into timesheets for accurate .
Bottom line: are useful if preventing buddy punching is very important to your , and you’re willing to deal with other inconveniences in exchange for that security.
Time Clock Apps
Time clock apps — often a you can use to clock in on your phone, or time clock tablet apps — are the newest way for to clock in and out for their shifts and breaks. offers very similar benefits, but generally requires the use of a desktop computer. But you can use all these devices in tandem with .
apps like Homebase offer a nice balance of security and flexibility, in addition to saving some money. There are a lot of advantages to a — for one, you aren’t limited to a single physical device. with manager approval could, for example, clock in on their phones, using their phone’s to ensure they’re at the work site. Most often, in to their shifts using a unique PIN.
A tablet like Homebase also integrates directly with your provider, your schedule , and even your point of sale device. By integrating with your provider, the makes exporting timesheets a breeze. This cuts down the time it’ll take managers on your team to process from several to just a few minutes.
There are other advantages to a time too. To prevent buddy punching, Homebase takes a photo of the when they clock in or out, and attaches that photo to their time card, so you can be sure it’s the right person.
Homebase also integrates with most modern point of sale (POS) , you’ll see clock-ins from anywhere you can access the internet, even if you aren’t on-site. , so your can actually clock in and out — and, in some cases, declare cash tips — right from your POS, reducing your need for yet another tablet in your back office. They also sync directly with a companion so your team can check their and pay in . And because Homebase functions as a and
Where time clock apps really shine, though, is in the and ensuring labor law compliance. In addition to storing for four years (beyond the two years required by the FLSA), and managers will receive notifications in the if an has missed a break, or if they forgot to clock out at the end of their shift. can then enter in their clock out time right from the . Having complete and error-free makes running much faster. And the break reminders ensure return to work on time or, if necessary, to take a legally mandated break they may have forgotten about.
Finally, tablet time clock apps can help owners save on labor costs, by preventing early clock ins and sending managers a mobile alert when an is about to hit overtime (along with sharing a list of available to clock in to replace the overworked ).
By using scheduling and time together, your managers will get a clearer picture of labor costs with . You’ll also find out which are showing up on time most often for their shifts with . And there’s a host of other valuable reporting that isn’t available with old school punch clocks or . , used together, can not only save you time, but also improve your health. Knowing managers are keeping an eye on these metrics will also encourage better compared with less integrated .
Bottom line: balances security, labor law compliance, and labor cost savings, and time savings in an easy-to-use . apps are the best bet for most businesses to . The
What’s the best time clock?
A time clock app, of course! Get started today with Homebase for free.