With companies constantly growing and/or evolving, it has become important to keep better records of employee activity. One thing that’s changed a great deal over the last few years is how attendance is maintained. Some companies use the old-fashioned time clock for employees to punch in and out on paper cards, some use an honor system of recording time in the office on a computer spreadsheet and still others have completely overhauled employee tracking with biometric time and attendance systems. We’ll focus on explaining the ins and outs of that latter group.
Bio what? Biometrics. Biometrics is a science focused on using physical human measurements to identify individuals. Typical measurements include characteristics of a person’s fingers, hands, eyes or face. These features are generally quite unique to any given person, making them reliable measures of identity. Because these features are largely unalterable on a person, time measurement and attendance scanners can take an initial impression to use over time (be it an image of someone’s retina or fingerprint records) and have it on file as a comparison to verify the person’s identity each time they clock in and out.
Biometric time and attendance systems function by means of an electronic device with a touch sensor to place one’s finger or hand on to record an impression in a database or smartcard. The program will measure the shape of the ridges in a person’s finger or even the pattern of veins in their hand. Based on the identifying feature that is measured for each person (most commonly the fingerprint), individuals can maintain an accurate record of their time spent in the workplace.
Benefits of Biometrics
Biometric scanning is used in a variety of settings, from hospitals to manufacturing facilities to everyday office spaces. The biometric system has several benefits, some of which extend beyond simple time and attendance measures. Some of these perks include:
- Eliminating Buddy Punching – Unfortunately, it has become common for coworkers to say to one another, “Hey, I have to leave early. Can you clock me out?” Or, “Running late today; mind punching me in?” Using an ID-matching system ensures that the individual clocking in an out is in fact the person in question; coworkers cannot help each other cheat or defraud the company of money.
- Maintaining Access Control – In offices where security is crucial to business functioning or even when an office is located in a less-desirable neighborhood and safety is a concern, biometric systems are beneficial. Utilizing fingerprint technology, businesses can restrict access to a building as a whole or to a specified area (room, floor, lab, etc.). Only with a verified print will an individual be permitted access to the space.
- Saving Time and Reducing Errors – Human resources and payroll specialists have extensive duties as it is. Making good use of technologically-advanced fingerprint time and attendance systems frees these professionals up to provide assistance to employees and maintain overall business functioning. HR and payroll no longer have to worry about processing attendance records or miscalculating each employee’s total hours (and earned pay) when there is a digital record of each available.
Biometric systems have allowed companies to maintain a closer eye on employee movements. These tracking systems are advanced, using fingerprints and other markers to establish to identities of individuals, making it nearly impossible for employees to cheat the system. Extended lunches are things of the past, so is clocking your best friend in each morning. Productivity is key, and maintaining accurate attendance and access is a means of achieving it!