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Clocking In Systems For Small Businesses

Running a small business can be time-consuming and costly; when your team is working cohesively to fulfil your vision, you can reap the rewards of a well-run venture. In order to ensure that your workers are safe and productive, you might be considering a clocking in system.

Gone are the days of the card-punch system introduced in the late 1800s; today’s business owners have a huge variety of clock-in options suitable for any type of company.

Clocking In Systems For Small Businesses

What is a Clocking In System?

A clocking in system is a device that enables you to keep track of when employees enter and leave the workplace. There are many systems available to suit all types of industries; however, they all provide accuracy in monitoring your employees’ movements.

How Can a Clocking In System Benefit a Small Business?

As a small business owner, you’re no doubt busy with the day-to-day operations of your company and unable to keep up with all your employees’ movements. A clocking in system could help you in the following ways:

  • Health and safety monitoring. Clocking in systems provide an accurate way to identify who’s inside your building in the event of an emergency, and to ensure that all your employees leave each night. If someone was to suffer a medical episode, your clocking in system would provide a way for you to see if someone was inside at an unusual hour, and to check on them. In a recent survey, 82% of employees reported feeling overworked; data on employee hours can help you to proactively identify anyone who may be at risk of burnout.
  • Time theft prevention. When an employee is conducting personal business during work hours or taking unnecessary extended breaks, this is referred to as time theft. A recent study estimates that time theft could cost some companies up to 20% of every dollar earned; some sources suggest that $7.4 billion is lost each day to non-work-related activities being completed in the office. Ensuring that your employees are completing their full contracted hours can help you to prevent time theft.
  • Improved payroll accuracy. By using the data from clocking in systems, you could reduce time card calculation time from seven minutes to just one. Clocking in systems also provide a level of accuracy that manual timesheet completion does not; it’s estimated that employees who complete a timesheet once a week are only 47% accurate in their records. By using clocking in systems, you can ensure that you pay overtime and wages accurately, and only where the work actually did take place.

There are two main types of clocking in systems available, each with its own pros and cons:

  1. Biometric Clocking in Systems

Exciting advancements in technology have allowed the development of biometric clocking in systems, which use unique physical characteristics to confirm an employee’s attendance. Biometric clocking in machines generally use fingerprints, facial recognition, or hand scanning to identify a person, and can recognize many different worker profiles.

Biometric systems have many advantages, including:

  • Superior accuracy when compared to other clocking in systems. Other systems may have physical fobs which can be shared between workers, allowing them to check each other in falsely; biometric systems prevent this.
  • A sanitary, touch-free option for companies who wish to limit physical contact and shared surfaces. Facial recognition or iris scanning systems are a good option for companies who are wary of unnecessary touchpoints during COVID-19; a business whose employees may frequently have substances on their hands may also find this option helpful.
  • Eliminate ongoing costs in regards to physical tokens. Some proximity-based clocking in systems will have fobs or cards which need to be ordered and replaced when new workers start, or existing workers lose their tokens. Biometric systems negate this need entirely.
  1. Proximity-Based Clocking In Systems

A more common and arguably easier method of monitoring employee movements is a proximity-based clocking in system. Workers using this type of device will have a token such as a key card or fob, which is held near the reader to record their time entry.

Some benefits of proximity-based clocking in systems include:

  • Easy implementation. To get started with this type of system, simply install the reader and hand out the tokens (after recording which employee is assigned to each token.)
  • If your business has existing card access to the building, you can use the same cards for your clocking in system.
  • Accuracy. These systems are highly accurate and can provide a centralized platform for time management.

One drawback to proximity-based systems is the potential for workers to ‘check in’ a friend using their token, which could compromise your data.


When choosing a time management solution for your small business, consider which attributes listed above are important to you and discuss your budget with a reputable supplier of high-quality clocking-in systems.

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