Q: What is the best employee timeclock?
A: It is hard to say what the best employee timeclock is, since choosing a timeclock really depends on your company's specific needs. Most time and attendance system providers offer their own timeclocks, so after choosing a system, you can then look at the clocks those providers offer.
The best timeclocks are those that have the features and tools your business needs. Some timeclocks only clock employees in and out, while others offer the ability to check schedules, review time cards, see paid time off accruals and ask for vacation days.
In addition, you need to ensure the timeclock you choose offers the functionality, in terms of the method you want employees following to clock in and out, you need. If, for example, you want employees to use swipe cards, the timeclock should be compatible with swipe cards. If you want them to use PIN numbers, the timeclock you choose should offer that. Additionally, if you want biometric options to prevent buddy punching, it should allow employees to clock in and out using their fingerprint or facial scan.
Another thing to consider when choosing a timeclock is the service and warranty options. Make sure you are covered should the timeclock malfunction in some way.
Q: How much does a time and attendance system cost?
A: The cost of a time and attendance system can vary greatly. How much you pay for a time and attendance solution depends on several factors, most notably how you want the system hosted – in the cloud or on-premises – and how many employees you have.
If you want a cloud-hosted system, expect to pay an ongoing monthly fee. Most providers charge a per-user fee, which ranges anywhere from $1 to $10 per employee. In addition to the per-user cost, some providers charge a base fee, which can range from $20 to $100 per month.
To calculate your cost for this type of system, you would multiply the number of employees you have by the per-user cost. If there is a base monthly fee, you would add that to your total to get your monthly costs for the service.
While most providers charge on a per-user basis, there are some that set prices based on a range of employees. For example, there might be a $25 flat fee for up to six employees, a $34 fee for up to 10 employees and so on.
If you want an on-premises system, the cost structure is completely different. Instead of ongoing monthly costs, you pay larger one-time, upfront fees for the software and user licenses. The software costs anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. There are then smaller fees for the user licenses.
The only other major cost associated with time and attendance systems is for timeclocks. If you want to use a traditional timeclock with your system, expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to upwards of a couple thousand dollars for each clock.
The costs of clocks vary based on why type of data recording options you want (swipe badge, PIN number, biometrics, etc.) and whether you want a clock that does more than just record when employees come and go.
Q: What is mobile time tracking?
A: Mobile time tracking refers to a time and attendance system's ability to manage the time of remote workers. Many systems include a mobile app or mobile-friendly website that allows on-the-go employees to clock in and out from their mobile devices. This option is especially valuable in today's working environment where more employees are working from outside the office.
What makes mobile time tracking especially appealing is that most systems offer geolocation and/or geofencing technology. This GPS tracking allows employers to keep close tabs on where their remote workers are punching in and out each day.
With geolocation, the system records the exact location of an employee each time they clock in or out. Employers can then see those locations and make sure the employees are where they are supposed to be.
Geofencing gives employers the ability to set location boundaries of where employees can clock in and out from. For example, employers can set boundaries around a worksite to ensure their workers are showing up each day. Without this option, an employee, in theory, could clock in and out from home and never show up at the worksite.
Some systems offer added mobile tracking features that will record the location of a remote employee throughout the day. The system will ping the mobile device every few minutes, which allows employers to see a map of where their remote employees were all day.