Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Are you looking for a way to better control the inflow and outflow of employees in your company? To perfectly manage issues such as overtime, absences and replacements?

Then a great idea is to rely on a time clock! The time control is mandatory in many companies, but it can be done manually, electronically or mechanically. Want to know why the clock is one of the best options for this task? Then read our article carefully!




Summary

  • The time clock is the modern and technological way of keeping track of the entry and exit of employees in a company.
  • You can choose between cartographic, magnetic card or biometric time clocks. Each one of these types offers its advantages.
  • Choose a time clock with good software and with a storage capacity suitable for the size of your company.

The Best Time Clock: Our Picks

Time Clock: Shopping Guide

It’s time to bring all the details about time clocks. We searched with businessmen the main doubts about the subject, we made detailed researches and found complete answers. Read our shopping guide and understand everything about the time clock!

Imagem mostra uma mulher fazendo anotações ao lado de um relógio de ponto.

The use of a time clock gives more agility and security to the company. (Source: auremar/ 123rf.com)

What is a time clock and what is it used for?

The time control (clocking in system) is a fundamental part of any company with employees. It marks the entry and exit of all employees, showing the amount of hours and days worked and pointing out possible absences, overtime and unexpected exits. This control can be done manually, mechanically or electronically.

For those who prefer the last option, the time clock is the equipment to look for. It will be responsible for giving you accurate information about the entries and exits of each of the employees. There are devices that work via biometrics, simple card, magnetic card, digital signature and more. To choose the best, you need to know the size and needs of your company.

Did you know that the eight-hour working day was a great achievement for workers? Before, it was common for them to spend between twelve and sixteen hours at their jobs, which led to cruel states of exhaustion. It was in 1817, after many strikes and protests, that the eight-hour day was established.

What regulates clocking?

It is mandatory to keep filed records of entries and exits for five years

Recently, new legislation was approved generating a modernisation in the matter. In order for contractors and employees to have greater control over the records, it is now mandatory to have filed records of entries and exits, as well as clocks with printers.

Thus, employees must also have records of their entries and exits, and time clocks are required to have enough memory to store all data for at least five years. The time record is fundamental to prevent disagreements between employees and employers. With it, the records are all guaranteed, reducing the incidence of fraud and irregularities.

What are the advantages of a time clock?

Some people prefer to do things the old-fashioned way and keep a manual time record. This option, however, offers much less security: notebooks and sheets of paper can be destroyed very easily, leading to the loss of important information.

The time clock allows the storage to be virtual, and can be taken to different HDs. Thus, in addition to the ease of organization, the chance of loss becomes minimal. Another advantage of the time recorder is to prevent fraud, since a simple signature is no longer enough, but the presence of biometrics or a card.

A manual system is much more susceptible to any kind of falsification or irregularity. Keeping time and attendance in order in your company is to comply with the law and to be on the safe side. The only disadvantages of doing it electronically are the higher cost and the need for eventual maintenance. We prepared a table with the advantages and disadvantages of the time clock:

Advantages
  • Prevents fraud and irregularities
  • Much higher security: Virtual storage hinders loss of information
  • Greater organization and ease of access
  • More modern and technological system
Disadvantages
  • Higher cost
  • Need for constant maintenance

What are the types of time clock?

Once you have decided on a time clock, you can still choose between three main types: Biometric, cartographic, and with magnetic card. It’s time to talk a little more about them!

  • Biometric Time Clock: This is the most modern of the time clocks. It registers entries and exits through biometrics, that is, fingerprints. There is no chance of fraud, nor of serious faults. A very safe method, but a little more expensive.
  • Magnetic card time clock: Uses a magnetic card that is given to the worker and has unique records on it, and is non-transferable. It can also work by barcode. The data is recorded both in the system and on the card itself.
  • Cartographic Time Clock: This is the simplest method and the most similar to the manual one: The employee receives a simple card made with cardboard and inserts it into a machine, which prints the entry and exit records. Although less technological, it is quite efficient.

Each of these methods has models with variations in capacity, and can be used in companies with varying amounts of employees.

Biometric time clock Magnetic card time clock Cartographic time clock
Form of registration Via fingerprint Via magnetic card Via simple card
Form of registration Through biometrics Through a bar code or magnetic Through name and data on the card
Advantages Greater security and technology Great technology without the risk of reading errors Cheaper system, although still efficient

Purchase Criteria: Factors for choosing a Time Clock

You already know that you need a good time clock for your company. Now, we have selected four technical criteria to help you choose the best possible model:

Below, more information about each of them!

Software

All types of time clocks need software to store their information, manage printouts and keep everything organized. Thus, the manufacturers of the hardware also need to have contact with another company that provides this software.

Usually you will have information about the software company, with phone numbers and other forms of contact. They will also be responsible for any updates and maintenance of the system. Find out if this developer can be trusted or if there are complaints against them!

Imagem mostra um antigo sistema manual de registro de ponto.

In the pre-software era, time recording was much more complicated. (Source: David Hagerman/ 123rf.com)

Extra Features

As well as marking the arrival and departure times of each worker, printing vouchers and storing data, the time recorder can also have some extra features that make life much easier for the company.

A good feature of some time clocks is the automatic production of reports

We can cite, for example, the automatic production of reports. With it, access to all data generated by the time clock becomes easy and automatic, without the need for an employee to produce them. Sound alerts such as sirens to indicate the end of working hours and screens displaying information are also other resources that can give agility and practicality to your company’s environment.

Storage capacity

We have already mentioned that the time clocks should store the records for at least five years. However, how many workers does the chosen model have the capacity to keep data in the system? It is possible to find models that range from 50 to thousands in this aspect.

If you have a small company with little turnover, there is no need for many records, and you can choose something simple in this regard. But otherwise, you will really need to spend more money and opt for the higher capacity time clocks.

Feeding

How is your time clock powered? Most models are electric, but in a day of power failure the whole registration system can be damaged. Some of the best models offer an alternative battery that keeps them running in case of emergency, and others are completely battery operated. You can make your choice in this regard by thinking about which option makes you most comfortable.

(Featured image source: Natchavakorn Songpracone/ 123rf.com)

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