All You Need to Know About Choosing the Right Time Clock

Employee timeclock

A time clock is not a one-fits-all tool. Different business entities have different time management needs. Subsequently, you need to have comprehensive information that will facilitate choosing the right time clock for your business. What do you need to know?

When do you require choosing the right time clock?

To save time and money

Calculating employee working time manually is a demanding task. One has to use a pen and paper to track the time and transfer the details to the main report. Not only do you waste time, but you also incur the cost of the stationery. Choosing the right time clock automates the process enabling you to channel the resources to other productive activities.

Choosing the right time clock also helps you automate data collection and processing. It also eliminates human error during the calculation of employee working time. Minutes and breaks are hard to calculate and sometimes you will notice the error after processing the paychecks thus incurring a loss.

Time clocks also reduce fraud. Some employees can decide to clock when they are off or ask their friends to clock for them. Choosing the right time clock helps in tracking the location of the employees during a clocking process to prevent payment of non-worked hours.

Lastly, choosing the right time clock helps to streamline the change of a shift. You no longer chase employees to clock in and release their colleagues during a shift take over. A time clock saves you the time used in supervising a change of shift.

To employ fairness

Employees are usually tracking time and their colleagues for fairness. Choosing the right time clock eliminates the human element that applies bias in the treatment of employees. All that a time clock does is to calculate time regardless of the nature of the employee.

Choosing the right time clock also fosters justice in the workplace. Some employees experience personal issues that result in their absence from their workplace. The use of time clocks assures employees that their absentee colleagues will not receive payment for being absent.

To Keep Tabs on Attendance Issues

After choosing the right time clock, you can track systematic tardiness and absence. The behaviors cost your company money since they translate to lost productivity. They also make employees switch from a working-mode to a starting-mode thus wasting time.

When temporary employees become absent, you will end up incurring the extra costs of recruiting and training new employees. Choosing the right time clock helps you track and replace a habitual absent temporary employee before the expenses pile up.

Choosing the right time clock also helps to prevent morale reduction among employees. Absent employees overburden other employees making them less motivated to work. A time clock helps in the identification and replacement of absentee employees promptly.

To manage real-time costs

Knowing your real-time costs facilitate efficient decision making on labor costs. Choosing the right time clock helps you identify job positions that consume the most time. Thus, you get to know the areas that incur the highest labor costs.

After choosing the right time clock, you also get to know the areas that consume high overtime costs. A time clock helps you identify operations that consume high overtime to get done. Thus, you can identify less productive employees or the need for more employees.

Choosing the right time clock also helps you compare your labor cost and time with the industrial standard. You can also use a time clock to compare employee time with your level of production. Lastly, You make better time estimates after choosing the right time clock.

Qualities of the best time clocks


Choosing the right time clock should help you account for payroll policies. It should help in the reduction of the human element that causes oversight on some forms of absence, such as time offs and vacation time. The automatic calculation of the absence increases the accuracy of the payroll.

The human element also gives rise to employee-time calculation errors. Choosing the right time clock should match labor costs with labor time. Thus, you end up eliminating the loss related to the erroneous calculation of labor costs.


Do you keep on changing your work sites? Then, choosing the right time clock should support mobility enabling you to manage labor time wherever you go. A portable time clock should also support the exchange of crews from different sites.


When choosing the right time clock, durability is a paramount feature to consider. Some working environments are harsh and they require a time clock that is hardy. Your time clock should withstand the elements of your working environment.

Business expansion support

Choosing the right time clock should support your business growth. A wrong time clock can slow the pace of your business growth. If possible, then choose a time clock that can track unlimited employees and labor cost codes.

Ability to capture biological traits

You should manage to capture biological traits that are unique to every employee using a time clock. The process fortifies the accuracy of time management within the workplace. When choosing the right time clock, have in mind that it should manage to differentiate between individual employees

Prevention of buddy punching

Sometimes employees can get cheeky and decide to defraud you through impersonation. Choosing the right time clock ensures that each employee clocks in individually without buddy punching for their colleagues. Notably, buddy punching is one of the most expensive workforce frauds in the workplace.

Prevention of remote working time fraud

Some circumstances compel your employees to work from a remote location. Innovative technology can help you manage time for the employees that are working remotely. Thus, you should consider a system that will integrate with the internet and other technological solutions when choosing the right time clock.

Employee friendliness

You should consider giving a reward for the extra time that employees use to accomplish a task. The move boosts the morale of the employees making them willing to spare time for the benefit of your business entity. When choosing the right time clock, you should consider the one that keeps a record of extra time that an employee uses to the interest of your entity.

Increasing productivity

Choosing the right time clock calls for a consideration of increased productivity. Your system should track productivity rates among employees and provide a ranking report. Subsequently, you can easily track the best employee in terms of productivity. Not only can you decide to reward such an employee, but you can also approach him or her to share insights with other employees on how to increase productivity.

System integration

You should also remember that you have other existing systems when choosing the right time clock. Thus the time clock should integrate with other systems seamlessly without causing sudden interruptions in the future. Additionally, choosing the right time clock should support multiple identification methods, such as fingerprints and swipe cards.

Ease of usage

If you are choosing the right time clock, you should select the one that supports self-service among employees. Having a time clock that has a cluttered interface requires supervision during the clocking-in exercise. Subsequently, your business entity will incur extra costs due to the supervision.

An audit trail

Choosing the right time clock should enable you to view the original time sheet along with any adjustments that the supervisor or manager did on the system. Such a feature helps you to query the changes for their authenticity. If any change is not authentic, then you should know that your time clock is prone to compromise and act accordingly to fortify access to the time-management reports.

Proactive alerts

You should consider a system that provides proactive alerts when choosing the right time clock. Such a feature sends prompts whenever an operation gets close to the consumption of overtime. Thus, you end up saving extra labor costs. The feature also helps you track an employee that forgets to clock-in despite being present in the workplace.

Ability to manage paid time offs

You should think about the management of paid time offs when choosing the right time clock. Your system should be smart enough to distinguish between absenteeism and approved breaks. Thus it should have a feature that either an employee or a manager should use to mark time-off as paid.

Automatic updates

You should remember that technology is not static when choosing the right time clock. Technology keeps on evolving, and so does time clocks. Subsequently, you should consider choosing the right time clock that updates automatically to keep it relevant for your day-to-day use. You do not need a system that requires outsourcing for support to align it with the current technological changes.

Immediate response to report prompts

Some labor decisions require speed. Thus, you should consider choosing the right time clock that will provide immediate response to when prompted for a report. Additionally, the system should provide a report based on any period choice, such as on hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.

Types of time clocks, and their pros and cons

Punch clock

When using a punch clock, you place a time card on the clock to get it stamped. Afterward, the manager records the time on the payroll manually. The clock is easy to use, but it is manual.

Magnetic swipe, bar code, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) time clocks

Using the magnetic-swipe time clock requires you to swipe your card. On the other hand, using a bar code time clock requires you to scan a code that your card features. Lastly, using an RFID time clock calls for you to tap your card on the system. Even though the said time clocks are easy to use, some employees often forget their credentials at home thus wasting time when going back for them.

Password-enabled time clock

When using a password-enabled time clock, you need to key-in your personal identification number (PIN) on a pad. Even though the clock is easy to use, it is prone to buddy punching. Additionally, the clock requires resetting whenever an employee forgets his or her PIN.


The biometric time clock uses fingerprints to record time. The clock eliminates the chances of buddy punching. However, poor quality of scanners gives rise to several false negatives. The clock also requires frequent cleaning for hygiene reasons.


You can use your computer or a smartphone to punch time when using an online time clock. The clock is ideal when you are working from a remote location. However, the clock is prone to time theft.

Interactive voice response (IVR)

You need to make a call when using the IVR. The clock supports remote workers. However, the use of smartphones has made IVR obsolete.

Costs of time clocks

When choosing the right time clock, its cost depend on whether it is a cloud-based or on-premises system. Regarding the cloud-based time clock, you will be incurring monthly charges after its installation. On the other hand, an on-premises time clock requires a one-time installation fee.

When to replace or upgrade your time clock

Choosing the right time clock should enable you to improve time management among your employees. If your time clock does not meet the objective, then it is the right time to replace or upgrade it. However, replacement applies to both manual and automated time clocks while upgrading is solely for the latter.

Who do you engage with your time clock needs?

Several entities do not have an idea on where to source for a time clock. When choosing the right time clock, you can opt for online browsing. Alternatively, referrals can aid in choosing the right time clock.

In conclusion, choosing the right time clock not only saves you time and money but also increases productivity in your entity. For free advice on time clocks, we, the America Back Office, will be happy to help you pick and choose the right solution for you.