Your Guide to Small Business Time Clocks

buddy punching

Tracking employee time is a vital aspect of running a business. But it’s something that many business owners and managers struggle with, as it can be challenging and time-consuming to do it accurately. With the right time clock in place, you can simplify time and labor management while ensuring accuracy and compliance with labor regulations. Explore this guide to time clocks for small businesses, including what to look for and critical features that your company needs.

What to Look for in Time Clocks for Small Businesses

When you start looking at the different time clocks available, you’ll probably come across countless options, each with its own unique features and functionality. But knowing what to look for can help you narrow down the options. Some time clocks are built on time-tracking platforms that are designed for large organizations. These might fall out of the price range of what your company can afford to spend on a solution.

As you compare, consider which punch clocks are for small business clients. You want your time clock hardware to be affordable and easy to use, even for new employees.

We offer a detailed Time & Labor System Buyer’s Guide to help you decide which solution is the best for your business needs. It includes descriptions of features and functions, along with comprehensive checklists.

The Types of Time Clocks Available to Small Businesses

Comparing time clocks often involves looking at the different capabilities and features offered on each. Here are some of the most common types of clocks available to small business clients.

Manual time-tracking systems

A manual time-tracking system may include a spreadsheet or paper time sheet, rather than a time clock. But it may come as a surprise that over a third of employees in the U.S. still use manual tracking methods to manage their time. But employers who rely on manual tracking systems report having to correct errors 80 percent of the time. That statistic translates to a lot of time and money wasted on manual efforts.

Punch clocks

An employee punch clock is a type of time clock that records time punches for employees. When you think about a traditional time clock, this type may be what you envision. Before time-tracking software, most workplaces relied on a physical clock that employees used to punch their time data onto a card. Some workplaces still rely on punch clocks, but they’re not as common today.

Swipe clocks

Swipe clocks use individual cards assigned to employees to track their time. Upon arrival at or when leaving work, an employee can physically swipe their assigned card through the clock to record the time. Swipe time clocks are similar to punch clocks, although they use magnetic strips to differentiate between employees.

PIN clocks

Another time collection method uses an assigned personal identification number (PIN). Each employee has their own PIN, which they manually enter into the clock to punch in or out.

Biometric clocks

In the past, only large companies could afford biometric clocks, which use physical characteristics to differentiate between employees. But today’s biometric clocks are much more affordable, putting them within reach for small businesses. You can find employee time clocks that use finger scans, facial identification, and other physical identifiers to record time data for individual employees.

Critical Time and Attendance Clock Features

Of course, every organization will have its own unique list of must-have features in its time and attendance clocks, but there are a few that nearly every company can use.

Various punch methods

Across the various industries, companies have different needs regarding how employees clock in and out. For example, those in the manufacturing, hospitality, or healthcare industries might need clocks that don’t require employees to remove their PPE to record time punches. A biometric clock might be vital for a company dealing with the negative effects of buddy punching. As you consider different clocks, make sure to think about the punch method you want to use to capture time data.

Integration with payroll software

One of the purposes of tracking employee time is to ensure payroll accuracy. Hourly employees are paid for the hours they work, so correct data is vital in ensuring the accuracy of paychecks. Make sure that the time clock you choose includes software that integrates with the solution you use to process payroll. This capability allows the time and labor data to flow into the payroll system for accurate paychecks.

Remote or mobile capabilities

In today’s world, millions of employees work remotely or on the go. The option to clock in from a remote location may be a vital feature for your workforce. If this applies to your company, consider a web-based time clock that tracks time digitally rather than requiring a physical punch.

Job or location tracking

In many industries, the option to assign work hours to a specific job or location is essential. Those in the construction and professional services industries may find this feature to be especially important as they need to bill exact hours to their clients.

Businesses that operate in rough conditions, such as construction companies with outdoor job sites, may also look for rugged clocks that can withstand exposure to the elements.

Finding the right time clock for your business needs can transform the way you manage time and labor data. At WorkforceHub, we make it easy to track employees while reducing manual errors. Explore our time and attendance solution that works seamlessly with our selection of time clocks. You can get exactly what your organization needs at a price that fits the budget.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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