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By Admin 24 Jun, 2021

What are the various options to capture attendance?

It is been a while that I am writing on–why attendance system has to be treated not just as an HR function. But an enterprise solution which needs sophisticated automation.

In my blogs on attendance system, I tried to cover in depth the criticality of various attendance functions.

Ranging from how to select the right attendance software to what are the selection parameters of an attendance system, and how to identify the right attendance service provider. I have discussed in detail, which biometric fits the best for your attendance system, and also created infographics on the difference between .

In an earlier post I also emphasised how fake finger mechanisms causes financial loss to an organisation. basic attendance system & Enterprise attendance system

Today I am writing on multiple modes of time and attendance capturing for your employees as per business requirement. Ranging from desk jobs to field jobs, remote location working to work from home. I am sure it will be interesting to find what type of jobs people do & how challenging it is to capture their attendance.

Let me first define what is a Time and attendance system?

It seems common sense: Time & Attendance system is a process by which one identifies whether the employee has attended to work at the said time.

But for doing this, we must take into account all the time attendance policies, practices, statutory compliance. Inputs for attendance, scheduling tools, record maintenance & payroll generation. This combination makes it complex.

Let us list down the various options to capture attendance.

Biometric Devices

How the biometric can be implemented for various work profiles.

Biometric devices for office / desk staff attendance.

Biometric devices is best option to capture attendance for staff. Installing a biometric device near the entrance, makes it accessible to all employees to mark IN & out punches. Thus making it a full proof attendance marking system.

Biometric devices for factory workers / labourers working in manufacturing units.

Facial recognition biometric device is the best option, with the nature of work that may vary from a manufacturing unit to another unit. In our experience, most of the worker’s finger- texture keeps changing, because of nature of their work. It eliminates the option of finger based biometric. The facial recognition technology has enhanced over the period & it is a safe bet to use these devices now.

Biometric devices for retail stores employees.

Biometric devices again is the best option. As we all understand the environmental difference between an office, factory, hospitality business & retail outlet. The type of biometric device will vary for retail stores.

The selection of the biometric hardware to be deployed also depends on the employee strength & number of shifts on the floor.

For a hypermarket format a finger based biometric with one device for check-in & another for check- out is a must, as this helps to find deviation against planned roaster / schedule for employees. You can refer to my case study on retail attendance.

For smaller retail outlet less than 20 employees, an office type biometric set up works. For still smaller size retail, mobile based solution works fine, refer to mobile attendance capturing section.

Biometric devices for attendance of students and learners.

Portable biometric devices is the best option to mark attendance inside the classroom. These devices are sleek, rigid & tough, come with power back up, work with SIM based internet technology to transfer data real time. Attendance marking for school & college students have never been so easy.

Mobile based attendance capturing solution

List of job roles where it is perfect to use a mobile attendance system.

Mobile based attendance for sales & field employees.

App based solution with option to geo tag the employee attendance has been a boon for organisations with people on field. Let me put this in other words, any business where employees have to travel out of office for service calls, support, sales, customer relationship management needs mobile based attendance capturing system. The recent apps are highly sophisticated & take care of high level of accuracy including any misuse, it even has selfie mode to reconfirm someone’s presence at the location.

The mobile apps work in remote locations & basements with no internet connectivity. It still captures the time & attendance in an offline mode, allowing to sync once the employee is in the network coverage area. This attendance app is available in both IOS & Android version.

Mobile based attendance for smaller retail outlets / employees deployed at client site.

This has been an area of pressing challenge in recent times. As outsourcing business is flourishing and retail chain outlets are expanding at a fast pace. These organisations needs a cost effective mode of attendance capturing because the number of employees at each location is handful. But spread across various locations. These organisations work on high volume & low margins. Hence creating a cost effective attendance solution was the need of the hour.

Mobile based attendance with geo fencing is the best solution currently available in the attendance market space. The solution allows to geo fence the store location or a client location where the employee is deployed. The employees are restricted to mark attendance using the registered mobile device only from the geo fenced location.

We have heard about the resistance of employees in accepting this system, but a correct employee orientation, attendance guidelines & processes have seen good success.

Traditional options for attendance capturing

Proxy attendance marking is alive even today, maybe because of practical reasons, in many organisations. In small, as well as some big organisations. There are cases where due to compliance reasons biometric devices can’t be installed on client site, mobile phones are not allowed in. The only way to mark attendance in such scenarios is, manager approves it over the attendance screen on behalf of the onsite resources. So at least manual efforts are gone & data is available in digital format. It even has an essence of manager taking the ownership of employee attendance.

Attendance upload scenarios where companies have depots / satellite offices with 5-6 employees, biometric or mobile are not possible because of cost, security, infrastructure challenges. In such cases either the site in-charge or HR coordinator manually consolidates the data in a specified XLS template to upload this on the HRMS system.

Future ready time & attendance capturing features

Contactless attendance is a new technology corporates are using. The employees are given mobile based digital key installed on their smart phones. As they come in the proximity of the office door it automatically marks the attendance. Giving a great user experience.

Hamster devices TABs and OTG capable smart phones can attach to small biometric device called hamster, this is handy & portable device which can be carried to the employee desk for marking. Or can be kept on a manager’s desk inside a parking lot where employees can come to mark their attendance. These small biometric hamster devices do not need its own power, storage & internet. They use resources of the smart devices. The best feature: the software can geo-tag & click a selfie.

Timesheet has been used for many years by IT & engineering companies. But it still continues to feature in future technologies. Though modern timesheets have become sophisticated, it help in clocking employee’s productive hours and approval by the concern team manager, and also connects with billing, expenses, and project management tools.

SSO: Commonly known as single sign on. Technologically progressive company now host their complete solution over the cloud. Since all the solutions are on cloud, it becomes a challenge for employees to remember login credential for so many different apps. But with single-sing-on, employee only logs into the cloud. The rest is taken care of using active directory.

The 1st login to the day is treated as the IN & the last log out is the end of the day punch. Employees will not have to login separately in the attendance system to mark their attendance. Hence SSO comes handy & the employee does not miss a punch in any case.

As we all know & I strongly believe, life is a journey of learning & growing. If you come across any other modes to capture attendance apart from the listed ones, or a system your time office has implemented, please share. I will be happy to add to this list.

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