Time Recorder Clocks

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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Time clocks are devices used to monitor employee hours. While they can range from traditional punch-card clocks, to digital card readers, their basic function remains the same. They monitor employee hours by recording the time when an employee runs his card through the time clock as he begins and ends the workday. Although this is the primary function of these devices, they can also often provide a number of other services, depending on the needs of the business.

By creating a record of employee hours, time clocks also serve a few other basic functions. They can automate and regulate overtime, insuring that overtime hours (which generally pay time-and-a-half) are only used when necessary. They also make it easy for management to monitor employee tardiness, absenteeism, and other inefficient worker practices, such as extended lunches and multiple breaks. The information collected can be utilized to construct the most effective schedules, regulate holidays and sick days, and even determine which employees are eligible for certain bonuses and benefits.

Time Clocks and Data Management

Some time recorder clocks store information locally, providing a printout or another type of data that can be easily retrieved by management and evaluated. Other devices can be directly linked to a company's system. These types of time recorder clocks can transmit data directly to programs that can compile the information in a number of ways that have been predetermined by management. The compiled data can be retrieved by the appropriate individuals through the company computer system. It is then usually reviewed for accuracy before being approved and implemented. Many suppliers also provide software specifically designed to manage, calculate, and compile the data transmitted by the devices. This software can usually be quickly integrated into the computer systems of most businesses.

Time clocks are generally available directly from manufacturers. Larger organizations tend to work with a single manufacturer, especially if they can rely on that manufacturer for service and technical support. While occasional service has always been necessary, technical support has only become a major factor since time recorder software has been implemented for use with the clocks. Manufacturers, however, tend to deal in bulk sales, putting them outside the needs of smaller businesses. Smaller businesses usually deal with individual vendors. Vendors are resellers commissioned by larger manufacturers, and are often better equipped to meet the budget and needs of a small business.

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