Such systems used to replace attendance lists signed by employees on each working day. Identifiers and readers were revolutionary, because they automated the process of recording the working time. Today, however, they are fast becoming things of the past. Standard TNA systems are not advanced enough to meet the requirements of contemporary enterprises.
Classic time and attendance solutions are basically readers located at the entrance to the company premises and identifiers (cards) which employees have to place against the readers to record the fact and the time of their arrival/exit. Due to some misuses (e.g. using someone else’s card), such solutions had to be extended with the options of employee identification through biometric data (e.g. papillary lines) or images from a camera that captured each person using the reader.
Disadvantages of standard TNA systems
The TNA system we know were developed several decades ago. And they have not changed much since that time. Meanwhile, technology has advanced and it offers possibilities of which employers could not dream of in the past. So why should entrepreneurs reach out for outdated solutions? A TNA system which only enables recording employee entries and exits resembles an abacus in the land of computers. Sure, it can be used to count things, but the process is tedious and inefficient.
What are the basic downsides of outdated TNA solutions?
Little benefit to the company using the solution. In practice, TNA systems can perform only two functions, i.e. record the working time and control the access to premises.
Limited capabilities. Standard TNA systems measure the time employees spend at work, but they are unable to verify how the working time is actually used. In fact, they fail to perform its key function, which is to record the actual working time.
Vulnerability to misuses. A standard TNA system can be easily cheated, e.g. an employee can clock his or her colleague in, even though that colleague fails to arrive at work.
Incomplete data. It is common for employees to forget about using the card, which makes the time and attendance data incomplete.
Low practicality, high costs. A standard TNA system is very difficult to use in open spaces or in enterprises which occupy many locations and rooms: placing a reader/turnstile at each entrance is simply impractical and expensive. That is the case, for instance, with logistic hubs that have multiple docking stations which make it possible for people to leave the building unnoticed.
Non-compliance with regulations. Even the seemingly advanced functions such as the use of biometric data or a camera for the identification of employees entering/exiting the premises leave much to be desired. The Personal Data Protection Office asserts there is no legal basis for the employer to process biometric data of employees or to use video surveillance for the purpose of recording time and attendance. In this respect, therefore, such systems also fail.
No support of remote work. Common TNA systems can operate only within the company buildings. They cannot support the working modes which have recently become very widespread, e.g. home office.
IoT – a new technology for new times
Do employers have no other choice but to use outdated and unreliable technologies? Of course not! State-of-the-art solutions such as TIMATE offer entrepreneurs more possibilities than the simple recording of time and attendance. They serve to support team management, employee safety monitoring, employee location and the use of the working time.
Though many entrepreneurs find it hard to believe, they really do not need readers and turnstiles in order to record the working time and to monitor its use. Thanks to the IoT technology, they can use smart identifiers and central stations to make the entire process self-operating, totally automatic and requiring no actions from employees. The only thing that employees have to do is to carry their ID cards with them.
Importantly, data collected by TIMATE can be effectively used for purposes other than recording time and attendance. The information about location and the time devoted to particular tasks enable better work organisation as well as detection and elimination of irregularities in production processes. Such data ensure employee safety by allowing to quickly locate a person who had an accident and they also support evacuation. The data regarding the employees’ moving, coming and going show whether they work in line with their job requirements, e.g. whether a warehouse operator is on the move and an office worker sits at his desk. This type of information can also be used to detect falls and organise immediate help if someone has been injured.
Modern-day IoT systems process all of that data automatically, relieving managers of some routine tasks related to personnel management. They also allow to share time and attendance data with employees, e.g. on cards equipped with displays. As such, they support assessment and motivation.
Today, companies that wish to record time and attendance can choose from among multiple options which significantly exceed the capabilities of standard TNA systems. These options are worth considering if an entrepreneur looking for such a solution wants to record time and attendance, but also to monitor business processes and identify problems. The elimination of problems results in better work organisation and actual savings. That is something a TNA system won’t do for you.