What is a digital punch clock?
A digital punch clock is a rather new way of tracking time and making sure employees are on time and that they get the correct salary. A digital version of a punch clock will let your employees clock in and out directly from their phone or computer. This enables a smoother experience for the employee and you as an employer. The employees won’t need to get to a specific location inside your area to clock in, and you as an employer won’t have to maintain the hardware (77% of physical punch clocks are replaced by a new one after only 2 years due to heavy use).
Why should you use a digital punch clock instead of a physical one?
Most new businesses prefer to use a digital punch clock instead of a physical one. So why is that? Isn’t it more secure to have a physical punch clock, where employees actually need to physically be in the room to punch in? A few years ago it very well might’ve been safer to use physical punch clocks, at least if you’re using biometric clocks. But nowadays with GEO-fencing, QR-generators, WiFi-restrictions and more the digital versions are usually cheaper, more reliable and requires less admin time.
When choosing a digital punch clock you’ll be faced with a lot of options, some punch clocks cater to certain industries and their needs. If you’re a retail store you usually have a few full time employees per store, and then a lot of part-time employees which you’ll also use as backup whenever there’s increased demand or when your full time employees are away. With this information, you’ll want a punch clock that’s flexible, where you don’t need to adjust an employees schedule to enable your part-time employees to clock in.
If you’re in an industry where you can’t expect employees to use their own phones and they don’t have company phones, then you’ll need to look for a punch clock that suits your digital and physical needs, because you might have employees where you can use a digital punch clock, but then there might be a certain department that requires a physical one. There are companies that deliver both solutions, and it’s always cheaper and less admin to have multiple demands met by just one company or tool.
Different use cases
There are different use cases when people look for digital punch clocks.
40% of employers want to implement a digital punch clock to make it smoother for their employees to record their time. It takes less time to clock in and out every working day rather than having to manually record events and time in an excel spreadsheet or web portal.
30% of employers want to implement a digital punch clock to make sure that employees are at the correct location when starting their shift (half of all employers want more control of the working time of their employees).
Almost 40% of all employers need to faster and safer payroll process, a digital punch clock will improve the payroll process The American Payroll Association (APA) estimates that payroll automation can reduce payroll processing costs by as much as 80 percent. Much of the savings comes from reduced errors on invoices and paychecks.
How much time and money can you realistically save when getting a punch clock?
One of the most time-consuming aspects of payroll is when it comes to manually adding up all the time that your employees have clocked. Sick days, time off, overtime, or flexible work weeks can further complicate things. According to a recent survey, failing to track time off accurately can cost firms 3 to 15 percent of their total operating expenses!
With simple employee time clock software though, employees’ hours are automatically calculated; taking into account time off. Their hours can even be imported into QuickBooks, eliminating the need to transfer information manually, and doing away with errors.
The list, the best 10 digital punch clocks.
TimeplanGo is an excellent choice for most small businesses. You can get started with their free forever plan which gives you unlimited users and a digital punch clock with the ability to restrict clocking in/out when an employee is logged into the company wifi. If you want more features (like scheduling, HR and payroll integrations) you can upgrade to the ‘Plus’ plan which is affordable.
Clockify is a very good time tracking tool that enables you to seamlessly track time spent on projects and tasks. You should choose Clockify if you need to know where time is spent, rather than optimizing your payroll process to 100%.
Shiftbase is a full workforce management suite that let’s you schedule your employees and collect timesheets via their digital punch clock. You can integrate with various payroll systems and can easily do HR tasks. Pricing wise the software is competitive with their premium plan being £3.75 per month and employee. (30 employees = £112.5/month).
Jibble is focused on giving you a better time clock experience with their facial recognition software that let’s you turn any device into a time clock kiosk. Pricing starts at £1.8 per month and user, but it’s worth remembering that there are loads of features you’re missing out on when comparing to shiftbase for example.
Deputy is very similar to Shiftbase in that they’re offering a full suite of WFM solutions. But Deputy falls short on the pricing side, when it would cost £112.5/month to have 30 employees in shiftbase, in Deputy it would rather cost £147/month.
- Quickbooks time tracking
It can be a very seamless experience having time and payroll in the same software. And Quickbooks have built a great time tracking solution, but it’s quite expensive when you compare it to the competition. 30 employees would be a whopping £196/month, and if you want geofencing it’ll be £270/month.
Timedock sells both digital and physical punch clocks, their software isn’t the most advanced but what sets them apart from most other companies is their QR-code feature that enables employees to scan a QR code when they get to work that makes sure that buddy punching isn’t possible.
- When i Work
When i Work is quite similar to TimeplanGo in that they also have a strong scheduling, time and payroll integration solution for small businesses. But they’re almost 50% more expensive and don’t have a free plan you can start on.
Planday is probably the best designed software, which you could probably expect because it’s a Danish company. But the software isn’t only well designed it’s also really good. However the price is too steep according to us and they also lack a free plan.
TimeZynk is similar to Planday but without the fine design, instead it’s more of a barebones WFM for small business that does allow you to start with a free plan.