The Face Clock helps employers by offering a touchless way to clock in and out. But its benefits extend far beyond germless surfaces. Learn how the Face Clock works and how it will help your business.
By Larry Kagan, Founder & CEO, Baron Payroll
A long line of workers punching in, all touching the same keypad – it’s a recipe for crowding and germs, both of which can be a problem in the COVID-19 era.
The Face Clock, a biometric time clock that scans an employee’s face in seconds, doesn’t require a bunch of people touching the same surface. And it helps companies keep the most accurate time records and prevent time theft at the same time.
It’s not wildly expensive or exceedingly futuristic. It uses technology that matches an employee’s photo to scan their facial features, similar to cell phone technology that scans your face to open your device.
The clock also helps business owners comply with the New York State laws requiring employers to keep daily time records because it connects to our cloud-based software.
If the Department of Labor comes knocking on your door, you can have confidence the Face Clock maintains accurate records of employees’ time because it is impossible to cheat it. DOL knows your employee had to physically be there to clock in and out, and your time records are pristine.
Put simply, the Face Clock works, in many cases, better than other timekeeping options.
For businesses, it takes a short time to get set up, and then you probably won’t think much about it again. It runs smoothly and simply for employees and employers while allowing companies to comply with labor laws.
“They love it so much that they refer friends to us because of it,” said Bill Elkins, a sales executive for Baron Payroll.
How the Face Clock works
The face clock uses two built-in cameras to take a three-dimensional image of the employee’s face.
When an employer chooses the Face Clock, it typically takes less than 20 minutes to mount on the wall and connect it to wireless internet.
After that, the employer will enter employees’ IDs and register their faces into the system.
When an employee walks up to the clock, situated at about the height of a light switch, it uses a proprietary algorithm to match a person with their profile in the system. The clock analyzes data mostly on the upper half of a person’s face, like their cheekbones, eyes and nose.
This can be tricky for people wearing cloth face coverings, so employees may need to quickly remove their mask only for a second or two to ensure the scan works.
It typically can read people’s faces fine if they wear glasses or have a beard. Sometimes, long hair, like bangs that cover the eyebrows, can hinder the scan, but simply moving hair out of the way resolves this problem.
The clock works with the timekeeping software to log the times an employee punches in or out.
“I was sincerely surprised by how easy it was,” said Eric Jones, president of Workforce PayHub, a Michigan-based payroll services company. “It’s got to be the easiest clock to set up, in my mind, because you literally put it on the wall, connect it to Wi-Fi and you’re done.”
Because the system uses its own algorithm, there are minimal security concerns for employees because the information that could be gleaned from the system likely wouldn’t be sensical to outside parties. The system doesn’t store repeated images of employees; it just logs the times they come and go.
How it compares to other clocks
The Face Clock isn’t the first or only biometric timekeeping device. The term “biometric” essentially means physical identity of the human body, like fingerprints, retinal scans, palm prints or the shape of your face.
Other biometric clocks include fingerprint and hand clocks. With both of those options, employees are touching the same surface over and over, creating the potential to transfer germs.
“We’re actually getting more interest now that we have an option for them to just walk up to the clock and look at it, without having to touch a single thing. It’s more sanitary,” Jones said.
But beyond that, other biometric clocks still can allow employees to skirt them. For example, with a fingerprint clock, an employee only enrolls a few fingers. Purposely using a finger that’s not enrolled, the employee could pretend the clock isn’t properly reading their fingerprint.
However, with a face clock, the employee has only one face and as soon as they get close to the clock, it clocks them in and out. If an employee holds up a picture of their face, it won’t work because the image is only two-dimensional.
Some companies still use systems that require employees to punch in and out with a punch card or on a keypad. Those, too, can be cheated by employees who “buddy punch,” or punch a clock using someone else’s card or code.
All of these methods of cheating the clock cost a company money. Using the Face Clock can help prevent this time theft.
The Face Clock also prevents people from being able to vandalize it. It is sealed, durable and can be used in factories and dirty work environments..
“Employees can’t get into the clock’s menu system. Only designated administrators can. If someone tries to tamper with the clock, let’s say take it off the wall or do something to it, the clock shuts down,” Elkins said.
How it helps with recordkeeping
As a business owner, keeping accurate time records for all your employees prevents problems if the Department of Labor reaches out.
Sometimes, the DOL may want records of hours worked by a terminated employee, from years ago. With some timekeeping systems, it can be hard to dig up old records, and even harder to prove the hours the employee actually worked.
The audits and investigations can be stressful, time-consuming and costly for a company.
Because the Face Clock uses biometrics and can’t be cheated, records can prove to the Department of Labor that an employee was, without a doubt, working when the system says they were.
The Face Clock improves attendance by ensuring employees arrive on time and are at work when they say they are. Plus, it provides critical documentation if an audit or investigation comes about.
The Face Clock is almost like an insurance policy, and it can be the best insurance a business owner has for employee compliance.
What it costs
Some biometric clocks can cost upward of $3,000.
But the good news is our Face Clock isn’t one of them.
It costs about $600. And, as noted, the setup is quite painless.
There’s a monthly charge for the cloud-based software subscription that connects with the Face Clock.
The price is one of the clock’s most attractive features. The low price, combined with the potential to keep employees honest about the hours they work, makes for money saved.
It’s phenomenal. Business-owners tell me the face clock pays for itself in two months, and all the savings after that goes right to their bottom-line.