Here’s The Best Time Clock For The COVID-19 Era — No Human Contact Required

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.

LS-54

When I speak with business owners and HR professionals, one of the biggest challenges I hear is making sure “I have all of my new hire paperwork in order.”

One of the forms that I find the business owners fail to have done is the LS-54.  This form is the notice of pay rate and payday and is required by New York State. 

This form is needed every time you hire a new employee or an employee has an increase in pay rate.  This form is very easy to fill out, you need our employee’s rate of pay.  You need to know if they are weekly, monthly, or bi-weekly payroll when their payday is.  Whether it’s Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday and what their overtime rate is.  Then they sign it and you sign it and it’s done. 

What is your risk involved in not having one of these forms? 

There is a penalty of $5,000 plus double liquidated damages, which is another $5,000 to equal $10,000 in possible damages.  The risk is very high in not having the LS-54 filled out with each employee, by the way, there are different LS-54 forms for your hourly employees and there is also on for your salary employees. 

The good news is if you’re working with a payroll company they should be doing this for you already.  If they’re not what you could do is go to the New York state department of labor website and look up the LS-54 form notification of pay rate and payday.

Is Our Company Required To Offer Paid Time-Off?

Let’s talk about time-off.  I’m often asked are there any regulations requiring our company to pay employees for time off?  In the old days, the answer was NO.  Today, the answer is MAYBE. 

In states, like New York, there are laws that require some employers to pay for sick time.  Other business, just choose to provide paid time off as another employee benefit.  You may be wondering how many different time-of categories should our company have? Many companies have moved away from having separate time-off buckets for vacation, sick, and personal days. 

It’s easier for companies to combine all these buckets into one called Paid Time Off or PTO.  You may be thinking isn’t if best for our company just to give employees 2 weeks paid time off, all UPFRONT, every year?

  Not necessarily.  That’s old fashioned and was popular when businesses kept tracking of time off with a spreadsheet. Businesses would lose money if an employee took two weeks PTO in January and then suddenly quit in February? 

There is a better way.  Have your employees accrue a little bit of time and earn PTO every single pay period. Your payroll company should easily be able to do these two things for you: First, accrue PTO every pay period for all your employees, and two, accrue PTO based on each employee’s hire date. 

This way the system will automatically increase PTO accruals based on length of service, so employees with more tenure will automatically earn more PTO time.

Restaurant Scheduling Best Practices

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Welcome to the Baron Payroll blog. Today’s post addresses restaurant scheduling best practices. We have helped many restaurant owners improve and simplify their employee scheduling with Baron Scheduling, the leading scheduling system for the hospitality industry.

Extend Your Scheduling Forecast

If you make schedules available two weeks or more in advance, it demonstrates to your labor force that you care about their lives outside of work. The more notice you give, the easier it is for them to arrange childcare, schedule appointments, or take care of other obligations. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it goes a long way to inspire a dedicated crew. Even it some tweaking needs to be done after a schedule is created, you can have most shifts in place, especially if you have some associates with a set schedule.

Predictive scheduling provisions are gaining momentum and may affect you sometime in the near future. If you have these practices already in place before you are obligated legally, you will be ahead of the game. Besides, it makes good business sense to establish a supportive work environment where employees are valued and respected.

Cross-Train for Increased Schedule Flexibility

When you bring on a new employee, be upfront about the fact that servers have to bus tables once in a while and prep cooks have to sling dishes. The entry-level staff members will be eager to broaden their job skills and your personnel will be better able to respond to shifting customer levels on the fly.

Be Flexible

If you hire competent employees, why does it matter if they trade shifts? Many restaurant owners who have loosened up shift trade policies have seen an increase in accountability because their workers don’t want to lose the privilege. When hiring staff, find out what shifts they want to work and how many hours they want to work per week. This sounds like an obvious issue, but you would be surprised at how many employers overlook these important questions and then are frustrated when all of their employees want the same shifts. When analyzing competing potential employees with similar qualifications, schedule preferences could be a deciding factor.

Create Rules for Schedulers

If you are not the only one who makes schedules, develop rules for any supervisors or team leads who share the task. Use job codes to keep track of each employee’s skills and certifications and make sure you update them when required. Don’t assume the other schedule makers have the institutional knowledge you’ve acquired. Preserve useful information about schedule-making and other processes that have been refined over time.

Use Baron Scheduling for Scheduling Best Practices

If you are serious about adopting these methods, you need Baron Scheduling, the most powerful Workforce Management system for the hospitality industry. Baron Scheduling has dedicated tools that simplify restaurant employee scheduling. Call Baron Payroll today for a demo.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding WorkforceHUB™UPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers WorkforceHUB™, the unified Human Resources portal that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and organization.

WorkforceHUB™ includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. We’ve just added onboarding, benefits enrollment, performance reviews, and employee engagement! WorkforceHUB™ is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

Solve Manufacturing Employee Scheduling Problems

Today’s article is for small-medium-sized manufacturers whose manual scheduling processes are not doing the job.

Paper-based employee scheduling methods are:

  • Tedious and inefficient
  • Unable to quickly adjust to scheduling emergencies
  • Prone to inaccuracies
  • Not equipped to manage overtime
  • Difficult to share with employees

In addition, workers need to go through a manager or HR department to obtain schedule, time card, and PTO information and it is cumbersome for associates to submit and obtain shift change approvals.

Imagine if your production equipment was this outdated, ineffective, and inefficient.

These problems impact everyone in the business:

  • Owners overpay for labor, which reduces profit margins
  • Owners lose money due to high employee turnover
  • Owners are in danger of compliance violations
  • Company misses production deadlines which threatens client contracts and business reputation
  • Employees work more overtime than they want to
  • Team Members can’t view the schedule when they are not at work
  • Team Members have to go through a manager to request shift changes
  • Short-handed shifts force team members on-the-clock to pick up the slack, which, in turn, often causes employee burnout
  • Scheduling managers spend so much time building schedules that they have little time for other essential tasks
  • Scheduling managers can’t easily accommodate employee schedule preferences

Deep-rooted problems that affect every level of the organization require a powerful yet easy-to-implement solution. Baron Workforce Management Suite from Baron Payroll has tools to transform employee scheduling at manufacturing facilities.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Scheduling which offers expedited scheduling and Baron Time for integrated time and attendance tracking.

  • Set up schedules with drag-and-drop simplicity
  • Customizable job codes make sure the team members with the required skills are scheduled
  • System automation finds eligible staff members to cover open shifts
  • Customized system notifications reduce over-staffing and unplanned overtime
  • Complete mobile coordination for employees and management
  • Employee Self Service allows staff to manage their time cards, post shift requests, and monitor PTO accruals
  • Automatically creates audit-ready records

Baron Workforce Management Suite is the industry-leading customizable scheduling system for manufacturing facilities that run 24/7.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and company.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is designed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

Reduce Overtime Monitoring to Just Minutes a Week

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Today’s message is for business owners or managers with hourly employees whose shifts vary according to staffing needs. You are probably well aware that mismanagement of overtime can increase labor costs in addition to having significant compliance implications.

If overtime monitoring has become an overwhelming task that consumes several hours of your work week, we can free them up for you. Baron Workforce Management Suite with customizable overtime alerts can decrease overtime management to just a few minutes a week.

You simply set how many hours each employee is authorized to work and if the employee starts approaching the designated hours, the system will automatically notify you.

At that point, you can decide how to deal with the situation according to the current production needs, cost of labor allocations, and FLSA compliance ramifications. Overtime management is just one of the effective, convenient tools in our comprehensive cloud-based Workforce Management system. Call 631-266-2500 today to see what else Baron Workforce Management Suite can do for your business.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and organization.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is developed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.

Avoid The Top 3 Employee Scheduling Pitfalls

automated scheduling system

Today’s message is for business owners in the restaurant and retail industries.

Scheduling isn’t an easy task for businesses with irregular shifts and a degree of unpredictability in day-to-day staffing needs. Is your organization being tripped up by the following common employee scheduling pitfalls?

1. Understaffing
2. Overstaffing
3. Lack of Employee Involvement

Effective scheduling is fundamental for quality customer service, high employee loyalty, and maximum profitability.

Solution?

Baron Workforce Management Suite with Baron Scheduling

Baron Workforce Management Suite from Baron Payroll can transform employee scheduling.

  • Create schedules with drag-and-drop simplicity.
  • System automation finds eligible employees to cover open shifts.
  • View schedules by group, week, and color codes.
  • Fill last minute shift vacancies within seconds.
  • Reduce overstaffing and overtime with customized system notifications.
  • Employee Self Service empowers staff to manage their own shift trades.

Affordable Baron Workforce Management Suite will simplify your employee scheduling. Call Baron Payroll at 631-266-2500 to schedule a demo.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and company.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is established for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.

How Can The Virtual Trade Board Help Your Company?

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Today’s message focuses on one very important feature of Baron Scheduling: the Virtual Trade Board.

Filling holes in the schedule becomes much easier with the Baron Scheduling Virtual Trade Board. Instead of waiting for managers to circulate requests on their behalf, employees simply place requests on the Virtual Trade Board. Managers can quickly view, monitor and approve shift request changes online. Once a shift trade is approved, Baron Scheduling automatically notifies the appropriate employees.

The Virtual Trade Board offers solutions to scheduling troubles common to most industries:

Improved Schedule Oversight
Managers can monitor and approve shift changes all in one place. The Virtual Trade Board shows the big picture: all shift change requests from every team member.

Saves Time for Managers
Managers don’t have to contact individual employees about schedule changes. The Virtual Trade Board shows which associates have requested a shift change or additional shifts. Once a supervisor has approved a schedule change, Baron Scheduling informs the employee, eliminating the need for the manager to reach out to the employee. No more phone calls, texts, or emails required to communicate with employees about schedule changes.

Saves Time for Employees
Employees don’t have to track down a supervisor or leave a message on his/her voice mail to request a shift change or pick up an open shift. It only takes a few seconds to put a request on the convenient Virtual Trade Board.

Baron Scheduling is an easy, reasonably-priced advanced scheduling solution that integrates with our Baron Time time and attendance solution. The Baron Scheduling Virtual Trade Board is the proactive way to handle schedule changes and empower staff members. For details on how the Virtual Trade Board can solve your organization’s individual scheduling issues, call today for a demo.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and business.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

Headache-Free Scheduling with Baron Scheduling

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Introducing Baron Scheduling by Baron Payroll. Baron Scheduling is a convenient advanced scheduling solution that integrates with our Baron Time time and attendance system in the Baron Workforce Management Suite.

Baron Scheduling revolutionizes the scheduling process for both managers and associates. It delivers managers smart tools for easy, hassle-free scheduling and allows employees to take over many tasks previously done by supervisors.

  • Baron Scheduling does more than just schedule employees; it helps you manage and empower your employees to engage with scheduling and reduces a lot of the burden from your management team.
  • Baron Scheduling helps get rid of over-staffing and reduces overtime with customized system warnings.
  • Baron Scheduling swiftly identifies gaps in coverage before it’s too late and sends email and SMS notifications, so you know when there’s a problem before it gets out of hand.
  • System automation finds eligible employees to cover open shifts.
  • Create schedules with drag-and-drop simplicity, view schedules by group, week, and color code for simple identification, and fill last minute shift vacancies within seconds.

There are preset templates to help you create schedules promptly or copy and paste your own templates for complete customization.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and business.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is developed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.