Should I Use an Old-School Time Clock

Nov 22 2022

I've mentioned before how Willard Bundy patented the first employee time clock back in 1888.

That very technology is still being used today. A piece of paper printed with a timestamp. From the looks of it, there are probably thousands of time clocks (still being sold) that do the same thing.

I'm not going to say you shouldn't, but if you do, you might want to ask yourself one simple question.

What do my employees think?

It’s 2022 and this is how I’m clocking in and out

One employee writes on TikTok "It’s 2022 and this is how I’m clocking in and out".

But what's even more revealing is the Daily Dot claims the TikTok video skyrocketed to 2 million views. That means something.

Shares included "That’s the way I clocked in and out in 1988", "I quit a job with no notice once bc i couldn’t figure out how to work this", and "As a payroll administrator I would definitely quit if I had to manually add everyone’s hours this way".

It's safe to assume they think there's a better way. But if you're still not in that camp, here are some thoughts.

Reasons to use an old-school time clock

It's what I've always done, and it works fine - Power to you. Living like it's 1988 works for a lot of businesses. If you like adding time manually, and payroll always goes smooth, why change, right?

There are no monthly fees. - Very true, no monthly fees. Instead, you have to purchase timecards every time you run low, purchase more ink when printing gets faint, and hope the machine doesn't break from being years old.

I don't care what employees think. - Totally your choice, you run the place. But if that is how you feel, don't expect your employees to care about what you think either.

Reasons to use software instead

Save time and money - Using software technology reduces the amount of time approving hours and running payroll. It will reduce your processing time dramatically, thus reducing labor costs. Even for the smallest of businesses.

Accuracy - For all those who still do this manually, you know all about mistakes. Using software will ensure that everything is calculated accurately... right down to the exact minute. Just be sure to set up your policies.

Employees won't make fun of you on TikTok - You already know most every employee has their own phone, why not let them use it to clock in? If not, maybe have them use a work PC, or tablet. If it matters to you, that is a lot more like 2022, and a lot less like 1988. And certainly a lot less than 1888.

– Bill