We are all witnesses of the latest events related to COVID-19 spread around the world. Not only did it change the usual life routine, but affected the business sector as well. To accept the new challenges, some modifications in the business environment and processes have appeared recently. The biggest challenge is keeping employees safe and healthy. Entrepreneurs put a lot of efforts on this while trying to find new solutions for maximum protection and safety of personnel.
That is why the trend of working from home or a remote location is growing significantly. Remote work is undoubtedly one of the most effective solutions to prevent a physical contact of employees with potential sources of infection, thereby reducing the virus spread. However, companies face additional challenges regarding time or location tracking of remotely working employees. In that case it is highly effective to use remote attendance tracking solutions that help different companies to meet this challenge.
Contact-based vs. contactless
Classic contact-based time and attendance registration systems typically use smart cards, RFID tags, and other types of physical media for storing identification data. These systems are quickly becoming obsolete due to a simple reason: they inherently cannot ensure health and safety of employees, what we are currently observing during the COVID-19 pandemic. When remote work is involved, the entire principle of manual time and attendance registration becomes unsuitable.
Luckily, the current state of technology is advanced enough to solve these issues. The latest time and attendance systems do not need additional hardware except for what is already available: employees can use a mobile application on their smartphones or computers – to make the process fast and simple. Also, no physical contact is required except for your own phone – in case you are using facial recognition on your smartphone. Some of the most advanced apps and related software that are currently available on the market (for example, NCheck Bio Attendance) use real-time biometric authentication, even supporting different biometric modalities in the same package: fingerprint identification, face recognition, and even iris recognition.
Besides successfully tracking the work time remotely, such systems ease payroll processing as well. All working hours including overtime can be automatically included in the reports with the salary calculated accordingly. This allows having a flexible working shedule that really motivates people by giving them more freedom. Moreover, employees can always log on to the system and check the dashboard with all the detailed information and reports related to the work time and additional information. Certain time and attendance systems offer further integration possibilities, including access control based on biometric data.
Beyond time attendance: Novel scenarios of use
Most people agree that working and tracking the attendance remotely is an effective solution under pandemic conditions. However, because of business specifics, not all companies are able to implement those changes. In some sectors such as construction, production, health care and others it is impossible to work remotely, so employees must be present at the workplace, the same way as prior to COVID-19 pandemic. But even in such situations the biometric attendance software is finding its use. How exactly is it possible?
The use of preventive measures is a good example. In companies, all the preventive measures must be well-organized: maintaining safe social distance, use of face masks, temperature measurement equipment, disinfectant fluid, and others. Here, time attendance tracking can easily monitor the use of protective hygiene measures, through application of contactless biometrics. People can simply check in and out without any physical contact using their faces or irises, so they do not need to touch anything or use any ID cards or magnetic readers.
Since wearing a face mask in some workplaces is a must, time attendance systems that support facial recognition with the mask on are now the most popular. Algorithms that are used to recognize faces with a mask on have improved considerably since pre-pandemic times. In addition, the latest systems also provide possibility of geographic location tracking via GPS, validation of liveness (whether the identification attempt is made by a real person or not), possibility to detect and recognize multiple faces at the same time. Of course, most products of this kind provide comprehensive and customizable reporting tools.
It is quite a difficult task to find a time attendance solution that includes all the functionalities required during these challenging times – remote attendance, contactless clocking, and identity recognition with a face mask. Nevertheless, developers of such software make great efforts in improving their products, offering solutions that combine many of those features simultaneously. This trend is surely set to continue from now on.