The COVID-19 pandemic forced most businesses to change their methods of operations. Most companies switched over to remote workplace management. But some businesses cannot function remotely, and employees need to come to the business premises to complete their job.
These days a lot of companies are trying to go back to the normal operating routine. However, the pandemic is far from over, and COVID-19 cases keep rising quite often. In such situations, employers need to ensure that their workplace is safe for their workers.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, most business houses relied on biometric time clocks to record employee attendance. They gained immense popularity amongst organizations of all sizes due to their security and convenience. However, during the pandemic, the biometric devices that used fingerprint or palm scanning have become epicenters of cross-contamination.
Biometric time clocks are a safety hazard now
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that Coronavirus can spread when people touch a contaminated surface and then touch their face afterward. Employees working in various industries, including healthcare facilities, raised concerns over touching the biometric systems for time clocks.
The New York Post had reported in March that the New York Police Department and Metropolitan Transit Authority had changed their attendance system when their employees expressed concern over using touch-based biometric systems.
The CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have recommended that business houses and employees should be equally responsible for the sanitization of workplaces. However, sanitizing an attendance system so frequently can prove to be a challenge.
Install time clocks that are safe to use
You can try using an employee time clock that works with contactless technology. There are various kinds of such devices available on the market that use different forms of contactless technology, such as facial recognition, voice control, or using mobile devices.
These systems reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to the employees, which will allow you to ensure a safer working environment for them. Some of these advanced time clocks also have features that can check an employee’s health status.
That way, if an employee has any symptoms associated with COVID-19, the system will prevent the employee from clocking in and notify the managers. These advanced time clocks can help you to maintain a healthy workforce while keeping your business protected from liability risks.
If a significant part of your workforce is operating remotely or comes to the business premises occasionally, you can consider using a self-service clocking system using SMS as well.
Benefits of using a contactless time clock
These are some key benefits of using a contactless time clock for your business.
- It allows your employees to punch in and punch out without coming in contact with the device surface, thus reducing the chances of infection.
- There won’t be any queues to touch and use the clocking device, which will improve social distancing at the workplace.
- These devices reinforce accountability by ensuring that your employees are clocking in within your premises.
- Devices that use facial or voice recognition reduces the chances of time theft.
- It allows all the functionalities of a regular time clock, including self-time management, viewing schedules, tracking leaves, managing work hours, and others.
Cleaning biometric time clocks
If you still want to use your existing biometric time clocks to record time and attendance at your workplace, you will need to clean them at frequent intervals. The best way to clean the devices is to wipe them with 70% IPA wipes as many rivers as you can.
Your staff should wear disposable gloves while cleaning the time clock and ensure that the scanner, as well as the surrounding area, get wiped adequately. However, gel-based hand sanitizers are not recommended for cleaning these devices as they tend to leave a residue on the scanner and might interfere with biometric recognition.
You must also direct your workforce not to use gel-based hand sanitizers before they scan their fingers or palm on the time clock. The best way to disinfect hands before using biometric time clock devices is to wash them for 20 seconds or use a solution with at least 60% alcohol.
Contactless time clocks are not just a temporary solution during the COVID-19 pandemic but are going to be the future of such devices. So if your business requires the employees to be present at the premises, you must ensure that you provide a safe working environment for them, which starts with the time clock.
Installing a contactless clocking device can prove to be a part of your due diligence towards employee protection at the workplace and save you from the risks of employment liability.