Ensuring staff safety is a key challenge for Hotels, Restaurants, and other service businesses as they begin to re-engage in today’s environment. This requires providing personal protective equipment (PPE), making changes to workflow and space to support social distancing, and minimizing contact with equipment used by multiple team members.
The time clock has traditionally been a place where team members have lined up in close proximity to each other, with every hourly employee touching the equipment as they clock-in and -out. While biometric capabilities have become increasingly common, these require staff to touch the equipment to provide a fingerprint and sometimes to input a PIN or ID. Additionally, many states’ privacy laws inhibit use of biometrics by dictating very strict permissions and data policies. This means solutions like facial recognition, which can be costly and complex to implement, also come with significant legal burdens.
Virtual solutions such as the UniFocus Mobile Time Clock, are also available and enable employees to clock-in or -out using their personal smartphones via a mobile app. Most businesses, however, are still required to provide an onsite time clock for team members who do not have smartphones.
“COVID-19 has complicated even seemingly mundane tasks like clocking-in and -out. And service businesses are being forced to address this at a time when they are hard-hit financially,” says UniFocus CEO, Mark Heymann. “Our team partnered closely with UniFocus users to develop a pragmatic, affordable solution that can be easily adopted now, when it is most critical.”
The result of this effort is a Zero-Touch release of the UniFocus Smart Time Clock technology. With this release, biometric readers are replaced with cameras, which take a photo for verification purposes at the time an employee clocks-in. Team members clock-in using individually assigned ID cards, which can be swiped or scanned without making direct physical contact with any part of the equipment. For businesses that do not use ID cards, UniFocus provides antimicrobial bronze styluses, which can be given to each employee to input ID numbers for clock-in or for other direct input such as tip reporting.
The system then automates any further clocking-in or -out according to staff schedules, using its signature “Punch-to-Schedule” functionality. When team members are cross-utilized in various roles, hours worked are allocated to different jobs based upon each team member’s schedule. This allows for seamless transitions from one role to the next without interacting with the time clock. Managers can make any necessary edits by logging into the system via their individual computers or mobile devices.
Clients using the UniFocus Time and Attendance solution can retrofit existing timeclocks for Zero-Touch functionality and should contact their Partner Relationship Manager for assistance.