Fair management of time and attendance at work – is it possible?
It is nine o’clock. A queue of impatient employees is at the company’s front door. Diligent leaders with best results and professional latecomers are all waiting to sign the attendance list. Some complain about the waste of time, while others are happy and relieved that their coming late will not be recorded. A picture from the long gone past? Fortunately yes! Today, such a scenario is very rare. Heavy paperwork has been replaced with electronic time and attendance (TNA) systems. Although TNA processes are much more functional than their paper counterparts, they do provoke controversies. Why? The answer is simple: they are far from being perfect, they often fail and they also cause fear of total surveillance.
To solve daily problems in many enterprises, we have developed a completely new device that will require no interaction from the user. It can be said that we have created an intelligent TNA system. Why intelligent? A small device powered by the energy coming from the sun and the office lighting contains a receptionist, a security worker, a human resources employee and a labour inspector. TIMATE – that is how we called our invention – enables precise counting of working hours and provides access to the office. It also informs the employee about the time for a break and it even can notify the emergency services about an accident. All of this can be done without any user interaction or access to sensitive data. TIMATE looks like the standard employee ID card used in many companies and it can be treated as a work measuring gadget, because it works similarly to a fitness band.
Fair at last! Who will benefit?
We have created an intelligent gadget which functions as a daily work assistant and does not infringe employee rights. But we also had another important goal in mind: fair management of time and attendance. We all know how “creative” employees can be: they clock in for their co-workers who are not there or they make up stories about a lost ID. TIMATE will not let you cheat. The system is equipped with a motion sensor which analyses movements of people in a specific area. If it detects that the card does not move or two cards moving similarly, it will first notify the relevant employees and then the employer. It activates without the user’s action and starts counting time when the employee enters the range of the small switchboard located on the company’s premises. It turns off when the employee leaves the workplace. Importantly, it operates in many types of workplaces, not only offices. TIMATE can be used at construction sites and in outdoor spaces.
What are the employee’s benefits from using TIMATE? TIMATE is a personal assistant that will help the employee in keeping the work and life balance. TIMATE will let the employee know that it is high time for a break, it will accurately count the working hours and overtime, it will make sure that the employee does not stay at work too long and it will provide the employee with all-time access to information about available and used days off. Moreover, TIMATE will give the employee the certainty that he or she does not work more than a colleague who is always late or often absent. It is a win-win solution for employers and employees.
Time to verify!
Have we managed to achieve the goal of equal opportunities for employees? TIMATE’s test results are fantastic. The prototype worked perfectly well in a virtual reality and for a group of students from a university in Silesia. We are now waiting for verification in a real-life setting. We are really curious how employees will use our invention: will the current access to information about days off, overtime or unused breaks make their life easier? Has the combination of advanced technology and the Internet of Things allowed us to create a system which supports work in the same way as the fitness band helps people when they are running, walking and monitoring their sleep?
We hope it will be so and TIMATE will become a completely new value for both employees and employers, allowing the latter to control people in their companies in a subtle and lawful way.
Our system is ready to go live as well as collaborate with other solutions available in the market. We have the competitive advantage thanks to the fact that TIMATE operates without any interaction with the user and it does not collect any sensitive information about employees. It that enough? We are open to discussion!