Employee time clocks are used by employees to log in and out of work or offices. These have been around in business now for many years and are highly important for a company if they want to remain cost-effective and to avoid wasting money by paying for hours that weren't worked. Likewise they are also very beneficial for the employees in that they ensure that they get paid for the time they do work.
However time clocks represent a challenge for those creating them as they have to fulfil several tasks. First of all they need to be accurate, and they need to allow for the individual to clock in and out several times in the day if necessary to account for breaks, doctors' visits and emergencies. At the same time in today's world where we work from home and go on business trips, they need to also be able to be operated remotely. Despite this they also need to be able to identify the person using the clock to ensure that they don't get a friend to clock in for them. In a perfect world, time clocks would also be able to calculate themselves how much the individual employee was owed, so that there was no necessity for the employer to count up all the individual cards, or to get someone else to do so - which would be a large waste of time and resources and which would be susceptible to human error meaning that employees might get paid too much or not enough.
The old employee time clocks that were used before the digital age failed to provide all these services. Most of these worked mechanically and used a very simple method - a clock with a stamp on it or a hole puncher. This way the individual would place their card in the slot and then get it to punch in the time. They would do this on the way in to work, and on the way out, and this would then mean that the time could be calculated for each day. These cards would be handed in at the end of every day and then counted up by someone at the end of the month. This of course took a lot of time, and the cards were susceptible to getting lost, used by other people, or just being miscalculated.
Today the latest employee time clocks are digital. There are also biometric varieties that scan handprints, fingerprints and eyes. Most medium to large businesses us some kind of swipe card, a PIN number or biometric data, and means that they can add up the amount owed to staff automatically. There's nothing to lose that can't easily be replaced and in the latter two cases only one person can use the card. And for those operated by software the employee can even clock in remotely from business trips or working from home.