Beyond the Simple Time Clock

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Time clocks have been used for tracking job attendance for the past century, with humble beginnings of large mechanical devices punching holes into cardstock. The time clock’s main purpose of tracking employee hours has remained relatively unchanged today, but shifting trends in the modern workforce, innovations to technology, and revisions to legislature have all contributed to the evolution of the modern time clock.

The Challenge: Workforce Trends, Technology, and Legislature

The most significant trend to the modern workforce is the shift toward mobility. The ubiquity of the Internet has contributed to a global community, with business transactions taking place across the world in a matter of seconds. Mobile technology in the form of smart phones and tablets has also contributed to globalization, and this requires time clocks to have the necessary technology to ensure that workers are where they claim to be. Recent changes to legislature such as the FMLA (1993) and the ACA (2010) also require a robust time management system that can track accrual information and remain in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

How NOVAtime Meets the Challenges of an Evolving Workforce

In a recent interview with Midtown Business Radio, NOVAtime’s Vice President of Business Development, Brian Meharry, discusses the evolution of the workforce since the humble beginnings of the mechanical time clock. As the workforce changes, capturing time becomes more complicated, and NOVAtime has leveraged technology to stay ahead of the changing workforce. For example, Meharry offers this anecdote: “We have employees who are out in oil fields, and they need some way to clock in and clock out, so we have remote devices that allow that type of geography to exist for employers.”

NOVAtime also offers a Time and Attendance App for smart phones using iOS or Android. This allows employers to save on cost without having to purchase a dedicated mobile device for tracking employees. The native mobile app allows employees to clock in and out, check accrual information, submit timesheets, and communicate with their managers regarding time off. Smart phones with GPS technology can also take advantage of geofencing, “where it’s important once you get to a job, that if employers want to track that, you can see when someone approaches a geography, a zip code, or a location and automatically logs them in,” adds Meharry.

Workforce legislation is another area of constant flux, and NOVAtime’s solutions ensure compliance to local, state, and federal laws. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law with state-level amendments, and keeping track of the intricacies can be challenging for businesses. Similarly, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires complicated calculations and strategic management of variable-hour employees. Regulations like these Workforce Management Beyond the Simple Time Clock reveal the insufficiencies of a simple time clock to growing businesses that require a more robust solution. “One of the big issues our customers have is that they’re not in compliance, and they don’t even know it,” notes Meharry. In describing NOVAtime’s SurePath methodology, Meharry further comments, “Not only do we provide them robust tools, we provide them with some talking points and self-analysis to go through to make sure that they are actually asking the right questions of themselves.”


Time clocks began as one-dimensional mechanical devices for tracking time, but they have evolved to meet the needs of changing workforce trends. Mobility and globalization, technological advances, and legislative change have all contributed to the necessary growth of the simple time clock. NOVAtime stays ahead of the curve by offering a comprehensive workforce management solution that remains compliant to the law while also adding value to any organization’s bottom line.

For additional information, please contact NOVAtime: 877-486-6682 - or - Click here