How To Effectively Manage Employee Remote Attendance

This article is a continuation from our previous article, where we dived into the details of how much it costs a company when employees are late for work.

Quick Recap

For each day where an employee is late by 10 minutes, it can cost up to $50,000 for a company with 100 employees, & over $1,000,000 for large MNCs with 1,000 employees. 

We’ve done the Math, & you can read all about it here.


Moving ahead, now that we understand the financial impact of such behaviour on companies, let’s take a look at the available options to help manage this situation.

When it comes to managing employee attendance & punctuality, there are 3 main types of Employee Attendance Management Solutions available:

(a) Manual Punch Cards

Invented by IBM in 1875, the punch cards were one of the earliest ways to monitor Employee Attendance. 

Punch card technology mainly consists of:

1. Manual Punch Card: A piece of cardboard paper used to captures the timing information.

2. Punch Card Reader: A card reader with a built-in hardware clock which “prints” employee clock-in/out timing. 


  • Punch card systems are easy to set up & use.
  • Requires minimal maintenance & service. 
  • One “click” capture of Employee Attendance per clock-in/out.
  • Relatively cheap to implement with straightforward setup.


  • Incurs monthly ongoing costs of purchasing new Punch Cards for company employees.
  • Porting over of Employee Attendance is manual & cumbersome, with consolidating & porting of data.
  • Prone to mishandling e.g. loss of punch cards due to employee carelessness & misplacing.
  • Manual consolidation of data means no employee data security & preservation of data integrity.
  • Data recorded is in hardcopy & might run into processing problems e.g. punch may not be able to be read etc.

(b) Magnetic Card

Fast forward to the 1970s: With advances in Employee Attendance Management technology, manual punch cards evolved into Magnetic cards, which employees used to scan on an infrared device detector. 

This era saw widespread adoption of computers & increasing use of Magnetic cards by companies, small businesses & large MNCs around the world.

With each scan, Magnetic cards capture employee clock-in/out data, which can be recorded & transferred electronically, hence allowing direct processing of such data.


  • Easy to setup, integrate & use for companies of all sizes. 
  • Data recorded is in electronic form & can be interfaced with Employee Attendance & Time Management Software.
  • Allows for Automatic computation of Salary & payments due to employees & contractors.


  • System recognizes only magnetic cards, not people. 
  • Thus employees can help colleagues clock attendance just by possessing their card(s).
  • The intended convenience may backfire & increase employee absenteeism instead – & without valid reasons.
  • Require specific technological expertise to maintain & service.

(c) Biometric Thumbprint Authentication 

A highly popular way to track Employee Attendance Capture & Monitoring from the 90s to the millennium, Biometric Authentication refers to clocking attendance in/out with the use of employee fingerprints. 

Biometric Authentication recognises that each employee’s fingerprint is distinct & unique. This makes it impossible for another employee to clock in on behalf of others.

Since Biometric Authentication works on Fingerprint recognition, consolidating all employee fingerprints into a single database allows for easy, strict capture of each fingerprint click-in/out attempt. 

Using Infrared technology, biometric authentication systems will be able to accurately match & record clock-in/out data of each employee without error near impossible to fake a fingerprint record. 


  • Fast & Convenient, Good user experience & accurate verification of each employee’s identity.
  • Near impossible to fake a fingerprint record & Impossible to duplicate or manipulate.
  • Data captured can be electronically transmitted & integrated for automatic payroll calculation.


  • Incur significant investments costs for required technological expertise & data security.
  • Data integrity & security breaches – can still be prone to unauthorised access & hacking.
  • Possible marginal bias & systems error of ‘false captures’ resulting in accuracy.

(d) Face-Temperature Recognition

Today with Social Distancing measures in place & minimizing physical contact, Face-Temperature Recognition has gained immense popularity around the world, largely due to its’ contactless scanning features.

Upon close physical approach, Face Recognition devices scan each employee’s facial features in verifying the identity of each individual, allowing for zero physical contact when clock-in/out.

These devices largely come with built-in temperature scanners, allowing for instant capture of employees & preparing the workplace for safe work.

Coupled with Contact Tracing, Safe-Entry compatibility & the capability to integrate with HR software (Cloud & On-site), we see the use of such devices trending everywhere, from workplaces to shopping malls, clinics etc. 

For employees working from home or remotely, Face-Temperature devices usually offer the flexibility of clocking in / out from any place at any time via HR Software apps (also termed e-attendance).


  • Safest, fits companies of all sizes.
  • Instant capture of employees (mask-on / off) within a split second
  • Compatible with – OR comes with built-in Temperature Capture for abnormal temperature detection.
  • Usually integrates with in-house Cloud HR & payroll software for instant calculation & data extraction.
  • *Might be Eligible for government subsidy, allowing for higher affordability.


  • May require hefty investments if a company is not eligible for government grants & subsidies.
  • Might require longer time to set things up because of systems complexity.
  • Set-up process might require more time across multiple business outlets.

Punch Cards, Magnetic Cards, Biometric Authentication, Face Recognition: Make Your Choice.

As you can see, each comes with its own pros & cons. 

Now that you understand how each of these technologies works …

And as the pandemic rages on, NOW is the time to decide, based on your company setup, business & Compliance & other requirements, while the Government grants & subsidies are still available.

Not sure which one to choose? 

If you need more information to see if our Employee Attendance & Cloud HR Payroll software is a Good Fit for you.

Punch cards, magnetic …. Biometric Authentication, Face-Temperature Recognition devices …

What say you?

Need more information? Simply reach out to us at (65) 6844 8712 or 

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