What is an Exact Time Clock?
An exact time keeping system, also known as a real time clock, is a computer clock built solely for the purpose of keeping accurate time. It counts seconds, minutes, hours, days and even months and years. A real time clock can be found embedded in the form of an integrated circuit in electronic devices like personal computers and apps that require time keeping like a scheduling or employee management app. A real time clock can function even when the main device is powered off as it is powered on an independent supply like a battery.
An exact time keeping system is very useful for a business as it helps in saving time and money as it gives an accurate record of the hours worked and eliminates the need to collect and verify attendance data for payroll.
Why is Exact Time Clock Important?
- As discussed, real Time Clocks help keep accurate time records. Let us now see how opting for an exact time keeping system is useful for your business. Here is a list of benefits you get by opting for an employee time clock-
- Accuracy- A time clock tracks employee time from the moment they punch in till they punch out. The time clock can also be integrated with human resource and payroll software for ease of calculation and reducing manual labor. The accurate time keeping also eliminated problems like time theft and buddy punching. The clock app also ensures that employees are paid accurately for hours worked.
- Increase in productivity- A time clock not only reduces the time and effort required to calculate payroll; it also increases the accuracy of the data recorded. This helps increase the productivity as the staff can do other work in the time it would have taken to calculate the payroll manually.
- Better security- A time clock app has features to protect the employee data and also verify that the time spent by employee at the work place is accurate. An employee time clock can provide better security than manual verification of data.
- Increase in satisfaction- Opting for a exact time clock guarantees accurate pay on time and this makes employees happier and satisfied. The app also gives employees access to their data through a self-service portal which empowers them to manage their own data.
- Legal compliance- A time clock can be programmed with company rules and policies and also have inbuilt tools which can track and follow state and federal laws and warn the company if it is in violation. The app also retains records of employee work hours which is useful in case of an audit or any lawsuits.
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Exact Time Clock as suggested by Zipschedules has everything you need to keep track of time zones, all in one place.
When to use the exact time clock?
After discussing the benefits of an employee Time Clocks, let us look at the need to opt for a time clock-
- Streamlined workflow- A time clock helps you streamline the daily operations as it reduces the work required to calculate the attendance data and send it over to payroll. The app automates the entire process, making it efficient and saving time. The automated process also ensures that the data and calculations are accurate, reducing the element of human error. The time clock shifts the burden to the employees to keep track of their time and hours worked.
- Fairer process- Using an employee time clock can help with some common issues that staff deem to be unfair. With automated payroll calculation, the human element is removed and this guarantees fair calculation without any bias. No employee can accuse the app of impropriety.
- Attendance issues- A time clock gives you quick access to information on repeated tardiness and absenteeism, which can cost a company money as it interrupt projects and task completion. Hiring temporary labor to take care of tasks left incomplete by absent staff also add to the company expenses. The other staff who have to take on extra work due to absent workers can also feel demotivated. A time clock app makes it easier to spot some these issues and employers can course correct before the problem becomes worse.
- Real time labor costs- Since an exact time keeping system records accurate time records, it is easier to find which employees or work areas take up the most time and which area of labor is costing the most. The app can also help track where overtime costs are being used to complete the jobs. The app can also provide details about how the labor costs compare to industry standards. The data can also help make more informed decisions about the business.
Disadvantages of using an Exact Time Clock
After discussing how an exact Time Clock can be beneficial to a business, let us also look at the counterarguments over use of an employee Time Clock-
- Mistrust- When you opt for using a time clock to track employees, they might think you don't trust them. Employees might become more concerned with keeping time rather than focusing on work.
- Inaccuracy- An exact time keeping solution can keep accurate records only when employees feed in correct data. If employees forget to punch in and out or they lose their time cards, then they will have to enter the time manually and this might lead to misuse of the system.
- No guarantee- A time clock is not a guarantee that employees are where they say they are. An employee can pinch in and leave or ask a coworker to clock in for them.
- Low morale- Tracking employee time can result in anxiety and low morale. Also, if an employee is not able to perform for a period of time due to any reasons, tracking tasks can increase their anxiety levels.
- Intangible tasks- A time clock has no way of tracking intangible tasks like attending meetings. If team members attend an hour-long meeting, how would the time clock calculate the time spent an hour of customer's time or an hour of each member's time.
How to Calculate Time in Different Time Zones?
We are now moving to a global marketplace, hence the time we spend at work is no longer restricted to only our time zone. There is now a need to work with different time zones. This brings us to the question of how to calculate time and different time zones.
The world is divided by longitudes in 24 different time zones and the local time in each time zone is calculated on their relation to the coordinated universal time or UTC.
The time zones are calculated by using the prime meridian also known as Greenwich Meridian as the base for all time zones.
Each longitude is at a distance of 15 degrees from each other and has a standard time difference of one hour. If you move east from the prime meridian, add the appropriate time for each longitude and if you move west then subtract the time to calculate the time difference.
Say, the longitude is 75 degrees east, then 75/15 = 5 and east means you add five hours, so the standard time will be UTC+5 or 5 hours ahead of UTC. If the longitude is 150 degrees west, then 150/15 =10, hence the standard time will be UTC -10 or 10 hours behind UTC.
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Difference Between Coordinated Time and Standard Time
Now that we have earned to calculate the time difference and standard time for different time zones, let's talk more about the universal coordinated time and standard time.
Coordinated universal time
It is the base on which all standard time is calculated. This 24-hour time standard is maintained with the use of highly precise atomic clocks and based on Earth's rotation.
The two components that determine the coordinated universal time are the international atomic time which is a time scale that combines the output of 400 atomic clocks to provide the exact speed for clock to tick and universal time which is calculated Universal Time (UT) is a time standard that reflects the average speed of the Earth's rotation and is measured by looking at the stars.
Until 1972, Greenwich Meridian Time and Coordinated Universal Time were the same but now GMT is a time zone which is officially used in some African and European countries and coordinated universal time is a time standard, which means no country officially uses coordinated universal time as current local time.
World time centers have decided to keep their local Time Clocks synchronized with the coordinated universal standard.
The current local time used by a country or region when daylight saving time is not in effect is called standard time. Standard time is also called winter or normal time and daylight saving time is called summer time. Around 60% of the countries use standard time all year round. We have already seen how the standard time or local time for a country or region is calculated. The local time within a time zone is calculated as a difference from the coordinated universal time and is expressed as UTC or UTC+. A few countries also have a UTC offset of 30 or 45 minutes.
While less than 40% of the countries like the United States use daylight saving time (setting the clock one hour ahead of the standard time in summer months and back again in fall to make most of the natural daylight), neither the GMT or the coordinated universal standard is affected by daylight saving. Some countries which come under the GMT time zone switch to another zone during daylight saving.
FAQs on Time Zones
The top five tools recommended for managing time zone differences
What is world clock?
- Time Finder- The app has tools to pick your city and once selected, the app will show the current local time.
- Time zone converter- The app has two clocks one on the left displays current local time and clock on the right will display the standard time of the city you select, which is perfect for time zone searches.
- World clock meeting planner- The app allows you to enter multiple locations at once to get a clear view of time zones to allow a meeting planner easy preparation for trans-national meetings.
- Timezone.io- The app helps you keep track of the local time of your team members and you get a clear view of all your team members and their local time.
- World time buddy- The app allows you to choose 3 or more cities to see the current local time.
A World Clock
is a system which displays the standard time and date for various cities around the world. The clock time is displayed via multiple analog time clocks or digital time clocks and each time clock is labelled with the name of a major city or time zone. Some world clocks also have a world picture map embedded analog or digital time clocks embedded in it.
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Zipschedules has created a time zone calculator that will accurately tell you what time it is in your desired location.