Connecting to your Time Clock at remote site

Usually Time and Attendance or Workforce Management software is paired with a Biometric Time Clock (such as HandPunch or Fingerprint reader) or a non-biometric reader (such as Proximity Card reader, Barcode reader or Magnetic Card reader).  These are standalone readers which hang on a wall in your office and connect to the computer via network or serial cable. After employees clock in our out, their logs are downloaded by your Time and Attendance software.  But what can you do if you need to track employees remotely where there is no internet connection?

In my previous article, Time and Attendance or Workforce Management system with multiple locations, We’ve explained how to connect to a device remotely if you have internet connection at each of your locations.  But what if there is no internet availability where your Time Clocks are?  For example, a construction company may be working in the middle of a highway and they want to track their employees’ attendance.  They can place a Time Clock, but there is no internet for the Time and Attendance software to download logs from this reader.

There are 2 options that you might consider:

  1. With today’s cell phone technologies, we have GPRS modem technologies available to us. GPRS is a technology that uses GSM card, just like your phone, and can provide access to your Time Clock through the internet. HandPunch readers do not have internal GPRS modems, but you can get external Serial-to-GPRS converter.  Some Fingerprint Readers and Card Readers by ZK Technology have a GPRS option which can be built-in into the Time Clock.  In other cases, you can use the same Serial-to-GPRS converter just like with HandPunch.  This service is provided by Cell Phone companies and has a monthly cost to it.   The advantage of this option is that employees’ attendance logs can be downloaded automatically from a central office without user interactions; however, there are monthly fees to your mobile service provider.
  2. Another option is to download data to USB Flash and transfer it manually.  Some Fingerprint Readers and Card Readers by ZK Technology have a USB-Host port in it.  You can insert a flash drive into it and download your employees’ logs using menu options on the Time Clock.  If you want to download logs from HandPunch or other Fingerprint Readers and Card Readers which do not have USB port in it, you will have to use a computer.  You can find a software which can be installed onto your laptop.  It will download logs from the reader and transfer it to your USB flash.  Later, you can take this flash drive to your office and upload the data to your Time and Attendance or Workforce Management system.  If you are using a laptop to download attendance logs from the Time Clock, you might be able to use your cell phone as an internet access point and transfer data directly to your office instead of using a flash drive.