What Was The Time Clock?


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A time clock is a mechanical device that allowed employees and employers to take note of the hours that the employee worked each day. Virtually every business would have a system that was similar prior to the 1990’s. The time clock was used to track when an employee arrived and when he left for either lunch or the day. Through the use of the time clock, employers have the ability to know when the individual was working and then to calculate how much time he had worked. This then would determine his pay for the day.

The machine itself that is known as the time card, worked fairly simply. Each time an employee would come in for the day the employee would slip a card into the time clock. The paper or card was thick and heavy to withstand use. It had marks and locations for each type of entry to be used. A space for coming in and a space for going out were usually labeled on the card. An employee would slip the card in and the time clock would punch the date and time onto the card in the right location.

This simply machine was used for quite a few years, actually, in different versions. Today, instead of a time clock mechanism, there are computer based time clocks that provide employers with a record of when an individual comes to work and goes home for the day. Today, many businesses use a computer tracking system in one of several ways.

  • The employee may have a ‘clock in’ number that they punch into the computer in a sequence that then ‘clocks them in’. The same is done for leaving for the day. A number is assigned to the individual.

  • Or, an employee will swipe a card that ‘clocks’ them in and out through a magnetic strip on the card.

  • There are also other devices that are used along with computer devices to keep track of individual’s hours.

    For more information please see http://www.time-clock-shack.co.uk

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