Clocking and employee attendance

A fresh approach to worker allocation that saves time – and money

easyLog customer Brogan Group passed another significant milestone in streamlining its people management processes this week when it replaced labour allocation sheets made in Excel with a specially-customised version of easyLog’s Site Supervisor app.

A customised app that cuts down on admin

Originally created to help cleaning and maintenance companies with their job estimates and management, Site Supervisor is now enabling contract managers at scaffolding and powered access company Brogan to use their work iPads to allocate daily jobs and locations to up to 300 individual contractors. The new system is saving Brogan many work hours each week in time-consuming admin, which was previously done with spreadsheet program Excel.

Achieving even greater efficiencies with attendance apps

When they arrive on site, Brogan contractors also use easyLog smartphone or tablet apps to record their attendance. Their clockings are passed directly into the easyLog timesheet software, making calculating their correct pay fast and simple.

You can find out more about our Site Supervisor app on our cleaning management webpage and about Brogan Group’s employee attendance solution in our case study. Alternatively contact us to talk to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, 0 comments

Smile for the camera – you’re being clocked in

Simplicity and a low price tag are often at the very top of our customers’ wish lists when it comes to attendance recording systems. Increasingly, they are also looking for an option that is effective against clocking fraud.

Our face capture version of the popular Geo Clock With Photo clocking app ticks all the boxes for employers who want the reassurance of photo identification without having to go as far as implementing a face recognition system. Fast, foolproof and affordable, it is the ideal alternative to biometric clocking for those who want both reliability and convenience.

Quick and simple attendance recording on a tablet or phone

easyLog’s Geo Clock face capture app can be used with either tablets or smartphones. Tablets are usually fixed in position and the front camera is used to take a photo of each employee as they clock in and out. These images can be monitored manually in situ or remotely, for example in the main office through a simple report.

When the app is installed on a smartphone, photo clockings are normally made by a supervisor or manager using the rear camera on their phone. This option is ideal for variable or temporary work locations, such as building sites, and provides a photographic record for later cross-checking if required.

Photo + geolocation data = peace of mind

The manual photo record is combined with geolocation data, providing a robust record of identity, time and location. Clockings are always accepted, even if the device is offline, and the record is stored.

Find out whether face capture is right for your staff…

If you want to know more about any of our attendance recording apps, visit our clocking web pages, talk to one of our team or try it out with a free evaluation trial.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Mobile worker tracking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Biometric clocking: the low-cost, high-tech way of controlling attendance

Clocking staff in and out using a biometric app on a mobile phone or tablet may sound like science fiction – but in fact a growing number of employers are finding that biometric attendance recording is a surprisingly cheap and highly secure way of controlling exactly who is attending their premises and when.

What is biometric attendance recording?

Biometric clocking options use software that compares an individual’s unique biological characteristics – such as facial features, voice or fingerprints – with a pre-saved version and checks for a match. The result is stored electronically, along with the date, time and location of the clocking, and transferred automatically to your easyLog timesheet system. It sounds simple – and it is.

With biometric attendance monitoring you not only get a foolproof record of the date, place and time of attendance but also confirmation of each employee’s identity. This is particularly useful in high security workplaces or when you want to be sure that staff are not fraudulently clocking in on behalf of a fellow worker. Biometric clocking apps for smartphone and tablet are also ideal for clocking staff in hygienically because there is little or no physical contact.

Turn phones and tablets into low-cost biometric clocking devices

easyLog’s biometric attendance recording apps turn smartphones and tablets into flexible clocking devices without the outlay associated with purchasing and maintaining a dedicated terminal. Our biometric mobile apps also have the advantage of enabling employees to clock in and out via their own phone, independently and remotely, without risk of fraud.

Geo Clock With Photo works by taking a photo on the device’s camera when an employee clocks in or out and verifying it with facial recognition software. This information is combined with geolocation data, such as GPS coordinates, to provide a tamperproof record of identity, location, date and time.

The Geo Clock With Photo app is easily downloaded and installed on an employee’s Android or Apple smartphone via the appropriate app store for self-clocking. Alternatively, it can be installed on a tablet so a supervisor can record the attendance of staff as they arrive and leave. A tablet can also be wall-mounted to provide a fixed clocking device using either Geo Clock With Photo or easyLog’s Face Log app.

Fixed biometric clocking options that put you in control

Face Log is an attendance app designed specifically for tablets in a fixed location. Like Geo Clock With Photo, Face Log supports facial recognition using a photo taken with the device’s in-built camera and clockings are backed up with geolocation data. But, unlike Geo Clock With Photo, Face Log will not accept a clocking if the image doesn’t match, ensuring an extremely reliable attendance record. Face Log also works on voice recognition, speech activation and manual photo identification, if that suits you and your staff better.

For those requiring a traditional fixed terminal with the reassurance of biometric identification, fingerprint is often the most practical answer. easyLog provides a choice of devices, including the highly versatile uFace multi clocking terminal, which offers facial as well as fingerprint recognition. uFace can also be used with radio-frequency identification (RFID) fobs or cards, if required.

We also offer online and offline (SIM-based) fingerprint-only readers for those looking for an affordable but dependable biometric option that suits a variety of workforces and locations.

Find out which attendance solution is best for your staff and sites

If you want to know more about any of our biometric attendance systems, visit our dedicated clocking website or contact us to talk to one of our team.

 

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Get on top of track and trace with QR code attendance recording for cleaners

 

In the post Covid-19 world, the demands on record keeping by cleaning contractors have increased massively, with track and trace capability an essential element in preventing the onward transmission of infection. A cleaning service provider will not only need to prove employee attendance at the site but also potentially the areas, buildings and even individual rooms or offices that their cleaners entered.

Thankfully, easyLog has a simple, easy-to-implement, low-cost solution based around smartphone QR code scanning technology.

Cleaners record arrival and leaving times simply by scanning a QR code

QR codes are available from numerous free-to-use websites. Multiple QR codes can be created, each representing a specific location. Cleaners then use easyLog's easily installable Location Clock app on their Apple or Android smartphone to record their arrival and leaving time, simply by scanning the QR code placed at each location.

The attendance records are then transferred into easyLog’s eLog timesheet and attendance software module. The software is web browser-based, meaning that it can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet or laptop that has an internet connection – just like a website. So records can be viewed on the move by busy owners or managers without the need to return to an office.

Web browser-based software from just £20 per month

And with business costs increasing from the measures now needed to protect workforces and ensure best practice, you’ll be pleased to hear that this complete easyLog solution starts from as little as £20 plus VAT per month for up to 15 employees, including support, training and branding the app with your company logo and colours.

If you want to know more, visit our cleaning management website or contact us to talk to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Hygienic QR code attendance recording – at a very affordable price

 

If your staff are concerned about recording their attendance on a traditional clocking-in terminal shared by multiple employees, there is an alternative – easyLog’s low-cost, simple-to-implement QR code clocking app.

Covid-safe clocking in with a smartphone

Using their own smartphone – and therefore ensuring a Covid-safe approach – each employee scans a QR code to identify their location and record the time and date of their attendance. QR codes are free to download from multiple websites and, after laminating, can be placed anywhere indoors or outside.

The easyLog Location Clock app is downloaded free by your staff from the online stores and is automatically set up for use simply by entering two numbers when prompted. The app can be branded with your company logo and colours so presents a professional image to both your customers and employees.

No IT skills required and anti-fraud measure built in

The attendance records are automatically passed into easyLog’s eLog timesheet management software module to swiftly produce reports by employee, client, job function, etc, across any date period for the time spent at any site. This web browser-based software can be accessed on any device with an internet connection and is run on a cloud platform, so no IT skills or overhead are required.

And, if you think someone might copy the QR code and scan it from the comfort of their bed, there are a number of anti-fraud measures in the system to ensure any abuse is quickly identified.

Above all, in these testing times, you’ll be pleased to hear that this complete easyLog solution starts from as little as £20 plus VAT per month for up to 15 employees, including support, training and company branding of the app.

Find out more

Contact one of our team on 01892 834406 or send us an email if you would like to know more.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Show clients that cleaning is being done with a QR code attendance app

 

Many things have changed since the pandemic struck. But even during periods of lockdown commercial premises have still had to be cleaned – often using new, more time-consuming processes. This has placed additional pressure on contract cleaning companies not only in terms of implementing more stringent sanitising routines but also in demonstrating to clients that all their Covid hygiene requirements have been met.

easyLog’s QR code attendance app, Location Clock, is simple, low-cost tool that can help by providing firm evidence of exactly who is attending which location and when. This ensures that your cleaners’ timesheets are accurate and you have dependable tracking information if required, as well as enabling you to reassure clients that cleaning regimes are being conducted as requested.

And, because the app is loaded onto each cleaner’s smartphone, your employees can clock in and out hygienically without using clients’ phones.

Track cleaning of individual rooms and work zones

The app is used to read a free-to-download QR code on arrival at a work location. Any number of unique identifying codes can be used, so the system can record cleaners’ visits to individual rooms, work zones, equipment or even a particular route around a building, depending on your clients’ requirements.

The Location Clock app creates a foolproof record of the employee, site, date and time, which is automatically sent back to the easyLog software. Reports can then be generated and shared with clients by email to show that their cleaning regimes are being followed correctly.

The attendance app is suitable for cleaning and maintenance contractors of all sizes and is available with flexible pricing models based on employee or monthly clocking numbers.

Find out more

easyLog’s Location Clock app is one of a number of software products designed to help cleaning and maintenance contractors manage site visits and timesheets, staff rotas, job estimates and inspections.  For more information, contact one of our team on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Facial recognition – for hygienic and fraud-proof staff clocking

 

Recording attendance presents a far higher risk of virus transmission if staff are sharing a traditional terminal – which provides businesses seeking a fraud-proof clocking method with a dilemma.

If a fingerprint or hand reader is used by everyone, a strict cleaning regime needs to be implemented to ensure the well-being of staff and maintain their confidence in a safe workplace.

Should a company decide to install a proximity card or tag-reading terminal to avoid physical contact, then more traditional concerns come into play – such as whether staff are swapping cards or tags to fraudulently record the attendance of a fellow worker who is not actually there.

App-based attendance recording: low-cost, hygienic, tamper-proof

easyLog has for some time offered its clients app-based attendance recording that converts an employee’s smartphone into a hygienic, safe and reliable clocking device. Low-cost and easily implemented, these apps have various features that prevent an employee from falsely recording their attendance, including identifying the GPS coordinates where the clocking was made and recognising if the time on the phone has been tampered with.

Now easyLog has moved this technology even further ahead with its Geo Clock With Photo app for Android and Apple smartphones. This app takes a photo – like a selfie – when an employee records their attendance and automatically verifies it as genuine by biometric facial recognition. It combines this function with geolocation data, so both identity and location are confirmed in one record, providing total assurance that the attendance record is genuine.

Also available for tablets

This app is also available for a tablet to allow a site supervisor to record the attendance of individuals as they arrive – thereby maintaining a safe and hygienic clocking process – or as a wall-mounted device for recording entry and exit from a site.

If you want to be sure that an attendance record is genuine or you maintain a site that demands very secure management of the personnel who are allowed in, easyLog’s Geo Clock With Photo app may be the low cost answer to your needs. And with contact limited to each handset user – or, in the case of a tablet, a particular supervisor – you can be confident that you are reducing the risk of spreading infection too.

Find out more

Contact one of our friendly team on 01892 834406, request a callback or email us your enquiry.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Facial recognition apps make clocking in as easy as taking a selfie

 

When it comes to attendance recording, few options are more foolproof than biometric devices. But even low-cost fingerprint readers and hand scanners require a level of up-front investment that may be beyond some employers – especially in the current economic climate. But if you want the rigour of biometric staff clocking without the hassle of dedicated devices, there is an answer and it is literally staring you in the face – an easylog facial recognition app for tablet or smartphone.

Evidence of identity that cannot be faked

Our facial recognition attendance apps are particularly useful because they provide evidence of the identity of an employee making a clocking, along with  time, date and geolocation data – so it is impossible for someone to clock in on somebody else’s behalf or from a different location. They are simple to use and install and can be downloaded from the Google and Android online stores, just like any other app.

easylog is currently offering two flexible facial recognition clocking app options – Face Log and Geo Clock With Photo – although we are constantly developing our attendance software range.

Face Log – the always on, fixed clocking option for tablets

This clocking app is for Android tablets and uses the front camera, so we recommend it is wall-mounted for convenience and security. As it is always online, it requires a reliable internet connection at all times. The facial recognition software compares, in real time, a photo taken during clocking with stored images of the employee. Clockings are only accepted if there is a match and are backed up by geolocation data, providing an extremely reliable “there and then” attendance record proving identity, date, place and time.

Face Log can also create clockings through voice recognition and manual photo identification. These options work in the same way as the facial recognition system, with clockings only passed if staff are recognised by the software. There is a further option of speech activation, although this is not biometric and so does not confirm the identity of individual employees.

Geo Clock With Photo – the fast and portable clocking app for tablet and phone

This fast and convenient app works with Android and Apple operating systems on smartphones and tablets. Front and back cameras can be used and it can work offline as well as online, so it is ideal for both fixed and variable locations with inconsistent internet connectivity, such as building sites.

To create a clocking, the facial recognition software takes a photo of the employee with the device’s inbuilt camera and combines this with geolocation data, date and time. Clockings are always accepted, even if the device is offline, and a record is stored showing whether the employee passed or failed the identification. If there is no internet connection at the time of clocking, the photo is transferred to the server when the device is back online, or the next time a clocking is made, and an identification is made retrospectively.

What happens to the clockings?

Clockings from all our apps are converted into an instant employee attendance record, which is automatically sent to our web browser-based software supplied as part of the solution. You can then produce detailed or summarised timesheets across any period per employee and location, deduct unpaid periods and export any report into Excel at the touch of a button.

Find out more

easyLog offers a wide range of apps, attendance recording technologies and software. Talk to one of our team today on 01892 834406, request a callback or email us your enquiry.

 

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Latest news, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Clocking in with a QR code: cheaper than chips!

 

The business world emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be very different from the one that entered the crisis. It will be even more cost-conscious, given the additional overheads of making and keeping premises safe for employees and visitors, and staff will have a heightened awareness of hygiene, with frequently touched surfaces and equipment requiring regular and scheduled cleaning. Work is also likely to be more flexible in terms of where and when it is conducted, with split shifts and staggered start times – and, as a result, monitoring staff hours and calculating pay will be more complex and require greater input and control.

Smartphone attendance apps for the new normal

In line with our reputation for supplying low cost, robust and practical employee time management solutions, easyLog has ensured that its range of QR code-based attendance recording apps meet all the requirements of hard-pressed employers coming to terms with the new normal.

From just £20 per month plus VAT for a system covering up to 15 employees, staff can record attendance at a single or multiple sites using their own (or company-issued) smartphone and easyLog’s Location Clock App.

Simple to download from the major stores and install, the app automatically scans and recognises a QR Code that is defined per location. It converts this into an instant employee attendance record and sends this to the e-Log web browser-based software application supplied as part of the solution. This produces detailed or summarised timesheets across any period per employee and location, can deduct unpaid break periods and export any report into Excel for further analysis.

QR codes – the low-cost solution that covers all the bases

  • Low cost – just over £1 per month per employee for the cloud-based solution. easyLog provides software support as required, online training and daily backup. No up-front, one-off set up and training costs – everything you need is included in the monthly amount. The minimum contract length is 12 months with one-month cancellation. Simple, clear and straightforward.
  • QR codes are free to generate and download from many websites. Your only cost is the paper and ink for printing.
  • Hygienic – employees use a smartphone which is always under their control, so there are no health concerns about multiple staff touching an attendance recording device and how clean and safe that unit remains.

For more information about attendance recording with QR codes, you can read this case study.

Find out more

easyLog offers a wide range of apps, attendance recording technologies and software. Talk to one of our team today on 01892 834406, request a callback or email us your enquiry.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Two-for-one app records visitor as well as employee attendance

 

Knowing which employees and visitors are in your building at any time is important, even in normal circumstances. In the present pandemic, however, this information – and the possible need for it to be available to health authorities in the event of local Covid-19 cases – has become a heightened issue for many more workplaces, including those with smaller numbers of staff.

easyLog, the innovative provider of low-cost attendance management and staff scheduling systems, has delivered yet again with a value for money, tablet-based attendance solution that records both staff and visitor arrival and departure data.

The system works with standard Android tablets, such as those made by Samsung and Asus, and a local wireless connection – or a SIM card if used on a remote site, for example in the building industry. The app enables both employees and visitors to record their attendance by presenting a tab for each: reducing investment in hardware and software while also simplifying implementation and operation.

Simple and accurate two-in-one attendance logging

Employees select their name from a dropdown list and are asked to enter a PIN as confirmation. They then indicate by clear buttons if they are starting or leaving work. The app confirms the name of the staff member and the date and time of attendance. Importantly, if the employee has made a mistake – for example, by recording another ‘in’ clocking when they are about to leave the building – the app will question their action and ask them to confirm if their attendance record is correct. A simple step that helps reduce management involvement and produces comprehensive timesheet reports accurately and swiftly.

Visitor details are entered prior to their visit through the e-Log timesheet software, together with the name of the person they are due to meet. As e-Log is a web browser-based software application this can be done on any device – PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone – with a connection to an internet browser. This enables easy access and last-minute adjustments to be made by busy managers who may have infrequent access to office administration systems.

On arrival, the visitor is presented with a dropdown list of visitors for that day from which they select their name to confirm their arrival and again on departure. Should the visitor not have been pre-registered, they can enter their name and who they are seeing using the on-screen keypad on the tablet. Visitor details are held in the software for future use thereby simplifying the process of arranging further meetings.

Low-cost solution includes our browser-based software

Prices start from just £20 plus VAT per month for an organisation employing up to 15 staff. This includes the app, e-Log timesheet and visitor software, supply of a managed cloud platform with daily backup (meaning you don’t need to worry about implementing the software on your own PCs or network) and installation. We even provide an on-line training session to show you round the software and help you get operational as quickly and smoothly as possible. And that monthly cost includes telephone access to our help desk in case you have any questions or technical issues in the future.

Innovative, simple, low-cost and easy to use. Why not call or email us for further information?

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Time and attendance, 0 comments

easylog updates care software app for temporary hotel hospitals

With the Covid-19 epidemic causing disruption and hardship to businesses across the UK, particularly in the hard-pressed care sector, we were pleased to be able to help one of our clients meet the challenge of extending their care services to six hotels being used as temporary overspill hospitals.

Salisbury-based care group Abicare called us after they were contracted to provide care staff for recuperating patients from hospitals across Hampshire and Dorset. The carers were needed to look after both Covid-positive and non-Covid patients who were being accommodated in empty local hotels operated by major chains.

“Because of the unique nature of the contract, Abicare needed us to make some tweaks to their HomeCare software app and import a lot of new data,” says easyLog development director James Clark.

“The changes we made were chiefly to enable care staff to make more notes to meet the differing care record needs of patients and, crucially, to track patient visits so appropriate hygiene procedures could be followed. We worked with Abicare over a weekend to create a new instance of the software and get it up and running as fast as possible. We are proud to say it is already in use in the new hotel ‘wards’.”

Find out more

For more information about our care systems, visit our website. Alternatively, contact one of our team for a chat.

 

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care recording, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Latest news, Time and attendance, 2 comments

Keeping staff safe by maintaining attendance device hygiene

 

One of the side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic is that we have all become much more aware of hygiene procedures, with government advice on hand washing and disinfecting surfaces with increased regularity becoming embedded in the routine of our daily lives.

This has caused our clients to consider the most effective way of cleaning their attendance recording hardware and so address employee concerns about the frequency with which this equipment is touched by multiple people.

Regular hand-washing is more important than ever

Like any hard surface – whether it be a door handle, desk or computer keyboard – germs can survive for a varying period of up to 72 hours after contact (source: www.gov.uk). We therefore recommend cleaning your clocking equipment more frequently using the usual recommended method while also encouraging employees to follow the government’s advice on washing their hands more often and for a minimum period of 20 seconds.

How technology can make staff clocking more hygienic

Before the current pandemic, a quick visual check or once weekly clean would have satisfied most staff that the contact they had with items in their work environment was perfectly safe. Understandably that view has changed and may well continue even after the threat from Covid-19 has been seen to pass.

In the belief that attitudes may fundamentally change on hygiene in the workplace, we have been asked by clients if options exist for equipment that requires no contact by the employee.

In short, there is no attendance hardware used by multiple staff that enables zero contact from the user. As a minimum, the employee will need to enter the in or out direction of their record. A face recognition terminal provides the facility to stand away from the hardware and thereby minimise contact with it while also offering the advantage of unique biometric recognition. A tablet running one of easyLog’s attendance apps will still require an employee to touch it but provides a flat surface that makes the cleaning process simple and efficient.

Our smartphone app means users do not have to share equipment

If staff members each possess a smartphone, easyLog offers options with easily downloadable apps that allow reliable and accurate attendance recording without recourse to equipment used by others. Of course, the practicality of this will depend on the workforce, the numbers involved and layout of the entrance area and specific clocking location.

These are all options that easyLog is happy to discuss now or in the post-pandemic, and probably more hygiene-conscious, world into which businesses will emerge. Until that time, please stay safe.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, 0 comments

Coronavirus disruption: stay on top of attendance and pay wherever your staff are working

 

These are unprecedented times where things are changing rapidly and businesses are having to deal with the unexpected every day. So if your staff need to self-isolate or you close your offices and ask them to work from home, how do you still operate a time and attendance system?

At the very least, you need a solution that is flexible, verifies the employee’s attendance wherever they are and can be implemented rapidly.

easyLog’s simple timesheet management system can be up and running within a day and can be accessed on any device with a web browser and an internet connection. It operates with a variety of easy-to-use attendance recording options, from an app on the employee’s phone or logging in on a website to calling an 0800 number.

So, with the support of easyLog behind you, whatever the coronavirus crisis throws at your business you can rest assured that your staff will be paid correctly and on time. And prices start from just £20 plus VAT a month, which might be the most pleasant shock your business has over the coming weeks and months.

You can find out more about our browser-based timesheet software and attendance recording systems on our website. Alternatively, contact one of our team for individual advice on the most suitable option for your business.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Minimum wage, Timesheets, 0 comments

Soft landing for smaller businesses on the cloud

It is often said that the internet is a great equaliser and, for smaller companies, we are finding that very much to be the case. Thanks to the web high tech solutions are no longer the preserve of big companies with generous investment budgets – nowadays even micro companies operating on a shoestring can take advantage of sophisticated time and cost-saving technology.

One of the fastest growing options for our smaller customers is cloud-based services. The opportunity to run software via the internet, rather than on expensive real-world hardware, has made our staff scheduling and attendance management systems available to a whole new raft of customers who until fairly recently would not have considered it.

Replacing traditional hardware with smartphones

In particular, we are finding that cloud-based systems are proving popular with smaller companies that want to dispense with traditional hardware and connect to easyLog services from the outside world using smartphones instead.

The benefits are threefold:

  • There is no need to invest in infrastructure other than smartphones, which employers and staff usually already own
  • There is no software “footprint” – it does not have to be loaded onto a central desktop or laptop computer, although it can be if required
  • Browser-based services can be accessed anywhere, at any time – ideal for busy bosses who are constantly on the move

If you would like to find out more about our cloud-based services and how they can make your staff management more efficient, contact us or request a call back.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Can employees fool an app to falsify their attendance records?

In the second of our series of blogs about asking employees to record their attendance using an app on their smartphone, we consider what security features to look for to prevent the possibility of staff dishonestly covering up lateness.

It’s an interesting observation that employers implement time and attendance systems principally to deliver two results: first, administrative time savings through automated calculation of timesheets and pay analysis and second, to improve the accuracy of recording their employee’s attendance.

On that latter point, the ultimate guarantee to prevent an employee fraudulently falsifying their hours is to use a biometric reader that recognises an individual by a unique part of their body, such as fingerprint, face or hand. However, many of our clients have small numbers of staff working irregularly at a number of sites where it would be uneconomic to justify the capital cost of such equipment at each location. In these situations, the low-cost alternative is to ask the employees to use their own or company-issued smartphone to record their attendance at each site. But without biometric safeguards, how can you be certain that the time clocking was generated by the registered user of the phone? That’s where easyLog has consulted with its growing number of users and delivered a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person.

So how does our app prevent clocking fraud?

Firstly, the app is used with QR codes, the latest generation of barcode representation. Generated from free-to-use websites, they can be printed and assigned to each location to uniquely identify the specific site. When the app is used it accesses the camera of the smartphone and the employee simply moves their phone over the code until an image is captured to record the date, time and location. The app also records the GPS reference at the point the attendance record was made. This is significant if an employee should have thoughts that they could photocopy the QR code – and then record their attendance from the comfort of their bed for example – as it will automatically be brought to the attention of their employer!

Within the easyLog software, each location is defined with a unique reference (used by the QR code) and also has their GPS latitude and longitude coordinates entered against it. So if the QR code is scanned from somewhere different to its defined location, the easyLog software will know and flag accordingly with a link to Google Maps to identify the actual location of the errant clocking.

Software that can’t be fooled

Secondly, the app records the date and time that the attendance record is sent to the back-office timesheet management software application. This may not seem immediately significant but if the employee has changed the time on their smartphone – moving it backwards to avoid being flagged as late or forwards to falsely claim overtime – then this will be detected by the easyLog software.

Thirdly, when downloaded the app automatically creates a unique ID reference for the individual smartphone. Again, in an online world familiar with website cookies, this may seem like normal practice. However, it provides another preventive measure against the dishonest employee who may be tempted to help a colleague who is running late.

As mentioned earlier, each employee is given a unique number to identify that it is them using the app each time – and they enter this in the app when they first use it. So what if they change that number to use their smartphone to clock in on behalf of a colleague? The software automatically identifies the phone used for each attendance record from the unique ID reference so if it finds clockings from two different employees but with the same ID then it will be raised with their manager to take appropriate action.

Peace of mind for employers

We hope the anti-fraud measures that we’ve included in the app won’t actually require use but unfortunately rogue staff do exist. Most importantly perhaps, easyLog can give the employer the peace of mind that their workforce is recording their attendance accurately, easily and with certainty – and at a price that is economic for any size of organisation.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, QR code and biometric clocking, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

What’s important in choosing an attendance recording app for your staff?

In the first of two blogs about using a smartphone app for employees to record their attendance, we explore the key issues that experience has taught us you should look for.

There are three important questions to ask when introducing attendance recording via a smartphone app to your workforce:

  • Is the App easy to use for the employees?
  • Is the App easy to download with the connection to my time and attendance software already set up?
  • Is it secure and not open to fraud by the employee?

Users of our Log-In App know that they can confidently say “Yes” to all the above. easyLog has created not only a simple to install and use app for the employee, but a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person. This latter point we’ll cover in a subsequent blog but in this one we’ll address those first two questions.

Automatically updates back-office software

The Log-In App is downloaded free of charge for the employee from the Apple, Microsoft and Google stores. easyLog supplies a five-digit Customer Code number to each organisation that the employee is prompted to enter when first opening the app. This automatically sets up the parameters in the app to link it with the web browser-based back office software that collates and reports on the time and attendance records received from the smartphones.

Next the user is asked to enter their own unique ID number given to them by their employer. This is saved in the App and means it will not need to be remembered again at the point of use.

And that’s it. When the employee uses the app they are presented with large, clear buttons that they touch to record if they are arriving or leaving a site. There are other user-settable options also to enable the additional clocking in or out from a break and a panic alert feature that will automatically send an email to defined individuals on pressing.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Timesheets, 0 comments

NFC reading capability for iPhone added to easyLog’s Log-In app

Android smartphones have been quick to see and embrace the opportunities that NFC (near field communication) technology has to offer. easyLog customers have, for example, used NFC tags to uniquely identify locations in areas as diverse as property management, cleaning supervision and night checks at care homes to accurately record and report on employee attendance at any site. In reverse, staff can carry a NFC tag to identify their attendance by placing it on a growing range of terminals and readers located at a single or multiple places of work.  By contrast, Apple used NFC readers for its Apple Pay application but did not allow access to the wider software development community to provide the benefits that our apps were able to offer to Android users.

However, last summer Apple announced that it was opening up access to its NFC reader capability from the iPhone 7 model onwards; a capability that easyLog has delivered on with our NFCClock app now available at the Apple Store. The App gives the facility for staff to use their iPhone to easily record their attendance at any location with a NFC tag, specifying whether they are arriving or leaving the site.

If you would like to understand a little more about how easyLog’s software uses NFC technology on iPhones and maybe evaluate it with your own employees, please call us on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Timesheets, 0 comments

Developing the most App-ropriate software tools for your business

Whatever industry you are in or service your provide, you are probably finding that smartphones and tablets are increasingly finding their way into your working life – and are becoming just as indispensable as they are for social and leisure activities. The numbers speak for themselves.

Back in 2010, just a fifth of UK mobile phone users had a smartphone, according to eMarketer. Today, that figure is around 80 per cent. The trajectory of tablets has been even more rapid, with more than half of the adult population using one regularly by 2015 – up from a third in two years.

Harnessing the popularity of smartphones and tablets

Although it’s impossible to predict the future of emerging technology trends, we could see early on that mobile devices were going to have a major impact on the management of everyday tasks – and so easyLog began developing convenient app versions of key products from the start.

Initially we focused on apps for Android devices to keep costs down for customers. But as more people began using Apple and Windows devices, we have been able to offer more apps for iOS and Windows Mobile – such as our highly successful multi-location geolocation and QR code staff clocking app, Locate and Clock.

The popularity of these time-saving and simple-to-use apps has inspired easyLog developers to create smartphone and/or tablet versions of several of our other flagship products and increase the functionality available of apps already in the marketplace.

Expanding our app functionality and product range

The Care Logger smartphone app, for example, which is designed for domiciliary care staff, will soon be released with the option for carers to view their rotas, clock-in and view call information. Meanwhile, managers will be able to use the same app to schedule and reschedule calls.

We also have a remote clocking app in the pipeline that is appropriate for a wide range of business sectors. As always we are guided by making routine and complex tasks as quick and easy to perform for everyone involved, saving employers time and money. The move to mobile has really been something of a revolution for us and our customers and we don’t see any sign of it slowing down yet.

For more information on easyLog’s extensive range of products and latest apps, check our website or speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Care home management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, QR code and biometric clocking, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Timesheets, 0 comments

Clocks going back – will your software pay your night staff correctly?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially ends this Sunday at 2am with the clocks going back by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour more for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay one less hour when the clocks go forward in March and British Summertime starts?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime ends will also be working on the night shift when Summertime starts and therefore a natural order and balance to these things exists. But that is rather wishful thinking to my mind. Across those two days within any year an employee could be on a different shift, be off sick, have left or be on holiday. And if they’re on holiday and you pay that by the hour then what calculation do you use then to ensure the correct remuneration?

Surprisingly I find some organisations blissfully unaware of the point I am making; and when I bring it to their attention there seems to be an immediate fallback position of the ‘natural balance’ rule I mentioned earlier!

Aware of this conundrum or not, it really doesn’t matter if you are an easyLog customer using our staff scheduling software  as you can resolve the issue either way. A simple tick box parameter allows you to specify if you wish to pay to the exact hours worked or to the normal scheduled shift. And that will take care of any holiday hours calculations and payments as well.

If you are a current customer that would like some help with implementing this feature please call our support desk on 0333 343 1004. If you don’t currently use our scheduling software but this article has got you interested in exploring what other clever and efficient things it could do for your organisation then call us on 01892 834406 and speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Invoicing staff time, Minimum wage, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

10 ways Home Care Studio can make work – and life – simpler

When you’re choosing a home care system, the chances are you’ll have a long list of boxes that need to be ticked. But we know from talking to our customers that often it’s the less obvious features that prove most valuable in terms of saving time and making delivering quality care that little bit easier.

The following functions of our Home Care Studio software may not be top of your checklist – but we think that once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

  1. Reviewing care plans on the move – on a phone

Our Care-Logger app enables carers to carry out evaluations and assessments as well as view care plans and tasks associated with client visits wherever they are via their smartphone – even when there is no internet connection. It can also be used to view and manage rotas and as a clocking device for ultimate flexibility and convenience.

  1. Set an ideal rota

We know most providers like to send a familiar carer face to their service users – and that most carers want some certainty over their rota. So that’s where the ideal rota comes in. A powerful and flexible function that allows you to define carers’ regular visit routes and then use this as the basis for the weekly rota.

  1. Log client visits by mobile phone

When time is money, an accurate and cost-effective visit tracking system is essential. One that is proving particularly popular with our home care customers is visit logging by smartphone. Using QR codes (smart barcodes), NFC tags or GPS global positioning technology, all are simple to use, highly efficient and surprisingly inexpensive.

  1. Update records on the go

With our specially-designed care-Logger app, carers can make visit notes directly into client records using their phones – no uploading or transcribing required. And to save even more time and bother, you can easily set up existing assessments in Home Care Studio.

  1. It’s not just about home care…

Our Home Care Studio software has flexibility built in – which means it’s equally suitable for supported living and agency care providers. This is particularly useful for customers who have multi-faceted care businesses.

  1. Personalise your invoices

You can customise your company invoicing by adding your own logo and adjusting the layout, creating a consistent, professional look and feel across your paperwork.

  1. Easy access to policies and procedures

Our policies and procedures section means staff can quickly and easily find important information when they need it, saving time and helping to ensure best practice is adhered to at all times.

  1. CM2000 interface

Because we know that, in the real world, larger care organisations especially use a variety of management tools, we have made our software compatible with other leading providers, such as Care Management 2000 for smooth transitions between systems.

  1. Client contributions made easy

Our invoicing section takes into account different payment structures, including client contributions, saving time and reducing billing-related headaches.

  1. Reports with everything

Whatever kind of report you want and however you want it presented, you’ve got it. You can even access a mileage report from Google Maps if you want.

If you want to know more about our software for care providers or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us by phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care record management, Care recording, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, QR code and biometric clocking, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, 0 comments

Mike Ashley’s Parliamentary embarrassment – easyLog to the rescue!

When Sports Direct’s boss Mike Ashley was recently grilled for three hours by MPs about his company’s employment practices, it emerged that staff were automatically (and “unfairly”) deducted fifteen minutes of pay if they were even a minute late. More crucially, Ashley also had to admit that some employees at his Shirebrook warehouse were, in effect, being paid less than the statutory minimum wage.

Forgive a little smugness on easyLog’s behalf when we read reports of Mike Ashley’s embarrassment in front of the Parliamentary committee. But had Sports Direct been using easyLog’s +S staff scheduling software, these errant practices would have been prevented by some standard features in our rota module. For example, a Shift Analysis report automatically calculates the average pay per hour of any employee across any period, which would have highlighted the shortfall on payment of the Minimum Wage rate. Many easyLog clients also use this report to remunerate holiday accrued payments correctly to their casual and bank staff based on the average hourly rate of the hours worked at the applicable pay rate on the days they worked.

Additionally, our +S software allows lateness to be handled with practicality and a degree of subtlety perhaps unfamiliar to Sports Direct management. Any incident of lateness is highlighted in an Authorisation screen allowing a manager to decide on a case-by-case basis if an individual employee should be penalised and, if so, by how many minutes.

Unlike Mike Ashley, we’re sure that you’re not planning to have to answer to a Parliamentary committee about your employment practices. But having the peace of mind that your staff are being paid for their work and holiday leave correctly, and that this is being achieved with a minimum of manual intervention, are surely important issues for your business. If you’d like to understand a little more about how easyLog’s staff scheduling software could help with calculating your pay analysis and monitoring your employees’ timekeeping, please call us on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an e-mail.  Mike Ashley we await your call…!

Posted by administrator in Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Latest news, Minimum wage, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Cloud options for every hosting scenario and budget

clouds on tablet PC to represent cloud server option

At easyLog, one of our defining principles is to help our customers benefit from the latest technology, whatever their size and way of working. As a result of a number of industry developments, including a significant reduction in the price of cloud server options and an increase in broadband speeds nationally, we are now pleased to be able to offer an expanded range of cloud-based facilities.

This means we have options to suit every type of hosting and server set-up and can provide high quality cloud services for almost every budget – in keeping with our principles.

Broadly, there are three main hosting models:

  • We can install easyLog software on your self- or externally-managed cloud server
  • We can manage your easyLog software and related functions on your cloud server
  • We can provide a full hosting and management service through our own servers

To discuss the different options and their relative benefits to your organisation, please contact one of our team or request a callback.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Care record management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Clocking in with a QR code now available for iPhone

The latest version of our multi-platform clocking app for iPhone can now be used with a QR code, or smart barcode – providing even more flexibility for cost-conscious employers.

As well as a choice of clocking methods, our smartphone clocking app offers a variety of possible data location options – making it suitable for a huge variety of working situations and employees. You can also choose what client and employee details are returned with the clockings, as well as whether you want the data sent to the chosen server immediately or held for subsequent download.

All our clocking options log location details, date, time and device ID automatically.

For further info about the app, read our blogs Smartphone clocking app offers more location data options and Now staff can clock in with a smartphone and a QR code. Alternatively talk to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Now staff can clock in with a smartphone and a QR code

Clocking in (and out) with a smartphone just got as easy as scanning a tin of beans at the supermarket with the addition of a QR code option in our multi-platform employee clocking app.

QR, or quick response, codes are the 21st century version of the barcode. Developed for their readability and superior data storage capacity, they comprise a number of square black dots arranged on a white background across a square grid. The QR code image is easy to produce and can be placed on a sticker or in a folder, for example, so it can be used in a wide variety of locations.

QR codes can now be read and interpreted via smartphones simply by pointing the phone’s camera at the image. The location data read is then sent back to the host with timestamp and phone id, making QR codes an extremely versatile alternative or addition to the other location services provided on our clocking app.

Like the other staff clocking options on the app, clocking via QR code has been tested on Android, iOS and Windows phones.

Find out more about our QR code attendance apps on our employee clocking web page or by requesting a callback.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets

Get ready for the new 30 minute home care visit

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

With new guidelines recommending that home care visits to the elderly should last a minimum of 30 minutes, it’s more important than ever to have a simple and dependable staff clocking system and effective rota management software.

The guidance, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), does allow for shorter visits but only if they are not the main visit of the day – for example, a follow up to check if a client has taken medicine. It also includes taking steps to ensure that clients know their carers by trying to use the same ones whenever possible and letting clients know in advance if their carers are likely to be late or not turn up.

To find out more about our wide range of attendance monitoring and staff scheduling systems and how they can help you meet the demands of this new gold standard for home care, visit our web pages using these links or contact us for further information.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Mobile worker tracking, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments