There are two methods of time-keeping:
1. Manual Methods which are divided into dance Register or Muster Roll and (ii) Check, Token or Disc
2. Mechanical Methods which are divided into Time Clock Method : (a) Dial Recorder System and (b) Key Recorder System.
1. Manual Methods of Time-Keeping
(a). Attendance Register or Muster Roll
Under this method, a register is maintained for making necessary entries by the worker himself or by the timekeeper. The register is usually kept at the gate and the arrival and departure of the worker are noted thereon daily. The register may also be kept in the department concerned under the overall charge of the officer-in-charge of the department.
The method is not only simple but cheap enough. It is easy to operate. However, this can be effectively maintained in small units only. In large units, it can not be effectively used because of the simple reason that because of the collusion between the workers and time record, it is just possible that it may not prove to be as accurate as is required by the costing departments. Chances of disputes are greater. Multiplication of mistakes is again fair.
But this method, despite all these disadvantages, is fairly used with advantages in a large number of both commercials as well as industrial enterprises.
(b). Checks, Token and Disc Method
Under this method, every worker may be given a check, or a token or a disc bearing his identification number. For recording attendance, a box or board may be kept at the gate. The worker entering into the gate may put his token etc. in the box or hang on the board at the appropriate place.
For those coming late, the box or board may be replaced at a regular interval or the latecomers may be asked to report to the unit in-charge or time recorder etc.
With the help of token etc. the attendance may be recorded in the attendance record. missing token indicates the absentees. Certainly, this system is an improvement over the attendance register system. But this is neither simple nor easy nor can be effectively put to use in any size of establishment.
It is a difficult system. No check is possible if a worker is hanging or putting the token of his co-worker. A lot of paperwork is required without any distinct advantage. Disputes cannot be easily settled. Mistakes cannot be easily avoided. Doubts cannot be satisfactorily removed.
Mechanical Methods of Time-Keeping
1. Time Clock Method
This is a mechanical method and is quite useful in recording the attendance of the worker entering into the establishment. Under this system, a time clock card is used for recording the attendance, which is allotted to every worker with his identification number, etc. These cards are kept outside the gate in a rack or at almirah. Two racks — one for IN and another for OUT are generally used for keeping these cards.
When a worker, comes to an establishment, he takes his card from the OUT rack puts the same in the slot of the clock, presses a handle (in the watch for the purpose), takes the card out from the slot and puts the same in the IN rack. The same process is repeated when he goes out of the establishment with the only difference that this time he takes the card from IN rack and keeps the same back in OUT rack.
When the worker puts the card in the slot of the clock and presses the handle the time is recorded on the card mechanically indicating the time of his arrival and departure. The card lying on the OUT rack indicates (at the arrival time) the absentee.
The following are the main advantages of the use of time clock card.
(1) It records correctly the arrival and departure.
(2) It reduces the chances of false and fraudulent entries in the card.
(3) It facilitates the preparation of wage sheets etc.
(4) It is naturally easy, simple and convenient.