It won’t be business as usual as offices reopen and welcome employees back to work. Covid-19 has changed the way we live and had a profound effect on the way we work. Not everyone will return to an office. Many companies have seen benefits from the work-from-home model and will continue using it. But for some businesses, WFH policies may be difficult, if not impossible. Those workers will have to return to office buildings, elevators, desks and common bathrooms.

Experts have warned we still must take precautions. Masks, social distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting will become part of our everyday work lives. Employers must take precautions to ensure the health and safety of their employees, customers and vendors. That will mean adopting new procedures and technologies.

Time and attendance

One immediate consideration will be time and attendance solutions. How employees sign into and out of work will have to be rethought. Automated time and attendance using employee’s personal identification numbers (PINs) requires many people touching the same keypad. Keypads can’t be wiped down and disinfected after each use without causing major delays.

Biometric time and attendance

As biometric technology advanced and become more mainstream, some businesses have implemented fingerprint or facial recognition time and attendance solutions. Biometric time and attendance systems help battle payroll fraud by eliminating employees checking in for each other – a practice known as “buddy punching”.

Still fingerprint technologies require employees to place a finger or fingers on a reader. Once again, those readers would have to be sanitized after each use. Facial recognition is contactless and does not require physical interaction with a reader, but it has been shown to be less accurate than other biometric technologies. The use of protective facial masks will make it more difficult to accurately identify people.

Iris recognition time and attendance

The answer for many companies will be iris recognition technology. It provides protection against “buddy punching” while also being contactless. It is also considered one of the most accurate biometric technologies available. Checking into work using iris recognition technology is as simple as having a photo taken of your eye. Employees stand 30 centimeters (a little less than a foot) to 1.2 meters (a less than four feet) from a camera. Enrollment takes a few seconds and once you’re enrolled it takes even less time for verification.

Iris-based time and attendance systems are being used around the world. The Dangote Group, the largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest on the African continent, uses our iris recognition technology for time and attendance for more than 30,000 cement plant workers. Iris recognition technology lets workers with gloves or fingers worn from manual labor to check in and out of the workplace quickly and securely. Employees may wear safety goggles without a problem.

Paychex, a leading provider of payroll, HR and related services, recently installed Iris ID biometric readers in its latest time and attendance system to increase accuracy and speed. Other businesses using Iris ID time and attendance include a major sugar processing plant in El Salvador and the largest producer of fruit juice in Europe.

As we face the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces must evolve and adjust to new challenges. The bright spot is that there are existing and new technologies available to help us adapt. Contact us for more information on iris-based time and attendance.