Best time-clock application or system?
September 18, 2017 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Hi folks! I work with undergrads who do not currently use a clock in/out system but still have to put in their hours at the end of the week. We're looking for a simple clock-in/out system for them that would be usable across our work computers but not accessible online, necessarily.

We're in a research lab, and we don't have a lot of money extra devices or apps, but we would spend SOME money if the system is right. We are not looking for a system that would require kids to carry an RFID card or use identifying information beyond first name plus a 4-digit pin.

The additional issue is that our lab space isn't very secure and we don't have additional room or outlets for another dedicated computer. I don't REALLY think these kids would spend a lot of time or effort to game the system, but it would be nice if it wasn't just a website they could log onto from anywhere.

An ideal system would be a macOS app we could put onto all the undergrad's computers that would remind kids to "clock in" once they logged on. They would not be able to modify the times, but they would type in/choose their first name, type in their pin number and it would record their time. This would sync across devices, and I could access these numbers and email them their times at the end of the week.

Does anyone know of a system like this? Anything close would be helpful!
posted by ancient star to Work & Money (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What is the goal of clocking their hours? Are the exact times necessary, or are you looking for duration of research hours? If the latter, the system we used back in the dark ages when I was an undergrad on an hourly wage in a research lab with limited space, was for me to carry a paper timesheet where I logged my hours and then turned in every 2 weeks. High incentive for me not to lose the timesheet because no timesheet = no paycheck. This is also the basic method we used to log duty hours during my slightly-less-dark-ages residency training -- that used a website rather than paper, but same basic idea. Of course, this requires you to trust the undergrads in question not to fudge their hours.

If you really need the exact timestamp, you may be able to capture login/logoff data from the computer itself. I don't know mac that well, but if Windows can do it, surely Mac can.
posted by basalganglia at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2017

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