Which time clock for the office is best?

If you have a small business with employees, a time clock helps you keep track of their hours, making your life a lot easier. They log start times, finish times and breaks in a concise way that verifies individual work output. Hours are logged and automatically calculated to simplify the payout process.

For business owners looking for an affordable way to track employee hours, the Totalpass P600 Employee Time Clock is an ideal choice. 

    What to know before you buy a time clock for the office

    Types of time clocks 

    There are four types of time clocks you can use to track employee output.

    • Card punch: The classic way for small businesses to track hours is the punch card.
    • Proximity: This version uses sensors on cards or badges to detect when employees arrive and leave work.
    • Web-based: This requires employees to clock in via the internet on a computer or their smartphone. Your staff will need access or be provided access to it to clock in or out. 
    • App-based: This model incorporates an application on smartphones that can be accessed and logged in remotely. 
    • Biometric: This uses fingerprints on a central device or can be accessed remotely via employee smartphones to secure individual clock ins and outs. 


    Before purchasing a time clock you should know where it will go in your office. Are you able to mount it next to a digital wall clock or would you prefer a mobile clock-in system? The layout and location of your company can determine what type you use.


    Certain types of time clocks require software to be installed and updated periodically. Are you prepared to integrate new software when investing in a time clock? If so, check its compatibility with your business payroll system first. Be sure it will automatically collect data and take into account if there are any monthly service fees involved.

    Sign-in method

    Your employees need to individually sign in or out as they go to and from work. This way their hours are automatically calculated as they arrive, go on breaks and finish at the end of the day. 

    • Fingerprint: This is good for remote workers because they can use the thumbprint on their mobile devices. It is also very secure and ensures that employees can only log themselves in. 
    • Proximity card: These are held on an employee’s person and scan them in as they reach proximity to the time clock area. 
    • Punch-in or swipe card: This is a traditional way to clock in with minimal glitches. It requires a physical connection with the time clock device to ensure accurate in and out times. 

    What to look for in a quality time clock for the office

    Offline mode

    In case there are any glitches, consider getting a time clock that has an offline option. This will ensure that even if the power goes out, the internet is down or any other issues arise, you will still be able to track employee hours. 

    Clock-in and clock-out

    Your time clock should add up hours and calculate pay reports according to how your employees have clocked in or out. This feature can also help you to track overtime, send them incoming mail and adjust according to daylight saving time changes. 

    Tech support

    Perhaps one of the most essential features of a new system is the tech support involved. There are often hiccups, adjustments or initial malfunctions when you initially implement a new system to your business, the support team for the technology can be a lifesaver. They can help you to set up, troubleshoot and offer you advice using the system. 

    How much you can expect to spend on a time clock for the office

    You can spend anywhere from $100-$600 on a quality time clock system for a small business.

    Time clock for the office FAQ

    Are time clocks effective?

    A. Yes. Time clocks let business owners track their employees’ times to ensure costs are being allocated to the right departments.

    Can employees clock in for each other?

    A. Employees are given their individual clock-in information that is specific to the individual. This information is often within a personal time card, proximity card, or perhaps the most secure, using their fingerprint. 

    What’s the best time clock for the office to buy?

    Top time clock for the office

    Totalpass P600 Employee Time Clock

    Totalpass P600 Employee Time Clock

    What you need to know: Calculate your entire business’s time sheets with this ready-to-go web-based time clock.

    What you’ll love: It connects to Wi-Fi but has no software or monthly fees to keep up with. You can use it within two minutes of opening the box to automatically track 50 employees, with expansions going up to 500.

    What you should consider: A few customers reported trouble connecting to Wi-Fi after using it for a while. 

    Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

    Top time clock for the office for the money

    uPunch Starter Time Clock Bundle

    uPunch Starter Time Clock Bundle

    What you need to know: This is a popular time clock with a classic punch in/out option for employees.

    What you’ll love: The clock bundle includes 100 time cards, a holder for them, an ink ribbon and two keys. This tracks your employees working time and calculates the hours for payments weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly depending on your preference.   

    What you should consider: A few people reported having trouble with the instructions for the device and a lack of customer service support.

    Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

    Worth checking out

    Pyramid 3500 Time Clock And Document Stamp

    Pyramid 3500 Time Clock and Document Stamp

    What you need to know: A time clock bundle that tracks payroll hours and manages business costs.

    What you’ll love: This clock has manual and smart site alignment options that can be set up in two minutes. Either can include timecards or a rack to hold them in. It has 14 prerecorded messages and multiple language options. 

    What you should consider: A couple of people mentioned the punch cards need to be aligned well for them to scan.

    Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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    Erica Redding writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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