Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - April 2012

I’ve chatted with quite a few of you about Virtual TimeClock ‘12 these past couple of weeks. I must say, it’s great to hear you get just as excited as me about this new release. You seem especially thrilled with the way we’ve separated out the administrative functions of the program. By now you’ve discovered that Virtual TimeClock ‘12 has a new User Status window and an Administration window. The User Status window is where time clock users start work, stop work, change activities, print their timecard, and open their mailbox. The Administration window is how managers and administrators edit timecards, print reports, export payroll data, close payroll periods, and configure the time clock. Enter your password one time and the new administrative toolbar puts all these activities right at your fingertips.

Employees can open their User Status window several different ways, like selecting their name from an in & out board, using a numeric PIN, or typing an alphanumeric passcode. These new interfaces are part of display groups, so that’s what we’re going to talk about in this month’s newsletter.

Benefits of Display Groups
Display groups have been completely redesigned for Virtual TimeClock ‘12 to be more flexible, powerful, and easier to use. We’ve also centralized some other program functions like security and preferences into display groups, but we’ll talk about that next month. It’s helpful to think of display groups as what program rules are in use for your time clock, including what interface employees will use to open their User Status window. Here are some other things to use display groups for:

  • Limit what activities and out memos workers can select when recording time
  • Control user and manager access to program features
  • Choose what reports users and managers can view and print
  • Set what user names get listed in the in & out list for each time clock

Time Clock Interfaces
The new interfaces provide different ways for employees to open their User Status window. The User Status window was designed to allow users to perform all their actions after just one password entry, rather than having to enter their password for clocking in, then again for viewing their timecard, and then again for checking messages.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The User Status window will automatically close 3 seconds after the last action is performed, except when using the Individual interface.

In/Out Board
This interface makes it easy to tell what activity employees are working on while they're on the clock, when they're at lunch or on break, and when they've left for the day. When you stop work, you'll be prompted to choose an out memo, which will update the in/out board. Employees can also create a one-time custom memo when stopping work like 'Back by 3 PM'. These custom memos are a great tool for fully utilizing the in/out board function of your employee time clock software. The in/out board can be displayed as either one or two lists. The two list view provides a nice visual indicator of who’s in and who’s out at a glance. This is the interface always used in the Administration window.

Here’s a quick Tip:
You can choose what columns you want to have displayed on your in/out board in the display group configuration.

PIN & Passcode
These brand new interfaces provide more privacy and efficiency for group time clocks. Some businesses don’t need or want the standard in/out list of worker names because they don’t want users knowing the comings and goings of other employees. There may also be a need to conceal user names, like at a day care or school tutoring lab. These new interfaces also allow group time clocks to process a large number of employee punch times more quickly. So rather than scrolling down a list of dozens of employee names before selecting your own, you just step up to the time clock, enter your password and perform an action like clocking in or going to lunch. The major difference between these two interfaces is that a PIN must be numeric while a passcode can be alphanumeric.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Try the new PIN interface on a touch screen monitor and ditch the keyboard and mouse altogether!

Personal Time Clocks
Virtual TimeClock ‘12 Network Edition has a new Individual interface that makes it easy to setup and use personal time clocks. A personal time clock allows an employee to clock in and out from their own workstation, as opposed to a group time clock that could have any number of employees clocking in and out from it. With the Individual interface, the User Status window will automatically open based on the user login. This means all employees can login individually to one display group instead of having to create a separate display group for each user!

Here’s a quick Tip:
Combine the Individual interface with the new User Client to create a personal time clock without any administrative access.

I suspect that some of the significant changes in this release may cause initial discomfort for users familiar with doing things a certain way. Change, even for the better, is unwelcome when it slows us down and makes it harder to use a tool we’ve already mastered. Let me know what you think as you get used to Virtual TimeClock ‘12. We’re committed to making Virtual TimeClock the best tool it can be for you.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow