As we head into another month of social distancing, sheltering in place, working remotely, and homeschooling our children, we may have to start accepting that the “new normal” is here to stay, at least for a while. With that in mind, I want to revisit the most fundamental aspect of workforce management, the punch — the act of clocking in and clocking out. While Kronos has evolved into an organization with expertise extending way beyond time clocks, data collection is very much the beating heart of our organization, and yours. 

Five ways to punch with minimal contact

InTouchPunching in and out doesn’t always mean you need to make direct contact with a time capture device. Kronos clocks have integrated badge readers in one of four varieties — bar code, magnetic stripe, proximity, and Smart Card — and facial recognition is an available option through a Kronos partner as well.  

Bar code

Your Kronos 4500™ or Kronos InTouch® device came with a badge reader, most likely a bar code badge reader, even if you have a biometric reader installed and are not using badges. A bar code badge allows employees to swipe to clock in and out without directly touching the time clock. If you have a clock with a bar code badge reader and do not currently have badges but want to acquire them, contact your Kronos sales representative, customer success manager, or other Kronos contact for more information about acquiring bar code badges.

Magnetic stripe

Like bar codes, magnetic stripe readers allow employees to swipe to clock in and out. If you have a clock with a magnetic stripe card reader, it is likely that some or all your employees already have magnetic stripe cards. If not, you can procure additional magnetic stripe cards for those employees who don’t already have them. 


proximity wristband Kronos clocks may have an internal HID proximity card reader for contact-free card reading. This means that there is a physical distance between employees and the device when punching in and out. If your clock has an HID proximity reader, it is likely that some or all employees already have compatible cards. Proximity wristbands offer another approach. This wearable method has the potential to ensure almost no contact between employees and time clocks. Visit ID Shop, a Laminex company, to learn more about wristbands and any of the other badge reader card options in this post.

Smart Card

The final badge reader type supported by Kronos clocks is called a Smart Card reader. Like HID proximity cards, Smart Cards do not require contact, and chances are some or all your employees already have these cards. 

Facial recognition

Offered by Kronos partner M2SYS, RightPunch™ serves as an alternative to clocks or works in conjunction with them. It is compatible with all Kronos solutions, can run on any Windows PC or tablet, and supports multiple forms of biometrics including facial recognition for a completely contact-free and hygienic punch experience. Visit Kronos Marketplace to learn more. 


While avoiding physical contact with time capture devices helps reduce the spread of germs, no method is perfect, and all employees should continue to wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds per CDC guidelines. Cleaning your Kronos time clocks is one way to minimize exposure to germs, but you want to do so without damaging them. Please remember never to spray any harsh cleaning agents directly onto a device. Spray cleaner onto a soft, lint-free cloth and then wipe the device. And don’t forget to clean the touchscreen on your Kronos InTouch®. To start, tap Clean Touchscreen to disable the touchscreen for 30 seconds while you clean it. 

In case you missed it, find more information about cleaning time clocks here

Additionally, many customers have disabled biometric readers so that employees don’t have to touch the clock. If you’re interested in learning how to disable biometrics on your time clock, follow these links to articles in Kronos Community for Workforce Central, Workforce Dimensions, Workforce Ready, and iSeries Central. For additional information about your Kronos clocks and cleaning them, please visit the Kronos Community.

Published: Thursday, April 16, 2020