Flip-Flop Clocking

One amongst many Time&Space features is “automatic” or “toggle mode” or “flip-flop” time clocking. The idea is simple and quite popular: If you are in, you are obviously going out, and vice versa. So there is no need to press buttons selecting “IN” or “OUT”. You just flash your badge and that’s it. The software calculates whether you are coming or going.

The users love it. But unfortunately, there are some pitfalls.

In toggle mode, for the sake of convenience, you are throwing away a crucial piece of information: IN or OUT. Normally, the software (or your clock) will be able to correctly calculate the missing information, and you will be fine. However, what happens if some clockings are missing? People forget to clock, they forget the badge at home, the reader may misbehave and so on… we have all seen that.

The problem with flip-flopping is that a single missing clocking will flip over all subsequent clockings. All INs will become OUTs and vice versa. One missed clocking has a potential of ruining your whole day (or more). If there is odd number of clockings, there is no way of knowing what is missing, what is right and what was flipped.

If you have very predictable shifts with just one pair of clockings in a day, it will not be so hard to figure out what is missing. But if you have dynamic working time with lots of events per day, event flipping can quickly escalate out of control.

Even more so if your clockings can get delayed in transit. Due to say, dropouts in online communications, it may happen that some older clockings will arrive later than the newer clockings. Until all clockings are in, the whole day (or more) may be flipped over. Again, you will be looking at a very different, wrong timeline, not very easy to handle.

This can be especially challenging when clockings are collected from several sources (multiple time clocks, mobile phones, data imports). In order to guess the right event (IN or OUT) you need to have ALL your sources tightly online. If you don’t, you will be confirming, collecting, showing and calculating clockings which are wrong.

To sum everything up:

OK TO FLIP-FLOP

• You have only one simple clock
• All your clocks are 100% online
• Your users do not forget to clock
• You have simple working time

USE IN/OUT BUTTONS

• Your data collection system is partly offline or experiences dropouts
• Your users sometimes forget to clock
• Your working time is dynamic
• You have a lot of clockings per day