Fingerprinted For Work

from the all-part-of-the-day dept

Sometimes you wonder if companies take the fact that they “can” do something with technology too far in making the decision whether or not to go for it. The latest is a trend to set up fingerprint based time-clocks for employees to make sure it really is them checking and and checking out and to stop them from lying on their time cards. While I’m sure it does cut down on some amounts of fraud, and has the potential to be useful in some areas, it does seem like a good way to send a message to your employees that “management doesn’t trust you one bit.”

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Comments on “Fingerprinted For Work”

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eskayp says:

Fingerprinted for work

As the cost of ID technology drops and the reliability improves, expect to see it at more jobsites, for auditing purposes, legal protection, and post 9-11 security.
For workplaces that pay based on time, rather than output or performance, it is a logical measure.
The post’s final phrase “management doesn’t trust you one bit.” is deservedly true for a small subset of employees who are dedicated to mooching off their coworkers and their employer.
While most of the chatter is about the dollar cost of ‘time theft’ to the employer, the real negative impact is on their coworkers.
The morale and effectiveness of honest employees is damaged by slackers who are slick enough to avoid accountability. They exist by skating along the edge: close to, but never quite far enough over to fall off. Their coworkers are well aware of this, even if supervision isn’t, or is unable to document it.
Accurate, reliable jobsite ID works to the advantage of trustworthy employees and their employer.
It is a disadvantage only to the untrustworthy.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

As another management drone to chime in, it occurs to me that by using ones finger print, I no longer need to buy a picture badge system with magnetic stripping as my employees would be logged by their finger prints. This will save me significant time and resources.

Again, it only seems to be detrimental to those who are dis-honest … or those who are overly paranoid.

Course, I’d still like to see a written document stating what the company is and isn’t allowed to do and use our fingerprints in what way.

eskayp says:

Re: Fingerprinting-Privacy-Morale

Good point about what will be done with our ‘prints.
As ID & security measures mature, and improve, voters (and lawmakers) will become concerned (and involved).
The open source community’s innate knowledge of technical security AND privacy would be a logical resource for ensuring employer security and employee privacy regardless of positive ID method.
As a blue collar supervisor I have seen the morale issue work both ways. Punching a time clock may reduce morale somewhat, but not nearly as much as unabated shirking by a few selfish malcontents.
A time clock is totally objective (doesn’t play favorites) and is always there when people arrive or depart (doesn’t get called away to meetings or emergencies).
Without a doubt a workplace based on mutual trust and respect is the best of all worlds.
But it only takes one schemer, gaming the system and his coworkers, to cause major morale problems.
Fingerprinting is just newer technology being applied to an ancient problem.
Other cultures have implemented alternative measures.
But how happy would typically independent Americans be with a Japanese style, rigidly enforced, greeting and calisthenics session before starting their shift?
Personally, I’d rather put my fingerprints on the pad.

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