TimeTender VPN "Hot Spot"
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
What is a VPN "Hot Spot"?
VPN is an acronym for "virtual private network". But in our particular case, it might be more accurately labeled a "virtual punching network".
A simple, low cost, plug and play add-on to your existing network creates
an open wifi "hot spot" dedicated to allowing employees to use their existing smartphone to wirelessly connect with the TimeTender web server and punch IN/OUT across the internet. Normally, this "hot spot" is established in a break room or other work location where employees frequently congregate.
How is this useful for employee timekeeping?
It seems like just about everyone on the planet now owns a smartphone. These small handheld devices are actually powerful little computers and most people are totally addicted and won't leave home without them. Virtually all smartphones have the ability to connect with a wifi network. This can be used to benefit the employee
as well as the employer and allow these comfortable and familiar devices to be used as a personal work timeclock.
So how is this "hot spot" built?
In most cases, by simply plugging a small, pre-configured wifi router into your existing wired network. Before an employee can punch, his phone must be initialized by the one time entry of a code that can
only be found on our web site with manager access. Once initialized and connected to our web site, the phone functions as a dedicated, personal timeclock for the one employee.
Can't the employee simply re-enter the code to punch for his "buddy"?
No. Initialization is normally a one time event with results stored on the phone. Initialization connects the phone with the ID of only one employee. Phones can be re-initialized with a manager's help; however, this should only need to be done if the phone is reset and/or cleared.
Can't employees punch from anywhere with their phone?
No. The "hot spot" is an addition to your existing in-house network. Punching is restricted to and must originate from the public IP address of your workplace network. This can only happen when employees are at work, within range and connected by wifi to the hot spot.
Can't employees simply adjust the time on their phone before they punch?
No. When an employee uses the provided wifi hot spot to connect to our web server and punch, the timestamp is taken from our server, not the employee's phone.
Can't employees simply hand their phone to their buddy to punch for them?
This is possible but human nature and logistics make it difficult and therefore unlikely. For many, a smartphone becomes their lifeline to the rest of the world. It is one of their most private and valued possessions --- what we call a "valumetric"; a unique, identifying item of significant value that is unlikely to be shared.
If an employee over sleeps and realizes he will be late for work, he can't simply text
a buddy to punch for him. To do this, his buddy must physically come to his home and collect his phone --- possible, but not easy or convenient and not without privacy concerns.
Why not just use "geo-fencing"?
GPS based "geo-fencing" is often advertised as an alternative functionality. But a real problem is the fact that GPS often does not work indoors. GPS signals are weak and easily blocked by
buildings or even bad weather. GPS coordinates obtained from a smartphone are the last "successful" reading. When indoors, the coordinates provided were typically taken outside in the parking lot.
Thus; in order to work reliably, the "geo-fence" has to be enlarged enough to account for this.
In practical terms, this can lead to "drive by" punching where employees can punch IN/OUT from their car in the street or parking lot; without stopping or entering the building.
I don't want my employees playing on the internet.
They won't be --- unless they find the timeclock entertaining. The hot spot provides a dedicated network connection that only works with the TimeTender web server and cannot be used to access any other site on the internet.
Sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?
The only catch is that your in-house network must provide the communication infrastructure needed for your employees to punch. It is only as reliable as your network.
Provided your network is up to the task, a VPN "hot spot" can offer a highly cost effective solution for up to 150 employees.