What Do You Call a Wall Mounted Time Clock?

We asked, and you answered. 

As a timekeeping company that has been helping people track their time for almost 20 years, we’d like to think that we are the experts in our field; however, that doesn't mean that we cannot learn a thing or two from our real experts, our customers. During a meeting held back in September, we asked ourselves, “Do we really know the verbiage or the terminology that our users and customers use? Do we really know what we think we know about how our customers think?” After a brief discussion on this, we decided that it was time for the real experts to weigh in, you, our customers.

As we worked through putting together our survey and what should be included, we were curious to know if we could find a correlation between the generations. Does a baby boomer call a time clock something different compared to a millennial? Or how about what Gen Z is calling a time clock compared to Gen X. So, in our questionnaire, that is exactly what we did. 

We showed our respondents the following: 

We'd like to know what you call the device shown in the image below. This device is used to track employees' times when they come to work and leave work. “

After a couple of weeks of allowing our customers to answer our survey, we collected all the responses, and what we found out might be surprising. Out of all the different types of answers, we have received, the top three answers were; 1.) Time/Punch Clock 2.) Tablet/iPad 3.) Clock/Punch in/out machine/system/station.

The Data

Combined Organized Responses Number of Responses
A digital punchcard 1
Calculator 1
Clock/punch in/out machine/system/station 24
EBMS Time Track 1
Employee Punch Site 1
N/A 15
Number board 1
On the clock 1
Punch card 1
Punch in/out system/ app 2
Tablet/iPad 29
Tablet or punch kiosk 3
Time card 1
Time clock/punch clock 79
Time clock kiosk/pin pad 6
Time/ time punch 2
Time track(er)/device 8
Touch time clock 1
Virtual time clock 1
Welcome screen 2
Total Responses 180

Being in the Employee time tracking industry, we anticipated that Time Clock and Punch Clock would be some of the top answers; however, for Tablet/Ipad to come in at number two was very surprising. As we dove deeper into the data, we discovered a common trend among each generation. What we found out was an increase in the number of responses that would come back as Tablet/iPad consistently increased throughout each generation up until we reached the Baby Boomers. It was in this generation where no responses came back as Tablet/iPad. 

This makes us beg the question, “Why is it that the older our respondents got, the more likely they would respond to this image as a Tablet/iPad?”

Understanding the Evolution of the TimeClock

The first-ever patented digital microprocessor time clock was invented in 1979 by Mark S. Ain, his punch clock was the first of its kind not only to record the punch times but also to total the employee's hours that they were logging. Then not too long after, in 1985, Mark presented a PC-based product. The first-ever tablet was created in 2001, and then the first generation iPad came in 2010. The answer to our question of why older respondents would say Tablet/iPad when they are more familiar with the physical punch clock is a lot more difficult than one can imagine.

What Do You Think?

As stated earlier in the article, the purpose of this survey was to see what people in the workforce call this device (see image above) as it correlates to employee time tracking. We were hoping to find a correlation between generations to see if there was a universal term that was used to describe this image. What we didn’t expect was to be thrown as big as a curve ball as we were. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,”  now we are asking you, the reader, what do you see?

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