What would you say if an employee asked you for an extra 6 weeks of vacation time this year?
If you’re like most employers and business owners, our guess is that you would laugh that one off and politely ask the employee to get back to work.
But what if we told you that employee is probably already taking that time off from right under your nose? And it’s not an isolated incident - all of your employees are probably doing it! In a recent American Payroll Study, employees surveyed admitted to adding an extra 4.5 hours to their weekly reported labor hours - the equivalent of 6 weeks per year! (And that’s just what they admitted to, it could be even worse in reality).
We touched on this phenomenon in our blog post earlier this year on the costs of buddy punching, but we wanted to dive deeper into a new technology that’s growing in the marketplace that may put an end to this practice - eye-tracking technology.
What is eye-tracking technology?
Eye-tracking technology is an identification software that tracks the movement of your eyes in order to verify your identity. This is not the same as a biometric eye scanner which will actually scan the retina of your eye to identify you. The difference lies in the simplicity of eye-tracking. Everyone’s eyes move in a different and unique way that allows you to be identified. With a retina scanner, you need a very high quality (and expensive) camera to get a valid identification. With eye-tracking technology, however, you can determine one’s identity with very inexpensive technology. According to Cecilia Aragon, Lead Researcher on eye-tracking technology at the University of Washington, “This system can be used by basically any technology that has a camera, even a low-quality webcam.”
What does this mean for workforce management?
Aside from all of the cool mobile solutions that companies like Samsung are doing with this developing technology, companies are also looking to invest in the technology for time and attendance tracking. Continuing to look for innovative ways to save costs, solving the problem of stolen time is one of the top wide-scale solutions that many companies and industries are looking toward. Eye-tracking technology will make it much more cost-effective to invest in company-wide time/attendance tracking that is 100% accurate.
Also, because your identity can be verified via a simple webcam, workers who operate remotely will also be able to verify their identity and systematically track their time. This will help companies manage and expand the ever-growing remote workforce. As the technology becomes more commercialized, we expect to see many companies convert from the old “punching in” methods to this new class time/attendance technology - which could save them roughly 4.5 hours/week per employee!