Time, Time Zones and Daylight Savings Time

This article will cover some common questions regarding how our physical clocks get their time and how the clocks can be adjusted for different time zones and Daylight Savings Time.

From where does the clock get the time?

When a clock connects to our timekeeping servers to transmit punches (at least once per day), the clock's "time" will be synced with the server's time. Our timekeeping servers are set to the atomic clock located in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The timekeeping servers attempt to update their time every few hours so it is as precise as possible.

When you initially connect a clock, the time may not display correctly. This is likely because the clock has not adjusted to the current time zone. Once the clock initializes (done by pressing "9" on the clock), it will adjust to the accounts time zone.

There is no way to adjust the time on the clock.

How to set the clock's time zone

The clock's time zone will be set to the account's designated time zone. To view or change the accounts time zone:

TimeWorks: Select the client from your client list and from the Accountant Menu choose Add/Edit Client Info under the Client Setup Tools section.

TimeWorksPlus: Select the client from your client list and, from the Accountant Menu, choose Client Configuration under the Setting for the Currently Selected Client section. Choose the Basic Info tab.

Clock Specific Time Zone

If the client has clocks in different time zones, it is possible to adjust or offset an individual clocks time from the account's base time zone. You will need to know the serial number of the clock you want to offset before doing this. If you have named your clocks or put a location on them, you can easily find the serial number by looking at the Clock Status screen in the client's account (Verify Transmit in TimeWorks).

To change a clock's time zone, from the Accountant Menu, select Time Zones (make sure you have already selected your client), you will then see the assigned clocks for that client. Choose the appropriate serial number for the clock you need to change and select the offset that will put the clock at the correct time zone in relation to the client time zone.

For example: A client based in Central time has a clock in Pacific time. So you would set that clock to "minus 2 hours".

Note with TimeClocks (Tranz 330/380) you will want to wait 10 minutes after the change has been made, then press 9 on the clock to manually transmit it for the updated time to appear.

Daylight Savings Time

With two time changes occurring throughout the year, it can be easily confused on whether the service accurately reports the time worked during one of those time changes. Fortunately, the system handles everything automatically in a manner we hope is intuitive. Here's how the our system handles it:

On the Sunday of the change, the clock display will visibly change. On FlexClock models, a DST "checkmark" icon will appear, and on dialup TimeClock models, the date will temporarily be obscured by the words "IT'S NOW" followed by the time. This is a reminder to all employees that the clock has changed for DST. This message will remain until the following Wednesday morning.

All punches transmitted by the clocks are coded to say whether they were punched on the "new time" or the "old time" and the system compensates accordingly. If somebody's shift crossed the time change boundary, an extra temporary column will appear on the time card to indicate whether any adjustment was made.

If you have been using our system before August 2007, your dialup time clock might have an older version of our software that will not show the "IT'S NOW" message, and will update the time only during a server transmission, instead of immediately at 2AM. Our server compensates accordingly so the cards are accurate, even if the displayed time was wrong. Simply reprogramming the clock to the latest software version (2.x) will add that functionality, and this can be done right over the phone line. You can see the software version of all your clocks in the Clock Status screen on the site (Verify Transmit in TimeWorks). Also this message is not shown on FlexClock.

Also, note that the rules for DST changed in 2007. We implemented this change on our server. The clocks switch when the server tells them to. All of our clocks, regardless of software version, accept the new post-2007 changeover commands from our server, and will not have any adverse effect from this change, even if they were programmed before 2007.

Non-DST Accounts

IMPORTANT: If your client has clocks that are in multiple time zones and one of those time zones does not observe daylight savings time, you will need to manually adjust the offset for clocks that are not on the accounts base time zone.

 

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