Geofencing - What is it and how can it help with time and attendance
Geofencing is a location-based service in which an app or software uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action, when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence.
Depending on how it is set up and what is it needed for, geofencing can trigger a mobile push notification, text or alert. It can also be used for targeted advertising in an area on social media, tracking vehicle fleets, to disable certain technology or to deliver location-based marketing data and reports.
Some geofences are used to monitor activity in a secure area, allowing management to receive alerts when anyone enters or exits. Businesses can use geofencing to monitor employees and their contractors ‘in the field’ with time and attendance software such as Clockedin.
How does it work?
To use geofencing an administrator or developer must establish a virtual boundary around a specific area in GPS or RFID enabled software.
It can be as easy as drawing a circle around an area on Google maps, as specified using API’s when developing a mobile app. This would trigger a reaction when individuals or vehicles enter and exit the area, dependant on the specification of the administrator.
A geofence is most often defined within the code of a mobile application, particularly as it will need the user’s permission to engage with their location services for it to work.
If you visit a museum or a gallery they may have an app that you can download to deliver information about the tour or event. If you have a retailers app on your mobile phone and you are near to a store, you could receive instore offers popping up on your phone, these may prompt you to visit the store and shop! You are always able to opt out of allowing these apps to use your location service, which will stop the alerts.
A geofence can be set by the end user, using geofencing capabilities in their mobile app. These apps, such as iOS Reminders, allow you to choose an address or location where you want to trigger a specific alert or push notification. This is called “if this, then that” command, where an app is programmed to trigger an action based on another action. For example, when my manager gets close to his Tesla, the door opens for him.
Geofencing is not just for mobile apps – its also used to control and track vehicles in the shipping industry and monitor cattle in the agriculture industry. Nearly every drone is designed to accommodate geofencing, no-fly zones are mostly set around airports and large political venues such as the White House or the House of Commons.
With the rising popularity of mobile devices, geofencing has become standard practice for plenty of businesses. Once a geographical area has been set the opportunities are endless for companies and geofencing has become very popular in time and attendance software.
Here are the most popular applications that use geofencing:
Obviously, we should have been number one, but I don’t like to brag and will save ours for later!
- Marketing: Delivering in-store promotions by alerting you to an offer when you get close to the relevant area. Geofencing helps businesses target adverts to a specific audience based on their location, for example you would see an ad for Slimming world in Uppingham when you arrive in the Rutland area.
- Smart Appliances: as more of our appliances get “smart” with Bluetooth capabilities, its easier than ever to program your fridge to remind you that you are out of milk next time you are near a store. Alternatively, you can turn your heating on with geofencing when you get close to home.
- Social networking: One of the most popular uses of geofencing comes in the form of social networking such as tinder, snapchat and other location-based networking systems. These are apps where you can create location-based stories at your friend’s house or search for love in the area that you live.
- Human resources: Many companies use geofencing for monitoring their employees, especially workers who spend time off site and contractors involved in field work. It’s a great way of monitoring time keeping, as it clocks employees in and out as they enter and exit the specific geofenced area. Our ClockedIn software has geofencing built into it.
- Telematics: Geofencing can be helpful with telematics, allowing companies to draw virtual zones around sites, work areas and secure areas. They can be triggered by a vehicle or an individual and send alerts or warnings to the operator.
- Security: Geofencing may seem invasive – and it certainly has the potential to appear so, dependent on how it has been employed. However, geofencing can be used to bring extra security to your mobile device. For example, you can set your phone to unlock when you are home using a geofence or get alerts when someone enters your house.
Why do you need our geofencing time and attendance software?
Scheduling shifts and monitoring attendance of remote employees is a tough task for HR teams. If an organization is using the age-old process of paper time sheets or excel spreadsheets to keep track of remote employees, it is both time consuming and stressful for HR staff. Your business needs our technology to keep track of their staff and whether they are clocking in and out at the correct location. You can be assured that you are able to monitor lone workers, for their safety, and minimising risk to them. Our system will help you track your attendance in real time.
Your administrator can define an unlimited number of zones and assign them to employees based on any factors such as the day of the week, time of the day and so on. Your employees must be within the location to clock-in, and in case of any issues they are able to send you a message through our clocking in software as well. Best of all you can create a time and attendance report for your payroll – what could be better than that!
Do contact me at ClockedIn if you would like any further information……………..
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