The mobile terminal application saves time and money, says Vojtěch Klimeš in an interview for the HR forum magazine

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November 9, 2020

This Autumn, HR Forum magazine published an interview with the director of OKsystem Development Division, Ing. Vojtěch Klimeš. In an interview, Klimeš describes the main advantages of using a mobile attendance terminal, which has been available to exist for OKbase users since October. "Simple, intuitive operation and affordability are the main advantages of our solution. It is not always necessary to install an attendance terminal for attendance evidence - with our application it's enough to place for example an NFC sticker in place, and registration is also easy via a mobile phone”, describes one of the advantages Klimeš.


Read the whole interview in Czech, including a description of other functionalities of the OKbase mobile application and their security here: Vojtech Klimes interview HR forum - PDF.

Or in english below.


We do not make the lives of honest employees unnecessarily complicated

Is the introduction of mobile terminals a reaction to the current situation of anticovid measures? By that we mean increase in home office.

Although it may look that way at first sight, mobile terminals are not a direct reaction to the current situation. In developing our software, we always try to look ahead for new trends in the human resources field and work approaches. The transition to a greater share of home offices was a logical direction that was only speeded up now. Nevertheless, mobile terminals are not meant just for home offices but also (or rather primarily) for companies having a network of smaller operations or employees in the field.

Can you summarize the most important benefits of using a mobile terminal?

I would sum up the advantages of a mobile terminal in two words: simplicity and affordability. If a company operates a larger number of small operations (such as cafés or shops), it is very demanding from the financial and organizational viewpoints to have a classical attendance terminal for each operation. With our application, it is enough to get an NFC tag for each operation and employees may register their attendance using their mobile phones. In the same way, there are companies needing a high-quality record that an employee was in the field exactly where he or she should have been (imagine something like inspection of transmitters or security guard services). It is enough to equip such place with an NFC tag and the employer can be sure that the employee recorded the attendance in the right place. If you secure about 100 places in this way, the costs will be about the same as for one hardware terminal. Then it is enough to install the application, log in, and use it right away. Easy and efficient.

What is the “smart” solution of the OKbase mobile terminal all about?

For any application to be successful, it must be smart. The question is what does this really mean? There are a number of applications trying to be smarter than the user itself, and this usually makes every one of us angry. We try to make our solutions so that they meet the needs of the user based on how he or she will start to use the application. The easiest example: You’re arriving to work, and you are offered the record “Arrival at workplace.” You’re leaving the workplace, so you are offered the correct record right away. You enter often a record “smoking break”? We will offer it to you. Or you quit smoking a month ago? The button will not occupy the space on your display unnecessarily. In most cases it is enough to touch the NFP chip with your phone and the system will make the correct attendance record.

Is such evidence of employee attendance secure?

Of course, security always comes first. And the simpler the application, the more secure it usually is.

Isn’t there a risk for the employer that the employee will manipulate or falsify the attendance records?

The temptation of employees to alter their attendance is a never-ending story. That’s why employees don’t like abandoning the “paper–pen” system, because the paper can contend with everything. Even the modern attendance terminals using chip cards do not ensure 100% security. A situation whereby one employee takes cards of his or her colleagues’ and “beeps” the attendance at the right time not only for himself or herself but also for the others is not that uncommon. But would you lend your mobile phone to a colleague for some longer time? And would you disclose the PIN? This “social block” is by itself already a great protection. But of course we are working also on other methods of entered records protection, such as control of time manipulation on the phone, records out of signal reach of mobile operators, geolocation, etc. In cases of suspicious records, we give managers also tools to discover such manipulation, but we do not make the lives of honest employees unnecessarily complicated.

Does the application plan to use biometric elements to record attendance in the future?

Using biometrical elements to record attendance is difficult. In Europe we have a great respect for the personal rights of each individual. Moreover, according to the directive on personal rights protection (GDPR), such sensitive data as biometric data should be used only when absolutely necessary. Attendance recording does not count among such activities. Apart from the directive, it is true that the more data you have about your employees, the more you have to take care of those data and prevent possible leaks, because in such case you have a big problem. Therefore, we do not use biometric elements in attendance records even though it sounds appealing at first sight. Nevertheless, the mobile application partially solves also this issue, because biometric protection of mobile phones (fingerprint, faceID) is a common thing today. And if the phone is secured, then attendance records through our application also are secured.

Is the mobile application especially advantageous for a particular line of business?

We see the use of this application mainly where the employer has many small shops and wants to record attendance in all these at acceptable costs. But now I come back to the current situation, which is not easy and brings a massive increase in working from home. We all know that our labor code isn’t very flexible in reacting to dynamic changes. It puts considerable strains on employers in the area of control and security of work from home. We have implemented into our application quite a unique function, a “home Wi-Fi network.” Each employee may register one Wi-Fi network which he or she has at home. If the employee makes a record in this network it is considered to be a terminal. So the employer is sure that the attendance record was made there where the employee agreed to work. If I work somewhere else, the record is marked as manual and the employer knows again right away that the work was carried out somewhere else. We’re not saying that this method is the best one, but work from home generally requires a greater amount of trust and responsibility on the parts of both the employer and the employee. This is only a tool for strengthening this trust. And by the way, a number of small shops have their own specific Wi-Fi networks, so this functionality may be used also there, although it seems to us that in this case the NFC chip will work better.

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