Scheduling is an optional feature which enables you to define sophisticated work shift classes, including breaks, rounding rules and more. Using those shift classes, you then create your employee work schedule, deciding when employees can clock in to work. Scheduling is available on all account plans.
II. Set up
We'll walk you through here how to set up the scheduling features so you can use them in your business. We won't go over every feature in this article. The purpose of this article is to give you an introductory orientation to the scheduling features, and get you set up a with a basic work schedule.
First, you'll want to enable the scheduling feature, which is disabled by default. To do that, log in to the Admin Console at https://www.fareclock.com/console. From there, click on 'Settings' in the top menu bar, and then select Shifts. You should see the following:
You'll first want to enable the feature by selecting the Shift mode menu. There are two options to enable scheduling:
- Schedule - This setting require the employee to be scheduled in order to clock in to work.
- Schedule+Open - This setting will first check if the employee is scheduled to work upon clocking in, and if so, then use those rules. If the employee is not scheduled, then it will allow the employee to work under an "Open shift", using configured defaults which we will discuss more shortly.
After you make your selection, make sure you click the green Save button.
If you selected "Schedule" in the prior section, then you can skip this section and move on to the next section titled "Shift Classes". If you selected "Schedule+Open", then you'll want to set up your open shift settings in case an employee clocks in under an Open Shift.
You should now see on your screen something like this:
The default settings are located in the bottom section of this form titled "Open Shift defaults" as shown in the screenshot. You'll want to define your Open work shift, which can be either time-based or a flexible time shift of a maximum length. You can also specify rounding rules for the beginning and end of the shift. Before you can select rounding rules, you'll need to define them in the Rounding Rules editor. To access this editor, you'll want to click on the "Rounding Rules" button button, as shown in the upper right of the above screenshot. Rounding Rules are discussed in more detail in a later section of this article.
C. Shift Classes
You'll now want to define your first Shift Class, which you will later use to create your schedule. To access the Shift Class editor, click on the "Shift Classes" button, as shown near the top of the screenshot above.
You should now see something like this:
To add your first shift class, click the (+) button in the blue header bar on the left. You should see this:
i. Shift times
You'll now want to define your shift class settings. First, give it a name. Then decide whether this shift should be "Fixed time" or "Flexible time".
a. Fixed time - means that the employee's shift starts at a specific time (e.g., 8 am) and ends at a specific time (e.g., 5 pm). There still can be some leeway to coming early or late, but there is a general time frame to the shift.
On a fixed time shift, in addition to the start and end times, you can also optionally define:
1. Early/Late times: If an employee clocks in between Early and Start times, or between End and Late times, then the punch gets round to the start or end time. For example, in the above screenshot, if the employee clocks in between 6:30 - 7:00 am, then the punch gets rounded to 7:00 am for the purpose of calculating total hours. Note that the original exact punch will still be recorded, so you'll know the exact time; but the total hours will reflect a 7:00 am start. If the employee clocks before the Start Early time or after the End Late time, then the punch does not get rounded and remains as is.
2. Lock out times: If an employee tries to clock in before the Lock Out Before time or after the Lock Out After time, then the punch attempt will be rejected.
If the shift crosses midnight, you'll want to check the "Multi-day shift" option to define day offsets for each time (i.e., +/- N days).
b. Flexible time - means the employee can work at any time for a specified duration.
For a flexible shift, you'll just need to specify the shift length.
ii. Other shift class settings
You can also specify here geo rules, rounding rules and breaks for your shift class. These rules are discussed more in later sections of this article. Just note here that you'll need to define and save those rules before you can apply them to your shift class.
Regarding breaks, you can apply multiple breaks to your shift class. You can also combine breaks, so that you can use part or all of a break duration in an earlier or later break. For example, if the shift class has two breaks, the employee can miss or take a shorter first break and take a longer second break, or vice versa.
i. Break times
To define breaks, click on the "Breaks" button near the top. Then click the (+) button in the blue header bar on the left. You should see this:
After giving the break a name, you'll need to decide whether "Employees clock out for break" or "Deduct break automatically".
1. Employees clock out for break - Employees are expected to punch out for this break. If the employee neglects to punch out, you can optionally deduct the break anyway by checking the box labelled "Deduct automatically if not used".
You'll then need to define whether the punched break is "time-based" or "relative to shift". In either case, you'll be able to define a time window in which the employee can clock out for the break. If an employee clocks out outside this window, then it's not considered a "break", but rather it's considered as an absence.
You'll also need to define how long the break normally lasts, and also how long it may be. This latter setting is used if the employee returns late from break. If they clock in past this time, then the entire clock-out period is considered a break. If they clock in before that time and you checked the box labelled "the break counts toward total hours", then they will not get paid for the amount of time they are late.
2. Deduct break automatically - Employees do not punch out for break, and you simply specify the duration of the break and when it gets applied in relation to the beginning of the shift.
ii. Geo rules - You can also optionally define geo rules for this break, both when clocking out for break as well as for clocking back in. You can tie the geo rule to either the geo rule at the beginning of the shift, to the end of the shift, to the clock default geo rule, or create a custom geo rule for the break. Geo rules are discussed in more detail in the next section.
E. Geo Rules
To define a geo rule, click on the "Geo Rules" button near the top. Then click the (+) button in the blue header bar on the left. You should see this:
If you want to simply track the location of the employee without enforcing a particular location, then you can just name the geo rule and save.
If you want to enforce that the punch is at a particular location or within a particular area, then check "enable geofence". You'll then need to define the punch location and up to how far away from that location the employee can be:
You can set the location, by clicking the "edit" link next to the "Geofence center" label. A map window will appear. You'll then want to either enter a street address, or zoom in on the map and click the "mark center" button to mark the spot. You can also drag the marker to you exact preferred spot on the map. When you're done click "Confirm location".
You'll then want to specify the "geofence range" using the slide bar. If you want to allow punches to go through even if the employee is outside the geo fence, then click "Punches outside of geofence silently flagged for review".
When you're done editing the Geo Rule, click Save.
F. Rounding Rules
To define a rounding rule, click on the "Rounding Rules" button near the top. Then click the (+) button in the blue header bar on the left. You should see this:
There are two numbers which need to specified for rounding rules:
1. Rounding increment - This number is the unit which employee hours get rounded to. For example, you might want to round in 15 minute increments, such as 8 hours, 14 minutes might get rounded to 8 hours, 15 minutes.
2. Break point - This number is the # of of minutes within the rounding increment at which to round up. For example, if the break point is 8 minutes. Then 8 hours, 7 minutes gets rounded down to 8 hours flat; and 8 hours, 8 minutes gets rounding up to 8 hours, 15 minutes.
Now that you've defined your settings, you'll want to set up the employee work schedule to specify when the employee can clock in and out of work. Note that if in the beginning you set "Use schedule, then default" for shift mode, then if an employee is not schedule for work when clocking in, then they would clock in to a default Open Shift.
To schedule employees, hover over the "Manage" button in the top menu bar, and then select "Schedule". You should see something like this:
The left side of the view is to select which employee or group of employees to view/edit schedules for. You can group for entire organization, by organization unit, by department, or by a combination of organization unit and department.
For this example, we'll schedule the entire company by selecting the box labelled Select employees matching above criteria" and then clicking the "Search" button, as follows:
You should then click on the date you want to schedule. This will bring up an event window. You can then set your shift class, and save. If you want to schedule a recurring shift, then click "Edit Details...". You should see as follows:
You can then set your recurring shift by selecting the Repeats menu and choosing an option. Based on the option, you will be able to set your recurring rules. After saving, you should see the following schedule in the calendar:
Note that you whenever you schedule a shift for a group of employees, you can always override on an individual level, or even on a narrower group of employees. You can also override recurring events, by deleting individual days, e.g. holidays.
The primary report for shifts is Time Cards, which will group punches for the shift and display total hours according to the shift rules. There are also some hidden columns that can be enabled as follows:
Any exception codes will show in red on the report. The codes are abbreviated as follows:
- A = Added by administrator
- E = Edited by administrator
- F = Face error
- G = Geo error
- M = Missed punch
- SE = Started Early
- SL = Started Late
- MB = Missed Break
- SB = Short Break
- LB = Long Break
- LE = Left Early
- LL = Left Late
- OS = Out of Shift
- ★ = Flagged
You'll also be able to view associated shift information for a punch under Manage=>Punches by going to the Advanced section in the edit punch form and clicking the "view" link next to shift summary. You can also view the shift information from the schedule calendar when opening an event for an individual employee, and clicking on summary link.
IV. Migrating existing customers
If you are an existing customer, who already has been using Fareclock without scheduling, you should be aware of the following:
1. Existing/prior punches will not be affected by the new shift rules. Shift rules will apply only to future punches, or edited punches for prior dates.
2. If you've been using the Punches reports, this report will continue to exist and show past and future punches, but it will not show the detailed shift information.