What do you call the area or place in a company or factory where employees or workers clock in or out everyday?

I have found that in some hospitals nurses clock in or out at the nurse station. But I'm looking for a general word or term for referring to this area or place (if any).

I want to complete this sentence:

I think I have lost/ left my key at the ... when I was clocking in today.

  • Not an answer but I'm curious! Do they still have this sort of set-up? AFAIK, this has long been replaced with bio-metric check-in(finger-print) or smart chip-enabled identity cards. Most probably, such check-in devices are located at the entrance of an office or the reception area or in a dedicated room for this!
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:33
  • BTW, our mid-sized IT company has a location known as the BMS Room, i.e. Building Management System Room where employees swipe-in and out...
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:40
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    There's no fixed term for the room, since there's no fixed place for the clock. It may be the "back room" or the "break room" or the "back hall" or the "supply room" or pretty much anywhere.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 18:51
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    Certainly, if you clock in, everyone in the organization knows what the "time clock" is. But I suppose it's getting less well known generally, so the average man on the street might not understand the term (older will, younger not, probably).
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 19:13
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    No name. A time clock can be located in various places, though it is often by an entrance of sorts (e.g. to a building or to a particular room/floor or part of a building). The location has no name, unless you want to count an expression such as over by the time clock.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 3:44

4 Answers 4


The device by which the women in the picture are standing is a time clock, despite the redundancy of the term:


By extension, the immediate area surrounding the time clock is simply also called the time clock, since it may be part of a specific room or in the vestibule or in its own separate space.

So, "I think I have lost/ left my key at the time clock when I was clocking in today."

If it's in its own room, you might call that room a time clock room.

  • 1
    The purpose of an answer is to show research. This shows the connection between the terminology and the actual device. Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:38
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    To each his own, but I prefer @Josh61's version. If you prefer to highlight the link, consider displaying a description of the link instead of its bare URL - e.g. Pictures of time clocks.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:41
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    Also, "punch-clock". (US)
    – Oldbag
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:42
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    I don't think that messy link to some Google images improves the answer at all. Why not just include a straightforward dictionary definition of time clock? (That one, for example, says: A clock with a device for recording employees' times of arrival and departure.) Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:49
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    You might call that room a time clock room. You might, but only if you were trying to come up with an answer to this question. The location of a time clock has no name, IMO.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 3:42

Not sure if this is strictly the correct answer, but how about vestibule?

vestibule: an antechamber, hall, or lobby next to the outer door of a building.


My suggestion is based on the presumption that the clocking station would be by the exit, in a sort of antechamber.


In many companies, the time-clock (or punch-clock) is located in the break room.


A nurse station may have time clocks in it:

  • an area of a health care facility (such as a hospital or nursing home), which nurses and other health care staff sit behind when not working directly with patients and where they can perform some of their duties. (Wikipedia)

You may say that you forgot your keys in the time clock space or at the entrance where the time clock is placed.

  • No place I've ever worked that had time clocks (and there have been several) ever had nurses or referred to the area around the time clock as a nurse station. What's more, the time clocks were in different areas, sometimes near an entrance of some sort, but with no special name. @Charon's use of vestibule describes a typical location for a time clock, but a typical vestibule has no time clock.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 3:41

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