Are your employees being honest when they clock in their time? If you are like most businesses, the answer is no.
Whether intentional or not, many employees are guilty of time theft, which is being paid for time they aren't actually working. This might seem like a minor issue, but according to Quickbooks, over $11 billion a year is lost due to time theft. If you’re among the employers who are losing money to this common problem, you need to find a solution.
Understanding Time Theft
Time theft occurs when you pay an employee for on-the-clock time that they didn’t spend working. While there will be time during the work day that your team members aren’t working, excessive amounts of time cost your company money. Sometimes, intentional time theft, such as when someone has their friend clock them in before they're even on the clock, can also be a challenge for the modern workforce.
You can’t be looking over the shoulder of every employee you have. That’s not practical, nor should it be necessary. Yet time theft is a costly problem and a common one. One survey recently found that 43% of hourly workers admit to over-reporting their work hours.
Top Time Theft Challenges
How does time theft occur? There are multiple ways, both intentional and unintentional, that employees can rob their employers of work time. Some of the top challenges include:
1. Time Recording Errors
When people are recording their time manually, they may make mistakes. For example, if they work until 4:55 instead of 5:00, they may put 5:00 on the time card. This may seem like a small issue, but it can add up to big losses over the year. They may make even bigger mistakes and not realize it, or they may intentionally record the wrong time to make it look like they've worked a full day when, in fact, they haven’t.
2. Buddy Punching
This occurs when someone clocks in or out for their coworker. With traditional time clocks, there's little you can do to stop this, even with strict policies in place. However, modern time and attendance software can reduce this risk significantly.
3. Too Many breaks
You have to give your employees break time, but the costs add up when employees extend their break time a little each day. Similarly, cigarette breaks can become problematic if your employees take too many of them. You must find a solution that allows favorable break schedules without taking too much work time.
4. Social Media Doom Scrolling
Most employees will check social media while on the clock, but this can quickly become a time theft problem. This becomes even more of an issue when your employees need to be on social media for work because it’s quite tempting to jump over to personal accounts. This is one of the harder problems to combat, as it’s hard to monitor what people are doing online.
5. Personal Activities on the Clock
Making appointments, online shopping, and even running errands while on the clock can all add up to lost time. If you have remote workers, this can be hard to monitor, but it is an area where time theft is common.
Role of Time and Attendance Software
These concerns are valid, but they are hard to monitor. One solution that can help modernize your time tracking while providing a solution for time theft is time and attendance software.
Time and attendance software with mobile time tracking solutions allows you to manage employee work hours better. You can use tools like geofencing to ensure employees clock in only when they are at the worksite, and you can set limitations that prevent clocking in too early. These platforms also provide notifications about unusual time clock-related behaviors, giving employers the tools to check in on their team without monitoring every single action.
IP address restrictions can also help, ensuring you know where your team is when they clock in. You can even use cutting-edge tools like biometric clocks and smartphone app-based time cards to ensure everyone can easily and accurately record their time.
Time and attendance software doesn’t just monitor team members to prevent time theft, but it also supports them by providing a way to request time off easily and to ensure everyone is using their much-deserved breaks. Tools like this give you a way to promote the time and attendance software in a way that your team will embrace it with gusto.
How Payday Payroll Addresses Time Theft
Payday Payroll offers an automated timekeeping platform that gives you more control to manage your workforce. It frees your team to do their jobs well and stay on track while clocked in, and it gives you a way to easily monitor your employees even from afar. It also provides tools to make employees’ jobs easier, such as electronic time off requests. Each of these tools is personalized to your business and the way you operate, so you can build a time clock program that revolves around your policies.
Time theft is a costly problem. Are you ready to tackle it while increasing productivity? Discover how Payday Payroll’s time and attendance software can be an effective solution. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how they can benefit your business.