3 Employee Time Tracking Myths Debunked

3 Mobile Employee Time Tracking Myths Debunked

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

For the last 15 years, we have been working with small and large construction companies to help them move from time clocks, timesheets, and spreadsheets to a mobile employee time tracking solution. Many of the same misconceptions we encountered 15 years ago are some of the same ones we hear today. These false assumptions hold true across all industries with mobile workforces. Though there has been some slight improvement in the IT spend by the construction industry, 46.7% still spend less than 1% on their IT budget according to the 2017 ConTech Report

Here are 3 of myths about mobile employee time tracking solutions debunked: 

Employees Scared of mobile employee time tracking tech

 

"My employees are not techy enough to track time on a mobile device." According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a mobile device and 77% own smartphones. This is a 35% increase in smartphone ownership since 2011. If your employees are 18 – 29, 94% of them have a smartphone and 89% of Americans between 20-49 have a smartphone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of a construction worker is 42.6 and the median age for all employed workers in the US is 42.2, so almost all of your employees own a smartphone and are very comfortable using it. When we started introducing mobile technology to the construction industry 15 years ago, we added hundreds of customers by convincing them to buy a mobile employee time tracking solution because using it was as simple using an ATM with a PIN code. Today, practically all of your employees are familiar with entering a PIN code on their smartphones and can take a selfie so there’s no good reason why you can’t get your employees to track their time on their smartphones or from a company-owned tablet. It’s just a few clicks on the WorkMax TIME app for your employees to clock in and take a selfie to utilize the facial recognition feature. WorkMax employee TIME tracking is also offered in Spanish to overcome any language barriers. 

 

Expensive Mobile Devices

 

"It’s too expensive to buy mobile devices for all my employees to track time." Well, according to Pew Research above, most of your employees already have an iOS or Android smartphone, so you don’t have to purchase anything to track your employees’ time. iOS has 53.6% of the market share in the US and Android has 45.79 %. That means that 99.39% of mobile devices have an iOS or Android operating systems that support mobile employee time tracking.  When you look at the amount of money you would spend for an employee time tracking solution compared to what you would save based on our ROI calculator, the cost is negligible. We’ve had some clients report a 2926% ROI when they used WorkMax TIME and WorkMax FORMS to manage their mobile workforces' employee time tracking and mobile business forms.  

 

Accurate Employee Time Tracking

 

"My employees are always accurate with their time tracking." According to the American Payroll Association, your employees overestimate their time worked by 4.5 hours per week. The overestimated time worked includes arriving late for work, taking long lunches and breaks, leaving early, having a buddy clock them out after they have left their work location or having a buddy punch them in before they’ve arrived at work. The over-reported labor issues can be avoided with an automated employee time tracking solution with GPS, geofencing, facial recognition, and accurate task tracking. You can confidently know that your employees are in the right location when they are clocking in or out for the day and know when they’ve gone outside the geofence. You’ll have no concerns about buddy punching when you use the facial recognition feature in WorkMax TIME to track your employees' time to achieve the most accurate labor hours. You can also see efficiency trends by comparing how long it took them to perform similar tasks or jobs in the past.

 

To learn more about how WorkMax TIME can help you reduce labor costs and be more productive, view our video or watch our demo on demand. 

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3 Ways Youre Losing Money with Time Clocks Timesheets and Punch Cards

3 Ways You're Losing Money with Time Clocks, Punch Cards, and Timesheets

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

Are you still using a time clock, punch cards, time cards, or paper timesheets? Whatever the reason you’re using a time clock, punch card, you need to know that there are some major drawbacks to using them for your employee time tracking. Here are the top 3 reasons that time clocks, punch cards, paper time cards or timesheets are dwindling away your profits:

Time Clock Graphic 1. Buddy Punching on Time Clock
If you’re using a time clock or punch card for your business to track your employees’ time, then you’re leaving the door wide open for your employees to clock in their buddy at work when they’re not there and they are definitely not working. Whether they are clocking in their coworker early because they got stuck in traffic or clocking them out after they left work, all of this time adds up and is costing your business money and affecting your bottom line. With a mobile workforce, that’s why you need to replace your time clock or punch clock with a mobile employee time tracking solution with facial recognition to know who is clocking in and out from their mobile devices. With facial recognition with WorkMax TIME, you can eliminate buddy punching and reduce your labor costs.

 

Employee Time Tracking Travel Time

2. Travel Time to/from Time Clock 
If you have a limited number of time clocks or punch clocks at a large office or a large job site, you’re paying your employees for unproductive labor hours. After they clock in, they have to walk or drive to where they’ll be working for the day. As an employer, you are obligated to pay your employees for this travel time, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Depending on the size of your company, 5 minutes per day at $20 per hour for 100 employees adds up to $43,333.33 annually. If you had an automated employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME for your business, you can save $43,333.33 annually because employees clock in from their mobile devices on the job site and you have a GPS location of where they are when they clock in. No more wasted labor expenses when employees are traveling from the Time Clock or Punch Clock to your employees’ work area or job site. 

Employee Time Tracking Over Estimated Time

3. Overestimated Time with Timesheets or Time Cards

With paper timesheets, employees can overestimate their time by showing up late for work or leaving early or take long lunches or breaks. Your employees’ time is your money and is eating away at your profits. Many times with paper timesheets or time cards, employees fill them out at the end of the week and have to rely on their memory. This leads to employees overestimating their hours worked for the week. This can also put your employees into overtime and cost you even more money. The APA estimates 49 minutes per employee per day is overestimated. Click here to see calculate how much overestimated time could be costing your business. With an automated employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME, you know where your employees are when they are clocking IN/OUT and you know that it’s the right person clocking IN/OUT. The GPS feature and facial recognition give you the assurance you’re not overpaying your employees for the work they did for you. WorkMax TIME also captures their hours worked in real-time from mobile devices so you’re not relying on their memory for their hours worked that week. You can be confident that you’re paying the right employee for the right hours. 

 

To learn more about WorkMax TIME’s automated employee time tracking solution that’s available on any device from anywhere for the most accurate labor costs, check out our video or view our demo on demand.

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3 FLSA Time Tracking Mistakes with Better Communication 1

3 FLSA Employee Time Tracking Mistakes Corrected with Better Communication

By: Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 


It’s surprising how quickly an employee time tracking error can snowball into a much larger and much more expensive issue if you’re not following the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). One of the seven FLSA fails for employee time tracking revolves around accurately tracking employees’ time when they are taking breaks. Last month, a Memphis meat packing company learned this lesson at a pretty high cost, but the same principle can apply to any industry. They asked their employees to end their lunch breaks five minutes early to go back to work without paying them for their five minutes of work. During those five minutes, they asked their employees to wash their hands, stand in a foot bath and to change into their uniforms. These were important tasks that the employees needed to do their job; the problem was that their work was uncompensated.


So, you may be thinking, okay, the employees didn’t document their time correctly and five minutes can’t be that big of a deal, right? You might think it would amount to a few thousand dollars. Well, we’d both be wrong. The five minutes a day for each of the days the 272 employees worked added up and also put some employees into overtime. This resulted in a Department of Labor award of $127,830 in back pay and liquidated damages to the 272 employees for violating the FLSA. All of this could have been avoided if the HR team had clearly communicated and educated the supervisors and employees about the rules for employee time tracking for breaks. In addition, there are two other FLSA errors related to employee time tracking that can easily be avoided with clear communication and education for your employees and supervisors to avoid costly fines and unanticipated wage payments for back pay and overtime. Here are a few things that your supervisors and employees can do to make sure that you’re paying your employees what they have legally earned for all their hours worked:

Employee Time Tracking Lunch Breaks

 

 1. Working On Break - If your supervisors or managers interrupt an employee’s unpaid break to ask them to return to work, many times employees forget to change their clock in time. They're used to writing their lunch hour from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm and don't update their employee time records to show they actually started work again at 12:55 pm. Supervisors should remind employees to clock back in before they start working if the supervisor asks them to come back from lunch early. The other option is to not interrupt their lunch break and ask the employee to see you when they’re done. We all know taking breaks makes employees more productive and happy.

 

Employee Time Tracking Clock In Out

 

 2. Work Before/After Shift- If an hourly employee’s normal shift is 8 AM to 5 PM and you ask them to come early to work or stay late, make sure you’re telling them to clock in when they start work and clock out when they end work. One of the seven FLSA fails for employee time tracking is that employees don’t include the time they work before their shift starts and/or after their shift ends. Make sure that you’re always encouraging your employees to accurately tracking their time. When supervisors have an automated employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME available from their mobile devices, they don’t have to worry about employees going into overtime. They can see in real time how many hours their employees are working. 

 

Employee Time Tracking Travel Time

 

 3. Paying Travel Time to/from Shop to Job Site - For many industries, you may need employees to go to a location away from their assigned job site for the day to pick up or drop off items. When employees are traveling from the shop to pick up to tools or equipment, make sure they are including the travel time from the shop to the job site for accurate employee time tracking and FLSA compliance. If you ask your employees to drop off tools at the shop after their regular shift hours, remind them to make sure they clock out after they drop off the tools to shop. Driving to pick up items to perform their job or that are duties that are part of their job is considered work and your employees need to be legally paid for their time. According to the Department of Labor, you are required to pay employees for time spent traveling during normal work hours.

 

 

So many of your employee time tracking issues can be easily be taken care of by clearly communicating with your employees and supervisors that you want to pay them accurately for all the time that they work. Make sure your hourly employees know that they need to be on the clock whenever they are performing work. If not, these employee time tracking oversights can quickly snowball into very expensive Department of Labor investigations where you could be forced to pay back pay, overtime, and fines for violating the FLSA.


For companies with a mobile workforce, you should consider using an automated employee time tracking solution to build in some a more systematic approach to solving your FLSA employee time tracking issues. It’s tough to get all of your employees and supervisors on the same page when it comes to tracking time. By using WorkMax TIME and WorkMax FORMS together you can prompt your employees with questions before they clock IN/OUT for the day to ensure they are correctly tracking their time. Check out our next blog to learn how you can use WorkMax TIME with WorkMax FORMS to build in checks and balances for the ultimate time tracking accuracy.

To learn more about how WorkMax TIME can help you avoid costly Department of Labor FLSA fines, view our video or watch our demo on demand. 

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FLSA Guilty of This Employee Time Tracking Error

Are You Guilty of This FLSA Employee Time Tracking Violation?

By: Shannon Corgan, WorkMax Director of Marketing

With so many priorities for your business, it’s difficult to know that you’re following all the rules for tracking your employees’ time to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and avoid fines from the Department of Labor. There are seven common FLSA mistakes. Are you guilty of any of these Seven FLSA Fails for Employee Time Tracking?  A few of these mistakes were the reason that this month a pool builder in Houston, had to pay $115,786 in back wages to 68 employees for FLSA overtime violations. They made an FLSA faux pas by paying flat salaries per week or flat rates per job to drivers, mechanics, finishers, and others regardless of the number of hours their employees worked. They didn’t pay overtime when these employees worked more than 40 hours in a week. Additionally, they did not have an employee time tracking process in place to capture the actual number of hours the employees worked per day and per a week. That’s a FLSA recordkeeping no-no. 

So, how do you make sure you’re not the next one on the list for a Department of Labor investigation? Let’s take a look at three ways this Houston pool builder, could have kept the Department of Labor away:

Employee Time Tracking FSLA Pay Per Hour

 

1. Paying Non-exempt Workers Hourly Rates - Just because you’re paid for a project based on project milestones or project completion, it doesn’t mean you can pay your non-exempt manual laborers the same way. In the construction industry, some of your jobs are paid per job, but the way that your business earns your income does not affect the way that you are responsible for paying your employees to comply with the FLSA. If you do, it’s going to get you into hot water with the Department of Labor when you have non-exempt workers.

 

Employee Time Tracking FSLA Recordkeeping

 

 

2. Track Employees’ Time Daily and Weekly - Get accurate start and stop times and make sure you’re tracking your employees’ time on a daily and weekly basis for accurate FLSA recordkeeping. It’s your responsibility as an employer to track to your employee’s time per day and per week and to pay your non-exempt manual laborers their hourly rate and any overtime when they work more than forty hours in a week. If you don’t, you may be part of the next Department of Labor investigation. The Department of Labor can recover back wages and also assess you a penalty of up to $1,100 for each willful or repeated violation for overtime. You can read the full list of all of the FLSA recordkeeping requirements here

 

Employee Time Tracking for OverTime

 

3. Paying Employees Overtime for Over 40 hours Worked – If you’re not accurately capturing your employees’ time on a daily basis (with accurate start and stop times), it’s tough to get accurate weekly totals for overtime calculations. When you have non-exempt employees, according to the federal overtime provisions contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at least one and a half times their hourly regular rates of pay. According to the Department of Labor,  you don’t have to pay overtime for work on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays unless your employee worked more than 40 hours in that work week. This is based on the federal regulations covered in the FLSA. Some states may have additional wage and hour legislation that may require you to pay overtime for other circumstances other than the federal FLSA regulations. 

 

Using an accurate employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME is sure to keep the Department of Labor off your back. You can capture daily clock INS/OUTS of all of your employees on paper, but paper doesn’t give supervisors and payroll staff back at the office the visibility into what employees are doing in real time when they are not at the job site. You can’t be proactive and see in real time who forgot to clock IN/OUT for the day to accurately track the hours they work. WorkMax TIME handles complex overtime tracking and calculations and automatically calculates your employees’ overtime, so there are no issues with not paying your employees when they work over 40 hours in a week. You also get a more accurate accounting for the hours that were worked with WorkMax’s real-time data capture. Additionally, when you’re using paper time cards, there is always the element of human error. Your payroll employee could miscalculate the hours worked and make a mistake with overtime calculation. All of that is eliminated with WorkMax TIME

To learn more about how WorkMax TIME can help you avoid costly Department of Labor FLSA fines, view our video or watch our demo on demand. 

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