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| June 21, 2024

How to Keep Your Field and Office Communicating

With projects getting more expansive, the distance between field and office is increasing, but at the same time, the need for consistent, effective communication is becoming more a necessity.

While there is no one perfect way to manage the distribution of information effectively, technology has had a huge impact on how construction companies manage their work. Currently, according to South Bay Construction, about 80 percent of construction professionals are using mobile devices to help them manage projects.

As the industry moves toward mobile devices, apps specifically are becoming popular to help simplify processes and improve collaboration. By using some type of mobile time tracking software, a construction company can break down mileage barriers while also ensuring everyone, whether they’re at the field or in the office, know what’s happening.

Let’s walk through how a mobile time tracking app can accomplish this.

Key Takeaways:

  • A mobile time tracking app is essentially a digital punch clock that allows crew members to clock in/out of work shifts while tracking their labor hours, breaks, overtime and more. They offer features like GPS location tracking, geofencing on the jobsite and facial recognition for more accurate labor hours.
  • Mobile time tracking apps for the construction industry can bridge the gap between office employees and jobsite workers by offering real-time communication, simplify information exchange, faster response times, mitigate errors and improve transparency.
  • Everyone can benefit from a mobile time tracking app with features like timesheet discrepancies for field workers, progress tracking for project managers, automated data entry for payroll processors and a streamlined workflow for construction owners.

What is A Mobile Time Tracking App?

Construction jobsites quickly become a complex mix of managing projects, crews and budgets. With so much going on, traditional time tracking methods, like paper timesheets, can be cumbersome and inaccurate. That’s why using a construction mobile time tracking app can be extremely beneficial.

A mobile time tracking app is essentially a digital punch clock. It allows crew members to clock in/out of work shifts while tracking their labor hours, breaks, overtime and more. This saves time and reduces errors compared to paper punch cards.

The best time tracking software applications are designed for convenience. They make clocking in and out from any jobsite is a breeze with features like:

  • GPS Tracking: See where all workers are physically when they clock in, giving better visibility into whether they’re actually at work when they claim they are.
  • Geofencing: Set virtual boundaries around your jobsites, so when workers enter or exit these zones, they automatically receive reminders to clock in/out.
  • Biometrics: Employees have to set some type of physical identification log in: facial recognition or fingerprints for example. This way, other employees can’t sign in for their colleagues.
  • Seamless Accounting Integration: Mobile apps can integrate the digital timesheets with popular accounting software and payroll services to eliminate manual data entry and streamline payroll processing.
  • Simple Setup and Use: Most apps work on iOS and Android devices, ensuring compatibility with your workers’ phones and tablets. This makes installation simple and ensures the interface is designed for ease of use.

How Does Mobile Time Tracking Improve Field to Office Communication?

Interruptions between the field and the office can create chaos in construction projects. Outdated information leads to conflicts, inefficiencies and delays. However, mobile time tracking apps for the construction industry can bridge this gap by offering real-time communication and improved transparency.

Simplified Information Exchange

Workers can update project status, report delays or request clarification directly within the app, eliminating lengthy calls and messages. They can also capture photos with notes, streamlining communication of progress and issues. With this real-time information, both office staff and field workers can stay on the same page.

Improved Transparency and Accountability

Contractors and foremen gain access to live field data to see who’s working on what and for how long. This allows for better resource allocation, improved scheduling, faster issue resolution and fosters accountability for both field workers and project plans.

Better Time Tracking

With more efficient punch ins and punch outs, payroll gets processed quicker. Processors can sync the labor hours and detailed employee information into their payroll system to access accurate timecards and construction reports quickly.

Reduced Errors and Miscommunication

Paper timesheets are a thing of the past, eliminating errors and delays caused by manual data entry. Everyone has access to the most current project details, reducing miscommunication.

Faster Response Times

A mobile time tracking app allows users to automate notifications and alerts that inform them about what is happening in the field. This allows contractors who are in the office or away from the jobsite to make approvals, authorize changes and get a better visual of the crew’s progress.

How Does Using a Mobile Time Tracking App Benefit Your Role?

Mobile construction time tracking apps can seem like a lot to take on at first, but, as the crew grows accustomed to the product, they benefit everyone involved in the project. Here’s a breakdown of how:

Construction Field Workers

Having an awareness of how and where time is being spent can be a powerful tool for improving productivity. With the help of time tracking apps, users can be confident that if they work different pay rates for different tasks, the information is recorded accurately. The app also allows for:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: See what colleagues are working on, fostering teamwork and efficient coordination.
  • Faster Payments: Get alerted to any timesheet discrepancies and ensure accurate and timely paychecks.
  • Reduced Paperwork: Eliminate the need to find and fill out paper timesheets.
  • Accurate Overtime: Workers can be confident that their overtime hours are recorded and that their pay rates are verified.

Construction Foreman

Understanding your crew’s capacity is an essential part of maintaining a healthy workflow. The best time tracking apps for mobile can provide project insights and progress completion in real-time which can help to lighten the workload and preserve the productivity of your team. The app can also help to:

  • Reduce Timesheet Hassle: No more chasing down workers for timesheets. The app reminds them to clock in/out and allows for electronic management.
  • Simplify Crew Management: Clock in your entire crew at once or track individual workers for increased efficiency.
  • Maintain Precise Job Costing: Easily change cost codes as tasks progress, ensuring accurate job cost tracking.

Construction Project Manager

With so many categories of information on a construction jobsite, it can become overwhelming to make sure data is always up to date, transferred both to the right people and delivered in a timely manner. Having control over project information is critical because it is the fundamental element of successful project management.

Mobile time tracking apps help by offering:

  • Accurate Data Collection: Access real-time data on worker location, hours worked and tasks completed, ensuring accurate data collection for better project management.
  • Distribution of Forms: Eliminate the need for manual forms by assigning tasks and collecting data electronically within the app itself.
  • Monitoring Project Progress: By providing real-time data with photos and notes, mobile time tracking apps provide a more detailed scope into a project’s progress.

Construction Payroll Processors

Synching your payroll with a time tracking app can automate data exchanges across the systems. Construction time tracking software can help with construction-specific payroll challenges like ensuring government compliance by providing reliable records of all hours worked. It can also help with:

  • Automated Data Entry: Eliminate manual data entry to minimize errors and save significant time.
  • Improved Accuracy: Real-time clocking and digital records ensure accurate timekeeping data, leading to faster and more accurate payroll processing.
  • Multi-State/Rate/Locality Timecards: The app will track and note where the crew member was during their hours completed, helping to simplify location tracking.
  • Reduced Disputes: Time tracking apps provide clear time records that can be easily accessed by both employees and payroll processors, minimizing discrepancies.

Construction Estimators

By using an app to record all the labor effort put into a project, estimators can identify appropriate labor costs when they’re estimating on a new project. Mobile time tracking apps also help estimators with:

  • Improved Historical Data: Gain access to detailed labor tracking data for informed decisions about future project bids.
  • More Accurate Estimates: Use past project data to make informed decisions about labor hours.
  • Competitive Bids: With more detailed and precise employee hours, estimators can submit more competitive bids with accurate labor cost estimates.

Construction Owners

Time tracking apps can be instrumental in improving profitability for businesses. The tracking data available can also be used when evaluating employee performance and while making informed investments in additional products or services. It can also help with:

  • Profit Protection: Improved timekeeping leads to better overall project profitability and allows you to adjust policies quickly as labor costs increase.
  • Enhanced Workflow: A streamlined workflow keeps your company competitive in the construction industry.
  • Quality Decision-Making: Gain valuable insights into project costs and labor usage for better decision-making.

See How WorkMax Can Help You Better Your Field to Office Communication

Fluid communication is a crucial aspect of efficient construction. When it comes to accurately tracking the time spent on a jobsite, nothing can match the effectiveness of mobile apps to get the job done.

By ensuring communication between the office and the field, you can improve transparency and accountability, simplify information exchange and reduce the risk of errors and miscommunication. No matter your role, using a mobile time tracking app can offer significant benefits for your company.

If you’re looking for a mobile time tracking solution, consider WorkMax! Our easy-to-use mobile time-tracking app allows you to get live field data down to the minute. Equipped with patented biometric facial recognition and pin entry while a GPS tracks their location, WorkMax verifies that the employee who is clocking in is the correct employee. Regardless of its size, our construction time tracking software empowers businesses to better track and manage their labor force.