If you’re running a business with employees working remotely in various locations, you might have an idea how hard it can be to track their time and whereabouts. However, there is technology at your disposal that can help you streamline this process.
Using geofence time clock technology lets you virtually set perimeters for your employees and ensure they are where they should be during their working hours.
This technology can help you better manage your staff, bill and pay them accurately, promote transparency and accountability while increasing overall efficiency.
But, before we discuss these benefits in detail, let’s begin with the basics.
What Is a Geofence Time Clock?
The geofence time clock is a mobile app that logs employee clock in and out times based on a virtual fence around a specific location. By outlining the area on a map, you can now monitor precise times of employees’ entry and exit and their time at the site.
Whenever a worker comes into the defined geofence zone, the application will send an alert and automatically monitor the time spent at the location. The geofence time clock will stop monitoring when the employee exits the predefined location.
With geofence time tracking, companies don’t need to rely on their employees’ words anymore. Now, they have real-time insight into where their employees are during their shifts.
As geofencing time tracking keeps employees accountable for their whereabouts, managers don’t need to check whether they are at their workplace.
With its possibilities, the geofence time clock can be handy for businesses whose employees work at multiple job sites at numerous locations.
How Does Geofence Time Clock Function?
The geofence time clock is easy to set up and use. However, for it to function, you need to take several steps.
First, you need to specify where your employees will do their work. For example, your company may have a central office and several other job sites that change over time.
Next, you need to create a geofence, a virtual border surrounding the area for each location. Then you assign employees to designated areas, depending on the sites they will be working on.
As geofencing requires GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular data, or RFID to track the location, your employee needs a mobile device or RFID tag to punch in and out. Of course, for it to function, the employee must authorize the location services to be recorded.
The geofence time clock works in combination with an app on mobile devices. When your employee clocks in with their mobile device, their location is recorded. If the employee clocks in beyond a designated area, from their commute, or a coffee shop nearby, their punch may send an alarm that they are out of bounds.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Geofence Time Clock App?
Now that you have a clear idea about a geofence time clock app let's see how your business could benefit by implementing such a solution.
1. Avoid Time Theft
If your company has many mobile or field employees, you probably know how hard it is to keep track of them during their working hours.
Some employees try to take advantage of these circumstances by fraudulent time tracking.
Just how common the problem is can be seen in the fact that 75% of U.S. business is affected by various time theft schemes. Furthermore, data also shows that 20% of each dollar a company earns is lost due to time theft.
Geofence time clocks can terminate these fraudulent practices and give you peace of mind.
For example, your company can set a range of 100 meters from the geofenced location to manage the time clock. Practically, this means that your employees wouldn't be able to clock in 10 minutes before they reach the job site or clock out when they're already home. They will be able to punch in and out only if they are within the geofence location you've defined - 100 meters of the zone.
A geofence time tracking app that combines tracking with facial recognition, such as Timeero, can end the most common employee time theft scheme - buddy punching.
Buddy punching happens when one employee clocks another employee in or out of a shift at work without them actually being present. Even though some employees might see this as a friendly gesture to help a co-worker avoid the consequences of coming late or leaving work early, it is a form of fraud that harms the business's bottom line.
2. Simple and Accurate Time Tracking
The goal of a geofence time clock is to simplify the employee timekeeping process.
Let’s face it - manual timesheets are inaccurate and prone to errors. Those mistakes are mostly unintentional, as employees simply forget what they were doing and when and fail to log in their time correctly.
Geofencing time tracking app makes it simple and convenient for your employees to clock in and out and get paid adequately for their work. A geofence time clock app can spare them the hassle of punching in at a physical clock - it is super easy for your workers to clock in and out of work using an app on their phone.
And if you’re wondering what happens when you forget to clock out of work? A geofence time clock app will remind you to punch when entering or leaving the boundary.
Furthermore, your managers will be more effective if they can unload the burden of monitoring mobile and field employees. As the system will alert them if an employee clocks outside the predefined area, your managers can only focus on the problem punches. They can spend more time dealing with more meaningful tasks, such as training employees, mentoring, or tracking projects.
3. Efficient Payroll Processing
But the geofence time clock doesn't only increase the accuracy of the employee timekeeping process. Time tracking with geofencing can make payroll processing easier and cheaper.
Automating tasks in this area will reduce the time and energy spent on manually entering payroll data from timesheets. Consequently, it will significantly lower the possibility of human error regarding payroll.
With a geofence time clock app, you can make the entire payroll process more efficient. Some of these apps, like Timerero, can integrate with the most common accounting and payroll services, so you don't have to worry about invoicing and payroll.
It will automatically generate your employees' payroll timesheets by using data on their hourly rates. It will also factor in all relevant data, such as their vacations, days off, or lunch breaks.
The geofence time tracking app will also ensure you are compliant with the FLSA regulations, providing all non-exempt workers are paid overtime for working more than 40 hours a week.
You will also have more control over your payroll expenses. As the app will let you know whenever your employee has hit a predefined number of hours, you can prevent unnecessary overtime hours.
4. Better Management
Geofencing time tracking lets you have real-time insight into your team activities and their whereabouts. Such insight is crucial for understanding how your employees spend time during their shifts and enabling new solutions that could help improve productivity and efficiency.
Real-time insight allows you to respond quickly. If there is an urgent situation that needs an immediate response, you can see which of your employees is closest and assign them the task.
In certain industries, such as home health care, how quickly you respond and how well you manage your staff is of extreme importance. Being able to react timely can boost your service quality and differentiate you from other service providers in this industry. If a home caregiver, for example, cancels their shift at the last moment, using a geofence time clock will help you manage your staff accordingly and adequately address your clients’ needs.
Timeero’s Who’s working tab will show you which of your employees are available and their locations, so you can assign them visits.
Even when it’s not a matter of urgency, assigning a task to the employee in the vicinity means saving your employees’ time and often associated travel costs, increasing your business efficiency.
The geofence time tracking app benefits your employees, too, as they know they’ll be adequately compensated for any overtime hours and extra effort.
5. Provide proof to your clients
No matter which industry your business is in, punctuality is important. However, because of the severity of potential consequences, punctuality and sticking to a schedule are particularly invaluable in certain lines of work.
For example, a home health agency should never risk their caregivers showing up late or not showing up for their appointment. Anyone who runs a home health agency knows that employee no-show is a problem. With a geofence time tracker, you can know if your caregivers showed up or not.
Tools like Timeero, which uses a geofence time clock and is EVV compliant, record your employees’ precise time and coordinates. When billing your clients, you can present them with a detailed record of work hours with GPS tags. Even if there is a case of dispute with a client, you will have proof of your employee's attendance.
6. Eliminate paperwork
Using geofence time tracking will automate many tedious and menial tasks and optimize your work processes seamlessly.
Apart from being inaccurate, keeping time and processing payroll manually are very time-consuming processes. Instead of focusing on more critical tasks, your employees waste their time in lines to punch in or out or enter their data manually.
A geofence time clock app can automate these processes. Your employees just need to clock in or out using their phones to start tracking time and creating records. The app will capture and record their hours, automatically generate timesheets and calculate costs.
Do You Need a Geofence Time Clock for Your Company?
According to the benefits listed above, we must conclude that a geofencing time tracking app is necessary for businesses with mobile and field employees working in various locations and traveling between them.
This helpful tool can help you streamline various processes, prevent time theft, cut business expenses, and stay compliant with labor laws.