Also known as a mobile clock, this useful mobile app is basically used for time tracking with GPS location enabled.
Thanks to the GPS functionality, this employee tracking app allows you to monitor and record the number of hours your employees work, regardless of location.
That’s why a time clock app with GPS is particularly suitable for business owners whose employees work at and travel to multiple job sites.
In such circumstances, such an app is a much more convenient solution since employees don’t have to waste time going to the main office before they start their shifts. They can clock in onsite using a time tracker with GPS installed on their mobile device.
Besides that, a GPS time clock allows you to set a geofence area, or a virtual barrier, around a worksite or particular location.
This way, your employees can clock in only within this area and not from their car or a nearby coffee house. If employee clocks in or out offsite, Timeero will, for example, automatically flag their timesheet entry and send notifications to admin if you choose that option.
What Is the Difference Between a GPS Time Clock and GPS Tracker?
Very often, the terms GPS time tracking and GPS tracking are used interchangeably, even though they may be referring to the same thing.
GPS time tracking refers to tracking the clock-in and clock-out locations of employees. This can be accomplished with a GPS time clock app.
GPS tracking, on the other hand, refers to recording every location of an employee.
The recording of the location could be periodical - while they are clocked in or even after they have clocked out.
How Does a GPS Time Clock Work?
GPS tracking, also known as geolocation tracking, finds and reports the best location of the user’s device. And it’s the core functionality of a GPS time clock.
Even though it’s generally referred to as GPS tracking, it does not always use GPS location tracking hence a better term is geolocation tracking.
With geolocation, a device can either use:
- GPS location,
- WiFi positioning,
- device’s IP address, or
- cell tower triangulation.
The device reports the most accurate out of these 4 different options.
Capturing the geographic coordinates does not require an internet connection to get a GPS location. However, having an internet connection improves the location data, as there are more choices of location data to pick from. But there are some situations where a device’s location cannot be captured.
Geolocation is best used when the device is reachable within various signals to determine location coordinates. That’s why users should avoid places where signals have a harder time reaching the device, such as basements.
Almost all new smartphones have GPS functionality and can be used as a mobile time clock. There are tablets with GPS chips, while those without GPS can use WiFi networks to determine the best location.
For GPS-powered tablets and smartphones, users have the option of turning on/off GPS locations on their devices.
To get the best device coordinates, make sure to turn on the WiFi setting as well.
What Are the Benefits of Using a GPS Time Clock App?
Now that you know what a GPS time clock is and how it works, let’s discuss how you can benefit from it.
1. Preventing time theft and buddy punching
When you’re running a team of field employees, it can be very challenging to track where they are during their shifts. That’s the reason why some employees can take advantage of this and enter fraudulent data into the paper timesheets.
According to a recent study, 20% of every dollar a U.S. company earns is lost to employee time theft.
For example, construction businesses are particularly susceptible to time theft, as employees are scattered across the site, so it’s difficult to supervise and monitor them. They can arrive a couple of minutes later and leave a couple of minutes earlier. Although this doesn’t seem like a big deal, all those minutes add up.
GPS time tracking solution puts an end to these fraudulent practices by enabling you to keep track of your employees’ location and check where they are at the moment of clocking in or out.
This way, you’ll establish and enforce the accountability of your employees and ensure they’re always where they should be while at work.
Plus, even if employees forget to clock out, they will receive a notification alerting them to do so, thus ensuring their labor costs are accurate.
Buddy punching is another practice that can harm your business and affect your bottom line. It costs U.S. employers $373 million annually.
Reliable time-tracking software that combines a GPS time clock with facial recognition, such as Timeero, can help you eliminate buddy punching and facilitate the employee management process.
2. Accurate time tracking
In many cases, employees don’t intentionally pad their hours and expenses. It’s not unusual to forget how many hours they spent working, especially when they use manual timekeeping.
The paper timesheets are error-prone, inaccurate, and based on guesstimates.
In the long run, these mistakes can cost your company a lot of money cumulatively, so you should consider implementing time-tracking software with GPS.
A GPS timesheet app like Timeero will streamline the time-tracking process and minimize time and cost inaccuracies. As a result, you’ll pay your employees properly based on their output level and the hours they work for you.
3. Reducing paperwork
Optimizing your work processes and automating low-level tasks is crucial for improving the overall productivity of your business.
Besides being inaccurate, paper timesheets are also time-consuming to process. Both data entry and processing are manual, which means that you and your employees are wasting a lot of time instead of focusing on more important tasks.
A GPS time clock app streamlines the entire process - from time tracking to processing timesheets and calculating costs. It captures and records your employees’ hours and automatically generates timesheets from the time entries.
And all your employees have to do is use their mobile devices to clock in or out, and the time clock software starts tracking time and creating records.
4. Facilitating the payroll processing
Similarly, the payroll management process requires a lot of time and effort. Not to mention that you can also make mistakes.
With a GPS time clock app, you don’t have to worry about time cards, invoicing, and payroll. Timeero, for example, has integrations with some of the most popular accounting and payroll services, thus streamlining the entire process.
This means all you have to do is enter your employees’ hourly rates, and the app will automatically generate their payroll timesheets. In addition, Timeero keeps track of employees’ lunch breaks and PTO, meaning that you’ll be able to factor in all the relevant data and get accurate payroll.
When we’re talking about hourly workers, it’s worth mentioning that they’re non-exempt. In other words, they’re entitled to overtime pay according to federal and state laws.
In case your hourly employees work for more than 40 hours a week and don’t receive their overtime wages, they can file a lawsuit against you for violating the FLSA regulations. That’s another reason you should implement a time clock app with GPS and ensure all your employees are paid fairly.
5. Gaining insight into your employees’ schedules, availability, productivity
Understanding how your employees spend their workday is the key to better time management and productivity.
While short breaks and occasional pauses between assignments are OK, you should ensure your employees don’t take advantage of your break policies.
A GPS employee time clock can help you make everybody on your team accountable by promoting transparency. As a result, you’ll compensate your employees fairly and prevent them from slacking off at work.
Another important thing contributing to effective employee management is having a clear overview of available employees.
Timeero’s Who’s Working tab shows you the list of available employees ready to step in and cover a shift if another worker cancels at the last moment.
In addition, knowing where each employee is in real time helps you organize their tasks better. For example, when you know the exact location of an employee, you can assign them a task that’s in their vicinity instead of sending someone who’s in the other part of the town.
It’s worth mentioning that with a GPS time clock app, employees are protected too. It’s very frustrating to know you’re working overtime without the possibility of tracking your hours and being properly compensated. In other words, employees will be more productive and loyal when they know their efforts are worthwhile.
6. Offering proof to your customers
In certain industries, such as healthcare, punctuality and sticking to a schedule is crucial.
If you’re running a home health agency, you’re aware of how important it is for your caregivers to show up on time. Imagine what could happen if one of your employees is late for an appointment with a patient who has to receive time-sensitive treatment.
By respecting your patients’ time, you’ll demonstrate professionalism, which is essential for the success of your business.
With a GPS time clock app, you can ensure your employees never arrive late for an appointment or miss it. Moreover, tools like Timeero record the exact time and coordinates of your employees, which means that you have proof of where they were in case of a dispute with a client. This technology is at the core of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).
Similarly, it’s much easier to bill your customers when you present them with accurate and compliant records of work hours that include GPS tags.
7. Keeping your expenses in check
Staying on top of your expenses can be difficult if you aren’t sure how many hours your field employees will clock in.
Sometimes, they will have to put in more work, but with a GPS time clock, you’ll be able to prevent unnecessary overtime and control your expenses. It’s a good thing that with a tracking system in place to monitor employee work, you don’t have to wait for invoices to spot suspicious behavior. The app will inform you whenever an employee hits a predefined number of hours.
This way, you can prevent additional project costs and stay within your budget.
Do You Need a GPS Time Clock for Your Business?
All the benefits we discussed prove that GPS employee time tracking is necessary for businesses employing field and mobile workers who work on multiple worksites and travel between them.
In short, this useful tool can help you track time, determine how many hours every employee clocks in, cut business expenses, prevent time theft, and stay compliant with federal and state labor regulations.
Natasa is a writer specializing in the IT and software industry with 6+ years of experience in content writing and online marketing. During that period, she wrote more than 1,000 articles and several ebooks. She majored in English language and literature and loves cats, sneakers, and candy. When she's not working, she's probably binge-watching Netflix.