GPS time tracking is a great way of ensuring your employees are actually where they should be while at work.
It plays an instrumental role when it comes to increasing productivity, accurately billing and paying your staff, providing transparency, and promoting accountability.
Especially when you’re managing mobile employees who don’t work from the office, such as field workers, contractors, cleaners, or home health caregivers.
Implement this technology and you don’t have to rely on taking their word for it anymore.
Let’s discuss why using a GPS time clock app is a must and how your business will benefit from it.
What Is a GPS Time Clock?
Also known as a mobile clock, this useful application 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 their location.
That’s why a time clock app with GPS is particularly suitable for business owners whose employees work at and travel to multiple 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 shift. 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 will be able to clock in only within this area, and not from their car or a nearby coffee house.
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 single 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 the GPS location 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 used 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 come with GPS functionality. There are tablets with GPS chips too, 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 location 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 already have an idea about 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 keep track of where all of them are when they should be working. 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 employers 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 clocking 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 an employee forgets to clock out, they will receive a notification alerting them to do so, thus ensuring your 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 a manual time recording procedure.
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, which is why you should think about implementing time tracking software with GPS.
Instead of letting your employees handle time tracking, a GPS timesheet app like Timeero will automate the process and minimize time and cost inaccuracies. As a result, you’ll pay your employees properly based on their level of output and the hours they put in working 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 automates 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 device to clock in or out, and the app starts tracking time and creating records.
4. Facilitating the payroll management process
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 invoicing and payroll. Timeero, for example, integrates 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 to that, Timeero keeps track of employees’ lunch breaks, days off, and vacations, meaning that you’ll be able to factor all the relevant data in 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 why 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 time and work is the key to their productivity.
While short breaks and occasional pauses between assignments are OK, you should make sure your employees don’t take advantage of your break policies. This app 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 that contributes 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 to that, knowing where each employee is at any 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 a possibility to track your hours and be properly compensated. In other words, when they know that their efforts are worthwhile, employees will be more productive and loyal.
6. Offering proof to your customers
In certain industries, such as health home care, 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 make sure 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 the 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.
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 you don’t have to wait for invoices to spot suspicious behavior. The app will let you know 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 clocking is a must for businesses employing field and mobile workers who work on multiple worksites and travel between them.
In short, this useful tool can help you determine how many hours every employee clocks in, cut business expenses, prevent time theft, and stay compliant with federal and state labor regulations.