How You Can Benefit from real-time GPS tracking

How You Can Benefit from real-time GPS tracking

Time theft can cause a significant dent in a company’s bottom line. Indeed, a study has shown that employees steal around 4.5 hours from their employer every week on average. And while companies can take steps to monitor their employees in the workplace, it becomes even more difficult when employees are working out in the field. 

Field workers are typically trusted to spend their time productively instead of doing something not work-related. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for field workers to abuse that trust. For example, some people might choose to do some shopping on their company’s time, or maybe go for a meal. In some cases, field employees might not even leave their homes at all but still charge for time that they did not spend working.

It should also be noted that time theft is not always deliberate. Employees can make mistakes and forget details about their working week if they don’t fill in their timesheets straight away. 

The main headache with monitoring fieldworkers has long been the fact that you just cannot know where they are. It’s often easy for field workers to lie about their location or their timing with no way to check up. However, GPS has provided an effective solution to the problem. 

Modern Tracking Apps are the Solution

 

In the past, GPS tracking hardware would have been prohibitively expensive for most companies and would not represent a solid return on investment, if at all. However, GPS hardware is now very affordable and can be installed on smartphones. Indeed, modern smartphones typically come with GPS already installed, meaning the technology is already available for companies to use.

Of course, having the hardware that tells you where somebody is great, but it’s not of much use without software that helps you make use of information. The good news is that apps like those from PK4 Tech are available on the market that integrates GPS technology to offer valuable information for managers regarding their employees’ whereabouts and behavior. 

Time tracking apps can use a smartphone’s GPS to place the phone’s location at any time. Simply put, a time tracker, in conjunction with a smartphone’s GPS can tell managers where their employees are and where they have been. As a result, the solution helps prevent time theft because employees can no longer lie about their location, while it also helps prevent honest mistakes on timesheets. 

An Effective Deterrent

Not only does GPS time tracking software help prevent time theft, but it also helps to prevent it from happening in the first place. It can otherwise become too easy even for dedicated employees to start taking liberties, so it makes sense to let all your employees know that their location is being tracked.

Remember that it’s also important to educate your employees on why such technology is required so they understand why it is being implemented. Otherwise, it could be easy for them to feel as though they are not trusted and are being spied on, potentially causing morale and productivity to take a hit. Ensure that your employees know that using the technology is not an attempt to spy on their every move but to protect the company overall and provide reports that help improve efficiency.

In-Depth Reports

GPS time trackers can do so much more than just inform managers of their employees’ geographical location. For example, trackers can also keep records on which tasks an employee was working on, such as travelling to a location or carrying out a site survey. You can then use this information to see how efficiently employees are spending their time and what you can do to improve their efficiency further.

Comprehensive dashboards are also available that help management to see key information at a glance, helping them make fast and impactful decisions. Reports can also be created and distributed automatically, removing much of the manual work that would otherwise be involved.

Summary

GPS time tracking helps to remove many of the issues associated with time theft and employees working in the field. Not only does the technology help managers monitor and record employee data, but it also helps to act as a deterrent. The technology can help prevent deliberate time-theft, while it can also help avoid genuine errors. Remember that it’s important to educate your employees on why the technology is important to prevent a loss of trust.

With GPS time tracking apps, managers are also equipped with information that can help them make informed decisions that will help boost efficiency. Overall, the technology can help prevent time theft, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line. 

 

 

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

Most employers would probably like to think that they can trust their employees and employees will be honest for the most part. However, we can never be entirely sure that the people working for us won’t take advantage if given the opportunity. Indeed, a study showed that 43% of employees who have filled in timesheets had exaggerated the length of time they worked. Studies have also shown that around $400 billion is lost every year in lost productivity in the United States, further highlighting the need to address the problem.

Employee time theft comes in several types, and not all of them are necessarily deliberate. Some of the most common include: 

  • Charging for time spent on personal tasks
  • Buddy punching is a practice that involves an employee’s co-worker punching in for them despite the employee not being at work. Buddy punching alone is thought to cost approximately $373 million alone every year
  • Employees deliberately adding extra time to their worksheets
  • Employees not clocking out for breaks
  • Field employees claiming to have been working but performing other tasks, or even staying at home instead
  • Accidentally overestimating time worked.

Time theft is a real problem for many companies, especially in times of uncertainty. However, one of the most significant difficulties companies face regarding employee theft is that it’s challenging to detect. Managers cannot monitor all employees at all times, especially where field workers are concerned, and honest errors can be particularly difficult to identify. However, you can take some steps to overcome the issue.

Establish Clear Policies

One way you can help overcome some of the issues is to put a deterrent in place. Your managers can let employees know that they’re aware of problems like buddy punching and that employees will be reprimanded if caught doing so. The act of bringing up the topic alone can avoid complacency among employees and deter them from punching in for friends. Make sure to be polite and respectful when reminding your employees about your policies, but also make sure that you’re firm. Acting on indiscretions will help to send the message that you will not tolerate time theft.  

Educate Management

Quite often, the signs of time theft are right in front of us, but we won’t spot them if we don’t know what we’re looking for. For example, what might appear to be a case of an employee working later than others could easily mean that they’re not being honest about their time sheet. After all, it’s a lot easier to be dishonest on your time sheets when there’s nobody around because they’ve already gone home for the day.

Educate Employees

In many cases, time theft might be down to misunderstandings that you can easily clear up with simple communication. You should also make it clear to employees when it’s reasonable for them to record to add time and when it isn’t. You can also educate your employees on the potential harm that time theft can cause businesses, potentially even placing their jobs and their colleagues’ jobs at risk.

Use Time Tracking Software

Software like the PK4 TimeTracker will help to ensure that time is tracked accurately and fairly. For example, the buddy punching system won’t work with time tracking software because employees have to be logged into their computers or on their own mobile devices to track time. The system also helps prevent forms from being filled in erroneously, while it also helps management see which tasks their employees have been working on.

Time tracking software will also help ensure time is recorded accurately for field workers. The time tracking app can record an employee’s location through GPS, so you know they were in the right place. The software is also easy for employees and managers to use, while reviewing and approving timesheets is also made simple, further helping to ensure accurately recorded time. 

Overall, time tracker software will help to empower teams to work better and be more productive. Time sheets will more accurately reflect work that has been done while also giving management access to helpful information such as how much time employees spent on particular tasks. Such information will help management see if time is being spent effectively, helping them make their teams more productive while also helping to reduce frustrations.

 

 

You Really Need Timesheets for Salaried Employees. Here’s Why!

You Really Need Timesheets for Salaried Employees. Here’s Why!

Salaried employees get paid the same regardless of whether or not their time is tracked, so is there any need for time tracking at all? Surely it’s just a waste of time and something that’s only likely to irritate rather than encourage productivity. So why use a time tracker for salaried employees at all?
There are several reasons why time management for salaried employees is a rather good idea, some of which are below.

Prevent Employee Burnout

Managers watch employee times

Managers track employee time

Employee burnout is an issue that any company should be mindful of. It’s not just that we should have our employee’s best interests in mind (although that would be nice), but burnout can negatively affect a company as well.

A burned-out employee is likely to offer less productivity than otherwise. Not only will their performance levels drop but you might end up losing them altogether. Timesheets will help you to identify employees who probably need to take a break, or at least spend more of their day doing things other than working.

Improve Productivity

Time tracking products like the PK4 TimeTracker are not necessarily about snooping on employees (although they can be if you feel some people are not pulling their weight). In most cases, asking salaried staff to complete timesheets is more about understanding which tasks are time-consuming and where time management can be improved. Employees spend around 4 hours a week on unproductive tasks, and knowing where time is spent will help to identify where their time could be put to better use. If your employees are spending a lot of time on menial tasks that could be automated, for example, then you’d know that investing in the right technology could bring a considerable boost to productivity.

Billing Customers

Some companies will charge their clients on an hourly basis for their services. So, even if an employee’s pay is not affected by the hours they work, a time tracker is still very useful when it comes to billing customers. Not only does time tracking let companies know what to charge when invoicing, but they can also provide a breakdown of the work that has been done. Considering around 10% of billable hours can be lost if time is not recorded by the end of the day, it’s easy to see how time tracking will be beneficial.

Calculate Overtime

Ok, we’ve not been entirely honest above when we say salaried employees are always paid the same – there is overtime to take into account.

Employees that are legible for overtime would no doubt be quite keen to be paid for additional worked hours. After all, they’re probably not doing it because they just love to be in the office. On the flip-side, employers are not usually in the habit of paying people for nothing, and time tracking can come in handy here as well.

Although not all employees are eligible for overtime, time tracking is somewhat of a no-brainer for many of those that are and quite necessary for payroll to be accurate.

Project Management

Complex project management can be difficult, with time management being one of the most difficult challenges. If something is taking longer than expected then it’s best to know as soon as possible because an issue in the pipeline can affect everything else that comes afterwards. With time tracking, project management becomes a lot easier because you know just how much time is being spent and whether or not the task is on target to meet deadlines.

Measuring Costs

Costs are one of the most important metrics that determine whether or not a business is a success or a failure, and time tracking is an effective way of helping you to manage your costs. With a timesheet, you can see where your employees are spending time on tasks that are not cost-effective, enabling you to make changes that will allow you to manage your costs better.

Above are just a few reasons why time management is a good idea for salaried staff. A timesheet can help you to know how much payroll should be paying your employees and how much you should be invoicing your clients. They can provide you with a breakdown of a working day that will help you identify areas for improvement where costs and productivity are concerned, while time tracking will also help you manage the well-being of your valued employees better.

It is also very easy to use time tracking, with modern options offering greater functionality such as reporting in addition to simply keeping a record of time worked.

5 Steps To Increase Your Productivity With Timeboxing

5 Steps To Increase Your Productivity With Timeboxing

Have you ever had that 30-minute task that spins out of control and takes up a whole day’s work? Happens to most of us at some point! When you don’t set any constraints on your time, it’s easy for work to expand and fill up your entire day.  Let’s say you allocate a week to complete a task. Even if you could finish that task in less time, you’ll find your work expanding so you actually take up the whole week to complete it.

You find yourself wasting valuable time and reducing your productivity. If you’re looking for a reliable solution to that, it’s time you tried timeboxing.

So, what is timeboxing?

Timeboxing is a time-management technique that involves setting a fixed unit of time (a timebox) to complete a particular task. The concept was introduced by James Martin, as a part of agile software development. Managers have been using it in project management for some time now, with great success. And now, with the shortcomings of traditional to-do lists becoming more apparent, more corporate workers are jumping on the timeboxing train to increase productivity.

How to timebox

With timeboxing, you allocate specific time periods to put a limit on activities that you feel would otherwise take too much of your time. The time management technique of timeboxing involves 5 steps:

  1. Find the right tasks. Sure, you can allocate any task you like to a timebox. But it makes more sense to focus on the tasks you don’t enjoy doing and ultimately try to avoid.
  2. Define your goals. It’s not enough to just know what tasks you’ll be timeboxing. You have to clearly define what goals you’ll achieve by completing the tasks.
  3. Set a timer. How much time do you need to complete your tasks? Too little time can leave you feeling rushed and stressed. Too much time becomes counterproductive to the goals you want to achieve. In such situations, a time tracker can help you monitor how much time you spend on a task, and how much you’ll need for a similar task in the future.
  4. Implement and assess your results. Once you’ve cleared steps 1-3, you have to complete your timeboxes then evaluate your progress. It’s the best way to know if you’re timeboxing right or wrong.
  5. Claim your reward. Rewarding yourself after completing your timeboxes is a great way to keep yourself motivated.

Increase your productivity with timeboxing

Marc Zao-Sanders, CEO and co-founder of filtered.com, found that his productivity has at least doubled since he switched over from traditional to-do lists to timeboxing. How then, can you use timeboxing to increase your productivity?

  • Try timeboxing into a calendar. Set different dates for completing tasks while prioritizing the most important tasks. Let’s imagine you’ve got a week to finish a work project, have a Zoom call with your mom, and a date. You could set aside the first three days of the week for the work project, then follow up with the rest. 
  • Use your timeboxing to monitor your progress with different tasks over time. This comes in handy at work because it can help keep you focused and motivated to maintain the good trajectory. 
  • If you’re a perfectionist, timeboxing is the perfect time management technique for you. It can be easy to get stuck on a task because you want it to be flawless. With a less strict deadline, you could idle forever and jeopardize your productivity. With a timebox, you have to sign off on that project within a set amount of time, so there’s little room for idling. 
  • With soft deadlines, it becomes easy for distractions to creep in and reduce productivity. Timeboxing creates firm deadlines and a sense of urgency that will force you to focus on your tasks, no matter what distractions come your way.
  • Practice timeboxing long enough, and you’ll learn to predict how much time you need for most of your tasks. It will help you plan ahead and save you loads of time.

Tools for timeboxing

You can make timeboxing much easier with the right tools. You can help your sales reps take their schedules back with timeboxing.

Timebox your work items
Timebox your work items

Help your employees set up specific tasks and track their time easily to understand how and where their bottlenecks are. Get your managers to use the extensive reporting to mentor the people in their teams.

Try our time tracking product for your people today and help make your teams more efficient and productive.

5 Reasons Why Time Tracking Makes Sense!

5 Reasons Why Time Tracking Makes Sense!

Timesheets help to ensure that you pay employees accurately. They help ensure that you’re not overpaying while also allowing employees to get a fair salary. As valuable as timesheets are, however, there is quite a lot of work involved in processing them, making project management harder. For example, time sheet approval is often a manual, time-consuming process, especially if you need to check and correct errors.

The good news is that thanks to PK4 TimeTracker, time review and approval is now made easier than ever before. The easy to use platform makes time sheet approval faster and easier than traditional methods while also helping to eliminate or at least reduce some of the other drawbacks.

Traditional Timesheet Tracking Methods

Over the years, companies have tried numerous team management methods regarding tracking, reviewing, and approving timesheets. Unfortunately, these methods have numerous flaws that can result in you putting many hours into the time review and approval process. Some of these flaws include:

  • Employees forgetting to complete timesheets
  • Employees deliberately filling in the wrong details
  • Dishonest practices like ‘buddy punching’
  • Lost timesheets
  • Difficulty verifying information
  • Difficulty reading handwriting
  • High paper use
  • Employees forgetting badges and punch cards etc.
  • Employees having to queue to use punch cards and similar.

Many of these problems are reduced or even eliminated with time management tools like the PK4 TimeTracker, however.

Time Tracking Software

The PK4 TimeTracker is a powerful yet easy to use time tracking platform that makes it easier for employees to record working hours clearly and accurately. With the data stored safely in Salesforce,  it is a lot easier to work with. And the software provides a range of helpful project management features that take a lot of the work out of time review and approval.

Easily Verifiable Hours

The PK4 platform has team management features that help make it easy for managers to verify that employees were working according to their timesheets. For example, geo-tracking technology will let managers know that employees were in the location they were supposed to be.

Timesheets are Not Lost

With data recorded digitally and synced in real time to Salesforce (for the mobile and web apps), companies no longer have to overcome problems caused by lost timesheets. The information is also available immediately in real-time, instead of waiting for employees to bring their timesheets to the office.

Easy to Read

Because your employees record everything digitally, timesheets created with the PK4 TimeTracker are easy to read. Gone are issues over not being able to read somebody’s handwriting and problems such as paper documents becoming ruined.

Human Error

People make mistakes; they can also forget to track time, and a study has shown that just over 25% of people never track time reading or answering emails. The PK4 TimeTracker software helps to reduce human error both from the employee and from the person reviewing and approving the timesheet.

Reduced Paper Usage

You won’t have to use any paper when working with digital time trackers. A paperless system will help reduce your costs in the long term while also helping you do your part for the environment.

Additional Tools and Functionality

Time tracking software will also help the time review and time sheet approval process in other ways. With the PK4 TimeTracker, project management has all the information it needs right in front of them on a single screen. Timesheets can be approved with the click of a button or sent back to the employee for amendments if required, with a message stating why the timesheet has been returned.

The PK4 time sheet approval software works seamlessly inside Salesforce, helping to keep all relevant data in a single location. Additionally, users that don’t use Salesforce can still use the PK4 TimeTracker web app OR mobile app OR the Chrome Extension for employees to track their time. This is especially great for time tracking for employees working out in the field. All these timesheet entries are also directly synced to Salesforce for analysis, reporting and integration with payroll and invoicing.

The benefits of using PK4 TimeTracker don’t end there, either. For example, for people tracking time within Salesforce, you can install lightning components where a timer starts automatically when employees start working on a specific record. The timesheet can also be broken down in terms of which tasks the employee was working on. Comprehensive reports are also available, and dashboards that help to make it easy to see relevant details at a glance.

Overall, the PK4 TimeTracker offers an impressive array of functionality and streamlining the work involved and helping to reduce time sheet approval errors and other problems. Check out how simple it is to enter, review and approve time with this powerful yet easy to use platform.