What is the Definition of Time Theft?
What exactly is time theft? Time theft at work occurs when an employee accepts pay from their employer for work that they have not actually done, or for time they have not actually put into their work. Since the employee is not actually doing the necessary amount of work during their shift it is considered a theft of time from the company. Time theft is not always easy to detect and can come in many forms and many levels of severity.
Types of Time Theft in the Workplace
Time Card Theft or Time Clock Theft
Time card theft can occur in a few different ways. If an employee does not show up for their shift at work, but has their friend punch in and out for them that day it would be considered time card fraud. Another way that time card fraud occurs is when an employee lies about the amount of hours they have worked in a single shift.
Another way that time theft occurs in the workplace is when employees take too much time on their given breaks (i.e. leaving for break early and coming back from break late), or when employees take more breaks in a shift than they are allowed. This is one of the most common types of theft of time in the workplace.
Excessive Personal Time
Often times employees spend parts of their workday making and taking personal calls to deal with personal and home situations, or spend time checking and sending email that is non-work related. While sometimes this is necessary or allowed for some employees, when these situations are abused is when they become forms of time theft in the workplace.
Internet Time Theft
One of the most common and difficult to detect forms of the office time theft are employees who use technology for non-work related purposes. This could entail everything from browsing the Internet time theft, to spending time on social networking sites and texting during work hours.
How to Prevent Theft of Time in the Workplace
The most effective way to prevent theft of company time in the workplace is to carefully monitor when your employees check in and out for the workday. Manually doing this can be difficult, and may take longer than necessary, so using a time and attendance software can help monitor check-in/check-out times, breaks, and more, with ease.
Time and Attendance Software: Using a time and attendance software will allow for more accurate monitoring of employee check-in and check-out times. Software such as TimeWellScheduled will allow you to integrate various punch clock hardwares (ex. YubiKeys, swipe cards, biometric devices, etc.). Company payroll and attendance processing will also become much easier and more accurate by allowing you to automatically export work times into payroll software such as QuickBooks and Simply Accounting. Time and attendance software will help reduce the amount of time spent on processing and will eliminate errors that could be made with manual processing.
Biometric Devices: Using a biometric time and attendance system will allow more accurate check-in times and check-out times for your employees. Devices such as fingerprint and retinal scanners will allow employees to clock in without the use of time cards, and it will also prevent the occurrence of time card fraud and “buddy punching,” when one employee clocks in for another absent employee.