Save Time and Money with Geofencing
Today’s business environment is highly competitive. Business owners are always on the lookout for technology that can help improve their operations and give them a competitive advantage. Geofencing for time tracking and employee management can help lower costs, save time and improve employee productivity and accountability.
What is Geofencing?
According to Wikipedia, “a geofence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area.” Think of it like the “invisible fence” people use to keep their dogs on their property. Only instead of getting “zapped” when you cross the fence, mobile devices trigger a response. So, to boil it down, geofences use virtual GPS points to trigger responses that send alerts to mobile devices when users enter or exit the geofenced area. Geofencing has many business uses including in social media and marketing. We are going to look at how it is used in terms of time tracking and employee management.
Geofencing in the Workplace
Most companies today have at least some mobile workers in their workforce, and this brings new challenges in how these workers are managed. Geofencing is an effective way to meet these challenges, particularly in the area of time and attendance tracking. Geofencing is used to monitor employees working in remote locations or doing field work. Using a geofencing tool, an employee is allowed to log his or her attendance using a GPS-enabled device only when within a designated perimeter. So, when an employee arrives at a job site and “crosses the fence” they are prompted to clock in from their mobile device. When workers exit the job site, triggers prompt them to clock out. For office workers, an app may remind them to clock in as soon as they’re near the main entrance.
Benefits of Geofencing
Geofencing has made time and attendance reporting far easier and more accurate for both employees and managers. To begin with, it makes time theft nearly impossible since employees can’t clock in when they aren’t in their authorized work location. So no more buddy punching either. In fact, managers receive a notification in real time if a punch occurs outside the fence. Geofencing is not just about tracking employees and enforcing time and attendance policies. It also tracks employee hours for accurate payroll and is a great help in employee and project management with its ability to track employee hours per project or job location. Additionally, notifications allow managers to better understand when workers come and go from business locations or how they were moving around a job site. This not only allows for accurate employee time tracking but can also help you understand how the work is being done, and gather data for improving efficiency. Whether you’re concerned with projecting staffing needs or having the information on hand to easily deal with staff problems, geolocation adds insights that help solve the issues.
Geofencing does not only benefit employers, the employees benefit too. In fact, the technology makes it easy and convenient for employees to know where they’re supposed to be and get paid for the time they put in. It reduces the number of errors employees make on their timesheet, streamlines the payroll process and makes sure that each employee is being properly paid for the work they complete. In a 2018 Geofencing Survey, 72% of respondents reported a positive experience with geofencing, citing accountability, efficiency and safety as the top benefits.
If you are planning on introducing geofencing to your workforce, here are a few things you need to do before you start:
- Inform employees and get their buy-in. Explain all the benefits and be transparent about your reasons for using it. They need to trust it is not being used just to “keep tabs” on them. It’s very important to let them know that your geofencing app is NOT tracking them 24 hours per day.
- Review time and attendance policies. Remind employees of the policies they learned about when they were first hired, likely included in the employee handbook.
- Teach everyone how to use it. The time tracking apps are pretty simple to use, but don’t assume everyone will know what to do. Show everyone everything: how to punch in and out, how to view time cards, and how to request time off. If your system syncs with scheduling, show them how to view their schedule and request a shift trade, etc.
At TimeWellScheduled we incorporate geofencing in our time tracking app to help manage scheduling, punching in and out, time cards and payroll. Contact us today to learn more.
In addition to saving the costs associated with deliberate or careless clocking errors, geofencing eliminates the need for costly supervisor oversight of time clock practices and helps ensure employee accountability. That helps ensure the highest patient care, that construction projects are completed on time and that remote employees work all hours they’re being paid for.