How to Identify and Eliminate Employee Time Theft

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We would all like to assume that employees know how to conduct themselves on the job. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. Time theft continues to be an issue that employers have to deal with on a daily basis. Whether it’s a few minutes here or there, or even multiple hours a week, that time starts to add up quickly — time that employers have to pay for.

With more employees accessing the internet and clocking in remotely, especially this year, time theft can be difficult to prevent. But when you take a look at the bottom line, you’ll start to notice (if you haven’t already) that time theft can have a considerable impact on your business.

The Cost of Time Theft

  • Employers lose about 4.5 hours every week per employee to all different types of time theft, according to a study conducted by Robert Half International.
  • 1 in every 4 workers admitted to exaggerating their time worked at least 75% of the time, according to a study by Software Advice.
  • The American Society of Employers estimates that 20% of every dollar earned by US companies is lost to employee time theft.

How Time Theft Occurs

  • Buddy Punching: This occurs when a trusted coworker clocks in for an employee because they’re running late or for any other reason.
  • Rounding Up: When an employee plugs in their own time in a program and adds a few minutes or more.
  • Long Breaks: If an employee takes a 45-minute lunch break and marks 30 each day, that’s an extra hour and 15 minutes you’re paying every week.
  • Personal Time: This refers to the time employees are doing personal tasks on the clock, such as personal calls and social media browsing.
  • Traveling: With employees that are on the road for work, it’s common for them to go shopping or stop at a cafe for coffee while they’re on the clock.

Preventing Time Theft

  • Be clear & set expectations. Oftentimes employees steal time without even knowing or thinking about it. Maybe there isn’t much work at the moment and they decide to chat with a coworker or text a friend. Let them know what other tasks can be done during slow times and communicate that to them.
  • Modern time clocks. Biometric time clocks identify employees based on their unique traits such as fingerprints and are part of a company’s employee tracking system. The practice of buddy punching can easily be prevented with biometric time clocks.
  • A workforce management solution makes managing employee work hours much easier. With InfiniTime Online, employees clock in and out from their smartphones so time tracking is accessible anywhere at any time. With unique logins for each employee, it’s a great solution for preventing buddy punching. This also prevents time rounding because you get accurate reports that include the precise time employees clock in and out.