Time Theft – An insight and ways to prevent it

ClockIt time and attendance software

Time Theft – An insight and ways to prevent it

Employee time theft is on the rise and I’m sure everybody has seen this ‘theft’ take place in their workplace. In today’s information age, growing virtual workforce and easy access to the internet, time theft has become a bigger issue for businessmen and employers. It has become so big that it costs billions of money in lost productivity annually.

What is time theft?

Time theft is when an employee gets paid 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 easy to detect as it comes in many forms.

Time theft it is not confined to any a type of person, title or industry. These thieves are everywhere and are extremely creative in how they avoid work and go un-noticed—and with today’s mobile workforce—it is constantly on the rise.

Let’s find out how are do these ‘time thieves’ are so successful in stealing time and how can we prevent time theft.

Types of Time Theft in the Workplace

1. Buddy Punching – It is a big problem for many employers especially if they track time via paper time-sheets or via a n attendance register. It’s as easy as an employee giving his swipe card or PIN to a colleague so she can clock in on his/her behalf. Thanks to the introduction of bio-metrics and time and attendance software – this can be prevented.

2. Over-Extended Breaks – Extending authorized lunch/dinner breaks is another common form of time theft. A meal break can easily turn into an hour, especially when employees are not required to punch out for their meal breaks. While calculating breaks, we often forget to consider the multiple smoke breaks which contribute to the extended breaks.

3. Personal Time – Employees are often seen spending parts of their day at work to deal with personal and home situations, or spend time checking and sending e-mails that is non-work related not to forget a the frequent checks on their social networking sites which when added will lead to hours of personal time while they are at work. Many organizations now think this is necessary and should be allowed, but when these situations are abused is when they become forms of time theft in the workplace.

4. Internet Time Theft – Today’s internet age creates unique challenges for employers, especially with the advent of smartphones. Too many employees spend too much time on the internet (Checking personal email, online shopping, playing games online, etc)

Social media is the biggest culprit – productivity drops when staff can access Facebook at work.  But Facebook isn’t the only site out there- LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram to Pinterest…the list goes on. Social  media is a major employee dis-tractor and the most popular form of time theft.

5. Hide and Seek – Last but not the least, when employees are on the move—drivers and sales representatives for example—it’s especially difficult to know if they’re really where they’re supposed to be. They could stop at a coffee shop for a few minutes, go home to finish a personal work or not even show up to work at all. If you don’t have checks and balances in place, it’s easy for workers to disappear off the radar. Often, employers don’t find out until a customer complains, or it becomes painfully clear that the work isn’t getting done.

Luckily for you, there are ways to prevent workforce time theft. ClockIt helps you with a Productivity Index and also help track the employees on the move. Sign up for our free version today!

Farzi Ahmed
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