The truth is that most employees are honest and would never think of stealing time from their employers. However, time theft is still a great challenge for many employers today with time thieves getting even more creative by the day.
Time theft alone is enough to cripple all types of businesses, both large and small, and this is especially true for businesses with outdated employee time tracking systems.
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Below are 7 outrageous ways that employees scam a vulnerable or outdated time and attendance system:
1. Buddy punching – this one is a very big problem for employees who are yet to embrace a cloud-based employee time tracking system. In simple terms, buddy punching happens when employees give their swipe cards to fellow employees so they can punch in on their behalf when they are running late.
2. Exaggerating work hours – paper based time and attendance systems make it easy for employees to exaggerate their work hours. A perfect example of this is when an employee who came in at 8:45am decides to write down that he or she came in at 8am. Another example is when an employee who left at 5:30pm decides to write down that he or she left at 6pm.
3. Deceitful/erroneous data entry – this usually happens when employee time tracking data has to be retyped or manually transferred from a paper timesheet or a time card into a payroll system. During this process, a dishonest typist may choose to change the data deceitfully or mistakenly.
3. Hide and seek – this usually happens with freelancers and mobile employees since it is very difficult to tell if they were where they were supposed to be at a particular time with an outdated employee time tracking
5. Extended breaks and long lunches – extending authorized breaks and mealtimes is also another common type of time theft. Studies show that smoke breaks happen to be particularly costly with each smoker costing his or her employer around $5000 annually through smoke breaks and lost productivity.
6. Idling around – this happens when employees spend too much time chatting and socializing, making personal phone calls, and napping.
7. Browsing – in this era of smartphones, the internet continues to create exciting challenges for employees in all business sectors. Among these challenges include the following:
- playing online games
- checking personal emails
- shopping online
- using social media
Fortunately, there is a wide range of sophisticated and affordable time and attendance systems in the market today that can prevent or minimize time fraud. For example, biometric employee time tracking systems, which use fingerprint and iris scans, are very effective at preventing most types of time theft.
Such systems will not only match a punching with a specific employee, they will also match punching with a specific IP address or a GPS location. These modern employee time tracking systems can even be integrated with HR software to connect with payroll.