It’s not easy for construction companies to keep track of employees when they’re out on site or in the field.
Work practices can be subject to manipulation and abuse, leaving a company out of control, so it’s vitally important that construction companies find a way of ensuring best practice when it comes to time and attendance.
Sean Quinn, founder of time and attendance software company, TimeKeeper, believes that digital construction timesheet apps are the best means of both retaining control of employee timesheets and adherence to company procedures.
1. No more manual timesheets
Paper is becoming something of a major commodity these days, but regardless of the environmental factors, paper timesheets can be notoriously inaccurate – and that’s when they’re filled in at all.
“The traditional time and attendance systems certainly served their purpose,” said Sean, “but we’re in a digital age now and the technology is there to improve work practices and processes. In addition to being more time consuming, paper timesheets can also make it harder to track accurate details of when your employees or contractors are on site.
“Paper based timesheets make it easier for workers to cover for each other when they’re not there. A digital timesheet app can help a company to eliminate this problem by creating a digital, paperless audit trail, ensuring both accurate timekeeping and optimal working practices.
“A construction timesheet app is also very versatile in that it can be adapted to suit both multiple workers on a building site, by allowing everyone to clock in through one device – an Android or iOs tablet, for example – and for individual workers, who may be travelling to jobs.”
2. Eliminate ‘buddy clock-ins’
When employees are working on sites, it can be difficult for companies to monitor procedures, such as clocking in. A construction timesheet app not only tracks where employees are, it also provides the administrator with the added option of facial recognition, which verifies that every clock-in is legitimate.
“Every construction company boss wants – and needs – to know where every employee is at any point in time,” said Sean, adding: “and, more importantly, that they’re doing what they are supposed to be doing.
“Every boss, for example, knows that, given the opportunity, some employees will clock in for a work colleague. Traditional time and attendance systems have meant that employees could easily fool the system by clocking in for their colleagues, but, with a digital timesheet app, the problem is eliminated since the app’s use of facial recognition will alert the administrator of any buddy clock-ins that may be going on.
“The app also enables bosses to check in throughout the day to watch where employees are going during the working day, so there’s no need to call the site manager to check if an employee is in.”
3. Job costs & profitability can be monitored
Labour costs can make or break a business, so it’s important for any construction company to ensure that job costings and outlay are exact and accurate.
“A digital timesheet app enables you to track data in real time by removing inaccurate costings and unrealistic timings,” added Sean, “and, since the app automatically keeps track of the time spent on each job, it’s easy to see – and to monitor – if the time spent has been profitable for the company.”
4. Payroll & invoicing can be streamlined
A digital timesheet app can have an effect on many aspects of the running of a construction company in today’s market. In addition to monitoring both employees’ work practices and profitability, it can also bring many administrative benefits to both employer and employee.
“By providing administrative staff with the ability to run real-time timesheets,” said Sean Quinn, “employee time entries and employee leave can both be easily managed, making both payroll and invoicing much more streamlined and seamless, and enabling a company to run smoothly, efficiently and economically.
“The app also allows employees to access the web portal (or app) to check their weekly timesheets or review their remaining leave, meaning that administrative staff won’t be getting asked the same questions week in, week out.”
5. Health & safety practices can be improved
The fact the app enables bosses to monitor where employees are during the day isn’t just a matter of ‘Big Brother’ though. Having a digital app helps to reinforce good working practices for employees by allowing a company to know that employees are where they are supposed to be and not involved in something unsafe.
“Negative working methods can be detrimental to any construction company’s reputation,” continues Sean, “and to its bottom line, so the fact that the app can monitor employees’ behaviour is of benefit to the business and can provide peace of mind with regard to the company’s reputation in the marketplace.”
6. Safety can be reinforced with geofencing
Building sites are notoriously dangerous for those who aren’t involved in the construction industry, so it’s vitally important that construction companies ensure that only employees on a site or at a location can clock in or out.
“A digital construction timesheet app enables a company to configure geofences for jobs so that only an employee can gain access to a location by clocking in or out. All the company has to do is to specify an address for a job and a distance that the employee must be within and the app handles the rest!”
7. Contact is immediate and available at all times
Very often in the construction industry, the details of a job can be changed at the last minute, so it’s very important that contact can be made between management or administration and those who are out on sites. A timesheet app which is perfect for the construction industry ensures that employees can be quickly alerted by both email and mobile push notifications before they even begin their shift, ensuring clear lines of communication and removing any potential for errors or omissions.
Employees can also take pics on site or add notes and signatures to a job that can be viewed in real time from the company’s offices.
“Clear lines of communication are important in any industry,” said Sean, “but they’re vital in the construction industry since the majority of the employees are working on multiple locations across a wide area.
“A digital timesheet app means that contact between those on and off sites can be made easily and quickly, and that information or images can be transferred between different locations in no time at all. This ensures that errors are kept to a minimum and that no time or energy is wasted on work for which the details may have been changed.”