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Time Theft Still a Problem For 75% of Companies

Fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there … what’s the big deal? For companies that employ mostly hourly workers, (we’re talking to you restaurant managers!) every additional minute on the clock outside of scheduled hours costs big time dollars – to the tune of $400 billion annually in lost productivity. Ain’t nobody got time to lose […]

Fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there … what’s the big deal?

For companies that employ mostly hourly workers, (we’re talking to you restaurant managers!) every additional minute on the clock outside of scheduled hours costs big time dollars – to the tune of $400 billion annually in lost productivity.

Ain’t nobody got time to lose that much money. Yet, companies still struggle to get ahead of the issue.

A recent study by business software review hub, Software Advice found that when asked whether or not workers ever exaggerate the number of hours they worked on a shift, nearly half said they had committed time theft at least once.

Prevalence of Employee Time Theft

Surprisingly, buddy punching wasn’t the biggest culprit.

Software Advice reports that unintentional inaccuracy, like arriving early or clocking out a few minutes late, is actually more common, happening 45 percent of the time. That’s ahead of personal activities, frequent breaks and buddy punching which was the least most common way employees commit time theft.

Turns out our employees are pretty trustworthy.

Methods Used to Commit Time Theft

Out of the employees who did pad shifts (intentional or not), the study found that the highest percentage (41%) added between 11 and 20 minutes to the hours actually worked.

For an average employee working five days a week, that’s roughly an extra hour per week. For a 50-person business, that’s an extra 50 hours employees are getting paid.

These findings are in line with studies by the American Payroll Association, which indicate that the average employee “steals” anywhere from 50 minutes to 4.5 hours per week by showing up late, leaving early and taking extended breaks and lunches.

Frequency of Recording Inaccurate Shift Hours Per Shift

The study went into more detail, highlighting the methods used to commit time theft, showing just how much of a problem it is for employers – especially those operating on incredibly thin profit margins.

Unfortunately, it appears not a lot is being done about it despite the fact that there are mechanisms available through online scheduling software that can enforce clock in and out times.

In fact, 65 percent of small business are still using paper forms which often leads to inaccurate data because it’s based on the honor system.

But there are affordable options available to small and medium-size businesses.

HotSchedules Integrated scheduling software, for instance, let’s administrators set grace periods for clock-ins and outs, and can even require manager approval when clocking in early.

The web clock module also lets managers edit time and attendance records before being sent to payroll.

Newk’s Eatery uses HotSchedules’ punctuality controls and was able to save nearly 1% off their labor costs.

The scheduler is smart too – even if someone has more than one job code, the system knows which job code is scheduled when and ensures that the user doesn’t make a mistake. These types of controls are among Newk’s most highly used features.

Not surprising considering the immediate ROI companies see after implementing punctuality controls using online scheduling tools. A company losing $70,000 per year to employee time theft, for example, could save thousands within just the first few months of using punctuality control.

Once again proving that time does in fact equal money.

To read the full report on How Software Can Reduce Payroll Losses, visit Software Advice.

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