What is Employee Time Theft?

Time theft often occurs when an employee tries to earn credit for work that they didn’t technically perform. The amount of time that they have exerted during work hours is crucial. This is a track record to show what you’ve actually contributed while on the job. When employees try to be sly and commit time theft, they are cheating the system and scheming for their paycheck.

For business owners, this is a very common issue especially if your employees are paid on an hourly rate. If the time clock system doesn’t register the number of hours that an employee puts in, then this can rob someone of the earnings that they truly deserve.

Unfortunately, time theft comes in various arrangements, some of the most common of which include:

  • Time card fraud  Often referred as “buddy punching,” time theft is a conniving way for employees to reach their required working hours. Time card fraud often occurs when people clock in late and punch out earlier than required. Finally, an employee adjusts their timesheet and rounds it up later.
  • Excessive personal time  Don’t mistake this for when someone abuses their PTO limits. Some employees just spend too much time on personal tasks while at work. As a result, productivity is shifted away from any work-related tasks. Whether that be spending too much time on social media, or responding to personal emails, this kind of behavior should be slim when you’re on the clock.
  • Extensive break periods – Stealing time by taking overextended breaks is a simple form of collusion. This occurs when employees either begin their break early or extend their break longer, sometimes both. For the most part, this is usually a minuscule issue, until it becomes a pattern of habit.
  • Employee ghosts – This is a very serious issue. When an employee shows up for work, times in and leaves without consent, then they are committing a “ghost” act. If an employee shows up at the end of the day just to clock out, then conduct matters should take place immediately.
  • Internet discrepancies – These are subtle forms of time theft. This occurs when employees spend too much time surfing the internet for purposes that are unrelated to the job. According to the NY Post, employees spend up to five hours a week on their cell phones. The same article claims that banning social and other non-work related pages on work computers doesn’t increase productivity, as 58% of professionals use their personal devices to visit banned pages.

Being victimized by any form of time theft can affect a lot more than just an employee’s pay stub. These occurrences can create a disgruntled workforce, which will hamper a positive company culture. Studies by the American Payroll Association (APA) show that 75% of US businesses are affected by time theft, which costs up to 7% of gross annual payroll. In order to prevent this mess of problems, it’s crucial to deploy the right solution. Whether you work for a small business or a large enterprise, it’s important that your office operates with a time tracking system that keeps an accurate record of how many hours one puts in when on the job.

Don’t fall victim to another scheming act again. Instead of letting your employees pull a fast one on you, deploy a time card calculator for all of your team members. In terms of organization, and task management, these are some best tools for any work environment. The right calculation system will be programmed to recognize each employee’s schedule and personal information. As a result, this will improve transparency within the office, build trust with employers, and help employees feel a sense of urgency when they are at work.

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