In the construction industry, effectively managing employee time and productivity is crucial for completing projects on time and on budget. However, the traditional manual methods of tracking employee time, such as paper timesheets, can be inefficient, prone to errors, and make it difficult to get real-time insights into how time is being spent. This is why more and more construction companies are turning to employee time-tracking apps to boost productivity.

The Relationship Between Time Tracking and Effective Time Management

To complete construction projects successfully, effective time management practices are essential. This starts with having clear visibility into how employees are spending their time on a daily basis. Time tracking apps provide real-time tracking of employee attendance and the time spent on tasks and projects.

With automated time tracking, construction managers no longer rely on paper timesheets that can often be filled inaccurately or manipulated. A time tracking app records exact clock-in and clock-out times and tracks time to the minute. This gives managers a factual data trail of attendance and work durations.

Access to real-time data on employee time spent allows construction managers to schedule jobs and crews better. By analyzing where time is being lost or wasted, steps can be taken to improve workflows and productivity. Time tracking helps identify which tasks are taking longer than estimated so that project timelines can be adjusted accordingly.

In essence, time tracking apps lead to greater transparency around how time is utilized on the job site. This empowers construction companies to make more informed decisions when it comes to task and workforce management.

What Makes Time Tracking Apps Important to This Industry?

Given the benefits of time tracking for construction firms, the unique demands of the construction industry make having a purpose-built time tracking app essential. Here are some of the key reasons why construction companies should consider adopting a time tracking app:

Accountability with GPS Tracking

Construction projects often have crews spread out across multiple job sites, and traditional paper-based time tracking makes it easy for employees to falsify hours or locations without accountability. Employees can write down inaccurate timesheets or have co-workers clock them in from sites they aren’t even at. This time theft leads to inflated labor costs and incorrect payroll.

Time tracking apps with GPS tracking eliminate these payroll leaks. When employees clock in via a GPS-enabled mobile device, their precise location is recorded automatically. Managers can confirm workers are at the expected job site before hours are tracked. Throughout the day, the app passively tracks location, providing visibility into movements between sites. 

Location data provides factual, verified time tracking to prevent buddy punching fraud. With accountable automated GPS tracking, construction firms gain assurance that payroll truly matches the time worked.

Improved Compliance

Adhering to complex construction labor regulations around employee pay, breaks, overtime, and hours worked requires detailed time tracking data. However, piecing together compliance audit reports from inaccurate paper timesheets is extremely difficult. Time tracking apps give enhanced oversight of employee hours, including overtime, certified payroll, required breaks and more.

Detailed tracking of employee work duration, down to the minute, provides the necessary data for federal, state, and union labor law adherence. Automated break countdown timers help guarantee that mandated breaks are taken. Certified payroll reports for prevailing wage compliance can be instantly generated from the app data. With a time tracking app, construction firms reduce compliance risks and easily produce required audit reports. The digitally archived data stands up far better to regulator scrutiny than paper records.

Enhanced Jobsite Safety

Construction job sites are inherently hazardous environments with multiple safety risks to workers. 

GPS tracking helps quickly pinpoint the location of distressed workers so aid can arrive faster. All employee movements and locations are visible so no one goes unchecked for long periods. Time tracking data provides timestamps around accidents for forensic analysis. The connectivity and visibility powered by time tracking apps give construction firms enhanced ways to keep employees safe on the job site.

Real-Time Communication

Large construction sites make it difficult to communicate updates with a dispersed mobile workforce relying on paper for scheduling. Time tracking apps enable easy real-time communication of alerts, schedule changes, and general updates to the entire field crew via mobile notifications.

Supervisors can use in-app messaging to send assignments, directions, or reminders directly 

to individual workers or groups. Communications are logged for recordkeeping. Instant communication improves coordination and responsiveness from office to field. Apps turn labor teams into a connected, communicative workforce.

Accurate Cost Capture

For construction firms relying on paper timesheets, matching employee hours to specific projects is difficult. This leads to inaccurate client billing and lost revenue from uncaptured labor costs. Time tracking apps providing seamless integration with accounting systems solve this problem.

Workers tag all clocked hours in the app with the appropriate project or cost codes. Those billable hours can flow into financial systems, ensuring accurate invoicing. Payroll integrations also guarantee the proper allocation of labor costs across jobs. With precise digital tracking of employee time to projects, construction companies can finally account for every dollar spent on labor.

Impact of Time Tracking Apps

Here are some of the ways that time tracking apps can have a positive impact on construction businesses:

Improved Efficiency

Construction projects easily fall behind schedule and over budget without proper workforce and time management. Paper timesheets make it impossible for managers to identify inefficient use of time and labor. Time tracking apps provide comprehensive real-time visibility into exactly how employee hours are being spent.

With factual data on time wasted in overstaffing, delays, improper scheduling, distractions, etc., targeted steps can be taken to streamline workflows. Task assignments, crew sizes, and job sequencing can be optimized. Issues with inter-team coordination resulting in waiting around are revealed. Time tracking data guides decisions on how to gain maximal productivity from crews. With time tracking insights, construction firms can continuously refine operations to eliminate waste and inefficiency.

Optimized Working Hours

In construction, budget overruns from spiraling labor costs are a constant risk. Crew hours must be meticulously managed to complete projects on time and schedule. Paper timesheets lack the controls and visibility to optimize labor utilization. Time tracking apps give project managers the power to calibrate crew hours.

Worker schedules can be optimized based on up-to-date project timelines. Alerts automatically notify supervisors of late clock-ins and early departures that threaten schedules. Required overtime can be identified early. Monitoring tools track that breaks are not eating into productive time. Teams are kept humming at the optimal pace. Construction firms using time tracking see labor costs align tightly to budgets as worker hours are calibrated perfectly to project needs.

Improved Project Management

For construction firms relying on paper timesheets, matching worker hours to specific projects is virtually impossible. This results in inaccurate cost accounting and budget overruns. Time tracking apps that integrate with accounting systems solve these project management challenges.

As employees clock in, they assign hours worked to the appropriate cost codes. Labor costs are automatically categorized across projects for precise budget tracking. Time tracking provides reliable data to refine estimates and control costs. Analytics identify profitability leaks between estimated and actual hours. Tight project cost management prevents surprises and keeps construction firms profitable.

Decreased Time Theft

The dispersed nature of construction sites makes time theft easy and rampant without proper controls. Paper timesheets make it simple for workers to fudge hours or have others clock them in when not working. Construction firms often pay for “phantom employee hours,” driving up project costs.

Time tracking apps eliminate these payroll leaks. Features like GPS tracking, geofencing, and check-in photos validate that employees are truly on-site and working during reported hours. Falsified timesheets are impossible. With robust time verification, construction managers have confidence that payroll truly matches the work done. Construction projects completed on time and on budget.

Why Mobile Time Tracking is So Much Better Than Manual Time Tracking

For construction firms, paper-based time tracking using error-prone manual timesheets results in a staggering array of issues that directly reduce productivity and increase costs. Here’s a deeper look at why mobile automated time tracking is superior:

Inaccuracy of Paper Timesheets

With paper timesheets, employees can intentionally falsify hours, have co-workers clock them in/out when absent, round hours incorrectly, or make simple transcription mistakes. This results in wholly inaccurate data on hours worked. In turn, payroll and project cost data are incorrect when based on flawed paper timesheets. Paychecks no longer match actual hours worked. Project costs become disconnected from reality.

Lack of Verification

Paper timesheets rely on employees’ self-reporting hours with no factual verification. There is no way to confirm if workers are present for the hours recorded or if the timesheet reflects real work done. At best, the paper provides unverified claims of time worked with no audit trail. At worst, it enables outright payroll fraud through buddy punching and self-reporting of phantom hours not actually worked.

No Real-Time Insights

Because paper timesheets are collated after the fact, managers lack any visibility into real-time attendance tracking or hours worked. This prevents effective daily management of crews and optimization of schedules. Oversight is reactive, and issues like absenteeism or early departures go unseen until timesheets are finally processed days later. The data itself is locked in paper form and impossible to access or analyze in real time.

Administrative Burden

Processing reams of paper timesheets is cumbersome, time-consuming, and detrimental to productivity. Administrative staff must manually input, collate, file, and calculate hours worked – often long after the fact. Even worse, the handwritten data cannot be easily analyzed to provide workforce insights or generate management reports. Administrative work bogs down without any payoff.

Audit and Compliance Risks

Generating certified payroll reports or prevailing wage documentation is extremely difficult using inconsistent paper records. These reports often fail to stand up to scrutiny when audited due to discrepancies, inaccuracies, and illegibility. Failing compliance audits results in stiff fines and penalties. Plus, flawed records make it impossible to defend against wage disputes or lawsuits.

The Mobile Time Tracking Solution

Mobile time tracking apps solve these issues by providing automated, verified, real-time data on employee attendance and hours worked. Advanced features like GPS, geofencing, and clock-in photos  prevent time theft and falsified reporting. Data accuracy and transparency is assured.

Real-time reporting allows construction managers to actively track projects and crews minute-by-minute. Actionable insights are immediately available, not delayed by days. Trouble spots are identified as they occur. All data flows seamlessly into operational systems and can be instantly accessed across devices.

For construction firms, mobile time tracking apps are the 21st-century solution to replace slow, risky, paper-based processes. The rewards are game-changing – optimized workforce productivity, unimpeachable payroll accuracy, and compliance peace of mind.

What are Some Key Features to Look for in a Time Tracking App?

To maximize productivity gains, construction companies should look for time tracking apps built specifically for their industry and compliance needs. Here are some key features to look for:

  • GPS tracking – Confirm employee attendance with automated geofenced clock-ins and location tracking during shifts. This prevents buddy punching or reporting hours when not on site.
  • Image verification – Employees clock in, providing photo evidence of their identity. Makes it impossible to fake timesheets.
  • Scheduling – Create and assign shifts with exact start and end times while factoring in job site locations and budgets. Tracks schedule compliance.
  • Overtime alerts – Programmable alerts notify managers in real-time when overtime hours outside of shifts are clocked, preventing budget overruns.
  • Break management – Track mandated breaks and rest periods while getting alerts on missed or short breaks that violate labor laws.
  • Certified payroll – Automatically generate required certified payroll reports often needed for compliance.
  • Integrations – Push data into your existing payroll, accounting, ERP, or other platforms, eliminating duplicate data entry.
  • Labor law compliance – Provides required data needed to comply with key labor regulations like prevailing wage laws. Ensures adherence to jurisdictional requirements.

Time Tracking with ExakTime

ExakTime provides an all-in-one employee time tracking software designed specifically to meet the needs of construction businesses. It delivers automated time tracking with GPS location services, geo-fencing, and other features that construction firms require.

With ExakTime, construction managers get unparalleled visibility into employee attendance, hours worked, and location in real time. This allows for optimized schedules, workflows, and workforces, leading to significant productivity gains, cost control, and compliance risk reduction. The ability to integrate ExakTime’s data into existing business systems eliminates dual data entry while enabling advanced reporting.

Construction companies looking to boost productivity and lower compliance risks should 

consider how ExakTime’s purpose-built solutions can benefit their business. The app’s simple and flexible mobile interface makes time tracking effortless for field employees while providing managers with actionable data. Contact ExakTime today to learn more and request a demo.

Paper-based time tracking methods are no longer adequate for the needs of modern construction companies. Employee time tracking apps provide the features and data required to improve project and workforce management truly. When selecting a time tracking app, construction firms should ensure it is designed specifically for their compliance obligations, job site realities, and data integration needs. By leveraging a purpose-built solution like ExakTime, construction companies can maximize productivity, efficiency, cost control, and compliance. Automated time tracking delivers the visibility and insights needed to streamline construction management.

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