Have you ever heard of the word ‘geofencing’ before? If you are an employer managing a mobile workforce, you probably have. So, what is geofencing? Geofencing is a tool employers can incorporate in their scheduling or time and attendance software to overcome various challenges associated with employees’ safety and work ethic. With the help of GPS, companies can set up a virtual perimeter around their actual workplace, which tracks an employee’s location. The purpose of geofencing is specifically to help cater to employees’ safety needs and the employer’s objective of eliminating time fraud. This tool takes very little time to understand and implement and is an excellent feature in tracking time when you have employees working at multiple locations.
How does Geofencing work?
Other than a GPS, geofencing requires the presence of a navigating system and an app to function appropriately. Let’s explore further how these few requirements work and help employers save tons of time and energy.
Geofencing and location tracking through GPS
GPS is at the heart of the geofencing system. Its implementation takes place through a process that is not as daunting as it sounds. As in many cases, Google’s web APIs provide much of what is needed to hit the ground running. The Geolocation API, introduced as a part of the HTML5 standard, allows us to determine the location of any device with an internet browser using a combination of GPS, WiFi access points, cell towers, and other familiar sources. Google’s Geocoding API simplifies the process of converting the street address of a location to latitude and longitude coordinates.
Finally, the ubiquitous Google Maps API enables us to visualize our information beautifully and provides a great navigational tool for users. The result is the ability for employers to monitor their employees’ location in real-time based on their GPS location. An important note here is that Celayix’s GPS geofencing only tracks employees at the time of shift check-in or check-out. Employees are not monitored outside of these touchpoints. This is one of the many benefits of geofencing as it does not impinge on employee privacy.
Everything is accessible within an App
The mobile app incorporates all the features necessary for tracking and clocking employees (and much more) to make everything user-friendly. Celayix’s mobile app is directly connected with Google Maps, allowing the app to highlight the location once the employee checks in. This helps in 2 ways:
- Employees can check in with their phone: The app is a more convenient way to check-in than a physical time-clock system. Rather than using biometrics or a long passcode, checking-in requires a mobile device with in-built GPS services.
- Employees can only clock in when they’re within the perimeters established by the employers and the GPS: While this makes the use of the app more significant within the workplace, this helps employers reduce time fraud as employees can only clock in when they’ve reached their workplace. As a result, no more buddy punching.
Of course, we also have to recognize that employee privacy must be protected when the employee does not have a shift or is completed with it. Celayix’s geo-fencing technology does NOT track employees outside of check-in & check-out or provide any other tracking without the employee’s consent. Celayix’s app also depends on Geolocation API information that is controlled by the user’s phone settings. To further understand how geofencing works, get in touch with a solutions advisor today!
If you’ve got a fair idea of how geofencing works, let’s look at the range of benefits of geofencing for both employers and employees.
Benefits of geofencing for the employer
IMPROVED TIME & ATTENDANCE TRACKING
As mentioned earlier, the geofencing tool is directly connected to time and attendance software. This makes tracking time & attendance faster and more accurate. Without geofencing, managing time and attendance across multiple sites can be a nightmare. In general, timesheet or time card fraud can cost you as much as 7% of your total payroll. With approximately 43% of employees admitting to padding timesheets, the geofencing tool automatically clocks the times that the employees have worked, providing 100% accurate time & attendance data. This in itself might be one of the main benefits of geofencing, as it saves you both time and money by reducing time fraud or time collection errors.
ACCURATE PAYROLL & BILLING
Another benefit of the geofencing tool and improved time & attendance tracking is accurate payroll and billing. The data that’s collected from time & attendance tracking through geofencing can be passed directly from the employees’ mobile app to the system and then onto your payroll and billing providers. There are two major benefits from this; time is saved by the system automatically generating the data you need, and money is saved from reduced payroll or billing errors. What most employers are not aware of, is that 49% of American workers will start a new job search after experiencing only two problems with their paycheck. That’s how valuable the geofencing data can be!
less time managing employees
One of the biggest issues concerning time & attendance is the time managers spend tracking each employee. This is where geofencing truly shines. Geofencing helps in managing a remote workforce where employees are working in different sites. Geofencing gives managers certainty about employees’ presence or absence on the worksite whenever necessary through verification checks. This reassurance means that less time is spent managing employees and verifying their whereabouts. With the time saved from managing employees, managers can focus on improving the business in other areas.
Eliminate Time fraud
Time fraud is a huge issue for employers, particularly when it comes to a mobile workforce. Whether it’s buddy punching or padding timesheets, time fraud impacts your business. Bad timekeeping and outdated clocking systems have allowed time theft to go unnoticed for years. Employees have often found loopholes to carry out time theft and consequently increased payroll costs and skewed productivity levels. A huge benefit of geofencing is its ability to eliminate most forms of time fraud for employers. Employees can only check in once actually present on site, and will only get paid for this time. Each clock-in or clock-out is based on the device and the employees’ account on the mobile app. These criteria make it almost impossible for employees to cheat the system.
Benefits of geofencing for the employee
Safety is a massive concern in various jobs. A national workplace survey sponsored by The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. found that 58% of blue-collar households have a family member who has been injured on the job, requiring medical attention. Of course, when 1 manager is responsible for multiple sites, the risk of an incident going unnoticed is very high. This is where geofencing steps in. As an employer, you can request regular safety checks from employees. They can be done as frequently as employers intend. Using GPS for these safety checks is vital for accuracy and location tracking, should an incident occur.
Generally, these safety checks will have a couple of steps that will ensure employee safety. The safety checks ensure any risk of accident and threats are checked such as gates or doors. The GPS tracking and the geofencing tool work hand-in-hand to carry out the safety checks thoroughly. These safety checks are incredibly beneficial when managing multiple employees across multiple sites. Such safety checks are crucial in identifying not just employees’ safety but a lot of clients too.
Geofenced safety checks provide an accessible mechanism for employees to communicate with employers safely and securely. At times, when a site or situation is compromised, the safety checks provide the opportunity to relay vital information to management. This communication is secure and instant, giving management everything they need to react to the situation as required.
The final benefit of geofencing for employees is improved accountability. A tool like geofencing makes employees accountable for ensuring they are in the right place at the right time. Accountability can often be in the form of reduced absenteeism and reduced time theft in ways like buddy punching. For instance, managers will receive a notification if the employee has not checked in on time at the required location. Therefore, it is in the employee’s best interest to be on-site on time. This improved accountability creates a better-engaged workforce.
Geofencing technology is not new but is perhaps more required now than ever before. Workforces are becoming more mobile and as your company grows, geofencing can make your life easier. The benefits of geofencing go beyond what we have mentioned here, at the end of the day it can save you serious time and money. This will differ for each organization, but those savings improve your bottom line and allow managers to focus their resources elsewhere. If you want to learn more about how geofencing can help your business, reach out to a solutions advisor here.