Is Employee Time Theft Hurting Your Field Service Business? Here’s What You Should Do

Are your technicians or office staff cheating you out of time? Have you ever walked through your office and wondered how anyone gets any work done? Are there lots of socializing by your office staff or reports of your techs late to customer appointments or worse not showing up?

What Is Employee Time Theft?

Employee time theft ranges from doing non-work tasks while on the clock to actually falsifying time records or having a buddy punch a time clock for an employee making it appear that he or she is at work when, in fact, they are not. This practice is so prevalent that one survey found that more than half of all U.S. employees admit to adding an extra 15 minutes to an hour to their time sheets. Fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot, but when you multiply 15 minutes by the number of employees you have and then by 52 weeks in a year, the number can be staggering. In fact, by some estimates, employee time theft costs business owners more than $11 billion annually. When you use field service reps, who are trusted to report their hours, that 15 minutes can turn into a half hour, an hour or more. If you don’t think that this problem applies to you, it’s probably time to look again.

How to Control Employee Time Theft

There are a number of things service business owners can do to curb employee time theft. One of the easiest is to simply let your employees know that you monitoring time sheets for errors. You can also make use of these best practices:

1. Create an employee time theft policy.

Let your employees know that you expect total honesty in their time reporting by creating a section in the employee handbook. Make sure to address the consequences of falsifying a time report.

2. Set a good example.

If you and your managers are frequently goofing off, having two-hour lunches on the clock and/or surfing the latest gossip site online during work hours, your employees will think that this is acceptable behavior. In addition, if you come waltzing into the office at 10:00 a.m. when everyone else has to be there at 8:00 a.m., your employees will think they can do the same. They probably don’t realize that you worked until late in the night the evening before.

3. Use field service software.

Another very effective way to make sure that your field service employees report their hours accurately is to make use of a field service software program. Such programs allow reps to “punch in” while they are in the field, making it easier to track and accurately record their hours. Field service software programs also help reps send invoices, connect with customers more efficiently and view customer equipment service history, so they don’t waste time.

Final Thoughts

Employee time theft isn’t something that you just have to accept. Make sure your employees know that you expect them to be honest, that there will be consequences for intentional errors and that you will be monitoring time reports. To learn more about using field service software to reduce employee time theft and better monitor your staff’s productivity, check out a free demo of mHelpDesk.

How do you control employee time theft with your employees? Share what’s worked for you below!

Last modified: March 11, 2019

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