August 28, 2017

If your employees work at home or move around between locations and if they are paid by the hour, you may be able to use mobile time sheets and Application Service Providers offer them.

Basically, you aren’t expected to buy anything other than standard gear such as a mobile phone.

While initially developed for blue collar contractors to ensure they were putting in the time they were paid for, the new application – based on global positioning system (GPS) technology – has potential for other companies who are wondering if their account reps take three hour -lunch breaks or their telecommuters really work 9 to 5.

Here are some of the advantages of mobile phone time sheets:

  • They increase accountability and better track employees’ locations during the day.
  • They provide accuracy in reporting the actual hours spent on the job and on breaks.
  • They are easy to comply with since both end user applications and Web-based manager portals are intuitive.

Still, there are drawbacks to the system that need to be considered:

  • It may cause an erosion of trust. Mobile time sheets can be viewed as a demonstration of mistrust and break an important bond with employees.
  • A sense of Big Brother watching. The main enforcement tool is that employees don’t get paid unless they keep their mobile phone on and the time sheet signed in.
  • It results in monthly cash outlays, meaning another bill to pay.
  • There are initial cash expenses of buying cell phones that include the GPS chipset that handles third-party software.

But for the end user, cost and accessibility score high. Some estimates:

Per seat service
$15 to $20 a month

Sign up fee

GPS phone

Service to enable GPS data exchange
$10 a month

Some studies show that businesses with 30 to 50 employees could be over billed as much as $2,500 a month per employee, so the investment could pay for itself, as well as boost productivity.

Caution: You will run into many versions of this application. It is necessary to evaluate these offerings based on your wireless service provider and find the one best suited to your company.

© 2017