Buddy punching is an extremely common form of theft in the workplace. In fact, according to hrdailyadvisor.blr.com, buddy punching is estimated to cost U.S. employers more than $373 million every year. Many employers may not even know that it is going on or who is doing it. Buddy punching is when another employee punches in a co-worker that is not present or running late to work. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this type of time theft from occurring and it could just help improve your company’s bottom line.
Why Do Employees Buddy Punch?
To some of us, it will remain a mystery why employees choose to buddy punch and steal from the company they work for. However, some reasons are very clear why people practice such bad work ethics. We will first start off with the simple reasoning of an individual that is running late to work. Instead of being honest and contacting their superior, they rather call or text a co-worker and ask that they punch them in so they avoid getting into trouble. Now all of us can agree that it is not fun sitting down with your boss to talk about why you were late, but if this is not a consistent problem then why risk losing your job by having another person clock you in.
Another obvious reason is when an employee may simply want the day off and request a buddy to punch them in and punch them out. Some employers are so busy and may not realize that Johnny is absent all day, but on paper he was present the whole day thanks to his friend.
Those who do this may not look at it as stealing from the company, but we disagree here at OnTheClock. A person is getting paid for time they are not working or they aren’t even at work for that matter. What is the difference between this and reaching your hand into an employer’s register and taking your daily pays’ worth? To us we look at it as being equivalent and unethical.
How Buddy Punching Could Be Affecting Your Business
So you’re going through your company's finances and notice that your projections are off for production and your revenue isn’t as high as you thought it would be. You start thinking about ideas how to improve this although you were positive that the system you implemented was working to meet your goals. You may think about hiring additional personnel, laying off some employees if you can’t afford them or invest more money into man hours to come up with a new game plan.
According to an article written by Forbes, it states the number one reason for a small business to lose money is due to bad accounting. Payroll and time card tracking is all a big part of accounting, and when it is done incorrectly, your business could suffer.
What you may not realize is that your system was effective and working great until your employees started buddy punching. This whole time you thought you had all hands on deck and everyone was on the clock working while you were accomplishing your side of the company’s tasks. Now, you find yourself hanging on to every dollar possible because you are worried and concerned about your company's financial future.
Ways To Prevent Buddy Punching
There are a few options that can be used to prevent buddy punching. First, you can do it the old fashion way and stand by the punch clock and document exactly who is clocking in and who is not. This can take precious and valuable time away from what you need to do during the day to operate a successful business.
Secondly, you could take time throughout the day each week to walk through the company and make tallies of who’s in and who’s not. Remember, once again you would be taking valuable time that is worth money just to make sure employees are being honest. This can be such a headache for you and actually cost you money because you cannot give 100% on your end while being on the clock.
Lastly, you could invest in an employee time clock tracking system that does not involve any messy installations for a very low cost. This software has features such as geo fencing which allows you to set up a perimeter around your company or any specific designation of your choice that it will not allow an employee to punch in unless he or she is inside the geo fencing boundaries. Also, you could use a thumbprint reading device that syncs with the online time clock system. These web-based time clocks can also be downloaded as an app onto mobile phones which allows the employee to quickly punch in and out with a click of a button rather than standing in a long line for a traditional punch clock. This allows your employees to get straight to work and not waste any time.
Other perks of using an employee time clock tracking system is that you can conveniently see everyone who is clocked in or out and their times by just looking at a page under your account. This feature can save you time and offer the benefit of having a peace of mind knowing your employees aren’t stealing time anymore. Each employee can be assigned a username and password that helps prevent buddy punching. You can also have it setup to automatically deduct lunch breaks and setup reminders to be sent to the employees to clock in or clock out to assure there is no more time theft.
The End Result To Putting A Stop To Buddy Punching
At the end of the day we can all agree that it would be nice to not worry about employees being dishonest with their time and costing the company money. OnTheClock.com has done a great job of creating a web-based time clock for employers to use and allow accurate time tracking, convenience of knowing who is actually punched in or out, improve a company’s bottom line by preventing buddy punching and relieving stress for our fellow business owners who have more important things to do rather than worrying about employees stealing time. Put money back into your pocket, eliminate buddy punching and improve your company by using an online time clock system.