Most companies face time theft issues by their employees at their workplace, resulting in detrimental impacts on their performance and productivity. Moreover, it reduces the owner’s credibility in this competitive landscape and affects the financial resources. Workers can commit this offensive activity in several ways, making it very challenging to detect and analyze. Therefore, we have developed this guide to help you learn about the most common ways of time theft alongside its detrimental effects. Also, we have elaborated on the methods to address this activity.
Ways to Commit Time Theft
After extensively researching the web and learning from different software houses, we have elaborated on some points in the under-section to help you understand how your employees may commit time theft at the workplace.
1 – Unnecessary Breaks
Unnecessary breaks are the most prominent way of time theft at workplaces. Employees may go to the washroom occasionally to waste their time. In this way, they can reduce their working hours while receiving a full salary.
2 – Buddy Punching
Another method of time theft is through buddy punching. It usually includes going with your colleague to perform non-essential tasks. It is also a sort of break but can be integrated with other people.
3 – Excessive Personal Internet Use
Although offices provide their employees with a high-speed Internet connection, some workers use their personal Internet connection to scroll social media and browse other activities, which results in wasting precious time.
4 – Misuse of Company Resources
Employees may use company resources for their personal concerns, not only reducing them but also having a great negative impact on the productivity of the company. It could be in the form of using the company’s pens, papers, and gadgets.
5 – Falsifying Timesheets
Falsifying timesheets is another way to commit time theft at the workplace. However, it requires collaboration with the supervisor to add additional working hours to the schedule, resulting in more damage.
6 – Inefficient Task Management
Sometimes, employees go through a worse mental state, resulting in a loss of focus and attentiveness. Thus, they take more time to accomplish the task, causing inefficient time management and accuracy.
7 – Unauthorized Overtime
Although overtime is necessary for some industries, false over-timing hours could cause damage to the company. Employees may receive extra payouts for additional time after wasting their actual working hours.
8 – Exaggerated Reporting of Work
Some workers are very good at judging the time required to complete the project. By utilizing this ability, they can exaggerate the time for project completion to commit time theft in an unauthorized fashion.
9 – Extended Socializing
It is well-known that socializing is necessary to collaborate and share thoughts with your colleagues. Nevertheless, extended socializing will result in unnecessary meetups and gossip, wasting all productive time on useless activities
10 – Unauthorized Absences
Unauthorized absences are also a proper way of committing time theft at workplaces. Most employees utilize this technique in their employer’s absence to get off for enjoyment, leaving the company at a loss.
Impacts of Time Theft
Wasting time is never going to be productive for a company. The most common consequences a company faces through this activity are the following.
1 – Reduced Productivity
The most critical consequence of time theft is reduced productivity. With unnecessary breaks in the necessary operations, employees cannot focus greatly on accomplishing them, resulting in inefficiency and poor productive outcomes.
2 – Increased Labor Cost
Through time theft, the employees may work for additional hours and ask for wages. Consequently, it increases the labor cost, resulting in more expenses and narrowing the profit-cost margin.
3 – Eroded Trust
Time theft also leads to eroded trust between the worker and the company owner. It impacts the culprits and puts negative results on the trusted employees as they may face more restrictions.
4 – Legal Consequences
Committing time theft continuously may result in serious negligence in customer support as well as in data safety sections. Thus, you may suffer severe legal consequences if the data is stolen or breached.
5 – Decreased Employee Morale
Time theft also impacts the morale of other employees. Whenever they see their colleagues wasting time on non-professional activities, they also start doing such exercises, resulting in a great loss to the employer and company.
How to Prevent Time Theft?
Preventing time theft is not a challenging task. You only need a comprehensive strategy and perfect implementation for maximum outcomes.
1 – Implement Time-Tracking Systems
Time tracking systems are the best option to avoid time theft. By implementing this strategy, you can ensure that all the tasks must be accomplished within the given schedule. Otherwise, employees may face a deduction in their salaries.
2 – Set Clear Policies
Secondly, you must set up clear policies regarding time management and ensure that your workers follow the schedule as described. In this way, you can bring in more benefits than losses.
3 – Monitor Workflows
Monitor the workflows quite deeply to understand which employees are completing their tasks and who are troubling the workflow through time theft activities.
4 – Educate Employees
Next, you should educate your employees regarding work ethics and time management principles. Thus, this will be motivated to perform necessary operations.
5 – Encourage Reporting
Encouraging the workers to report their colleagues committing time theft is also an excellent method to address this activity.
6 – Use Performance Metrics
Many tools are available on the web, promising to deliver you the features to track the performance of your workers and projects. Hence, you can leverage them to eliminate time theft from your company.
7 – Implement Consequences
Lastly, you can implement consequences to address time theft. You can warn your workers verbally and even fire the customs to maintain a positive workplace environment.
Time theft is a major issue in the workplace that can have severe effects on an organization’s productivity and financial health. Employees can commit this in various forms, from unauthorized breaks to falsifying timesheets. Thus, it can be challenging to detect such activities. Employers must proactively address time theft by implementing clear policies, accurate time-tracking systems, and consequences for offenders. Also, organizations can maintain a productive and ethical work environment by taking steps to prevent and address time theft issues.