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They can swing a hammer but don’t ask them to use a construction employee time tracking app. You may have heard this one before or even said it yourself about your crew.
We’ve been apologizing for more than a decade about how construction workers aren’t as tech-savvy as their white collar brothers and sisters.
This is simply not true.
Those same employees know how to use consumer apps like Spotify, Facebook, and Uber on their phones. They’re more than ready to use a well-designed time construction app.
But how do you pick the best time tracking app for your crew? In this article we’ll cover the main things to look for to help you make the right choice.
Why Use A Construction Employee Time Tracking App?
Have more accurate payroll
Ever have your crew submit all their time cards on Friday afternoon only to see that every timesheet is identical? What about when one of your workers is not where they’re supposed to be? These are real outcomes if you’re using an offline process to track employee time.
If your time cards are being submitted offline there is just no way to know if you’re paying your guys the right amount.
Eliminate wasted spend
Since your employee wages are one of the biggest costs for your projects you’ll want to keep your labor costs in check. Not only does that include having accurate time cards, but it also means keeping track of overtime your guys are working.
Keep projects profitable
You’ll want to eliminate the possibility of spending more on labor than what your clients are paying you. Especially when it comes to fixed cost projects.
A construction employee time tracking app can help you easily roll up your costs at the project level. That way you can see how your labor costs are tracking against the project contract in real-time.
Get better at future bids
Having better visibility into your project costs helps you adjust productivity on your active job sites. It also helps you get better at future bids.
What Should Your App Keep Track Of?
The main things you’ll want a construction employee time tracking app to track for you are employee hours and project costs. The devil is always in the details, so let’s go there!
Tracking Employee Hours Online
Easy-to-use construction time tracking software will make it easy for your crew to log their hours from their phone. It should just take them a few taps a day.
There are several scenarios you should make sure the app you choose can cover.
What if employees forget to clock in?
Give your employees and easy to use app, and they’ll never forget to clock in, right? Wrong.
Your employees are going to forget to clock in all the time. You’ll want an app that can set up geo-fences that detect when your employees arrive at your job sites. The app should then send them a reminder to clock in straight to their phone. It should only take them one tap to clock in from there.
Can I see employee location and arrival times?
Even with clock in reminders your employees will still forget to record their arrival time. The app should be able to give you that. By detecting an employee’s arrival into a geo-fence your construction employee time tracking app should be able to record the exact arrival time. That information should automatically be added to the employee’s time card. This will give you the proof you need to create precise time cards.
How to track unique pay rates and employee types?
Your employees not only get paid different pay rates, but you may also need to differentiate between hourly, salary, and 1099 contractors. Make sure to choose a construction employee time tracking app that allows you to configure these things uniquely for each employee.
How to track employee breaks?
Taking breaks into account is something your construction employee time tracking app should do for you automatically. You should be able to set individual employee breaks as paid or unpaid. Your employees should be able to record their break and time right from the app home screen. Make sure the app you choose respects your employee’s privacy by pausing location sharing while they’re on break.
What about overtime tracking?
Keep track of overtime is critical to knowing your actual labor costs and for making payroll an easier process at your company. You should look for software that lets you configure overtime rules by employee and choose either state level or Federal rules.
The software should automatically do the calculations for you to provide labor costs in actual dollar amounts and not just hours.
How do I use time tracking in QuickBooks?
Since Quickbooks is one of the most popular accounting platforms for small construction businesses there’s a good chance you’re already using it. That’s why you should choose a time tracking app that integrates directly.
This will make it easy to import employee information from Quickbooks and quickly send approved time card data back to streamline your payroll processing.
Tracking Time At The Project Level
Making payroll easier is not the only benefit of using an app to generate more accurate time cards. Collecting your employee time online also allows you get real-time views of your ongoing project costs.
Having this information will make it easier to keep an eye on real-time profitability. It will also give you the data you need to make even better bids in the future.
How do I turn employee time into project cost reports?
A good construction employee time tracking app should allow your employees to allocate their hours to projects you’ve set up in advance. Those hours should be calculated into actual labor costs that are viewable by project.
How do I see employee productivity?
You should be able to sort your project cost reports by project and employee. This report view will show you the labor costs for each employee.
How do you track employee work?
Your time tracking app should allow employees to add project updates to their time cards so you can see how time is being spent. The updates should include written notes, photos, and even the ability to tag the update to a specific project.
Look For An App With All These Features
The best time tracking app should give you an out-of-the-box experience and include all the construction-specific features we’ve covered here.
If you’re looking for a way to track employee hours and project costs that includes the features we covered in this article, take advantage of Workyard’s free 14 day trial.