What is Geofencing and How Can HR Use It to Track Time and Attendance? - Netchex

How accurate is your current timekeeping system? Can employees clock in remotely? Are employees able to punch the clock for each other? HR technology features, such as geofencing, can improve timekeeping accuracy and integrity, while also eliminating certain issues.

Is geofencing right for your business? Many employees love the added convenience and efficiency. Learn exactly what geofencing is, what it is used for, and how it helps your company’s Time and Attendance solution

What is geofencing?

Geofencing uses GPS locations and RFID signals to establish a virtual boundary around a specified location, such as when an employee (or customer) enters or exits a designated area. Virtual geofencing boundaries can be as simple as a circle on a map or an outline of a neighborhood or city block. 

What is geofencing used for?

Companies can use geofencing in a variety of ways for employees, customers, prospects, and more.

HR can utilize this technology to improve the employee experience, collect more detailed data, ensure safety and compliance, and guarantee the accuracy of timekeeping and attendance tracking.

Outside of HR, geofencing has many applications, such as in-store services, marketing campaigns, and social media promotions. 

Depending on set up, a geofence accomplishes a multitude of different objectives, including:

  • Prompt mobile push notifications
  • Send out messages or alerts
  • Trigger targeted advertisements
  • Track vehicles or a person’s movements
  • Disable certain technology
  • Track movement entering or leaving a specific area
  • Monitor employees in the field
  • Automate timekeeping
  • Keep track of company property

Geofencing + employee time tracking

Employee time tracking becomes more efficient and reliable with geofencing. Use Time and Attendance software that’s compatible with geofencing, and you can more easily detect and prevent issues like buddy punching.

Some employees may have privacy concerns. But a large majority of employees will appreciate a timekeeping system that’s faster and easier to use. You can also address privacy concerns about location data by being transparent about the technology and its intended uses.

Pros of geofencing in the workplace

There are big perks to geofencing for both employees and the company. If your business has several locations with complicated footprints, then you may need to spend more time defining and adjusting the location boundaries.

It’s automatic and convenient

Nobody enjoys walking from their car back into the office at night because they forgot to punch out. Geofencing makes clocking in and out as easy as possible, with alerts and push notifications. Track the hours that employees actually spend at the office, on the road, and at additional worksites.

If employees travel between different worksites, they’ll appreciate the convenience of a timekeeping app. For a hybrid work environment, a time and attendance software allows workers to clock-in from the home office or in-person. Geofencing offers flexible solutions that can grow with your changing business.

It encourages productivity

A manual timeclock causes a bottleneck at the start and finish of every workday, as employees wait their turn. Timekeeping software with geofencing enables workers to get started immediately after clocking in. User-friendly apps let employees clock-in from their personal smartphone.

Outdated timekeeping systems unintentionally create a culture of idleness. Employees routinely loiter in break rooms and hallways, socializing around the time clock. Geofencing makes it clear that the workplace is an area for productivity during business hours.

Many timekeeping apps keep precise records of breaks, skipping the leisurely walk between an employee’s workstation and the time clock.

It improves safety and security

Track the times when employees arrive and leave, and you’ll be able to detect unusual behavior. Certain employees may have the right keys to access equipment and information after hours. Make sure that only authorized personnel are accessing sensitive areas. Geofencing is one of many ways to protect sensitive employee information.

If an incident occurs, you can quickly verify which employees are currently on-site without guessing based on the weekly routine. If a disgruntled employee demonstrates strange behavior, it is good to know if they come to work during a day or time when they aren’t scheduled. 

Contact tracing was instrumental in keeping employees safe and healthy in the workplace during COVID. 

Tips for implementing geofencing

Geofencing should be more convenient for everyone, but you still need to prepare employees for the transition. Find out about the data requirements of your timekeeping app, especially if your company provides smartphones for employees.

Any new technology may require training sessions for employees, even if it’s just a brief introduction to a user-friendly app.

Start by updating your employee handbook with any new attendance policies, and make sure employees understand the changes in advance.

With geofencing technology, you should be transparent about the goals and limitations of the software and location data. Some percentage of employees might react negatively to unfamiliar apps getting added to their smartphones. Most concerns are alleviated with transparency.

Learn more about Netchex’s Time and Attendance solution:

Learn more about our Time and Attendance software (including geofencing). Our Time and Attendance solution is fully integrated with our entire HR technology suite.

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