A recent study by market researcher dscout showed that individuals touch their phone an average of 2,617 times a day. That amounts to 2,617 taps, swipes, and clicks for social media, messaging, gaming, or the many other applications that are available on our mobile devices. With such widespread use (and dependency) on mobile devices, it is no wonder that companies are tapping into that power of convenience and accessibility to manage their workforce.
For companies that employ a remote workforce, such as construction, mobile devices bridge the gap between the field and the office. Through mobile devices, employees in the field benefit from the accessibility to the office and the digitization of forms. To take advantage of this benefit, automating the timesheet collection and approval process is one the easiest ways to start your construction company on its journey towards digitization.
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Why implement a construction timesheet app?
In the 2016 JB Knowledge Construction Technology report, a survey participant noted, “Time entry is the most requested mobile feature from Operations.” Paper timesheets burden everyone in the payroll process. Field workers often forget to complete time cards. Foremen spend hours collecting and reviewing timecards. Project Managers spend hours attributing labor hours to the right project and cost codes. And then the Payroll team has to read incomplete, illegible timecards and manually implement them into the accounting software.
Implementing a construction timesheet app minimizes the headaches from paper timecards. Workers can directly punch in and out from their mobile device for more accurate time tracking. The information is stored in a central cloud-based location for access by the office team. The payroll team can review, approve, and export to their Accounting system. A manual payroll process that used to take hours to complete is automated to complete payroll in minutes.
This does not have to be a pipe dream for your construction company. The tangible and intangible benefits of going mobile with a construction timesheet app affect everyone in your organization.
What’s in it for me?
Field Worker – The biggest opponent to a mobile construction timesheet app is likely going to be your Field Workers. Millennial workers will be more open to embracing mobile time tracking. The process is similar to how they check into their favorite restaurants or similar locations on social media. While your more veteran workers will complain that a timekeeping app resembles “Big Brother” tracking and a general lack of trust on workers.
In fact, field workers benefit the most from a construction timesheet app. With a mobile time tracking app, there are no more surprises when they get their paycheck. When a Foreman, Project Manager, or Accountant rejects a timecard, the employee immediately receives an alert. The employee can easily enter comments and communicate directly with the approver about the time card discrepancy directly from the time keeping app. As a result, a construction timesheet app helps workers get paid quickly and accurately.
Foreman – When timecards are due, a foreman spends a large part of his job tracking down workers and collecting timecards. With workers entering their time directly into a construction timesheet app, the Foreman spends less time being the timecard police. Employees receive notifications directly from their device if they forget to punch out at the end of the shift.
Even if you do not have employees clock in and out individually, a mobile time tracking app still saves your Foreman a considerable amount of time. A construction timesheet app allows the Foreman to clock in individual employees or the entire crew at one time. The Foreman can track his crews while they are working. As activities and task change throughout the day, the Foreman can also change cost codes to track job costs accurately.
Project Manager – A construction timekeeping app makes logging activities directly to the project and cost codes easy. With a few finger taps on a mobile device, an employee quickly documents labor activity to a different system, phase, or cost code. The Project Manager has more accurate labor information to track estimated hours with actual hours in real-time. With a construction timesheet app, a Project Manager can track project costs proactively.
Estimator – Construction companies that track time towards cost codes benefit greatly from a timekeeping app. Detailed labor tracking from a timekeeping app provides more accurate historical averages on labor activity by costs codes as well as project type and size. Based on previous jobs of similar size and scope, Estimators can either add more labor hours to certain cost codes to protect profits or reduce labor hours to submit a more competitive bid. With a construction timesheet app, an Estimator can provide better estimates.
Owner – All of the benefits that each worker receives from a construction timesheet app lead to one big benefit for the owner: profit protection. More accurate timecards for the Field Worker increases profits for the owner. A Project Manager that can track labor activity proactively increases profits for the owner. An Estimator that can provide better estimates increases profits for the owner. More importantly, a construction timesheet app allows an owner to improve operational workflow to remain competitive.
Everyone wins with a construction timesheet app. However, as with any new technology, it is important for company leaders to support the transition. Unfortunatley, change will be difficult for some team members. So, it is important to stress the benefits of the construction timesheet app to individual employees as well as the growth of the company.