Three Ways To Prevent Time Theft 

Time theft affects nearly 75% of facility management, janitorial services and security businesses in the US. As harsh as it could sound, this practice is costing millions of dollars a year. This article will describe three main ways in which business owners can prevent time theft and explain the main causes of it. 

The causes of time theft in the facilities services industry in the US 

Early check outs 

The first cause of time theft is late check in and early check out of staff which produces a need to round up the time worked once it is reported to the supervisors. 

How is your company sure that one of the staff members arrived at 7 am instead of 30 minutes later? Those 30 minutes in the morning and other 30 minutes at the end of the day are making your business pay an entire hour extra.

Multiply that by the number of times this happens a day, month.. Year? 

If you really want to understand the math behind it, this article explains it. 


Identity Fraud 

This one  is really harmful for any business,  not only the people you hired and back checked are not working on time but there is a risk that a totally different person is replacing them putting your business and your client at risk. 


This practice is very common when companies use paper cards and landline dialing systems. Because in this case, there is no guarantee that the person clocking in is the person you hired for the job. 


Extended breaks

Although this is a difficult practice to control since supervisors are not able to visit every site, extended breaks can affect your payroll budget and the quality of the work delivered to your customers. 


In this case, think about the person that checks in late and in addition to taking a longer break than expected. Your business is paying more than 1 hour extra for this person. 


Unscheduled stops while on route 

This type of time theft occurs when staff members that are assigned different services during the day make unplanned stops during their route. In this case your client will experience delays and your operational costs will increase since your crew will take longer to complete tasks, will waste more gas getting to the next client and you can risk some clients canceling their work orders. 

 Three main ways to prevent time theft


Run a diagnostic test 

Now that you know what the main causes of time theft are, run a diagnostic test for a certain period of time. See if you can identify patterns that allow you to pinpoint one or two main causes in your operation. 

If you are keeping time with spreadsheets or handwritten forms make sure to understand other problems that might be generating the time theft, for example, complicated forms, staff not being able to understand what is written etc. 

If you are using systems in which staff members need to dial from a landline phone to check their location and time of arrival make sure there are not work arounds to your system, Talk to supervisors and discovers how much time is taking them to adjust the time to keep the payroll updated and how many times a week is that happening. 


Create a standard process for time keeping and real time monitoring 

Once you identify how your operation looks, create a new process. 

Hey, I’m not talking about a workaround for the “technology” you think you have. 

Really try to think about better ways to keep track of the time and location of your staff members, at the end, improvements in the operation will be reflected as better quality and better service for your clients. 

Let me give you a quick idea on how to get there, 


Implement technology that prevents work arounds

If the spreadsheets are not working and the landlines are not the best way to confirm someone’s identity in real time, it’s time to upgrade your tech stack. 

I’ve heard the sentence “ well we have this software and works for us, of course we would like it to do X and Y but we developed a work around for it and works pretty good” .

Let me tell you something, you’re not supposed to be paying for a solution that is good enough or that needs work arounds. 

You need to pay for the solution that works. That’s it. 

Twnel is a solution that uses conversational automation (bots) to walk your staff members through different processes they execute every day. 


In the next article I will explain how to automate certain tasks in order to gain control of your business time.