Employee Time Theft: Great ideas for its prevention

by Steve Brown on Tuesday 20 March 2018, 3:17 PM | Category: Employee Welfare| View: 774 views

 We all know that absconding duty or absent seem might get us fired or fined. However, there is another time theft style that a lot of employees care less about but might be contributing to the company losses. The kind of time theft I'm talking about is when employees have actually clocked in but aren't doing what they are supposed to do. Replying personal emails, social media, playing games, or making personal phone calls are some of the ways that your employees might be stealing valuable staff hours.


While sometimes employees might steal time willingly, in some cases, time theft is involuntary, and even the employees themselves might not know that they are committing an offense. In this regard, you need to put a few measures in place to ensure that your employees are not stealing from you.

Set up the rules

To ensure that you get the best out of the employees in regards to time management, ensure you put the rules in place so that every employee knows what is expected from them and when they should deliver it. Employees are humans and therefore can't work continuously without taking a break or answering a phone call or text message. In this regard, ensure that as they do this, they know that deadlines are important and hence need to manage their time correctly.

Lead by example

A lot of people learn from their colleagues especially if they are new to the company. In this regard, they might adopt some few bad elements from their bosses and colleagues in regards to time management. In order to have a productive team, you might want to ensure that your supervisors aren't leading the way and allowing time theft. You need to be very vigilant so that your supervisors don't steal time by way of taking random brakes, playing games in the office, social media and sleeping in the office. Although some supervisors put in a lot of work on the weekends or at night, the average employee might not understand this when they see them relaxed in the office.

Put in place modern systems

Relying on timesheets and faulty, outdated systems might give your employees a loophole for time theft. Your employees might fill up timesheets wrongly either by accident or intentionally stealing thousands of valuable hours in a year. In this regard, you might want to consider up to date time tracking systems with GPS to ensure that employees are paid for the time worked up to the last second.


There are fantastic modern systems put in place that can avoid them wastage and cheating. For instance, there are good tracking systems out there that your employees can use to clock in on their mobile devices, smart watches, tablets or computers. Some of the assistance even have face recognition and GPS tracking to ensure that the employee is actually on-site for traveling workers. Some of these systems are great because employees can't clock in for each other and admins can't edit the timesheets.

It's only human to feel the need to check personal emails, social media, personal calls and it generally browse the Internet. However, some of these activities especially social media can take up a lot of valuable working hours leading to losses for the company. Furthermore, even the most disciplined employee might not be able to resist the urge to make that afternoon call home to hear how her baby is doing. Nevertheless, you can avoid the same theft by taking a few measures to ensure that employees typically do these activities during their tea/lunch break.


There are a few ways to do these which include blocking certain sites at the office, tracking website visits, allowing emergency calls only through the office line, and taking random screenshots on your employees' computers. For this to work exceptionally without the employees feeling uneasy, ensure that you inform them of these activities the moment they join the company. Furthermore, ensure that they are aware of the consequences. Taking these measures does not only save up a lot of money lost to time theft but also allows employees to be more accountable and focused at work. One of the systems that many companies use is an index time clock. Please comment below with the methods used by your company to curb time theft.

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