According to the latest research, “Buddy Punching” is costing US businesses $373 Million annually. If you don’t know what buddy punching is, it is the practice of an employee clocking in at the office’s Bundy clock on behalf of another who might be coming in late for work.
The practice of buddy punching isn’t limited to cases of people avoiding being late. This practice is also used when employees ask their buddies to clock in and out for them even if they are not at work. This tricks employers to pay them for the time that they didn’t work at all.
This is among one of the most popular examples of time theft, commonplace at businesses that don’t use employee time clock software. In a study done by Software Advice, 43% of surveyed employees admitted to committing time theft.
(Read: How to Eliminate Time Theft)
Why Do Employees Engage in “Buddy Punching”?
There are any number of reasons why employees may engage in such activity.
A few of the main reasons are that they are running late or have to leave early for family concerns (dropping off kids at school and picking them up, for example). Maybe they have no sick leave or vacation time left to use and they don’t want to risk a write-up or firing for missing any additional work days. Perhaps they just don’t feel like working.
The reasons may or may not matter to employers. In all honesty, there is truly no valid excuse for an employee to receive compensation for hours he or she did not actually work. While you may have attributed any practice of ‘buddy punching’ as merely the cost of doing business, that isn’t the case anymore. When it comes to running a business, optimization and trust is key and if your own employees aren’t aligned in trying to help the business grow, that’s a red flag with regards to workforce success.
What Must Your Business Do to Prevent Buddy Punching?
With more access to mobile communication tools, it is becoming easier for employees to coordinate buddy punching. As consumer technology is rapidly evolving, business tools must evolve as well. Old-school Bundy clocks, time cards, and paper timesheets are not gonna cut it anymore. Biometric time clock devices may solve this age-old practice, however, these systems are costly and prone to problems of its own.
Using cloud-based employee time clock software is a more viable option for businesses to eliminate buddy punching. Since it can use existing tablets to host the application, you don’t need to purchase new hardware. Make sure that it has everything you need to ensure that employees don’t buddy punch for each other. Features you should look for in an employee time clock software are unique PIN input, photo verification, and a live feed feature that lets employers check in real time who really are at work.
Time clock apps like Tanda offer these very helpful features to help you not only prevent any form of time theft but also to help you track employee time immediately. With the right human resource software, you can eliminate buddy punching and thereby stop rewarding employees for cheating the system.