How To Deal With Employee time Theft At Workplace

Updated October 6, 2023


Bilal Ahmad

When you think of theft you think of money, car, jewelry or other physical stuff but these aren’t the only things that can be stolen. At workplaces time theft is a common scenario which cost billions of dollars to companies worldwide. But what is time theft? And how can you prevent it from happening at your company? Let’s find out.

What Is Time Theft?

In simple terms, time theft is the time stolen by an employee at a workplace. The stolen time is the time in which the employee has performed no productive task yet getting paid for it.

According to a study on average an employee steals 4.5 hours each week at the workplace. So for instance if you pay someone $10/hour they are stealing $45 dollars from you each week according to the above stated study. This adds up to a lot if you have multiple employees.

Employee Time Theft

There are multiple types of time theft that commonly happen at workplace which are as follows:

  1. Buddy Punching: This one is a pretty common time theft in which a co worker marks the attendance of their friend who has not arrived on time.
  2. Long breaks: Be it the lunch break or smoke breaks if the employees takes more than usual to complete their breaks then it means that they are stealing time at work.
  3. Non productive activities: Most employees use the internet for personal work or for time pass like browsing social media, watching videos, playing games, etc.

Now you must be clear of what actually is time theft and must be willing to find out ways to stop employee time theft. Keep reading the article and you will know exactly how to deal with employees stealing time at work.

How Does A Company Prove Employee Time Theft?

It’s hard to prove that a employee is stealing time specially if they are working from home. However, there are some ways using which you keep an eye on your employees at workplace or when they are working from home.

  1. Use Software To Prevent Employee Time Theft

There are lots of employee monitoring software out there like pcTattletale which allows you to remotely track all the employees activities on their computer. The reason I recommend pcTattletale is because it records each and every activity in a video format which allows you see actually what the employee is doing on their PC or Android phone.

Not just that it even provides Live streaming of their screen which allows you to see what they are doing in real time. Also it has a hidden keylogger for Android and Windows PC which shares all words they have typed on various browsers on their device. You have to install the software on their PC by having physical access to it for one time. Once you have installed it on their devices it stays hidden so they won’t know about it and you can remotely keep track of all their activities.

  1. Put Them Under Surveillance

Apart from using a spy software for their computer If the employees are working from office then it is easier to keep an eye on them using CCTV cameras. If you don’t already have a cctv camera installed in your office then you can install them it will surely help you with employee time theft.

A CCTV camera might not capture everything. So you can also use a spy recording device like a Spy camera or voice recorder for employees who you doubt of stealing time at office in order to gather evidence against them so that you can take some action.

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

  1. Boost Employee Morale

If your employee morle is high they would not want to do time theft. To boost your employee morale and can do the following things:

  • Reward your employees for their good works
  • Make growth plan with your employees
  • Take feedback from employee and make positive changes according to that
  • Give them the best environment to work
  • Have a friendly behaviour with your employees
  1. Set A Good Example

If you are the boss of the company and you yourself are not taking the work seriously then your employees will have a casual  approach towards the job as well. You should set a good example by being the most hard working guy in the company. If you do soo then most employees will themselve get motivated to work to their fullest and not indulge in time theft.

  1. Cut The Downtime

In a business there can be downtime due to multiple reasons may be due to bad weather, no electricity, no WiFi etc. In such scenarios the employees can easily steal time since they have a reason to not work due to the lack of the resources. If you want your employees to always be productive then make sure you cut the downtime as much as possible.

  1. Take Disciplinary Action

First you should give written and then verbal warning to the employees who are not very productive. If they show improvement then good, however, if they show no positive sign then you should take  disciplinary action against them. You can demote them, suspend them and even terminate them from the job if nothing else works.

How To Deal With Employee Stealing Time? Final Verdict

Time stealing at workplace is a pretty common affair and most employee’s indulge in it. It can be dangerous for your business if your employees are doing time theft at the workplace because it is costing you a lot of money.

If you want stop employees from stealing time then you need to take some measures which I have discussed above like rewarding your employees for good work, boosting their morale,  by setting a good example and cutting down the downtime.

If you implement these things then you should most probably see a positive sign. Even after this you notice time stealing at workplace then you should take disciplinary action but before that you must gather some proof against them and that can be only done through employee monitoring software and sureveillece device like CCTV camera and more.

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