Now that we live in the Jetson age, the amazing possibilities with technology are endless. One such technology that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years is GPS, especially with smartphone apps. Small business owners with remote employees have discovered that time clock apps with GPS meet many business needs. These apps help ensure that clients are served on time, that time cards are accurate and they provide verification to clients when employees were on site. While using GPS tracking as an employee management tool has benefits, there is one factor to consider – your employees and their rights to privacy. For this reason, it’s important to consider how to track employees with GPS the right way.

Fairness and Employee GPS Tracking

The issue of GPS tracking employees is a 2-sided coin. On one side, employers have a right to know that their remote hourly employees are on-site and on-time when they are on the clock. On the other side, employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are off the clock. Both sides are right. If we can agree on these points, then the issue is how to track employees with GPS the right way? How do small business owners implement a GPS-enabled employee time clock that meets their business needs, is fair to their employees, and stays legally in-bounds?

Let’s first address the question about legality. The 4th Amendment protects citizens against unlawful search and seizure by the government, but it doesn’t reach to the private sector. Some states address the issue about tracking employees with GPS, yet it’s generally agreed upon that small business owners can track the location of their employees with their consent and while they are on the clock.

The Chronotek App – Location Tracking Intelligently Designed

Now a little about the Chronotek mobile time card app. It was designed intelligently and intentionally different than similar time tracking apps. Other time clock apps may provide live “breadcrumb” tracks throughout the day of employees’ locations. However, if an employee forgets to clock out, GPS tracking continues during the employee’s off-hours. This ongoing tracking gets into a murky, grey area. By an honest oversight, if an employee forgets to clock out, his location is still being tracked after work. This isn’t fair to the employee and puts the business owner at risk. Chronotek’s proprietary Smart Tracks™ GPS technology eliminates the risk and injects fairness with common sense. Here’s a quick rundown of what the app does:

  • Asks for permission to track location upon download
  • Gets a location track at clock-in
  • Immediately reports if the employee is tracked at the job or not (on clock-in and clock-out)
  • Reports if the employee leaves the job site while still on the clock and if he returns
  • Shows the locations that the employee visits while on the clock
  • Reports if the employee disables location services while on the clock
  • Displays on the employee’s clock-in screen that location tracking is enabled

We believe these capabilities address a business owner’s concerns, but with one very key difference – an employee’s on-the-clock activity is reported after the time card is closed. Why is this distinction important?

Track Employees With GPS the Right Way…And the Smart Way

First and foremost, our decision not to show a live breadcrumb trail protects the business owner without sacrifice to a real, actionable business need. After all, does a small business owner with more than 20 employees have time to monitor every employee’s breadcrumb trail? What is important to business owners is to know that employees aren’t clocking in away from the job site. Our system reports in real-time on the app and admin site when employees clock in or out not located at the job. This is a feature that “breadcrumb trackers” don’t offer. Moreover, for the protection of business owners and the privacy of employees, when an employee forgets to clock out, our app isn’t reporting his after-hours locations. When the admin edits the employee’s time card to reflect the time that the employee finished his shift, our time card map will report location activity that occurred during the shift time. For employees who do remember to clock in and out, the time card map with location activity is produced when the time card is closed at clock-out.

To clarify, location activity while on the clock is reported when the time card is closed. However, the immediate need-to-know question as to whether an employee is located at the job when clocking in or out is reported live. This is how to track employees with GPS the right way. Actually, it’s the smart way.

Our GPS-enabled time clock app is fair to you and your employees. Furthermore, it is the best employee time clock app. Give it a shot for free for 30 days.


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About Chronotek

The most dependable employee timesheet and scheduling software available. For over 20 years, Chronotek has set the standard in time tracking by providing businesses with every tool needed to manage a remote workforce, reduce time card waste, and simplify the payroll process. No matter if employees are working from the field, at the office or from home… Chronotek has the solution!