With the “new normal” that comes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were pushed to adopt technology for remote workers. However, there were already many construction and field service companies enjoying the benefits of GPS location tracking for their mobile workforce.
Still, some may avoid adopting this technology due to common myths and misconceptions. Others may be resistant to accepting it because they don’t understand it fully.
If you are looking for accurate information on these misconceptions, here is a list of the 20 most common myths we see, and the truth about GPS time and location tracking.
Top GPS Myths & Misconceptions
1. If you have good people you trust, you don’t need GPS time tracking
Reality: GPS time tracking can be used to identify dishonest workers, yes, but that’s not the main purpose of GPS time tracking. Companies use GPS time tracking for several important time- and money-saving purposes, including:
- Accurate job costing
- Better customer service (shorter travel and response times)
- Improved communications
- Accurate payroll
- Streamlined accounting processes
- And more.
GPS time tracking is not about spying and mistrust; it’s about improving and growing your company and helping your workers in the field.
2. Workers will resent GPS time tracking
Reality: You might experience a small amount of employee pushback but most employees appreciate the things GPS time tracking helps with. With a GPS breadcrumb trail, they are protected against false claims from customers who might complain, and you have the data to support them. They can also be informed of traffic problems so they can take better routes to service calls. Plus, when workers understand the value that GPS time tracking provides to the company they work for, they will appreciate it more.
3. GPS time tracking is too complicated
Reality: GPS time tracking has been around for a long time and has evolved to become a simple tool to use. For example, using ClockShark’s mobile time clock app, workers simply open the app, choose which job they are working on, and clock in.
From the administrative side, GPS time tracking technology makes running reports, payroll, job costing, scheduling, and much more, even easier and less complicated. Everything is very user friendly and helps you stay organized and efficient with little to no effort.
4. We don’t need GPS time tracking because we can just use mobile phones
Reality: Using a GPS time tracking service actually provides you with much more than just time tracking. Detailed reports, accurate data, and shorter response times to service requests are just some of the multiple benefits of GPS time tracking that you can’t get with handheld devices.
5. It will make my workers feel controlled
Reality: Every workplace has rules, processes, policies, and procedures. These exist to create a safe and efficient work environment. A GPS time tracking solution is simply another process that will improve their lives and their workdays.
When they start to see how much it helps - as well as receive accurate paychecks every time - they will appreciate it. Read more about the do’s and don'ts when introducing GPS time tracking to your employees.
Save Time and Money with ClockShark
6. It will cause more stress for my workers
Reality: Because GPS time tracking is so easy, it will actually simplify their work so they have less stress. They won’t have to worry anymore about remembering which days and hours they worked or scrambling to find lost timesheets.
7. It will demotivate employees
Reality: Actually, GPS time tracking improves productivity and accountability. In our experience with thousands of companies, employees work even better when they use time tracking technology.
8. It's too expensive
Reality: When it comes to GPS time tracking there are a lot of options out there that range from very costly, to free. When you consider the amount of time and money you save by adopting the technology, you’ll find the savings most often outweigh the expense.
9. It's not accurate or reliable
Reality: According to the U.S. government, GPS-enabled phones provide accurate locations within 16 feet under an open sky. Interference from buildings, bridges, or trees can cause a little bit of inaccuracy but, overall, satellites report GPS “with a global average user range error (URE) of ≤7.8 m (25.6 ft.), with 95% probability. Actual performance exceeds the specification.”
As for reliability, GPS satellites don’t go down, but in some areas where there has not yet been mapping done or if there are too many obstructions, you might experience some interruption. That is why GPS mapping is often updated to add new locations and locales.
10. My employees don’t want to be tracked
Reality: Employees who do not want to be tracked, may not clearly understand what GPS tracking is. When they understand the benefits and that the purpose of GPS is not to spy on them, most will embrace the technology and be happy with how much easier it makes their jobs. Plus it helps the company overall.
11. It's a violation of privacy
Reality: A GPS time tracking solution that is used on a mobile device will not track an employee who is clocked out. As long as the employer is not tracking the worker when they are off the clock, their privacy is protected.
12. It's only good for employers
Reality: GPS time tracking technology is great for both employers, employees, suppliers, and customers. Employers save time and money; Employees get accurate pay for hours worked; Admins can be clear about which employees are where to better manage deliveries of supplies; Customers experience better service from workers who are connected to administrators.
13. All GPS time tracking systems are the same
Reality: GPS time tracking solutions vary widely. Some simply provide the geographical location of your workers and/or your vehicles. Others are more complex and provide you with the options to have workers submit photos, notes, and attachments of their completed work or can integrate with your accounting software to make payroll a breeze.
That’s why it’s very important to research your options so you have a GPS solution that suits the needs of your company.
14. It's illegal
Reality: In most states, GPS tracking is perfectly legal for an employer to use with their employees. As long as the employer is not violating the workers’ personal privacy, they are within their rights to use it.
15. It will access my personal information
Reality: GPS time tracking from a mobile phone accesses only the location of the person with the phone or mobile device. The truth is, apps like Facebook, Google, and others access much more personal information than a GPS time tracking app does.
16. It will track me when I’m off the clock
Reality: Some GPS tracking will certainly work when you’re off the clock but those are not appropriate for employer/employee tracking. Rather, these are systems most commonly used for criminal surveillance and have their own sets of laws and legalities.
A GPS time tracking solution is one that employees turn off on their mobile devices when they are off the clock. Once they are clocked out, it will not track their locations.
17. GPS time tracking eats up all my data and battery
Reality: GPS time tracking mobile apps run in the background and will use some of your data and battery but the use is very small. On average, you’ll find ClockShark’s GPS tracking uses between 15 and 20 percent of a normal cell phone battery during an eight-hour shift.
For data, for an employee who works eight-hour days, 40 hours a week, from five to 20 MB will be used, within a month. For more information about GPS tracking and battery/data usage, view our guide here.
18. It's only for large companies
Reality: It’s true that many large companies use GPS time tracking but it’s not a solution that works only for fortune 500 companies. Most GPS time tracking solutions include plans for small- and mid-sized companies so you only pay for the users you have. Companies with as few as just five employees benefit greatly from using GPS time tracking. It saves them time, money, and headaches, too!
19. My employees need a new cell phone to use GPS time tracking
Reality: For workers who do not have smartphones, there are other options such as kiosk clocks and crew clock which allows for supervisors to clock in for their crews, or will allow all workers to use one device on site to clock in and out.
20. It needs wifi/data to work
Reality: While you may enter areas where there is no service or WiFi, the government satellites are always working. That’s why cell phone towers in remote places can still “ping” your location, even though you cannot send any data or information or messages. This means you will still have a ‘breadcrumb’ trail of where you were, even without WiFi or data.
GPS time tracking technology is nothing like you might find on television. While spies and jealous spouses might use GPS tracking for nefarious reasons, an employer who uses it, is doing so to make their company better for themselves and everyone who works there because it saves time, money, and resources for everyone.