The Painless Shift to Paperless Time Tracking

Category: Time | By Cristina Johnson | 4 minute read | Updated May 24, 2022
The Painless Shift to Paperless Time Tracking

Many construction and field service companies want to switch from outdated paper timesheet practices to paperless timesheets because it automates their time tracking and payroll processes and simplifies clocking in and out for their employees.

It also makes administrative tasks like payroll, job costing, invoicing, and more, much easier, faster, and more accurate by removing the risk of human error.

However, frequently there is concern about how to make the shift. Where does one even begin? What will my employees think? Can they even do it? Is it really worth the trouble? How can I reassure them?

This post aims to address these questions and help you make the switch from old-fashioned timekeeping techniques that are costing you time and money, to a paperless timesheet solution that makes time tracking and payroll much easier.

Why are people afraid of technology?

This is a common issue for newcomers to timesheet software. Not only a question of whether they can use it or not, but whether their workers will be adept enough to use it.

There’s a term called “technophobia” which, as you may have guessed, means “fear of technology.” We tend to get - and stay - comfortable with our areas of expertise. For example, you may have employees who are accustomed to writing down their hours every day who will feel uncomfortable switching to a modern time tracking system.

That’s not uncommon, particularly for older generations.

Research has found that “non-digital adults [50–67 years] seem to experience computer-related anxiety, making them feel technophobic or unconfident regarding digital solutions.”

Even for younger employees, just the prospect of change can be disruptive, and that’s nothing new. Harvard Business Review reports the top ten reasons people resist change are:

  1. Loss of control
  2. Too much uncertainty
  3. Not being prepared/informed in advance
  4. Too many things changing at once
  5. Loss of face (the perception that their “old way” was “wrong”)
  6. Fear of feeling stupid
  7. More work
  8. Ripple effect (fear it will create more change in the future)
  9. Past resentments (the resurfacing of old, unaddressed wounds)
  10. Real threats (“When new technologies displace old ones, jobs can be lost; prices can be cut; investments can be wiped out.”)

 These are legitimate reasons for fearing change and when you’re going from paper timesheets to paperless timesheets, it’s definitely a change.

But it doesn’t have to be a massive shift that throws everyone off balance and gets fists waving in the air. In fact, adopted with these things in mind, the shift to automated timesheets can be painless and easy.

Most common employee pushback tactics

However, our own experience shows that 80 percent of employees not only comply with adopting technology but even appreciate it. Still, you should try to be prepared in case you have some employee pushback and resistance. 

Your employees will likely fall into one of three categories:

  • Fully accepting
  • Accepting, but not happy about it
  • Downright resent it

Thankfully, those who downright resent it are in the minority. You’ll be ahead of the game by preparing yourself with the right answers for any one of these most common objections.

While it may feel overwhelming to have to deal with these objections, they are actually pretty easy to deal with as long as you accept them as legitimate concerns from your workers. Allow them to express these concerns and be prepared with the answers:

1. I refuse to use electronic time tracking.

Paperless timesheets are actually easier and more accurate than paper timesheets once you get used to it.

2. It doesn’t work right on my device.

Most apps work with both iOS and Android.

3. I know I am punching in correctly, but it’s not working. 

Go over the clock-in and clock-out procedures with them to show them how simple it is.

4. I’m concerned about being tracked by GPS while I’m clocked in.

The GPS is only active while they are clocked in for work, and isn’t any different than the fleet GPS tracking modules in trucks that have seen widespread use over the last ten years. Google’s location services track where most users go, even without you being aware and many retail locations will send push notifications if they’re notified you’re in the vicinity. So GPS is nothing new.

5. I don’t like using my own personal device for work (can be related to data use, battery drain, or just the principle)

Using personally-owned things for work is commonplace. There’s a growing trend in business, of personally-owned work computing devices, termed BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Not to mention, your employees likely provide some of their equipment already, such as PPE and hand tools.

6. I resent the implication that I am being dishonest about the hours I work.

Using timesheet software actually makes their jobs easier and helps the company grow as a whole. It is not a punishment, but an investment. When they start to see their paychecks coming in regularly and accurately, they will appreciate it.

7. If you start using a time tracking app, I will quit.

Your business is your responsibility, as are your workers. Maintaining compliance with FLSA and ensuring your employees are paid accurately, is a critical part of having any organization. Anyone who wants to quit because you are trying to improve the way you run your business is probably not an asset anyway.

Ultimately, there is an answer for any concern your workers may have. The key is to be open and understanding. Since you know both change and technology can cause some distress, simply learning and being prepared is a great first step to overcoming the challenges of adopting technology.  

It’s Not As Bad As You Think

It’s true there are some very complex systems out there but time- and money-saving platforms don’t have to be complex or expensive. Switching from paper timesheets to a simpler, more accurate time tracking solution will automate many of your processes. Paperless timesheets will streamline your payroll and help ensure your workers are paid accurately and on time.

Administrators can use automated timesheets to use new timesheet approvals, right from their computer.

Some companies choose to issue company-owned devices, but our internal experts generally recommend against this. Rather, a simple solution such as the CrewClock or KioskClock features remove the need for that by allowing supervisors to clock their crews in from one device or employees to clock in and out from a single device.

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First Steps

Once you decide paperless timesheets are best for your company, set up a meeting with your employees that will provide enough time for Q & A, training, and downloading the apps to their phones.

Before you choose which time tracking app to go with, research and make sure they have customer service that will walk you through the set-up process. Ensure you have a professional available, either remotely or in person, to provide tips and details on how to operate the software. 

Make sure everyone understands the many ways this new technology is going to make their jobs better, improve their paydays, and help the company grow together overall. When everyone is onboard, it makes the transition much smoother. 


Ultimately, nobody starts a company with the goal of staying the same. Change is a part of growth and when you’re ready to grow your company, technology is sure to be a part of that. Have your employees on board with switching from paper timesheets by being educated about and prepared for any concerns or questions they have.

But if you want to continue using paper timesheets, we have an employee timesheet template and a free timesheet calculator you can use to try to keep your employees’ hours straight.

If you’re ready to give paperless timesheets a try, reach out to our five-star customer support team, or sign up to try ClockShark’s award-winning timesheet software free for 14 days.

9,500+ companies use ClockShark to track employees and save time every month.

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