Ways To Prevent Time Theft in The Workplace

Ways To Prevent Time Theft in The Workplace

How to Manage Time Theft in the Digital, Remote Work Era

Meta Description: What is time theft and how should you deal with it? Here’s what you need to know about time theft and handling these misbehaviors in a remote work setup.

In a pandemic-stricken world, most offices shifted to work-from-home setups. Employers had no way to make sure that their employees actually work during office hours.

This resulted in time theft where employers pay even for the time that isn’t spent on doing work. Time theft could be accidental or on purpose. Regardless, it should be addressed as soon as it comes up. This is to prevent employees from thinking that it’s okay to slack off at work just because they aren’t actually being monitored.

Facts About Time Theft

Time theft is actually a form of misconduct. And it could get you fired from your job.

Occasional short work breaks are fine. They’re normal, even. But if these breaks take longer than a few minutes, it’s considered time theft.

If you’re spending too much work time browsing through social media, you’re also committing time theft.

And that’s a serious problem. A few minutes off work from time to time may seem harmless at first. But even a few extra punched minutes into an employee’s timesheet could cost the company a lot.

These few minutes could add up to weeks’ worth of not working in a year. Employees might be tempted to slack off at work thinking that they can get away with it.

Spending work hours doing something else unrelated to work isn’t ethical. It shouldn’t be tolerated in any workplace.

How to Manage and Prevent Time Theft

If you start noticing questionable behaviors from your employees, you should act immediately. Here are some ways to manage and prevent time theft in a remote work setup.

Inform Your Team

Since the work-from-home setup is relatively new for most of us, employees could cause time theft accidentally. It would only be fair to come up with policies that could help address and prevent time theft.

Set up a meeting with your team to discuss time theft in remote work areas. Define the behaviors that would be considered time theft. Let your team know of the possible consequences of time theft.

Make sure your approach isn’t accusatory. The goal is to inform your team and keep them from committing time theft. You shouldn’t make your team feel like they’re being lectured on misbehaviors that they might not be aware of.

Use Software to Track Time

Make sure you use reliable software to track work hours among your employees. It should be easy to navigate. It should also be automated to avoid manipulation and adjustments of work time.

Your employees should also be able to see everything that gets tracked. This is so that you can be transparent about the information you’re basing on. Through this, employees can also see where they could improve.

Communicate With Your Team Properly

Let them know when overall productivity is taking a dip. Check-in on them and listen to their concerns. Take these into account and try to address the issues as much as you can.

Your aim should be to help them where they’re having a hard time. This would make your employees feel less antagonized.

You’d also be creating a healthier work environment for everyone when you listen to your team’s inputs. And while you’re at it, make sure to consider these inputs in decision-making.

Time Theft in Remote Work Setups

Time theft may be a tricky thing to handle. It’s hard to prove time theft unless you have solid evidence against an employee. If you need advice on how to address time theft cases in your company, get in touch with employment lawyers.

But again, here are the ways to manage and prevent time theft in remote work setups:

  • Inform your team about time theft and the behaviors that are linked to it. Discuss policies on time theft so that your team becomes aware of its consequences.
  • Use reliable software to track work hours and productivity. It should be user-friendly. The reports should also be available to the employees so they can see where they need to improve.
  • Communicate with your team and ask them where they’re having problems. Listen to their inputs. Take these into consideration when you decide on certain things.

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