Employee theft doesn’t just involve taking cash, products, or supplies. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee deception costs businesses over $50 billion every year. Sometimes, the most valuable thing an employee can rob from their employer is time. While it initially doesn’t seem like much each day; ten minutes here, 15 minutes there, these numbers certainly add up in more ways than one.

Clocking in for a friend, forgetting to clock out, too much socializing on the job, clocking in before a shift and hanging out, working at a snail’s pace in order to go into overtime – these are all examples of time theft. Time theft occurs when an employee is paid for time in which they didn’t actually work.

Not only does time theft affect the owner’s bottom line, it can have negative consequences in terms of employee morale. Think about it, if an honest employee sees a coworker regularly getting away with time theft, they may feel discouraged about their own commitment. They may wonder why they are so hard on themselves if everyone else seems to be getting away with dishonest behaviors.

The problem is: it can be difficult to track. Without the proper technology, accountability can be low.

Just having a new time tracking system in place can be enough to jolt dishonest workers. They may be intimidated by the increased oversight, and start acting a little differently with their time on the job. Devoted employees will welcome the change, happy that accountability is in place for everyone.

Time and attendance software can streamline labor and scheduling procedures, boost efficiency and productivity, protect employers from violating labor laws, and give everyone on the team access to their schedules in real-time. The best resource to protect businesses against time theft is proper time tracking software.