It’s a brand new, beautiful world in which employees can work from anywhere and stay connected with their employer. This technology revolution has been especially game-changing for companies with a distributed workforce. Maintenance workers, real estate professionals, home healthcare workers – they all benefit from the improved ability to communicate and coordinate while out in the field. However, while software and apps have made the workforce more connected than ever, technology can only ever be as good as how we use it.
As employers seek out new ways to connect with employees and monitor their productivity, employee GPS tracking apps have gotten a lot of attention. Not only are they used to monitor employee activity, they can be helpful for helping employees manage time and routes better, coordinate in real time with their teams and verify travel for mileage reimbursement. Just because they seem like an obvious solution to these problems does not mean that they are the best solution, though. Like anything else, employee GPS tracking has its advantages and drawbacks.
Pros of Employee GPS Tracking
When driving is an essential part of your business operations, it should be as efficient as possible. Employees may spend several hours of their day on the road, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could shave that time down even a little? With GPS, you can ensure workers have the most direct routes and plan schedules accordingly to accommodate their stops. If a call comes in during the day, you can also see who’s closest to the service location, cutting down on travel times and improving service delivery.
Tracking employees with GPS also comes with the benefit of ensuring they’re doing what they say they’re doing. This is especially important if an employee has company-owned equipment or products with them. You want to have peace-of-mind that employees are meeting appointments on time, aren’t deviating from their route or being dishonest about any of their behavior. GPS tracking can also be helpful for verifying the miles someone drove for the purpose of mileage reimbursement.
When you’re looking for a tool to track employees’ movements, you’ll find the GPS is the easiest option to implement. Even if you aren’t attaching GPS tracker to their vehicles (which isn’t the best idea if employees drive their own vehicles anyway), there are plenty of employee GPS tracking apps available to be installed on mobile devices. You can even use them to track employees timing in and timing out of their shifts.
Cons of Employee GPS Tracking
While GPS is an easy, convenient method to track employees, it’s definitely not without its own issues.
You may find that many of your employees are not too thrilled about the idea of being tracked as they go about their workday. Not only can it be a legal fiasco if you don’t obtain the proper consent to track them, but most people will be uncomfortable with the idea that you can keep tabs on them every minute of the day. This feeling of constant scrutiny can negatively affect job performance and employee morale. After all, if you give them the impression that you don’t trust them, why should they trust you?
Employee GPS tracking tools are not immune to tampering or manipulation by employees, either. If you’re using an app, employees can change the settings if they’re savvy enough with technology, or they can just leave the app running and rack up “business” mileage in their off hours that disrupts mileage reimbursement processes and confuses tracking data.
Even if an employee isn’t actively trying to abuse the system, GPS tracking apps can still be subject to technical issues and errors out of your control. Perhaps their phone is stolen or damaged, or they drive through an area with poor cellular coverage and no WIFI or they simply cross into a different time zone. While these are all problems that can be solved, if you aren’t familiar enough with the system or have the proper IT support, small issues will definitely interfere with your ability to administer an easy employee tracking solution.
SureMileage – along with our SureMobile app and SureExpense – was developed by CompanyMileage to find a new solution to tracking employees and managing the reimbursement process. Rather than verifying the miles driven, SureMileage uses point-to-point calculation to determine the expenses to be reimbursed, finding the most direct route from point A to point B of a trip. The entire process is automated. Employees simply check in at the beginning and end of each trip, and at the end of each day, they use this data to submit expense reports. The process is easy, taking just a few minutes.
This method fof tracking employees is more accurate than typical GPS apps and gives both you and your employees more visibility into the process. If they decide to take a detour to run by the bank or drop their kids off at school, it won’t affect the mileage of the trip in any way. And, should your reimbursement program ever be audited by the IRS, you will be confident your records contain no IRS-disallowed travel.
Supervisors can use SureMileage to monitor employee schedules and their time management throughout workdays, too. Have the system flag activities such as submission of duplicated reimbursements or when mileage limits are exceeded, taking the onus off of supervisors to catch errors. Other benefits of our system include an automated approval workflow for mileage expense reports, an integrated Address Book, accounting and payroll software integration and top-notch security that protects you and your clients.
CompanyMileage delivers a system that solves many issues related to using employee GPS tracking apps. We guarantee that you and your employees will find our solution easy to use day-in and day-out. To discover what else we have in store for your company, schedule a demo with us today.