Why to Use GPS Tracking for Remote Workers ?
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics In May 2017, 3.8 percent of workers–5.9 million persons–held contingent jobs. These contingent workers are persons who do not expect their jobs to last or who report that their jobs are temporary. Using three different measures, contingent workers accounted for up to 3.8 percent of total employment in May 2017.
In addition to contingent workers, there were 10.6 million independent contractors , 2.6 million on-call workers, 1.4 million temporary help agency workers and 933,000 workers provided by contract firms.
That being the case , 1 of 10 workers in USA is an independent contractor.
Many workers are mobile, they work on different locations, they drive from one destination to the other, they work on the fields or in different buildings depending on the nature of remote jobs, these could be drivers, security agents, cleaners, construction workers etc. At the same time it is becoming a more challenging task for employers to control and track the amount of hours workers actually spend performing their jobs. Companies do trust their employees in some extent, however they also need better tools to be in control of employees time, attendance and location.
This is the most vulnerable subject for the companies. While it’s easy to track employees in the office building environment (by using employee cards, electronic keys, video cameras etc), it’s more difficult to control remote workers and make sure they are at certain location. Usually, remote workers use corporate equipment and devices, including vehicles, mobile phones, tablets. That’s why GPS tracking is one of possible options to get employee’s location in real data and control their performance at the same time. Today’s technologies allow accurately capture an exact amount of hours worked and prevent waste of time.
Any GPS enabled device can be used as a tool to count hours, track locations and get automated reports for more accurate payroll which excludes human errors from both sides and saves huge amount of time.
How Companies Track Remote Workers
What’s the Problem? Some companies are still using alternative methods such as voice messages to track employee hours. It’s when remote workers leave a message every time they start their shift and when they leave it. It’s very time consuming and not effective to listen to a large amount of voice messages every day to create accurate reports for each worker.
Another methods companies use are paper timesheets where each worker manually fills out the hours worked. Human factor is the major problem here, people often lose these paper reports and employees put in the wrong hours totals. Employers need software to help hold employees accountable and create more transparency across operations for the company.
Some parcel delivery companies are using cameras, sensors and GPS tracking all together to record every action and movement of drivers and evaluate how much time it took them to complete every single operation.
Solution – Using Employee Self Service software remote workers will be able to Clock In and Clock Out every time they start or finish the shift, Clock into Tasks and also submit Absence or Leave requests for vacations or other cases right on their mobile devices. If GPS tracking is enabled on mobile devices , the system will also track the real-time location of employees during their shift without causing any unnecessary stress for workers.
Getting Started with GPS Tracking
To start using GPS tracking, employees only need to log in into Time Tracking app on a GPS-enabled device, it can be a laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone. When remote workers clock in/clock out, the application will record the time as well as the location of the employee. Not only GPS tracking tool provides data accuracy, but also guarantees remote workers are exactly where they are supposed to be and not somewhere else.
GPS tracking is used together with Google Maps, this way every clock in/clock out action visually appears on the map. This information goes into one central database which is accessible to shift managers or supervisors. Every movement or idle time will be shown on the map also if configured additionally. This way GPS tracking eliminates costly human errors, lost paper sheets, over payments, waste of time and other hassles. Employee GPS tracking creates automatic reports and prevents company’s over budget spending.
How Legal is it to Use Employees GPS Tracking?
Different states have different statements about GPS tracking, mostly it is allowed for the companies to track or monitor their own vehicles or mobile devices that remote workers are using to perform their job. However when it comes to tracking personal cars or devices, employers need to get a permission from employees to do so. It’s also a good policy to explain everything to employees beforehand and have a solid definition of GPS tracking in writing and check the laws of your state to avoid any legal issues that may arise in future.
How GPS tracking works ?
GPS is the Global Positioning System that is used all over the world for navigation and geodesy. The system is widely used to get an exact time and location on the Earth.
This was made possible by having a network of 24 satellites so called GPS satellites, which are located on a large distance from the Earth. Any device with radio waves can communicate with these satellites to determine it’s exact location on the Earth.
Originally it was only used by military forces , now it became available for public use around 30 years ago. GPS is using geographic longitude and latitude lines to provide location coordinates of any object on the Earth.
Reading coordinates on Google Maps
Most GPS devices do create coordinates in 2 formats – DMS (minutes and seconds degrees) and DD (decimal degrees) . The popular Google Maps supports coordinates in both formats.
GPS enables devices
In order to use all the advantages of highly accurate GPS system, you need a GPS enabled device. These devices talk immediately with GPS satellites with radio waves. They need as minimum as 3 GPS satellites to determine the exact location on the Earth.
There are companies that specialize in production of GPS navigation devices such as Garmin or Magellan. They can be of different size and look like a smartphone or tablet. These devices have a special built-in software that helps find best routes or locations using GPS. Widely used in transporation, tourism and some kinds of sport.
Most smartphones are already GPS enabled and can be used as a navigation device if you have installed the right app
Some notebooks or netbooks support GPS and can provide navigation details when on the road.
Devices that connect to computers via USB, Bluetooth or slot extensions enable computers to use GPS systems.