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One of the best ways a small business owner can make sure employees get to jobsites on time is by using geofence time tracking software. There’s nothing less professional than having your people turn up late, especially when it’s you and your company’s reputation that’s on the line.
Let’s go through this list of the best apps that’ll ensure small business employees are at the right place at the right time.
What is geofencing?
Geofencing is a location-based technology that can be used to create virtual boundaries around a specific job location or area. Geofencing software usually uses Global Positioning System (GPS) or Radio-Frequency Identification RFID technology to set up the actual “geofences,” but the system can also use WiFi networks or other tech.
Geofences allow employers to automatically log when an employee, with a geofencing app on their mobile device, enters or exits a specific work location. Alternatively, the system can be set up to send notifications and reminders to the employee’s phone, so they remember to start tracking their work hours when they reach a job site.
Best geofence time tracking software.
1. Time by Wagepoint
If your top criteria is that you want an affordable, streamlined time tracking and geofencing solution, Time by Wagepoint (formerly Timesheet Mobile) is honestly the best place to start. Because we’ve designed our software with small businesses in mind, it comes with all the functionality you actually need, without extra fluff that adds to the cost.
We’ve also made sure everything is intuitive and easy to learn – so that tracking time and attendance becomes as simple as pushing a few buttons.
Geofencing with customizable location radius
When you set up a work location in Time by Wagepoint, you also have the option to set a geofence for that work site. You can use the map or satellite view for extra precision to hone in on an exact location or address. Or you can select from a designated radius or set a custom by-meter radius.
Automated or manual employee punches in geofenced areas
Once a location is set up, you can assign employees to that site. Employees with the Time by Wagepoint mobile app installed on their phone can then automatically clock in or clock out when the app picks up that they’re on site. Or the manual punch route is still available if preferred.
Smartphone or web app
Whether you’re in the office or on the go, Time by Wagepoint can be accessed via the mobile app or via browser. For employees, time management is handled through clock-ins and clock-outs, a section for their work schedule and the ability to review their timesheets to see total hours.
Notifications and alerts when employees enter or exit a geofenced area
This is just one of many alert types you can set up in Time by Wagepoint. Others include late punches, overtime notices, shift change requests and even missing time. All of them help you keep everyone organized and in the loop of what’s going on.
Easily share schedules and custom reports for individual job sites or employees
Get the insights you need, such as knowing who’s scheduled for what shift or how many hours employees have worked a specific job. This can help with keeping an eye on labour costs, capacity and the overall organization of your crew.
Time by Wagepoint integrates with our dedicated small business payroll solution, making it much easier to convert hours worked into time paid.
Small businesses that need a straightforward, streamlined time-tracking and geofence solution.
Free trial: 14 days
0-5 users: $20 CAD per month flat fee
6+ users: $4 CAD per active user per month
2. QuickBooks Time
QuickBooks Time includes the standard array of timesheet management, project time tracking and scheduling capabilities. It also integrates with other QuickBooks products, allowing users to import hours for payroll, or use time-tracking data in their accounting system.
GPS time clock
This GPS time tracker pings the exact location of employees when they clock in using QuickBooks Time. Not only that, but it updates you about your employees’ locations throughout the day so long as they’re on the clock.
Geofencing with notifications
QuickBooks Time’s geofencing solution comes with notifications for when employees log in or out, meaning more accurate tracking of work schedules and fewer revisions to timesheets later on.
Integrations with QuickBooks Online
One of the main features users love about QuickBooks Time is that it integrates with QuickBooks Online so that the timesheets export from one platform to the other. Although, this reviewer flags that this process is not automatic or in real time.
Project management tools
If you’re running multiple projects, QuickBooks Time also allows you to track time across different projects or project tasks. You can compare budgeted hours versus actual hours, use the project activity feed to see the work, get timesheet signatures from employees and more. This makes it easier to update clients on how things are going, and can also help with costing and time projections on future work.
Mid-level to large businesses that are looking for extra project management and accounting support as part of their geofencing package.
Free trial: 30 days
Premium: $30 CAD per month plus $10 per user per month
Elite: $55 CAD per month plus $15 per user per month
ClockShark’s geofencing and time tracking services are designed for construction and field employees, so they’re a great solution for on-the-go management of distributed work crews. They offer location services, making it easy to see where specific workers or technicians are, so that service providers can dispatch the closest employee to tackle urgent jobs.
Geofencing to keep employees accountable
ClockShark’s geofencing focuses on keeping employees accountable so they’re not clocking in and out outside of their designated work area. This alongside being able to set punch reminders and notifications for when the employee isn’t where they should be helps you see when timesheet discrepancies occur and better manage your team.
Multiple mobile app features
With ClockShark, a manager’s mobile app can be a way to see where employees are at any give time, a kiosk for workers to punch in and out, a way to review time tracking data and more. An example of a feature foremen may love is the software’s CrewClock feature. It gives managers a single timesheet for their entire crew, meaning they can clock them in and out, switch their tasks and log breaks for every employee working in a specific area or job site.
Labour and cost tracking across projects and sites
All jobs and clients can be arranged in a list with supporting information, making it easy to switch between tasks and projects without having to clock out from one job to clock into another. The software takes it a step further by including financial reporting so you can get glimpse at things like whether the customer has a balance owing or what the taxes are.
Employers in construction or other worksite-based industries who need to keep track of field service teams and on-the-go job costing. Businesses should keep their team size in mind as one reviewer notes how it can become pricey for large teams.
Free trial: 14 days
Standard: $40 USD per month plus $8 per user per month
Pro: $60 USD per month plus $10 per user per month
Unlike other offerings on this list, Hubstaff markets their time-tracking solution as part of a workforce management software suite. That means their software comes with a lot of handy features and add-ons to cover just about any need. One thing to note though is that their geofencing option is one of those add-ons, so it doesn’t come as part of their core packages. That might make Hubstaff a pricy choice for businesses on a budget.
Geofence time clock app
Like others on this list, Hubstaff’s geofencing capabilities can automatically clock when an employee has arrived at a job site or send a reminder to employees to punch in or out. This results in more accurate timesheets, better estimates to clients and easier payroll. Hubstaff’s app works on both Android and iOS devices.
Productivity and workforce engagement tools
Features like URL and idle-time tracking and time-off and attendance trackers make it easy to see exactly how every employee spends their time. Hubstaff also offers optional add-ons like behavioural insights, and suspicious activity detection, as well as employee engagement tools. This is especially useful for teams with remote employees, although can cause hiccups during things like meetings where employees are more likely to be idle on their screen.
Pay your workers
Hubstaff gives employers the option to work with payroll data and pay their employees right in the software. Once set up, you can streamline many of the processes, including paying local and international employees using options like PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, Gusto or BitWage based on the hours from the timesheets. There’s also the option to set up a manual payroll process and pay outside of the software.
Businesses with large, distributed teams that need extra workforce management support, although it may take some time to get used to the interface and features.
Free trial: 14 days
Starter (2 user minimum): $4.99 USD per user per month
Grow (2 user minimum): $7.50 USD per user per month
Team (2 user minimum): $10 USD per user per month
Enterprise: $25 USD per user per month
Deputy is one of the larger players in the time-tracking space. So, it’s no surprise that their clients also tend to be larger or enterprise-level companies. They do have packages aimed at small businesses, but they probably shouldn’t be the go-to choice if you prefer a solution designed with small business owners in mind.
With that said, Deputy offers some nifty features that you won’t get elsewhere, including built-in employee wellness tools and time tracking that accounts for labor laws and compliance.
Employee location tracking with enforced geofencing
Managers can set up a work radius within which employees can clock in and clock out, and the feature comes with the ability to block remote logins if team members are too far away from the work site. That can be handy if you have team members that regularly clock ahead of their actual start time.
Automatic location and timesheet updates
When employees clock in and out using the time-tracking app on their computer or mobile device, the data is automatically updated into Deputy’s timesheet, complete with time worked, breaks and location data to verify that they signed in at the right place and time.
Link with payroll and POS
Deputy has the option to integrate with a number of payroll and POS systems so that you don’t have to cross-reference your employees work from one platform to the other. With POS integrations, employees can clock into both Deputy and the connected POS system in one click rather than having to make sure to do it in both locations. This helps with accurate clock-ins in both systems.
Rest break and meal tracking
Managers can go into employee profiles and assign them specific timeframes during which to take their breaks and for how long. This time clock app feature lets employees know when they need to take their break and automatically flags the manager if an employee misses their break. That way, employers can support employee wellness and stay within labour laws for compliance.
Businesses that want some extra support managing employee work, compliance, scheduling and down-time. Many users love the simplicity of the scheduling, but wish there were more reporting.
Free trial: 31 days
Scheduling: $4.50 USD per user per month
Time & Attendance: $4.50 USD per user per month
Premium: $6 USD per user per month
Enterprise: Contact Deputy sales
OnTheClock focuses on helping small businesses stay on top of time-tracking. In addition to managing employee time on the job, their software can also track time off, create reports and plug into several payroll solutions to simplify the process of paying your employees.
Using GPS or Wifi, OnTheClock’s geofencing time clock option to track employee movement. Whether the employer sets up a radius within which the employee should be working or uses WiFi and IP recognition to see when an employee is on site, administrators know who’s working.
Multiple punching options
They also offer other sign-in options, like their digital kiosk, mobile app or browser punching and desktop punch features. You can also link this capability to fingerprint scanning for the ultimate buddy-punching prevention.
Automatic overtime calculations and PTO tracking
Quick setup of automated overtime tracking to help you comply with regional laws. You can also set alerts for when someone is nearing the limit of their permissible work hours, and automate the request, approval and tracking of PTO.
Businesses with only one or two employees that would benefit from basic but functional geofencing capabilities. One user says while it was a little tricky to navigate at first, it was super easy once everyone got the hang of it.
Free trial: 30 days
1-2 employees: Free
3-10 employees: $3.50 USD per employee per month
11-25 employees: $3.45 USD per employee per month
OnTheClock has a number of other plans based on number of employees.
TimeCamp’s solution allows you to track time across multiple locations and geofences — a handy feature for larger companies with multiple work sites. They’re also one of the few options we’ve seen that offer Linux support, so if that’s important to you, they might be a good choice.
Accurate geofencing across multiple sites
TimeCamp’s geofencing tracker allows users to define multiple locations and set keywords to track time across specific tasks or jobs, allowing for granular detail on job sites. Instead of having the employees punch in and out, TimeCamp places more emphasis on letting the app work in the background by automatically punching employees in or out when they enter the location so they can focus on their work.
Time clock kiosk
The time clock kiosk can be used on any device after a quick setup. This is good for on-site work where you’d prefer an employee to sign in at one central location. Each employee has their own PIN they’d use to clock in and out, and then that information is ported into a timesheet for a manager to approve.
Another useful feature is the ability to monitor the amount of time team members spend on each website or app. That data, together with task tracking can then be summarized in productivity reports for quick insights into where your team members are spending their time. TimeCamp also has settings for private time, so employees aren’t monitored when they’re on breaks. Many reviewers highlight this productivity reporting feature as a game changer for them.
Busy contract and worksite-based businesses that want to simplify tracking across multiple jobs and tasks simultaneously.
Free: Free forever
Starter: $3.99 USD per user per month
Premium: $6.99 USD per user per month
Ultimate: $10.99 USD per user per month
Enterprise: Contact TimeCamp sales
8. Buddy Punch
Buddy Punch promotes their software as a “total workforce solution,” covering everything from scheduling and time tracking to payroll and PTO. They’re one of the pricier options on this list, but their offering comes with some unique features that make them a good choice for companies requiring extra security.
Flexible geofencing across locations
Their geofencing option includes the ability to set a customized virtual boundary for work sites, and allows you to assign employees to multiple geofenced areas or tasks on an individual basis, for maximum flexibility and security over big projects. Time tracking only begins when the employee is within the set radius. Otherwise, the employee will receive an error message.
Enhanced punch features
With its webcam option, Buddy Punch makes it possible to snap a picture of the employee punching in for their shift. This feature works on mobile devices as well as Chrome or Firefox browsers so long as there’s an internet connection and gives visual verification of the person punching in. One reviewer brought up, however, that the image is then viewable to everyone, so that’s something to keep in mind
Single Sign On (SSO) with other business tools
Buddy Punch offers a number of SSO options with other tools your business might be using such as Google, Okta, OneLogin, Saml 2.0. This enhances the automation process and streamlines workflows.
Businesses that want a full suite of security features or have extra concerns about buddy punching, incomplete timesheets, or time-spoofing tactics.
Standard: $19 USD per month + $4.99 per user per month
Pro: $19 USD per month + $5.99 per user per month
Premium: $19 USD per month + $7.99 per user per month
Enterprise: Contact Buddy Punch
Known for its free time-tracking app, Clockify also comes with a number of paid options to get access to more advanced features. The freemium option focuses on the core of time tracking, with each other subscription option adding more advanced features such as time off tracking, enhanced reporting and GPS time clocks. Reviewers have pointed out that the freemium and basic offers are limited compared to others.
Available on the higher tiered plans, Clockify has activity tracking features such as GPS time clocks to show when employees are at the work site on their shift, scheduling, timers to see how long employees have been on the clock and more. Managers can also use the GPS feature to see the specific routes that their mobile workforce took to get from point A to point B. The app also has an offline mode that can continue to track data and sync with the cloud once online again.
Prevent timesheet changes after a certain date
Clockify comes with the usual timesheet capabilities, such as seeing and reviewing hours, but one standout feature it includes is the ability to lock timesheet either daily or weekly. This prevents an employee from making changes after the fact once the specific time period is over. For instance, if you’d like to lock the ability to change timesheets at the end of each week at noon, you can do that.
Forecasting for projects
Included in Clockify’s project management feature is that ability to forecast the project’s trajectory. The software takes the data about the workload and future work for the project and creates a visual graph to show the timeline it could take to complete. This could be super useful for keeping track of not only your team’s productivity but also keeping your clients informed.
For those looking for geofencing purposes in particular, this is best suited for businesses with a bit o a bigger budget since that feature is only available on the two highest tiers.
Free: No cost
Basic: $4.99 USD per user per month
Standard: $6.99 USD per user per month
Pro: $9.99 USD per user per month
Enterprise: $14.99 USD per user per month
Connecteam has a wide array of features to bring teams together not just for time tracking, but for other areas like HR and skills. On the time tracking side of things, apart from geofencing, Connecteam looks at things like various clock-in methods, many timesheet features and more.
Geofencing on the go
Even those looking at the Small Business Plan have access to Connecteam’s geofencing capabilities. Like others on the list, it gives managers the option to set up specific work areas where employees can clock in and clock out, and it also gives real-time updates where employees are when they’re on the clock. If managers notice time punches from beyond the geofence, they have the option to approve or deny the punch, even from the mobile app.
This feature is useful for teams that have a list of responsibilities. Connecteam has the option to create checklists and forms to make sure that employees have completed tasks or provided the information they need as a part of their workday. These forms can also be updated as policies and procedures change so that everyone is on the same page.
Job and shift scheduling
You can build out employee schedules from when they work to where they work by dragging and dropping. Once it’s built, employees can then accept or reject the shifts, which increased accountability and provides more immediate feedback so changes can be made sooner rather than later.
Businesses that are looking for a wide range of features even beyond time tracking and who are prepared to take on a learning curve to get the hang of using the app.
Free trial: 14 days
The Small Business Plan: Free
Basic: $29 USD per month for the first 30 users + $0.50 USD per month per each additional user
Advanced: $49 USD per month for the first 30 users + $1.50 USD per month per each additional user
Expert: $99 USD per month for the first 30 users + $3 USD per month per each additional user
Enterprise: Contact Connecteam sales
11. When I Work
When I Work focuses in on scheduling your workforce, but it does also have time tracking features. Other features in the platform include team communication tools and basic payroll processing.
GPS and geofencing
After setting up a geofence area in the system, When I Work makes use of GPS on a mobile phone or other devices to let employees know when they’re able to clock in. This prevents your team from starting their shifts too early and before they get to a particular location.
Any device can be a time clock
Like others on this list, When I Work’s platform and mobile device capabilities give users the option to turn any device into a time clock. They especially highlight for this for remote employees, giving them the power and autonomy to clock in and clock out on their own, with the punches being sent to an admin for approval at the end of the shift.
Rate-handling time clock
The software gives managers the capability to set up different rates to different role types your employees might do. Once that’s set up, you can then assign a role to a shift and then the time clock will do the rest to track both the time and the rate attached to it.
When I Work caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries, although might not be a good fit for those looking to do bulk scheduling.
Free trial: 14 days
Essentials: $2.50 USD per user per month
Pro: $5 USD per user per month
Premium: $8 USD per user per month
Choosing geofence time tracking software.
The long and the short of geofencing time is that you’ll have location-based records of work hours for your team. Employee hours and punches are no longer a guessing game, but a simplified process with a clear scope of where your staff is and what work they’re doing. With these insights and free trials to take them out for a spin, you’re bound to find the one that best fits your business needs.
Take Time by Wagepoint out for a spin — free!
Here at Wagepoint, we offer all our new clients the chance to test out this powerful tool with a 14-day free trial of our Time by Wagepoint solution. No hidden costs. No obligation to sign up for a long-term plan. Just a chance for you and your staff to check that everything works the way you think it should. Try Time by Wagepoint today!
Why use geofencing?
Geofencing time tracking makes it much easier for employers and workers to accurately track hours, ensuring employees are fairly compensated for their work hours. It also allows employees to work remotely from authorized areas, which, let’s face it, is a big boost to retention in the current work landscape!
If you work in an industry where safety and security are concerns, an added bonus is that geofencing gives you real-time insights into employee whereabouts. Making it easy to spot if someone has entered a dangerous location, or one they aren’t authorized to be in.
How does geofencing impact privacy?
For instance, Time by Wagepoint only uses location information to make sure users are within the geofenced area and nothing else. The feature can also be turned off through the mobile device settings. Other information it can collect is mileage, hours worked and device info (such as whether it’s turned on) to help employers make sure employees are clocking in and out and flag any other employee compliance concerns.
What is time theft?
Time theft is when an employee is not working while at work or when they’re not at work when they’re supposed to be, but, in both instances, getting paid as if they were working. There are many ways time theft can occur, but some common ways are through buddy punching, taking longer breaks and time clock theft.
What is buddy punching?
Buddy punching is when one employee asks another to punch them in or out on their behalf instead of each employee clocking in or out themselves. This is considered a form of time theft. This can be an issue because the punch time may not be accurate if, for example, the employee asking someone to punch them in hasn’t gotten to work yet and just wants to appear on time.
What is time clock theft?
Time clock theft is when an employee manually adjusts their work hours or timesheets so that it appears they worked more hours than they did. This can also happen if an employee rounds their work hours up or down. For example, maybe an employee got to work at 9:05 a.m., but on their timesheet, they mark it down as 9 a.m. so that the manager doesn’t see they were a few minutes late.