employee time theft

When we hear the word employee, the first expression that comes into our mind is that he is a person who works hard day and night for the progress of his company and to meet his daily life expenses. But hold on, this definition was entirely applicable in antique time. It’s the era of science and technology, people and employees are having other kinds of school of thoughts. Now in this age, the above-mentioned definition isn’t accurate. At present, there are two types of employees:  

The first category is that the employees who work hard. They utilize every second of their duty for the company and also for their inner satisfaction.  

The second category is the domain of such employees who just pass their job by deceiving the company as well as themselves. They are the “Time Thefts”.

Now the question is that what is the term “Time Theft”? Let me explain this in this article.  

What is Employees Time Theft? 

That is the question probably rambling in everyone’s mind. Time theft is simply a strategy used by the employees. Employee’s time theft occurs when those employees are paid who didn’t work properly. In other words, it’s like you maintain your ease and comfort for the whole time and in the end, you get paid just for taking a rest.  

When an employee steals any equipment or tool of the company, the company owner shall terminate him or would strictly reprimand him. This task develops a fear among the employees. Similarly, if fear is created for the time thefts; it’ll be a great step ahead. The American Society of Employers estimates 20 percent of every dollar earned by a U.S. company is lost to employee time theft. 

Reasons for employees time theft: 

Following are the reasons that make the employees able to be time thieves. 

  1. No check and balance:  

Employees become time thieves when they aren’t under a proper check and balance strategy. They feel free to waste their time as they know that they will receive their payments. If there’s no one to keep an eye on them, they would take benefit from it. It’s a problematic thing that occurs. 

  1. Extra belief by the owner: 

Sometimes it happens that the owner is so simple and honest that, he or she believes his/her employees with blind eyes. This thing makes the employee to be his own owner and simply do what he wants. 

  1. No availability of monitoring software 

It’s another cause for employee time theft that there isn’t any monitoring software to scrutinize their working styles and time consumption ways. 

Ways for the employees time theft: 

There are many ways used by the employees to steal time. Some of them are following: 

  1. Buddy punching: 

Buddy punching is that when an employee is in or out of the time clock and his co-worker or a buddy punches his card as his substitute. An alternative worker obviously can’t work as the actual worker can. So, it leads to time wastage of the company but is beneficial for the employer because his time is being recorded as a working time. A survey in 2018 reveals that over 370 million dollars loss is carried by the companies just because of buddy punching and it causes a loss of 5% of the company’s development. The chances for buddy punching becomes more and more when you are using an old-fashioned clock punch system or recording the clock presents manually.  

  1. Long breaks: 

Long breaks used by the employees are a major way to time theft. No doubt breaks promote the activities of a worker as he gets refreshment and it is proved beneficial for the company’s production too. But the problem is that these breaks are being extended too long by the employees. The employees extend their breaks by proposing lame excuses like an excuse for headache, abdominal pain and many more. A survey by e-cigarette maker Halo stated that the average smoker wastes around six days a year on work smoke breaks. 

  1. Personal activities of the employees: 

Personal activities of the employees are also the strategies for stealing time. The employees steal time by engaging themselves in different tasks like payment of their bills, online shopping and for physical employees; it might be running errands between their jobs. Many of the employees steal time by using their smartphones and other smart gadgets. A survey showed that 62% employees spend at least an hour in looking at mobile or using it. The personal tasks of the employees also include calling at home etc. 

  1. Tricked time cards: 

Tricked time cards are used by the employees in whom their wrong information is being manipulated. They show inaccurate time clock of their working hours with the help of their tricked cards. This trick of the time thief employees is valid when the company has a manual checking system. Suppose if a worker comes late for an hour, so he may claim that it’s the mistake of checker person. The payroll associates of America shows that about 75% of companies have to face the fraud of time cards and the time card fraud employees make 7% more than their actual pay by the tricked time cards every year. Forbes recently reported the average worker steals about 4.5 hours weekly from their employer — about 6 weeks per year 

  1. Lame traffic issues:  

The employees that steal time also propose lame excuses for traffic problems. Like a person whose location isn’t being monitored by the company’s system so he can easily make a lame excuse for jammed traffic. Employees also have ideas like an accident on the road occurred due to which they were late etc.  

  1. Planned domestic problems: 

Among the techniques used by the time stealing employees is that they have planned domestic problems as sick wife or children. He simply asks to go to the hospital and steals time easily. A company should allow its employees to go for the home problems and should not impose the strict rules that they even can’t go for someone who is dying. But the problem occurs when employees use this leniency for time stealing purposes, causing a loss for the company. 

All the above-mentioned problems affect the production of the company and the company should have a system to eradicate such employees’ time theft problems. Some suggestions are given to minimize employees’ time theft problems: 

Methods to stop employees time theft 

This is the most important question that how to stop the time theft of employees. Here are some suggestions by which this problem can be up-rooted.  

  1. By communication: 

Communications have a deep effect on people’s minds. When you converse with someone he may understand your point of thinking. The company should conduct a meeting at the beginning of the job of an employee in which all the rules and regulations should be taught to him. This can reduce the time theft problems.  

  1. Time clock software: 

Due to old-fashioned time clock systems, time theft problems occur. So, the company should use the time clock software. This software reduces the chance for time stealing of employees. By using the time clock software, you can have all the details regarding any bunk by the employees. You can check the location of employees when their breaks are over and also you can check their location that either they are in traffic or just making lame excuses. You can also check the activities of the employees by URL reports any other ways like screenshots. 

  1. Proper attendance system: 

By opting for a proper attendance system, the time theft problems can be solved. When employees are under check and balance, they feel hesitant to steal time. So, an attendance system is essential.  

  1. Audit processes: 

The audit processes management is simply to have your manager and a supervisor who run your system. Dominion’s software is more effective for audit processes. The company should also have a system to check the time cards of the employees on daily basis. When the management is improved, then not only the time stealers are stopped but also the morale of honest employees comes to their high point again. This results in the improvement of the production of the company. 

  1. Tackling with time stealers 

The company should have a strict punishment system for time stealers. If a company shows any leniency towards tackling such Employees, it increases the courage of others to be the same. So, a proper dealing system should be. The stealers should be arrested and he should pay heavy fines. The tackling system solves the time thefts problem for all time. It’s the most effective way. In this way, employees’ time theft can be stopped. 


To sum up, I would like to say that it’s the lower level of humanity to steal time for the employees. The employees who do so should meet to their inner once and ask to themselves with no doubt; their inner will guide them for the best and right way.  

 Companies face adverse effects because of employees’ time thefts so, companies have to develop such strategies to prevent time theft problems. It would be beneficial for their production and standard.  

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