You can prevent time theft and keep an accurate record of employee whereabouts and hours worked by tracking employees with GPS technology.
GPS tracking and monitoring work for all types of businesses, such as tracking:
- Delivery drivers as they complete their routes
- Construction crews at job sites
- Mobile employees who work in different locations
- Remote workers working from home
Even single-location businesses that struggle to guarantee that their employees are working when and where they’re supposed to be can benefit from employee GPS tracking. You can maintain employee accountability — without being physically present at every work location.
But, there are two key things to consider when looking for GPS tracking solutions.
- What are the laws and rules guiding tracking employees with GPS? You want to keep your employees accountable while making sure you’re promoting a fair, legal, and respectful work environment.
- What type of GPS tracking do you need? Tracking an employee’s company vehicle is different than tracking a physical person. Plus, there are other considerations, such as whether your employees are clocking in and out, how detailed you need your GPS tracking to be, whether you need to create geofenced areas, if you want more involved employee monitoring, and more.
Below, we cover the answers to both questions in detail.
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Buddy Punch is an employee timeclock software and payroll system that offers an optional GPS tracking feature. You can see when and where your employees are when they clock in and out for work, and you can also see where your employees are during their shifts. To learn more about our software:
Legal Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on laws around GPS tracking and employee tracking in general.
Tracking Employees with GPS: GPS Tracking Laws and Business Purposes
Is GPS Tracking Legal?
Put simply, yes, business owners usually retain the right to monitor their employees so long as they comply with state-specific regulations. Generally speaking, businesses can track employees during their working hours and in company-owned vehicles and tracking should be done with legitimate business purposes in mind.
That being said, of course, employees tend to have a reasonable expectation of privacy — and don’t want to feel overly monitored.
As a rule of thumb, businesses should not track employees outside their working hours and, in some states, in employee-owned vehicles. Businesses should also establish a written GPS tracking policy for employees about how they will be monitored and how this data will be used. For example, you can tell employees their location data will be collected with a GPS tracker to ensure they’re working in the right location during their shift.
There aren’t any federal laws about employee tracking, but keep in mind some states have stringent regulations around GPS tracking.
Here are a few examples of GPS tracking in state laws:
- California: This state has some of the strictest laws in the country. According to Penal Code Section 637.7, companies must get written employee consent to monitor their movements, regardless of who owns the vehicle. Businesses in California that fail to comply could find themselves in hot water with the law.
- New York: Generally, employers in New York can use GPS tracking for company-owned vehicles during business hours. However, using GPS tracking to monitor employees’ personal movements outside of work may raise privacy concerns. In addition, if an employee is using their own vehicle for work purposes, the company may be required to get written permission before GPS tracking occurs.
- Illinois: In Illinois, the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act states that employers generally need to get consent from employees before implementing GPS monitoring. However, there are exceptions for certain situations. For example, a company that owns a fleet of trucks can use GPS tracking devices but must inform employees that their movements will be monitored.
- Delaware: In Delaware, employers are generally allowed to use GPS tracking for company-owned vehicles during work hours. However, GPS tracking is subject to the Delaware Online Privacy and Protection Act, which requires companies to notify employees if they are being monitored.
Ensure your business consults with a lawyer to ensure compliance with local regulations.
What Type of Tracking Is Best for Your Business
When considering using software to track employees with GPS, the best solution will depend on your business needs. For example, ask yourself:
- Do I need to track vehicle mileage and route optimization?
- Do I need screen monitoring?
- Do I need to establish geofences around my work sites?
- Do I need two-factor authentication, like photos on punches?
Your answers help inform what features you need to look for in GPS tracking software.
Let’s examine seven software solutions that let you track employees with GPS, starting with our own Buddy Punch.
Tracking Employees with GPS: 7 Tools to Use
1. Buddy Punch: The Best Solution for Small Businesses to Track Employees with GPS
Buddy Punch is a convenient way for businesses to track their employees with GPS, including when their employees clock in and clock out for their shifts and where employees are during their shifts.
Buddy Punch works for all types of businesses, whether you have multiple locations, one location, or an entirely remote workforce.
Here’s a high-level overview of how the GPS tracking works.
- Your employees clock in for their shifts. Employees can clock in directly on their smartphone. We also have other advanced clock in features we will cover below (like using facial recognition to ensure the right employee is clocking in for their shift). When your employees clock in, you can get a GPS snapshot of where they were when they clocked in.
- Your employees’ whereabouts are tracked for the duration of their shift. Because they’re using their smartphone, you can easily see where your employees are during their shifts.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how our employee location tracking feature works.
Privacy-First Approach Meets Accountability
Buddy Punch takes a privacy-first approach to tracking employees with GPS monitoring. Our system will automatically stop tracking employees’ location when they punch out of their shift. In addition, you can set up automatic punch-outs when an employee’s shift is over, ensuring that even forgetful employees are clocked out.
This privacy-first approach gives both you and your employees peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing your business is compliant with GPS monitoring regulations, and employees will see they’re not being monitored outside working hours. Yet, you can still rely on our GPS tracking to make sure your employees are being held accountable.
Setting Up GPS Tracking
When using Buddy Punch for time tracking, enabling GPS tracking is as easy as pushing a button.
- When you log into Buddy Punch, navigate to your settings page, then select “GPS Settings”.
- Next, select “Allow GPS Tracking During Shifts” and hit save.
As you can see in the picture above, you can further customize this setting for each employee by making GPS on punches optional or required.
Remember that after you enable GPS tracking, your employees will be prompted to share their location from their smartphones in the Buddy Punch app, and these messages may appear differently depending on whether they have an Android or iPhone. Here are two examples:
You can find detailed instructions about setting up this feature in Buddy Punch’s Knowledge Base.
Viewing Real-Time GPS Details
Checking on your employee’s location is just as easy as the setup. Our user-friendly design makes it easy for everyone to use rather than being a burden or an extra step in their routine.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Click on the three dashed menu in the top left corner, followed by “Map”.
- Next, you can view GPS activity for a specific date by clicking the arrow or leaving the date unselected to view the GPS data for the most recent employee punches.
Reliable and Accurate Reports
With our GPS reports, you can rely on Buddy Punch to provide real-time location and historical insights into your team’s movements, letting you manage your team more effectively.
Here’s a look at how to access reports:
- In your web browser, you can access GPS reports from your “Reports” tab by clicking “GPS Activity”.
Other Buddy Punch Features That Help Prevent Time Theft
Tracking employees with GPS is just the tip of the iceberg for our features.
When you use Buddy Punch, you get access to:
- Webcam images on punches: Photos on punch ensure that employees are clocking in for their shift and not having a friend punch in for them (AKA buddy punching). This feature can be used on any device with a camera, whether a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You can quickly check and verify photos on the employee’s timecard.
- Overtime alerts: Overtime alerts help give you more control over payroll by ensuring employees aren’t working more than necessary. This feature can be customized to remind the employee, their manager, or both when the employee is reaching their regular work-hour limit. You can also customize the cadence of the notifications for daily or weekly reminders.
- IP address locking: An IP address lock means employees can only punch in from a specified IP address, such as their home WiFi network. Multiple locations? No problem, Buddy Punch lets you set up multiple IP addresses.
- Geofencing: Geofencing works similarly to IP address locking. You can set up a perimeter, say 10 feet, around any of your work locations to ensure employees don’t punch in before they arrive.
Remember, all of our features are customizable to meet the unique needs of your business. For example, you can turn on IP address locking for employees who work from home but not those who come into the office. Or, you can turn on overtime alerts for hourly employees but not for salaried employees.
To effectively track your team’s time, you need to start with an employee scheduling system that can adapt to changes easily. With Buddy Punch, you can update and distribute a schedule with a few clicks. With our drag-and-drop functionality, you can move shifts wherever they’re needed. Buddy Punch also allows employees to swap or cover shifts (if you give them these permissions). This added layer of flexibility ensures shifts are always covered, and you’re not scrambling at the last minute to find replacements.
Not only is it easy to make a schedule, but also notify and distribute it to your team. You can update your whole company, one team, or a single employee. Our software helps optimize your team’s time and minimize scheduling conflicts, ultimately enhancing productivity.
Payroll is a necessary part of doing business, but traditionally, it can be a headache for managers. For example, manual calculations are time-consuming and prone to errors that can increase the potential for compliance issues. The best solution for most businesses is an automated payroll system.
Buddy Punch’s payroll system is integrated with our time tracking system to calculate regular and overtime payroll automatically. Simply review your employee’s hours, make any necessary adjustments, and submit. That’s it!
If Buddy Punch sounds like the right option, sign up for a free trial.
Why Our Customers Love Buddy Punch
Buddy Punch has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra, a third-party review site with over 900 reviews.
Here’s a selection of why our customers love our time tracking system:
“We needed a new solution for timekeeping, and Buddy Punch came through! Onboarding and integration were so easy. Once I figured out all the setting options, it’s really easy to customize exactly what you need. Employees love using it because it’s so straightforward to use.”Click here to read the full review.
“My overall experience with Buddy Punch has been positive. The system offers convenient and efficient ways to record attendance, providing flexibility with options like usernames and face ID logins. The user interface is generally user-friendly.”Click here to read the full review.
“Delighted! As a trucking company and having resources starting their shifts at different times and in different locations, it was ‘effort’ in tying this all together to ensure everyone was being paid for correct times – doing payroll was a chore in calling and requesting and then finally imposing deadlines, or you don’t get paid which pushes other things back in processing payroll… Week one of deployment –> all those issues disappeared! Well done, Buddy Punch!”Click here to read the full review.
Other Employee GPS Tracking Apps
2. Hellotracks: The Best Solution for Mileage Tracking
Hellotracks is a GPS tracking software specializing in location dispatching and route optimization. This solution is a good option for companies offering delivery services.
Hellotracks lets you track employees in real-time and generates mileage reports. Their route optimization feature will tell employees the most efficient routes to take between picking up and dropping off orders or moving from site to site.
Hellotracks also lets you integrate popular apps with their platform, like:
- Google Calendar
Some other popular features include:
- Automatic arrival confirmation
- On-site time recording
- Customized alerts
They currently have 4.1 out of 5 stars on Capterra with over ten reviews.
3. Jibble: Best Solution for Tracking Employees Offline
Jibble is a time tracking software that also features GPS tracking. Their software lets you track employees’ movements in the field, even if they’re not connected to WiFi. You can also view employees’ routes to job sites and generate a route optimization report.
With Jibble, you can also:
- Enable live location tracking
- Create geofences
- Set up alerts about GPS locations
- Use AI facial recognition
- Automatically calculate work hours
Jibble has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra, with over 750 reviews.
4. Timely: Best Solution for Employee Privacy
Timely is a project management software that uses AI to track employee time. Timely has a privacy promise that does not support screenshots or keystroke monitoring but allows GPS monitoring.
- Records employee time
- Automatically captures work activity when they’re logged in
- Monitors budget and spending
- Tracks project management and team performance
Timely has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra, with over 200 reviews.
5. Gleeo: Best Solution for Simple Time Tracking
Gleeo is a simple time tracker that allows for time and GPS tracking with start and stop buttons that employees can access through the app. You can also create schedules and reports that can be exported as CSV files.
While Gleeo’s appeal is its simplicity, you can still customize its features, including:
- Organize timesheets by hierarchical levels
- View work timelines filters by domain, project, or task
- Synchronize data collected through the app on your other mobile devices
- Easily invite team members to view a project or task
Gleeo does not currently have any reviews on Capterra.
6. Zuper: Best Solution for Communicating with Your Team
Zuper is an app that helps companies dispatch teams and view where they are in the field with GPS tracking. But its standout feature is a chat function you can use to communicate with your team in the mobile app.
Other helpful functions include:
- Work order management
- Keeping track of maintenance records
- Integrations with CRM and ticketing apps
- Invoice management
- Contract administration
- Tracking customer service requests
Zuper currently has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Capterra, with over 10 reviews.
7. TimeCamp: Best Solution with Productivity Tracking
TimeCamp is a popular software solution that offers time tracking with GPS and geofencing features. Users can also:
- Measure productivity
- Create invoices to bill customers
- Track budgets
- Monitor employee time on apps and websites
- Attendance monitoring
- Set up a time clock kiosk
TimeCamp currently has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra with over 500 reviews.
Learn More About Buddy Punch and Start a Free Trial
To discover more about tracking employees with GPS using Buddy Punch, click on the following links: