Time Theft Impact Your Business

In a recently published blog, we mentioned time theft, an act wherein the employee receives payments for non-working hours, and the attendance record shows they are present, even though they aren’t. We also uncovered the five most common methods of it. 

So, no doubt, it is a problem that most businesses fail to resolve because they don’t have adequate resources or funds. Such enterprises suffer severe losses in terms of employee productivity, company outputs, and overall bottom line.

Remote workers have been growing long before the pandemic. According to a 2019 Statista report, 12% of employees in a firm of 500 or more were working remotely. Also, 7% of employees with a total workforce of 100 to 499 worked remotely. The information is only pertaining to the U.S. alone, and we can only imagine the global scale of it.

In this scenario, time fraud has become a predominant issue, as tracking remote workers, especially those using their devices, becomes challenging. Moreover, they may not allow enterprises to monitor their devices throughout the day, as it invades their privacy. We will discuss the implications intensely in this blog.

Related Blog: 5 Most Common Time Theft Methods: How to Stop Them?

Repercussions of Time Theft on Your Business

Time theft happens in many different ways, such as buddy punching, favoritism, excessive usage of the internet for nonwork purposes, extended breaks, etc. The impact of it falls deeply on the businesses in many ways.

Direct Impact on the Bottom Line

According to a study, U.S. employers incur a loss of $400 billion annually due to time theft. Isn’t that shocking? It is reported that it is due to a loss of productivity. A 10-15 minute productivity hour loss piles up to such a gigantic sum that it is irrecoverable.

At times, time theft can even result in significant loss of deals, partnerships, or meetups, which are a part of the employee deliverables. Hence, it can create a more effective monetary loss besides productivity.

Time theft often happens through buddy punching, a scenario wherein a worker uses a punch card to clock in a colleague. It also results in extended overtime payouts to employees who were not actually present at the designated time and location. 

According to a source, an average employee receives an additional payout of six whole weeks annually, as they steal 4.5 hours every week.

Delay in Delivery & Low Quality Outputs

Employees who commit time fraud leave at their designated time without informing their reporting manager. But they have to deliver their daily goals on time. Under such a circumstance, the manager often receives sub-par outputs.

Additionally, such employees may continuously extend their deadlines or never even commit to one. They might deliver low-quality outputs once the manager asks for them. As a result, a pattern of delayed delivery and acceptability is established within the team and the firm.

Under another scenario, wherein an employee is required to provide specific deliverables on a particular day and arrives late but has already punched in before reaching the destination, overtime is marked. The manager may not even remark, thinking that the employee is delivering quality work while exceeding the regular working hours.

Higher Pressure on Coworkers

A person who often indulges in time fraud gets into the habit of delegating the workload to a colleague. Under such a circumstance, if the coworker is involved in the project and requires delivering by the end of the day, the colleague often helps out, resulting in more outputs with no additional benefits.

The manager wouldn’t even know that another employee has finished the task. Such instances are often referred to as a favor among colleagues and are standard practice across global organizations. 

The result of such a practice is higher work pressure on one or more employees and lower on others. Simultaneously, the employee who wasn’t involved in the task may even get rewards and recognition, creating a hostile work environment. So, valuable employees may join another enterprise in the hope of receiving the same benefits, resulting in the loss of helpful resources. It ends up increasing the expenditure, as it incorporates training, induction, and other costs.

Related Blog: Buddy Punching: A Challenging Issue for Enterprises – Solved! 


Time theft can critically impact enterprises at multiple levels, beginning with the bottom line to lost productivity hours. Enterprises often incorporate stringent security measures to overcome this practice. Unfortunately, they remain vulnerable to it, as the sophisticated measures of tampering or spoofing access and attendance management have enhanced.

Workers indulge in time fraud through buddy punching, managerial favoritism, extended breaks, and many other ways. Incorporating a set of policies and rules is one way to deal with this practice; however, workers can often find ways around it.

So, the ideal choice is to have a centralized or self-service face recognition system that directly marks attendance or grants access and captures the geolocation. Biocube’s TruNtrance offers such features and avoids the standard methods of tampering or spoofing through additional security layers like passive liveness detection, AES 256 encryption, and geofencing.