How Stealing Time is Hurting Your Business

  • time theft

Many employees don’t understand the issue with taking a few minutes longer on break, clocking out past their scheduled time or even coming in a bit early. What’s the big deal with 10 extra minutes here and there?

Businesses that employ hourly employees, like restaurants or offices for example, are potentially losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on top of a major loss in productivity due to employees using the time clock in their favor, and many businesses are struggling to get ahead of this problem.

Employees Stealing Time

During a test study, when employees were asked if they ever purposely clocked in before their scheduled time or clocked out later in order to gain a few more minutes, more than half admitted they have at some point stolen time from their place of employment.  Arriving early or staying late by a few minutes is actually a fairly common thing.

Common Methods Used to Steal Time

  • Inaccurate Time Reports
  • Using Company Time for Personal Use
  • Taking Frequent or Long Breaks
  • Having a friend clock you in or out

The test study found that more than 40% of employees stole between 11 and 20 extra minutes per day.  During an average 5 day work week, that can equal up to 1 extra hour every week per person.  At 40%, for a company that has 50 employees, that’s an extra 30 hours per week or 1,560 per year that were not scheduled or planned for and can impact the business heavily.  The study also found that 7% had taken more than an hour per day.

Controlling the Issue

For businesses that have a very limited profit margin, these stolen minutes start to add up and directly affect the businesses. Many businesses are not aware of this issue or are not sure what steps to take in order to stop time stealing.  Some companies also use paper timesheets, which makes it very easy for employees to steal time without anyone noticing.  Too many employers rely on the honor system and it could be costing them a lot of money.

There are some fairly affordable alternatives for businesses interested in controlling stolen time, like integrated scheduling software and biometric clocks that can help control time stealing and save labor costs in the long run.


It’s not uncommon for employers to be out of the loop when it comes to time stealing. Many are aware of the issue but may not know of a solution. PAYDAY Workforce Solutions is here to help. Call anytime and our expert staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and offer suggestions about how to control and even put an end to time stealing. Give us a call at (714) 467-3434.



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