Why GPS Tracking Your Workers’ Phone Is A Bad Idea

Justin Seymour 9/21/21 1:39 PM
Construction worker with technology and tracking background.

Some construction companies are opting to use time-tracking apps that use GPS on workers' phones to improve time-sheet accuracy in their accounting software. (This is also related to geofencing which you can read more about HERE.)  

Beyond the obvious invasion of privacy, there are several issues with this approach that may hurt profit margins and stunt labor productivity.  

Come on; construction workers are great at what they do, but they are better with power tools than they are with power apps! 

 

Technology Set-Up and Troubleshooting 

First off, you can’t GPS track every worker if every worker doesn’t have a smart phone. The cost of supplying each worker with a smart phone and paying their monthly bill can be high. Many workers don’t need a mobile app to do their job.  

Your IT department will need to set each worker up with their device (if they don’t already have one), install the time tracking app, adjust the location/GPS settings, train each worker on the app, and troubleshoot any future issues.  

Individuals may push back on activating the GPS tracking settings and may consider that overstepping the employer/employee relationship.  

Lastly, if you’re using union labor, do they even allow workers to be tracked by location? 

woman against wall on iphone

Day-to-Day Issues

CAUTION: GPS tracking workers for time tracking can cause more headaches than a 20-amp jackhammer.  Once all the workers are equipped and trained with the proper technology, circumstances at the construction site need to be favorable.  

This includes: 

  • Mobile-device battery needs to last the full day in the field. 
  • Construction sites need to have strong, cellular service. 
  • Workers need to be able to access their device with their proper PPE on and in sh*tty weather.
  • You need to work in locations where cell phones won’t spark an explosion. 

Outside of construction-site conditions, workers will need to know the proper project and cost codes. The more people punching in cost codes means the more opportunity for error. These errors create a sh*t storm for project managers and admins back at the office.  

man sitting at table frustrated

Trust Your Team 

In the end, you don’t need to track your workers’ locations if you trust and empower your foremen. Allowing a small group of construction-site leaders to handle the punching of codes and allocation of hours minimizes the opportunity for error and increases field productivity. Too many cooks in the kitchen, too many workers on the damn app – tomayto, tomahto.  

STRUXI provides an easy-to-use tool where foremen can quickly manage their teams’ time sheets and have the team clock in on a foreman’s tablet (optional). The time sheet data is updated in real time and can help project managers understand where they stand on estimated hours vs. actual hours to improve communication between the field and office.

Historically, this helps STRUXI customers save up to 7% in labor cost!  

In construction, nothing eats up a budget quicker than mismanaged-labor hours. Let’s talk about how STRUXI can help your project managers stay on time and on budget.    

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