In every industry, employee time tracking is a norm. It is a way to decide the workforce's productivity and ensure that employees are paid accurately for their work. However, employee time tracking is difficult in the construction industry as workers are spread across construction sites.
In the construction industry, workforce management is complicated as not all workers can be trusted to show up for work or honestly record their attendance. Contractors and supervisors use construction timesheet templates to manage how workers spend their time at the job.
This guide details everything about the construction timesheet template and its benefits and drawbacks. We will also explore how to automate construction timesheet keeping.
What is a Construction Timesheet?
A construction timesheet is a manual timesheet used for recording the working time of contractors and construction employees to calculate the number of hours worked and payroll. A construction timesheet template records the task performed, employees punching time, and billing costs.
Timesheets have been used in the construction industry for decades. These are excellent tools for tracking time, work, and payroll in any industry. The flexibility in the schedules is unique to the construction employees and contractors. Contractor timesheets are one of the best ways of employee time tracking in the construction industry. While you can download a contractor timesheet template free online, it is essential to understand how to use a construction timesheet for maximum productivity.
But before that, let's understand how a construction timesheet template is unique from traditional timesheets.
- First, construction timesheets record the start and end times for every activity instead of an exact number of work hours.
- Second, the work structure of the construction timesheet template is highly customizable lists because, unlike traditional client project tasks structure, the nature of construction work is different.
- Third, the construction timesheets use construction cost codes instead of actual task names as in traditional timesheets.
- Another distinguishing factor is that a contractor timesheet template is made around work and billing rates. As in the construction industry, profitability is the key metric instead of productivity; it is why construction timesheets are built to calculate costs and profits.
Why do you need a construction timesheet?
Construction timesheets provide a structure for a largely unorganized onsite workforce in the construction industry. Although construction workers deem timesheets as tedious and a way for their owners to micromanage them, in reality, construction timesheets can help expedite the payment process and ensure construction workers are paid accurately. Since many companies also use contractor weekly timesheet templates to appreciate hard workers, they serve as a performance review tool as well.
Here are some significant reasons you need a construction timesheet template.
To track the hourly pay of employees
Employee time tracking provides transparency throughout the construction business, and a project can be managed much more efficiently. When workers are honest and record their work time accurately, owners and managers can view how many hours they worked, more accurately. It provides valuable data to track employees' hourly pay and precisely how much to pay them. The data is also helpful in giving feedback to the workers on their performance and helping them improve.
For tracking historical work log
Using construction timesheet templates, owners and contractors can track the historical work log, giving them a better idea of the actual cost of a job. It allows them to be much more efficient in forecasting the estimates of future jobs. A historical work log also helps to understand the nature of the job if it's similar to an old project. It helps reduce overall profit losses due to underbidding on future projects and assists in securing future jobs by avoiding overbidding. Timesheets are valuable resources for construction business management.
To be compliant with the government laws
In the construction industry, workers are often exploited by long work hours without pay. Construction timesheets ensure that the construction business is compliant with government laws. You can ensure that you are paying labor accurately for their work hours. It also helps to comply with the overtime rule and ensures workers are not forced to work beyond their shifts. Compliance is necessary for a business because it enables them to be on the law's good side and create a healthy work environment for the employees.
For automating the payroll process
Construction timesheets eliminate the guesswork from the payroll process. When you have accurate data on the hours worked and how many workers worked on the task, it becomes easier to bill and pay. The entire billing process can be expedited, and payroll systems become much more accurate. Using a time and attendance management software like Truein, you can entirely automate the payroll process and drastically minimize the scope for human errors. Such tools allowed to import the timesheet data into the payroll software and automatically calculate billable hours by accurately converting minutes into hours.
How do you maintain construction timesheets?
To maintain a construction timesheet, you can use Google Sheets, Excel, or any other data-keeping application. Paper timesheets are more straightforward but are not as efficient as the free construction timesheet template we share.
We have created four formats of Excel construction timesheet templates that you can download and use without any modification.
A construction timesheet records the Date, Day, Task, Time in, and Time out data. While the construction daily timesheet template is the easiest to manage, the construction weekly timesheet template has an additional field to record the day. Bi-weekly and monthly construction timesheet templates are just an iteration of monthly templates for two and four weeks.
Download contractor timesheet template free:
- Free construction daily timesheet template
- Free construction weekly timesheet template
- Free contractor biweekly timesheet template
- Free contractor monthly timesheet template
Disadvantages of using manual timesheet in construction
While a free construction timesheet template provides an efficient way to manage the workforce and payroll, it is also prone to human errors. As manual timesheet keeping entirely depends on the honesty of the workers and contractors, there is scope for manipulation and time theft. Paper timesheets are a logistical nightmare and can be easily misplaced. Due to severe disadvantages, a manual timesheet in the construction industry is not advised.
Here are some of the common disadvantages of manual construction timesheets.
Discrepancies between actual working time and reported times
Manual construction timesheets are susceptible to time theft. Workers can easily record the wrong clock in or clock out time without being noticed. There is no way to discover the discrepancy until it's too late, and the project gets delayed because of time theft. Workers can also participate in buddy punching; that is, a worker can ask his colleague to record time in his absence and report to work late and still get paid for a complete shift. The construction industry loses billions of dollars to time theft every year.
Not easy to track and schedule employees
Timesheets are just a piece of paper that cannot be used to make shift scheduling decisions or to track employees. Manual construction timesheets result in poor efficiency in workforce management. The construction industry often struggles with tracking employees working at remote sites. Without centralized data, it is not easy to track or schedule employees.
Lack of productivity and lots of manual work
Building on the point above, manual construction timesheets have no scope for automation. Managers and owners must go through a lot of manual work to calculate billable hours and set shift schedules. Such manual workforce management leads to work productivity. It can take hours or even days to conduct payroll or set schedules when all the data has to be compiled and sorted manually.
No way to automate and directly calculate pay and overtime
Without any automation, there is no way to integrate the data from manual construction timesheets into the payroll software. All the calculations must be done manually to calculate pay and overtime. The task is not only mammoth and cumbersome; it often results in frequent human errors that require correction. It also results in inaccurate paychecks.
Truein: A better alternative to manual construction timesheet
The construction industry has also benefited from adopting automation like other industries. Time tracking and attendance software like Truein make it easier to accurately manage the workforce and pay them.
Truein is an AI-based facial recognition employee time tracking and attendance software used by some of the biggest companies in the construction industry. It offers accurate time tracking for construction workers based on GPS tracking and geofencing. Workers can download the Truein app on their smartphones to record attendance accurately. This eliminates the requirement of additional hardware or paper timesheets at the construction site. By accessing the GPS within their phones, Truein can track the workers' location accurately and ensure they are at the site where they are supposed to be when they record the attendance. Furthermore, it easily integrates with all popular payroll software, automating time tracking and payroll process.
We hope you understand the essential construction timesheets and how you can automate the process with Truein.
What is a labor shortage?The labor shortage is a term that indicates a gap between the labor needed in industry and the number of workers available to fill in the requirement. Simply put, there are more jobs available than the workers. It can be because workers are less willing to work in a position or a scarcity of skilled labor. The pandemic accelerated the labor shortage issue as, during the last two years, 1 in 4 workers quit their jobs since the pandemic and have not returned to work. It is becoming a struggle to find workers to fill open positions. Manufacturing, construction, hospitality, transportation, and healthcare are the most affected industries. If you pay attention, there is a common factor in all these industries-they require the workforce to be available in person during work hours. Also, most of these industries employ blue-collar workers and heavily rely on laborers to operate.
Why is there a labor shortage?The labor shortage is not only because of fewer people willing to work; there can be several other factors contributing to your business' struggle with finding or retaining the right talent. Be mindful that none of these reasons prevents you from retaining the workers.
Poor compensationThis reason is easiest to anticipate. Workers want to be paid more, at least what they are worth. Industries like construction, mining, healthcare, and manufacturing especially face labor shortages as the pay is less than in other sectors. The limited wage is not enough to meet the increased cost of living and healthcare, pushing workers to look for positions that pay them better.
Lack of flexibilitySince the pandemic, employees have been more discerning of opportunities that allow them to have a better work-life balance. Workers now seek increased flexibility, but employers remain reluctant to offer the same. According to a survey by Future Forums of 10,000 knowledge workers, employees want more flexibility in jobs and, if possible, location. As remote working is not an option for most of the mentioned industries, an evident lack of flexibility causes workers to look for work in other segments.
A question of purposeFor many employers, it may seem inconsequential, but workers are increasingly losing their sense of purpose at work. Employees who are not connected to their workplace cannot be passionate about their jobs. It eventually forces them to leave work. If your company is facing a labor shortage, reevaluate the work environment, and if missing, try to create opportunities that will make employees feel more excited about their roles. Indeed surveyed workers who voluntarily left their jobs in 2020 and found that 92% of the respondents felt "life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about." If workers do not feel connected with the company's goal and vision, they may not be inspired to stay at the job.
8 Ways to deal with the labor shortage
1. Train and cross-train existing employeesThe mass exodus of the workers can leave companies in limbo if those leaving are skilled workers. You must implement training programs to help workers across domains acquire common skills to keep business operations up if there is a labor shortage. Cross-training employees can help. For instance, production staff can be trained to handle maintenance responsibilities if the situation arises. Cross-training does more than retain employees; it creates a sense of value and community.
2. Improve the work environment to reduce employees leaving the organizationAs we mentioned above, the work environment is one of the main reasons why employees work or leave a job. You are walking in circles if you are wondering how to solve workforce shortage without addressing the issues causing employees to leave. Ensure that the work environment is positively inductive for employees. For example, if you are in the manufacturing industry, your employees must feel safe at work with all safety measures.
3. Recognize and reward employeesAcknowledging workers' hard work and sincerity and rewarding them appropriately will boost their morale and keep them engaged. Make sure your employees are not feeling neglected, and their efforts are recognized and rewarded. Just offering perks alone is no more an incentive good enough to keep workers; you have to make them feel appreciated and valued as part of the team.
4. Make opportunities for them to develop and growPandemic has changed the workforce a lot. Everything needs improvement – skills required for the job, where and how work is performed, and what motivates the workforce. To overcome labor shortages and retain employees, you must create opportunities for them to learn and grow. Take a fresh look at the workforce and try to identify opportunities where you can introduce improvements. For instance, if your manufacturing unit relies on manual labor for production, you can introduce CNC machines for repetitive tasks and train the workers. This will present them with an opportunity to develop and grow.
5. Automate tasksIf your company has scope for automation, explore solutions for the same. The more automated tasks are, the lesser workforce will be required. In the wake of the rising cost of labor and the shortage of workers, several companies have considered automation to reduce the up-front cost of hiring or maintaining a large workforce. Partnering with consulting firms to explore automation integration in the business processes will provide an answer to how to solve the workforce shortage. For example, you can use automation to help remove infrastructure bottlenecks and free up human resources to work on operations that contribute to the revenue directly.
6. Pay bounties to employees who bring new employeesWhy not turn your workers into headhunters by offering them incentives for referring talent to the company? Instead of outsourcing the hiring process or relying on the HR team to solve workforce shortages, you can introduce a referral bonus for employees to bring in new talent. At some of the most successful companies, 28 to 30 percent of the new hires come from employee referrals. If they can do it, so can you.
7. Be flexible with schedulesFlexibility is a requirement, not an option, to retain workers. Now employees seek a more positive work-life balance and opportunities that offer the flexibility to work. By creating flexible work schedules, you can let workers feel relaxed about their routine and not stressed. It will help prevent employees from leaving.
8. Use time tracking toolsEmployees adequately compensated for their work time build trust in the managers and the company. Using time and attendance management tools to record attendance would be best. Such tools also free HR managers from manually managing attendance and shifts, a process often susceptible to human errors. Truein is a face recognition attendance system that can help companies schedule shifts, track timing, and efficiently distribute workloads among employees. It can automate report generation, directly integrate attendance records with payroll software, and for remote sites and field workers.
ConclusionThere is no telling when markets will emerge victorious from the acute labor shortage facing businesses today. While the HR gurus can only make predictions based on surveys and studies, business owners need to make tough decisions. The strategies we have listed here are helping companies across the globe overcome the labor shortage. We hope you, too, can recognize what's causing the labor shortage at your company and implement the appropriate measures to fill in the gaps.
Contract staff keeps changing and the changeover is so frequent that companies don’t bother with systematic onboarding. They are tracked through manual registers and their documents lie with the contractor agency. Sounds familiar? You don’t have to row in the same boat. There are solutions to ensure that even contract staff is onboarded efficiently. Every step in the process can be transparent and easily backtracked.
Let’s jump straight in and uncover some secrets.
Tip 1: Let the contract workers self-onboard themselves
When it comes to contract staff, you don’t really know how long they will stick around. You may want to avoid time spent on creating ID cards. Afterall, you might see a new face tomorrow at your construction site or retail store. How can you make the onboarding hassle-free? Simply ask the new staff to register their selfie on your face attendance system. Their face is their ID.
Tip 2: Register the contractor agency in your attendance system
It is a big process to get documents from the new contract staff, scan them and store them in the system. Companies outsource this to agencies but they lose transparency and efficiency. The documents are stored in an inefficient physical or digital folder system. It is not easy to pull the documents out when you need them. Are you running a risk? You sure are. You don’t know who turns up at your office everyday for work. There can be legal hassle eventually. You can have all documents handy right in your attendance system. Simply share access to your attendance admin portal with your contractor agency. Maintain just one system of truth.
Tip 3: Onboard just once
A contract worker working with you a year back may come today. Do you onboard him again? No. Save yourself and the worker this hassle. Your attendance system can have an easy deactivation - activation feature which lets you accept old employees back in the system. And guess what? It has his past attendance records so you know his track record. Besides, his documents and every other detail is handy already. You can welcome old employees back within a day. Be agile with efficient attendance systems
Tip 4: Manage their shifts automatically
Don’t let your contractor workers struggle with information on their ever-changing shifts. Nor should you suffer trying to allocate shifts to them. Try to bring in an attendance system that allows you to automatically assign shifts based on punch-in times or based on admin configurations. They can see their allocated shift in the system too. If payments are based on shifts, an automatic calculation based on records in a face attendance system can be a blessing.
Tip 5: Contract staff rules and compliances can be complicated. Make it easy for them.
You can set your face attendance system to include all the rules you want according to the company overtime policy. For example, mark half day after 1 p.m., pay overtime after 9 hours, mark late after 9 a.m., give public holiday on 26th January and so on. The attendance system can do all the tracking and provide full reports. You don’t have to ask the contract worker to manually track all of it and your admin does not have to reconcile everything manually. Onboarding a contract staff has never been so easy. They just show up everyday to work - the rest is taken care of by advanced face attendance systems.
Tip 6: Let them mark attendance on day one even remotely
You don’t have to ask contractor workers to report to head office on their first day if their actual site is somewhere in the field. They can mark selfie attendance from app based attendance systems. They just need their own smartphone or a simple tablet at the site office. It is especially true in case of advanced face attendance systems like Truein.
Single source of truth
Most companies have a very clear onboarding process for new employees but they don’t apply the same rigour to contract staff onboarding. The agencies they outsource to do not have advanced systems either. Face attendance systems like Truein bring transparency, automation and compliance to the process and it can be shared with staffing agencies. One system of truth for everything from onboarding to attendance and reporting makes the entire system efficient.
Do you hire contract staff on hourly, daily or fixed contract wages? Such staff is not permanent and they change too frequently to invest in proper attendance protocols. Often companies don’t even create RFID cards. Contract staff attendance is almost always done manually with a register and pen.
It may not seem like a huge problem first. However, when you calculate the leakages it causes in the system and the financial impact of it, it becomes an issue worth looking into.
Why is manual attendance not the right way to go?
In case of manual attendance, there is no way to really check or backcheck who was present. Friends often punch attendance for each other. So, you might have only 100 contract staff present on a particular day but you may be paying for 120. If you extrapolate this for the entire year, the annual cheque for leakages may be huge.
Manual attendance overheads:
Manual attendance is just what the name says - powered by people. People need to watch over the attendance process and be vigilant when the contract staff is signing the register. You need people to manually tally all the attendance and feed it into the computer. You need more people to compile it and create reports for the management or payroll. The entire process is tedious and takes manpower for the management of it. All these easily add up to your expenses.
Monthly report generation:
There is no way you can know attendance aggregates of your contract staff on a daily basis because somebody will have to compile it. That means you won’t be able to drive compliances or enforce rules. By the time you come to know about gaps, it will be month end. Most companies build a frequency of monthly reports for report generation. It is only at month end that you see the tally of attendance across offices and across regions. Decisions, finances - everything has to wait.
There is a minimum loss of 5 mandays, spent only on the reconciliation or compilation of manual attendance registers across offices or regions. It is not just about time loss; it is about money loss too. Manual compilations are prone to errors and even a digit error can be an entire day’s worth salary lost or gained.
Face attendance is the solution to all manual attendance woes
Contract staff may change frequently. So what? You can onboard them in no time with extreme ease on a face attendance system like Truein.
- You can upload all contract staff in bulk using excel on the web dashboard
- You can upload them individually on the web dashboard
- You can take advantage of the self-onboarding feature of Truein. The contract staff can upload their selfie and get going with daily attendance.
Mobile-based selfie attendance:
If your contract staff is always travelling for sales-like roles, you can ask him to lock his attendance through his very own phone and the Truein app. If you have a construction site, the workers don’t need a kiosk to mark attendance. Outdoor sites can ensure compliance through selfie-based mobile attendance. Remote site? No problem. Truein works offline too.
You know who is in and who is not on a real-time basis on your Truein app. You don’t have to wait until the month-end to see loopholes or compliance issues. Take action now and on a daily basis. Because the system records face attendance, there is no scope for buddy punching. Face is the best ID, afterall.
Contract agency tracking:
You can track agency-wise attendance of contract staff. That way the hiring agency can be held accountable for meeting the required numbers and sending sincere staff. It is possible to share the tracking with the agency through user-level access and app access. There can be meaningful discussion around real numbers.
If a contract worker is absent for too long, he can be deactivated from the system. You can easily blacklist or block troublesome workers too. If a worker is on vacation and comes back later, you don’t have to go through the onboarding process again. His previous profile can be reactivated.
Switch to face attendance systems
There is no entry barrier to this upgrade. You don’t have to install large machines or set up any infrastructure. Truein works on any mobile or tablet. Say goodbye to age-old manual attendance. Manual attendance costs you more than you think!