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.
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What is a construction timesheet?
A construction timesheet or time card 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 Free Excel Construction Timesheet Templates (Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly & Monthly)
Using our free Excel timesheet template, efficiently track and manage labor and project hours. Click on the links to get started.
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.