The Timesheet Mobile smartphone app for iPhone and Android can now automatically punch your employees in/out of scheduled jobs when they enter/leave designated geofence jobs sites. If an employee is scheduled for a geofence job site, they will be automatically punched in when entering the job site and automatically punched out when leaving without needing to take any further action. Geofence Autopunch works in conjunction with your employees schedule to automate the punch in/out process. To learn more about Timesheet Mobile scheduling, see How-to-create-work-schedules.
Once an employee's schedule has been set and their smartphone app synced with their list of geofence job sites, the employee will be automatically punched in when arriving at the geofence sites and punched out when they leave. In conjunction with the travel time feature (see Travel-Time) an employee's full work day and time sheets will be automatically filled out! Keep reading for a couple of simple examples of how Geofence Autopunch can be used for different workflows.
Example 1 - Simple Non-overlapping Scheduled Jobs
As a simple example of sequential non-overlapping schedules, let's look at one work day for employee Anthony Jones in the Timesheet Mobile Demo account. Anthony is scheduled for three different jobs in one day as shown below.
As Anthony enters/departs the various geofence job sites during the day, he will be automatically punched in when arriving within the scheduled times as shown in the image below. After being punched in, Anthony will automatically be punched out when leaving the job geofence. This automatic punch out can occur before the end of the schedule if he leaves early or after the end of the schedule if he stays at the site longer. Anthony can also punch out manually if work stops for any reason or if he needs to enter notes, complete a checklist (see Global-Job-Checklists), add a signature or image to the shift (see Get-signatures-and-attach-photos-to-shifts). or otherwise perform other steps that require manual interaction with the Timesheet Mobile smartphone app. If travel time between job sites is paid, using the Travel Time feature (see Travel-Time) will automatically add this time to either the current job, next job or a fixed travel code.
Example 2 - Overlapping Schedules
If the workflow for your company does not lend itself to such rigid schedules, using overlapping scheduling provides the flexibility for your employees to be automatically punched in/out without needing to arrive in a narrow schedule window or arrive at jobs in any particular order. Consider the schedule for Marie Smith in the Timesheet Mobile Demo account below.
In the example above, Marie Smith has two jobs scheduled for the morning from 8 AM - 1 PM and two for the afternoon from 11 AM - 5 PM. Marie will be automatically punched in to either of the morning jobs if she arrives from 8 AM - 1 PM and either of the afternoon jobs if she arrives between 11 AM - 5 PM. The schedule overlap also allows for her to finish her morning jobs before noon and still be punched into the afternoon jobs when she arrives. As in the case with non-overlapping schedules, Marie will be automatically punched out when leaving the site and punched in when arriving at the next site.
As you can see, Timesheet Mobile's scheduling is very flexible and can be used to create a number of workflows to meet the needs of your company. Timesheet Mobile customer support can help you get your account configured to best match your company workflow.
Allowing Early Punch In
Using the "Early Punch In Window" setting, employees can be allowed to punch in up to 20 min early when arriving at work sites. Customer whose employees need to arrive early at the job site to do preparatory work find this setting particularly useful.
Employees arriving late but still within the scheduled window will be automatically punched in and a missed schedule alert will be triggered if they punch in more than 15 minutes late or not at all. Keep in mind that if the employee's phone is not connected to data (3G/LTE or WiFi) they will still be punched in but your administrators and managers will not be able to see those punches until the app can connect with your Timesheet Mobile server.
Since employees who are set up to be automatically punched in/out of jobs based on geofences will be punched out when leaving those geofences, Timesheet Mobile has also implemented a travel/commute feature to allow the travel time and estimated mileage between job sites to be automatically captured. This feature is described in more detail here (see Travel-Time).
Setting up Geofence Autopunch
Enabling Geofence Autopunch is done in the Punch Settings menu or if you are using per employee app settings (see Customize-App-Settings-by-Employee) in the Punch Settings in the Employee Control Panel. Once set to "On" employees will be notified to sync their Timesheet Mobile smartphone apps and will be able to be automatically punched in/out once schedule events are added to their calendars. See below for the settings screen.
Viewing Geofence Autopunch Entries
Time entries created automatically by the Timesheet Mobile smartphone app are clearly marked in the Activity Log for review by your administrators and managers as shown below.
Geofence Autopunch relies on location updates provided to the app from the device and has been tested in a variety of Android and iPhone devices. Like any new process or technology, we do not recommend a "set and forget" approach and have implemented many ways to alert managers and administrators to cases in which an employee's actions may impact successful operation (e.g. employee turns off the phone after browsing their social media sites in the morning). Timesheet Mobile configurable alerts can quickly identify any exception cases that a manager or admin may need to handle (see Customized-Email-Alerts).
On a technical note and for best performance, iPhone users should not force close (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201330) their app but rather leave it in the background by clicking the Home button after opening the app. Battery performance is similar but iOS restricts what functions third party apps can execute when apps are force closed and this may impact the reliability of Geofence Autopunch for iPhone users.