In recent years there have been a number of major changes in working practices, with many companies finding more productive – and faster - ways of working.

Many businesses have had to tackle new challenges such as staff working from home or from other remote sites, to varying degrees of success.

But one industry which has always had to deal with staff working out of the office and across a number of sites is the construction industry.

Fortunately, technology has been employed over the past few years in order to tackle some of the challenges created by this manner of working, with many construction companies turning to timesheet apps to help smooth out the process.

Time And Administration Problems in Construction

Due to the nature of the industry – with employees working a range of sites, there are problems and issues that are often specific to construction companies, particularly in terms of saving time and streamlining work practices.

Among the most common are:

Labour Problems

The construction industry can be a nightmare when it comes to labour and workforce. Unreliable sub-contractors spread out over many geographical locations are typically a source for potential problems.

It's vitally important for a construction company to know that the right staff have turned up to the right site on time. If a job falls behind due to a weak link in the chain who fails to turn up, that can mean the difference between a profitable and unprofitable job for many companies.

Good Lines Of Communication Required

Administrative staff spread across various sites and many even working from home, makes communication a challenge between workers on and off-site.


Employees – particularly those who are on the road or out of the office on site – often need to contact the office on a regular basis with queries about jobs. As such, good lines of communication are required to ensure that employees are in constant contact with the office with queries about what they should be doing – and when.

Protection Of Tight Margins

Clients of construction companies can often change details – such as deadlines - about jobs. If a construction company is to have a healthy ‘bottom line’, then it’s vital that slack is kept to a minimum. This means that managers and employees know of changes as quickly as possible to ensure that neither time – nor money – is wasted or employed ineffectually.

Timesheets
Over the years, the solution to these problems and issues has been the use of timesheets.
The concept of timesheets is not, of course, a new one. Timesheets actually originated in the late 1800s when people kept books of their hours.

In days gone by, companies also used to work with rudimentary methods, such as punch clocks, tokens and other ‘interesting’ contraptions.

Many companies combine these timesheets with paper-based leave requests or ‘holiday files’ in which employees logged holiday requests for approval by line managers.

In addition to the fact that paper is now becoming something of a major commodity, and environmental factors apart, paper timesheets are open to error and can often be inaccurate. On top of potentially erroneous information being recorded, paper timesheets are also open to negative practices such as ‘buddy clock-ins' e.g. employees covering for their buddies who have not been in time or at all.

Paper timesheets also make it harder to track accurate details of when employees or contractors are on site. To read more about why we think paper timesheets should be ditched, take a read of our article here.

Timesheet apps

Now, of course, things have moved on dramatically and the most successful systems are digitalised.

Mobile and tablet timesheet apps provide the capacity to improve work practices and processes. These apps are now used by businesses across the globe and can help with many aspects of running a construction company: from ensuring the health and safety of the whereabouts of their employees, to streamlining payroll and invoicing.

Digital timesheet apps can help a company to eliminate many of the problems already considered by creating a digital, verified, paperless audit trail, ensuring both accurate timekeeping and optimal working practices.

They can also provide administrative staff with the ability to run a variety of reports that enable a company to run more smoothly, efficiently and economically from job to job.

Construction timesheet apps simplify movement tracing and can help companies to reconcile time entries of employees – both offsite and onsite.

In addition to saving on costly mistakes due to manual errors on timesheets, the apps also ensure that businesses are fully compliant with regulatory laws for overtime and record-keeping.

While the traditional time and attendance systems certainly served their purpose, the digital age means that the technology is now there to improve work practices.

What Timesheets Can Bring To Your Construction Company

When you’re busy building your business – and particularly when building is your business –

Here’s what timesheet apps can offer your business….

Show that the right employees are on the right job

Every construction company boss wants – and needs – to know whether each employee is on site, so that they are fully resourced for the job they are working on. The optimal timesheet platform not only tracks where employees are, it also gives you the added option of facial recognition, which verifies that every clock-in is legitimate to prevent buddy clock ins.

Help you to streamline payroll and invoicing

Timesheet apps provide administrative staff with the ability to run real-time employee and job timesheets, making both job costing, payroll and invoicing much more streamlined and seamless, and enabling your company to run smoothly, efficiently and economically. Any timesheet app should also help with your administration staff reducing the same week in, week out questions e.g. how many holidays do I have left, how much overtime am I due? etc.

Enable you to say goodbye to the ‘paper trail’

Paper timesheets are so flawed on so many levels. From employees writing whatever they want on sheets to others operating the ‘buddy sign-in’ process….the system is far from fool-proof. Timesheet apps enable you to guarantee the time, location as well as who it is that is clocking in (through biometric recognition) - a huge step forward for employers.

Communicate changes to schedules simply

Details of a job changed lastminute.com? With any good Construction Timesheet App you should be able to relay changes to their schedule so that the workers are aware of where they are meant to be, without having to go through WhatsApp or a phone call. Communication is, of course, a two-way thing, so employees should be able take pictures on site or add notes and signatures to a job that you can view in real time from the comfort of your own office.

Monitor true job costs and profitability

There’s no doubt that labour costs can make or break a business, so you always want to ensure that job costings and outlay are exact and accurate. Timesheet apps enable you to track time data against jobs in real time, so you’ll easily be able to see if the time spent on each job has been profitable for your company.

Roll Calls for Safety

Being able to monitor where employees are during the day isn’t just a matter of ‘Big Brother’ though. Timesheet apps will not only help to reinforce good working practices for your employees, but will also give you peace of mind that when an accident does happen on site, you can perform a roll call to check on the health and safety of each employee at a given time and place.

Work equally well for individuals or multiple workers

If you have multiple workers on a building site, timesheet apps can be used on a tablets so that everyone can clock in through one device. Alternatively, if your workers are travelling to individual jobs, they should be able to use any timesheet app with their own mobile on the move.

Configure geofences to reinforce entry in and out

Companies constantly have to deal with employees who say they were on site but ultimately were not. The top-of-the-range timesheet apps enable you to configure geofences for jobs so that only an employee can only clock in to that job if they are in the proximity of that job.

So How Do You Choose A Time And Attendance System?

So now, having decided that timesheet apps ARE the way for your construction company to go, how do you go about choosing the best time and attendance system for your company?

Assess Your Company’s Specific Needs

When choosing a time and attendance system, naturally your first step is to assess and identify the bespoke requirements of your company as these will direct you to the most functional and suitable time and attendance system for your business.

Most Appropriate Clocking-in Option

The next decision that you will have to make is the choice between on-premise time and attendance systems and cloud-based versions.

Previously, on-premise software – that is software that is installed on a company’s own servers and behind its firewall – was the only option open to businesses. But now, Cloud computing provides another option and has grown in popularity thanks to its greater flexibility.

For construction companies, the cloud-based system is usually the most appropriate, primarily because most employees work across a wide range of locations. If, however, most of your employees are based on-site, then the on-premise version might meet all of your requirements.

System Cost

For most construction companies cost will, of course, be one of the main factors in choosing a clocking-in system. Purchasing a traditional system for your company can prove expensive – primarily because it isn’t simply a matter of the outlay for the actual clock-in terminal, but also the cost of initial wiring and the ongoing cost of accessories, power supply and maintenance.

You can cut costs by purchasing a digital time and attendance system, which can be accessed by employees on their existing phones or on your company's existing tablets.

Ensure Security Options

With data retention subject to increased regulation, it’s vitally important that you retain your information securely, and so, when choosing a time and attendance system, the question of security measures and the chosen option also come into play.

If you do decide to go down the increased security line, then biometric security is one of the most popular options.

Biometric security software automatically recognises people based on their behavioural or biological characteristics. Among the most popular options now available are:

Fingerprint scanning: commonly opted for due to its reasonable purchase price. Typically a cause of many issues on construction sites due to the use of gloves and dirty hands meaning that although it is cheap, in practice impractical.

Facial recognition: various aspects of the face can also be used, such as the face itself and the irises of the eyes. In our opinion, the best balance of being secure yet pragmatic for a busy construction site.

Palm veins: this form of recognition is second only to iris recognition. Some biometric security systems will verify identities using one or more of these detection options. Not used in practice, as very difficult to manage.

When it comes to the best time and attendance system for your company, if you consider the above options and facilities, then the system that you choose for your business should enable you to provide a simple, secure clocking-in system that will help to eradicate unnecessary attendance and attendance fraud, not to mention the time cost of amending timesheets.

The Best Timesheet Apps For Construction Companies

Having assessed how timesheet apps can help your construction business and advised as to what you need to look out for, here are 8 of the best timesheet apps for construction companies….

1. TimeKeeper

Created in 2018, TimeKeeper is UK time and attendance software,  which focuses on providing simple timesheet so that the employee can use easily while providing a host of powerful reporting features for administration staff.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

Yes

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

Yes, using Facial Recognition.

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes.

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

Free 14-day trial

£3 per employee per month

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

£150 per month

Website: https://www.timekeeper.co.uk

2. ClockShark

ClockShark is an American mobile time tracking software that can be adapted from paper timesheets. ClockShark is suited for the construction industry also.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

Yes

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

No

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes.

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

Free 14-day trial

$3 per employee per month (Basic) +$15 per month base fee,

$6 per employee per month (Standard) +$15 per month  base fee,

$8 per employee per month (Pro) +$45 per month base fee

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

$445 per month (($8 * 50) + $45 base fee)

Website: https://www.clockshark.com/

3. HubStaff

HubStaff is another US time tracking option that focuses on employee time tracking as well as monitoring. A lot of their features are focused on desk employees but have some features to support field workers .

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

No

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

No

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes.

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

Starts at $10 per month per employee

Free 14-day trial

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

$500 per month ($10 * 50)

Website: https://hubstaff.com

4. Clockify

Launched in 2017 with the intention of making time tracking accessible to everyone, the company now has an impressive user pool of two million, boasting customers such as IBM and American Express. Less suited to construction and more suited to freelancers.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

No

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

No

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes and no (GPS only - no geofence).

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

$9.99 per employee per month

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

$499.50 per month ($9.99 * 50)

Website: https://clockify.me

5. Connecteam

Connecteam offers an all-in-one mobile-first solution so that employees can simply clock in and out directly from their mobile phone.

Another US company that offers a comprehensive solution that supports many different industries.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

Yes

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

No

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes.

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

$95 per month for up to 50 employees

Free 14-day trial.

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

$95 per month for the first 50 employee

Website: https://connecteam.com/

6. QuickBooks Time (TSheets)

Quickbooks Time is timesheet software by Intuit. This software used to be called TSheets, which was created in 2006 by owner Matt Rissell. Quickbooks Time has every feature under the sun, so it will definitely work for your construction company however the cost reflects that fact.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

Yes

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

Yes, using facial recognition.

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes.

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

$15 per employee per month, with $55 base fee per month.

Free 30-day trial.

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

$805 per month ((50* $15) + $55)

Website: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/uk/time-tracking/

7. SiteMate

The SiteMate app is built for the construction industry in general and has some good timesheet features, which warrants a mention in here. The timesheet features aren't as advanced as the specific timesheet apps but does allow companies to move off paper to a digital solution that encompasses basic timesheets and a whole host of relevant features.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

No

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

No.

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

No.

Does it support employee leave management?

No

Pricing

Free 30-day trial.

£23 per employee per month.

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

£1150 per month (£23 * 50)

Website: https://sitemate.com/uk/

8. Deputy.com

Deputy originally started out as a shift scheduling product before branching out to cover time and attendance features, such as: employee messaging, clock-in on mobile via the Deputy App, clock-in on web, leave management and facial recognition.

Does it support multiple employee entering via one terminal?

Yes

Does it support mobile app for individual workers?

Yes

Does it support biometric recognition?

Yes, using facial recognition

Does it support GPS clock ins and geofenced job clock areas?

Yes.

Does it support employee leave management?

Yes

Pricing

Free 31-day trial.

£3 per employee per month.

Cost for 50 employees (Full Features)

£150 per month (£3 * 50)

Website: https://www.deputy.com/

Summary

All the above solutions are great products, and ultimately it will come down to if the product suits your business, your budget and also your personal preference. One other key attribute to consider is whether the customer support for your product is local to your business, so you can get help when you need to. TimeKeeper and Sitemate are the two UK companies above, with the rest being US based.

If you are looking for a low-cost, effective time and attendance solution for your construction business, then check out TimeKeeper. Read more information here on why we believe it to be the best construction timesheet app.

Start your 14 day free trial now.