Buddy punching refers to an outdated system in the workplace wherein employees punch in for one another, or for those who are not physically present at the time of reporting. Although this practice is still widely practised across the country, it has been found to be inefficient and an unnecessary burden on employers and employees alike.
Learn more about buddy punching and why you should stop it from happening in your workplace with Buddy Punching An outdated workplace system that needs to change!
What is buddy punching?
In short, buddy punching is when an employee has someone else clock in or out for them. This used to be more common when time clocks were physical and people had to punch a card. Nowadays, with electronic time clocks, buddy punching is still an issue. And it’s one that needs to be addressed. Buddy punching can create all sorts of problems.
Employees who are clocking their own hours may not get paid enough and may not know if they’re being underpaid. It can also lead to other forms of abuse at the workplace such as wage theft (employees not getting paid what they’re owed).
Does buddy punching still happen today?
In short, yes. Though many workplaces have moved away from the time-honoured tradition of buddy punching, there are still some holdouts. And in some cases, it’s not even a conscious decision; rather, it’s simply the way things have always been done. But whatever the reason, buddy punching is an outdated practice that needs to be stopped.
The impacts on employees can be huge It contributes to absenteeism and excessive overtime because people are too tired and overworked, which also leads to injuries and accidents on the job. The lack of accountability means that unscrupulous employees can get away with committing fraud or other illegal activities while they’re working on behalf of their co-workers who actually punched out for them.
Buddy punching also affects pay transparency, as bosses won’t know who actually punched out for whom when comparing hours worked across various departments or at different times during the day.
How does buddy punching affect the people it affects most
Buddy punching is a system where employees clock in and out for each other, and it affects everyone from the people who are doing the punching to the managers who have to deal with the fallout. For employees, it can lead to resentment and mistrust, as well as a feeling of being taken advantage of.
Managers may find themselves dealing with more disciplinary action and absences, as well as lower morale among their team. Ultimately, buddy punching is an outdated system that needs to be changed in order for businesses to run more smoothly.
Why do employees ‘punch in’ others who are not at work
There are a few reasons employees might do this. Maybe they are trying to help a friend out who is in need of the hours. Or, maybe the employee is trying to cover up for someone who is habitually late or absent. Whatever the reason, buddy punching is an outdated system that needs to be changed. The most common form of buddy punching occurs when two employees trade-off logging each other into the system.
One punches in and then exits, and then the other does the same thing. The next day, they switch roles. For example, say Employee A punches Employee B into work on Tuesday morning at 8 am (at which point Employee B exits). On Wednesday morning at 8 am, Employee A punches in again and logs out after completing their tasks.
The impact of fighting this behaviour on businesses
The buddy punching system is an outdated way of handling employee timekeeping. It relies on trust instead of technology and often leads to employees taking advantage of the system. This can have a negative impact on businesses, as it can lead to lost productivity and decreased morale.
To prevent buddy punching, businesses should consider investing in timekeeping software that will allow them to track employee hours more accurately.
Ways companies can prevent buddy punching
- Encourage employees to take their time off Employees who feel like they can’t take time off are more likely to engage in buddy punching. Make sure your employees know that they can take the time they need without repercussions.
- Schedule shifts to limit lunch breaks Have lunch shifts start before 11 a.m., or after 3 p.m., so employees won’t have a lot of free time during the day when buddy punching is most common
- Don’t allow one person to approve or deny time off requests for others on hisher team If one person approves or denies all requests, heshe will be able to see any patterns of friend-punching and then set up safeguards against it
- Encourage employees to come forward if they notice somebody cheating on leave days Often, people who are friends with each other know when the other person is using their friend’s card to punch them out, but keep quiet because it’s easy for them too
Companies leading by example in fighting buddy punching
In today’s day and age, there are many technological advances that can help prevent buddy punching. One such example is the use of biometric devices. These devices require a person to use their fingerprint or iris scan in order to clock in or out of work. This makes it impossible for someone to clock in or out for another person.
Another example of a company leading the way in preventing buddy punching is by using GPS tracking. This can be used for employees who are working remotely or in the field.