Since March, much of the workforce in the US has been working from home. From teachers to attorneys and everything in between, COVID-19 has pushed 2/3 of the workforce out of the office and into their homes to work. While remote working is great for social distancing, it can result in losses for your business as employees are unmonitored and can submit overtime for work they didn’t really complete. If you want to learn how to protect your business from wage theft, read on.
Employee Wage Theft
Wage theft didn’t just emerge after the pandemic resulted in a move to remote work. It’s been around forever, with employees asking friends to clock them in early, clocking in after a break but not actually returning to work, or doing things other than their job while they are on the clock.
Some estimates say that on average, this costs businesses $50 billion each year and on average, employees who do this report 4.5 extra hours per week. While the financial cost is great, it can also demoralize other employees who are reporting their time honestly and doing what they are supposed to be doing.
Remote work has added a layer of difficulty in determining if your employees are attempting to collect a paycheck for work that they haven’t actually completed, as you or others aren’t there to monitor them. While micromanaging employees and scrutinizing everything won’t do much for employee morale, having some checks and balances on verifying that work is being completed is a smart business move.
How to Prevent This
While many workers have been working remotely due to the pandemic, many companies report that they are considering having some employees work remotely permanently. If that is the case, companies will need to have a clear plan to ensure the employees are completing the work that they are being paid for.
Setting Clear Rules and Expectations
Ensure that your employees know what is expected of them and what the expectations are for remote work and taking breaks, meals, personal activities, etc. They should also know the consequences of violating these policies.
Use Time Tracking Software
Time tracking software is ideal for remote work. Train your employees on how to use it and clearly state what types of time and activities need to be tracked.
Create a Positive Culture
Creating a positive workplace will improve employee morale. Employees who feel supported and are part of a positive workplace culture will be more productive and effective overall.
Pay Employees Well
When you pay employees well, they feel valued. This ties into the positive workplace culture that creates productive, effective employees who are loyal to a company and are less likely to try to defraud their employer by time theft.
Protect Your Business from Wage Theft Today
It seems that remote work is here to stay for much of 2020 if not longer. Using these tips, you can protect your business from wage theft. With businesses closing left and right, ensuring that you aren’t losing any money to employee wage theft is imperative.
If you do suspect that your employees are involved in theft of time and wages, contact the attorneys at Boyer Law Firm, P.L. We have attorneys specializing in business law and are happy to provide a case evaluation for you.