GPS tracking and geofencing FAQs for employees

Everything employees need to know about geofencing and GPS tracking with TSheets

Why do I need to ‘always’ allow location services for TSheets instead of ‘while using the app’?

TSheets needs to be able to access your location even when the app isn’t open, to know when you’ve entered or exited a geofence. Read more about TSheets GPS tracking and TSheets Geofencing.

When does TSheets give my location to my employer?

Your employer will never have access to your location unless you are on the clock. Your location data is stored on your phone and is only sent to TSheets when you clock in. If you’re clocked out, TSheets uses your location to know when you’ve entered a job site with a geofence, but that data is stored only on your device.

For example, John arrives at work at 8:30 but doesn’t remember to clock in. At 8:45, John sees a TSheets notification on his phone, letting him know he’s entered a job site. When he taps on the notification and clocks in, his timesheet reflects the time he entered the geofence (8:30). His phone then sends the location data from his start time (8:30) to TSheets, until he clocks out.

How does geofencing change how TSheets uses my location?

If geofencing is installed on your company’s TSheets account, you will be reminded to clock in as soon as you cross the geofence around the job site. The app will also record the time you entered the geofence, so you have an accurate start time as opposed to an estimated start time.

When you leave the geofence, you will also be reminded to clock out. This helps you and your manager eliminate the need to edit time cards after the fact, should you accidentally forget to clock in or out entirely. By reducing these time card errors, payroll managers can get payroll finished faster and with greater accuracy.

How often does GPS track my location?

Locations are tracked periodically, as you move around while on the clock.

How much data does the TSheets app use? How do I check?

95% of TSheets customers used less than 30 megabytes of data per month, but most found the app used 20 megabytes of data or fewer.* You can check how much data TSheets is using on your iPhone or Android.

*Based on TSheets customer mobile data usage, collected from Feb. 1, 2018 – April 30, 2018.

How much does the TSheets app drain my battery? How do I check?

It depends. There’s no standard unit of measure for cellphone batteries. We encourage employees to read more about data and battery usage, in reference to TSheets. You can also see for yourself how much TSheets affects your battery life by going into your phone’s settings (instructions for iPhone or Android).

Do I have to let TSheets track my location to clock in on my phone?

TSheets allows admins to decide if location tracking is required for the app to track time. If you do not want the app to record your location while you track time, we recommend talking to your manager about alternative ways to clock in using TSheets.

Why is my clock-in time different than the actual time when I cross a geofence?

Everyone forgets to clock in now and again—it happens! With geofencing, TSheets records the time you arrived at the job site/crossed the geofence. When you remember to clock in, your time card will reflect the time you crossed the geofence. We’ve made it simpler for you to use the time you arrived at the job site, rather than the time you remembered, on your timesheet. This works even if you don’t have permissions to edit your timesheet.

Can I use geofencing on a tablet?

As long as you are using the TSheets app, yes! However, time clock kiosks do not support geofencing.

Can I adjust my geofencing notifications?

This feature is still in beta, and currently, there is no way to change which geofence notifications you receive. Our goal is only to send notifications when you need them.

Can I turn off location tracking?

Yes, but depending on how your admin has configured TSheets, you may be clocked out if location tracking is required. If you do not want the app to record your location while you track time, we recommend talking to your manager about alternative ways to clock in using TSheets.

How do I turn off geofencing?

Only your admin can turn geofencing off.

How does geofencing benefit me?

TSheets remembers what time you arrive or leave a job site, giving you more accurate time cards. No need to ask your manager to edit your timesheet or remember the exact time you arrived or left work.

Plus, because TSheets eliminates the guessing game of tracking time, you and your manager can enjoy increased trust and accountability. Finally, when payroll managers get time cards with accurate times, every time, payroll goes a lot quicker, which means on-time paydays for everyone.

Can I see what information my employer has about me?

Absolutely. In regards to location, though, you and your employer can see the same thing. Select a timesheet to view the map. What’s visible on the map is the same thing managers can see. Your employer cannot see geofencing notifications sent to your phone.

When does GPS start tracking me?

When location tracking is enabled, TSheets will send you reminders to clock in or out upon entering or leaving a geofence. While the app is always receiving your location, TSheets only attaches the location data your device records when you are clocked in. Thus, the only GPS points your employer will ever be able to see are the ones recorded while you’re clocked in.

When you clock out or go on a break, TSheets stops sending location data to your employer. GPS points are recorded throughout your shift, including when you change job codes, add notes to a timesheet, clock in, or clock out. GPS points are displayed like a “breadcrumb trail,” showing where you were throughout the day.

If you have a smartphone, the apps you use every day, from social media to Google, are likely already using your location. It’s how your device knows when to switch time zones or where you are on the road when using Google Maps.

How accurate is GPS tracking?

GPS tracking is dependent on a lot of factors and can vary based on your phone’s operating system, version, or model. Geographic factors, including tall buildings, can also affect the accuracy of your phone’s location tracking.

What should I do if I’m having issues with location tracking or geofencing?

Check out our help doc for troubleshooting GPS on your smarthphone and understanding GPS tracking. If that doesn’t work, you can always chat us or call us.

Does TSheets track my location if I’m on a break?

Your employer cannot see your location while you are on a break. The second you select “take break” from the TSheets app, we stop sending your location data to your employer. When you end your break, your location data will be tracked once again.

What can my employer see when I’m on the clock?

Your employer can only see the GPS points you tracked when you were clocked in. To see how your location is being tracked throughout the day, select a timesheet to view the map. What’s visible there is the same thing managers can see.

When you clock out or go on a break, TSheets stops sending location data to your employer. GPS points are recorded throughout your shift, including when you change job codes, add notes to a timesheet, clock in, or clock out. GPS points are displayed like a “breadcrumb trail,” showing where you were throughout the day.

gps grid showing current location

Can my co-workers see my GPS points?

You can view your own GPS points, but only administrators, managers, and anyone granted the “Manage Timesheets for All Employees” permission can see another employee’s GPS locations.

My geofence notification gave me the wrong job code. Can I change it?

TSheets remembers what job code you used the last time you were at that location and will suggest it when asking you if you want to clock in. If the job code suggested isn’t the one you want, you should have the option to change it. Talk to your admin if you don’t have the option to change your job code.

Can other employees see my GPS points?

You can view your own GPS points, but only administrators, managers, and anyone granted the “Manage Timesheets for All Employees” permission will be able to see anyone else’s GPS locations.

Why did TSheets develop geofencing?

Geofencing was designed with employees in mind! Everyone forgets to clock in now and again, but with geofencing, you don’t have to ask your manager to edit your timesheet. We made it easy for you to track the time when you arrive at and leave a job site, removing the guesswork of remembering what time you should have clocked in or out.
Location tracking doesn’t come without its share of controversy, so we asked employees about their experience with GPS tracking and their experience with geofencing to help us develop our product.

 

How is GPS tracked if I am clocked in by my manager?

If you are clocked in by your manager, you will receive a notification letting you know this action has occurred. You will then be asked if you would like to share your location.

confirm_clock_in

How long do employee GPS points take to update in TSheets?

It can take up to 15 seconds for TSheets to receive and display a new GPS point. If an employee’s phone isn’t connected to the internet, new GPS points won’t display until the employee is back online.

 

Does GPS track employee locations while employees are off the clock or on a break?

No. TSheets does not gather GPS points when employees are on a break. The TSheets app may still have access to employees’ locations, but GPS points recorded off the clock or on break will never be accessible by employers or admins.

When employees clock in for the day or clock in from a break, their location data is tracked once again.

 

Can I choose whether location tracking is optional or required?

Yes. To make location tracking a prerequisite for an employee to track time, just go to the employee’s “mobile options” tab on your TSheets dashboard and select “require location to track time.” The employee will only be able to clock in once location tracking is enabled for TSheets on their smartphone.

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