Mobile Time Recording: Capture times anywhere with a click on the smartphone

Pia Heßler 5/23/2024

We show you how mobile time tracking works and why you should not do without it

Table of contents
  1. What is mobile time recording?
  2. Why is mobile time recording with an app useful?
  3. In which industries is mobile time recording particularly frequently used?
  4. What advantages does mobile time recording offer?
  5. What disadvantages does mobile time recording have?
  6. What do you need to consider when using GPS tracking?
  7. What tools are suitable for mobile time recording?
  8. Conclusion on mobile time recording: You won't want to miss it

Currently, almost every company is dealing with time recording. Some have been doing this for some time in the course of their order time recording or their personnel deployment planning. Others find themselves forced to deal with this issue as a result of the judgment on time recording. No matter which category you belong to, in this article you will find out whether mobile time recording meets legal requirements and how it enriches your company. A tool recommendation is given on top.

What is mobile time recording?

Are you afraid that you'll have to introduce a new system "again" for mobile time recording? Not necessarily, because it doesn't necessarily have to be digital. It can also work analogously with pen and paper. "Mobile" in this case only refers to the location: Time recording can take place from any location.

Mobile Zeiterfassung Definition Clockin.png

Source: clockin

The digital time recording is basically nothing more than a normal punch clock - only digital. Often, employees log in via mouse click on the PC or hold their transponder to check in at terminals that are placed at the building entrance. To log off or clock out, they do the same thing. With mobile time recording, recording usually takes place on a smartphone or other mobile device, which almost everyone uses anyway. That means, employees can also record their working hours outside the office. A digital solution is offered by ZEP with their software.

Why is mobile time recording with an app useful?

Electronic time recording terminals are specifically designed for employees who work permanently in the office. For all other employees, time recording on the smartphone - or another mobile device - is easier.

Mobile time recording

  • increases flexibility and fun factor,
  • minimizes administrative effort and input and transmission errors,
  • saves employees time and companies money,
  • allows evaluable results and fact-based argumentation.

Some companies use Excel lists or even paper hour slips for time recording. For cost reasons alone, they are doing themselves no favors, as the following example shows using the iceberg model:

Mobile Zeiterfassung


In which industries is mobile time recording particularly frequently used?

Mobile time recording increases the efficiency of all areas of the company, such as

  • personnel deployment planning,
  • payroll accounting,
  • invoice creation,
  • reporting,
  • post-calculation and
  • defect management.

It is therefore particularly established in industries where employees need to be mobile. For example, in road, civil or underground construction, employees record their data in a time recording app for craftsman. They can book the working hours of the entire team to the corresponding cost centers or projects with one click. Travel and set-up times can be automatically determined and documented by GPS tracking.

Outside salespeople, assembly or service employees as well as home office advocates, remote workers and digital natives have also discovered this type of time recording for themselves. For many, mobile recording of working time is part of everyday work.

What advantages does mobile time recording offer?

Time recording has many advantages for companies and their employees. But even more advantages are offered by the mobile time recording.

1. Mobile work, no matter where and when

Mobile Zeiterfassung TimeTac.png

Source: TimeTac

Mobile work - online and offline - brings joy to employees and improves effectiveness. Manual and cumbersome tasks are eliminated thanks to digitalization. Users are pleased about the elimination of annoying tasks, companies about reduced costs and customers about the great service.

2. Real numbers and facts

Mobile Zeiterfassung Crewmeister Auswertung.png

Source: Crewmeister

Through (mobile) time recording, measurable, evaluable and traceable data sets are created. This helps here and now but also for a realistic assessment of future projects. The numbers form the basis for calculations in the sales and personnel area.

3. Human error source is minimized

Mobile Zeiterfassung Crewmeister Digitalisierung.png

Source: Crewmeister

Digitization has a huge advantage: People have fewer possibilities to make mistakes (e.g. transposition of numbers). No one has to remember looking at the clock or keeping things in mind until returning to the office. Employees only need to click a button to trigger an action. Digital performance records leave no room for lengthy discussions and quarrels.

4. Better liquidity can significantly affect business success

Mobile Zeiterfassung Clockin.png

Source: clockin

Data can be input immediately via mobile devices and forwarded to the appropriate place or called up on site. Through interfaces, information can be automatically forwarded internally and externally - for example, the working hours to DATEV. Surcharges and allowances are calculated automatically. This has a positive effect on the accounting, which in turn can improve your company's liquidity.

5. Sovereign employees ensure sovereign appearance before business partners

Mobile Zeiterfassung ZMI.png

Source: ZMI

Mobile time recording gives a workflow that employees must adhere to. Whether newbie or old hand, the next (and the next) step is clear. All necessary forms are there. You always have an eye on target and actual times.

6. Useful additional functions

Mobile Zeiterfassung TimeTac Schichtplan.png

Source: TimeTac

The range of functions depends on the time recording app. Many tools include functions such as a shift plan with push notifications, a chat function, a holiday planner and an NFC tag recording in addition to time recording.

What disadvantages does mobile time recording have?

The biggest challenge in establishing mobile time recording is employee acceptance. If your employees do not use the chosen system properly, the best software is of no use. You should therefore make it clear to them that this is not about employee monitoring, but about the many advantages that mobile time recording has for them and your company.

What do you need to consider when using GPS tracking?

GPS tracking is a particularly sensitive issue for some employees, as it involves their personal data. In order for you as a business owner to use GPS tracking, your employees must unequivocally agree. Employers may not use the evaluations for control purposes (e.g. to check speed during the trip).

Therefore, pay attention to

  • clear communication and written consents from your employees,
  • trustworthy tool providers (Where are the data centers? Are GDPR regulations being complied with?) And
  • encrypted data transmissions.

The GPS time recording can take place in two ways: The app can record the location through a manual time recording. In this case, you can specify, for example, that the booking can only be made when employees are at a certain work location. Alternatively, the app can automatically trigger a time recording when employees are at the defined work location.

What tools are suitable for mobile time recording?

Most time recording software, such as ZEP is also available as a mobile app. OMR Reviews has compiled a comprehensive list of providers for you. Simply click through the verified user reviews in the Time-Tracking category or jump straight to the currently most popular time recording apps or the best time recording software.

The appropriate tool should

  • be intuitive,
  • be able to automatically assign (work) times to a project,
  • allow photo documentation if necessary,
  • have rights management
  • be integrable into your ERP solution,
  • be expandable for payroll processing
  • guarantee encrypted data transmission,
  • be adaptable to your company agreements and
  • be approved by your employees.

Empfehlenswerte Zeiterfassungssoftware-Anbieter

You can find recommended time tracking software providers on our software comparison platform OMR Reviews. There, we have listed over 150 time tracking software providers that you can use to track your working hours. So take a look and compare the software with the help of authentic and verified user reviews:

You're currently lacking the budget for a paid tool? Don't worry, time recording can also be done for free!

Conclusion on mobile time recording: You won't want to miss it

Mobile time recording optimizes many areas of the company. The human resources department in particular benefits from this. Personnel time recording is essential for increasing productivity and has been mandatory since the court ruling in September 2022. From free to paid solutions, there is something for everyone.

Pia Heßler
Pia Heßler

Pia war mehr als 10 Jahre im Vertrieb und Marketing verschiedenster Unternehmen aktiv. Danach gründete sie ihr eigenes Unternehmen und betreibt dieses zusammen mit ihrer Geschäftspartnerin.

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