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  • Writer's pictureMartin Hesse

Overlooking the Unseen: Considerations When Using Employees' Smart Devices for Work

Many industries use different methods to capture timesheets i.e. clocking in and out. From biometrics and facial recognition to using smart phone apps, choosing the right hardware option for your organisation is important in achieving accurate time capture and compliance. 

For those who opt for smartphone-based clocking apps (Rosterspace has both Android and iPhone) there can be certain hidden considerations that often go unnoticed. While Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) offers convenience and flexibility, organisations must carefully address potential risks and implications. In this blog, we will explore essential considerations that organisations should contemplate when requiring workers to use their own smart device for timesheet capture clocking in and out. 


Workforce sentiment 

If you are transitioning from a certain time capture method to using smartphone apps, you may find some resistance from within your workforce.  Pushback could come due to many reasons: 

  • Not wanting to use personal devices for work purposes 

  • Not owning a smartphone, or it could be old and not updated with the latest software 

  • Not knowing how to download and use an app 

  • Finding it hard to transition to a new way of working 

  • Not trusting the software being put on their phones 


Addressing these concerns through clear communication and training can assist with transitioning the workforce from one medium to another, but understanding your workforce from the start and determining if that switch is the right choice to make at the current point in time could be more beneficial to the business. 


Device usability 

Before making a smartphone app available to the workforce, you will need to determine if your workforce has a compatible device and whether the software itself has any limitations. For instance: 

  • Does it require the internet or data to function?  

  • Do all of your sites and locations have internet access or coverage that allows use of the app? 

  • What needs to be available at each location to ensure devices will remain usable at the start and end of the shifts? 


Through this process you may determine that your WFM provider does not have the most effective smartphone app for your organisation. These questions are also imperative to ask when in a vendor selection process if you are looking to implement a new WFM system. 


Troubleshooting and having a backup option 

It is hard to believe someone may leave their homes without a smartphone these days, but it is not impossible.  Additionally, people often have limited battery life, credit, or storage on their phones. All of these factors could lead to someone being unable to clock in and out at their workplace.  In these cases, it is worth considering alternate methods of timesheets capture. Rosterspace for example provides a web portal for employee self service as well as manager self service, allowing for the completion of timesheets. Timesheets can also be imported from 3rd party systems such as building security and point of sale.  



Fair Reimbursement and Compensation 

Requiring employees to use their personal devices for work raises questions of fair reimbursement and compensation. Organisations must establish clear policies regarding device usage, distinguishing between work-related and personal use and whether reimbursement is required. This includes situations where the worker’s smartphone may be damaged while at work. 



Organisations should check whether the use of smartphones for time and attendance is compliant with the rules and regulations they are governed by.  For instance, some organisations in industries that are heavily unionised may not be able to offer smartphone clocking, as it has not been approved by the union. 


Work-Life Balance and Employee Burnout 

While the simple act of clocking in and out via a smartphone may not blur the boundaries between personal and work time, other smartphone related activities may do so. For instance, if your organisation uses a group chat function for managing shift bidding and roster notifications, this could lead to a culture in which an employee feels tethered to their personal device for work purposes.  Employee wellbeing, as well as streamlining of tasks, is front of mind when it comes to the design of Rosterspace, and in these situations, engagement with an employee via email or text message is only done when relevant to the individual.     



There are several benefits when enabling your workforce to clock in and out via their smartphone and enabling that within your specific organisation generally requires good change management and solution design. Furthermore, understanding how your staff and organisation operates most effectively could determine whether switching to smartphone usage would bring significant benefits or open challenges. 

Rosterspace is an Australian workforce management software made for advance award interpretation and complex rostering needs. To find out more head to 



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