Productivity | October 24, 2019

3 Important Facts to Consider About Location Tracking in 2020

I’m a small business with few employees. As such, I don’t need any location monitoring software.

If you are running a small business with the belief that automation is not a necessity then you are putting yourself at great risk. 

To begin, start by thinking about all the ways of how GPS has changed your life for the better.

  1. Interested in finding a good restaurant? Use Google Maps
  2. Can’t find the address of your client’s office? Get directions from Google or Apple
  3. Trying to locate the exact location of your co-workers? Get real-time updates on your mobile device

Today, GPS technology has proven that it has improved the lives of communities across the world. According to the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report, location-based services represent the leading share of 41.7% of the global positioning systems market in 2017. 

In addition to individuals, businesses have also found ways to utilize location tracking technologies to their advantage. Initially, a GPS software was difficult to acquire, and only goliaths could afford them. However, this trend has changed over the past few years, as smaller businesses have come to realize its benefits. Accordingly, here are three important facts to consider about location tracking in the upcoming year.

Privacy and Location Tracking

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Before adopting a time and location tracking system, it is important for employers to get some form of consent from their employees. The most efficient way of getting consent is by simply notifying the staff about the new changes - i.e. via e-mail or a physical/online meeting. The commercialization of location tracking has been subject to debate for some time now. As such, having consent can serve as a means of protecting the employee, as well as the employer.

Needless to say, when looking into potential location tracking solutions, make sure you are paying attention to how that particular tool addresses privacy and location tracking. How does location tracking work? When does the tool monitor the location of employees? Can I manually stop it, or is it all automatic?

Our location tracking solution places great emphasis on privacy. The app is designed to monitor productivity via GPS only when the employee is clocked in. The minute they clock out, the app automatically stops its monitoring capabilities. Furthermore, the app will not track the location of team members when clocked out for breaks, vacations, or even when opening the app. If you are interested in learning more about how Atto addresses location tracking, visit our help center for more details.

In any case, businesses have to inform teams well in advance about the potential implementation of a new productivity measuring software - such as location tracking - and while researching, to look for solutions that prioritize the privacy of their users.

Productivity and Location Tracking

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Now that we have addressed privacy and location tracking, it’s time to talk about the real reason why business owners want to employ such software.

So, if I were to implement a location tracking software, how would that increase the productivity of my crew/staff/team?

There are three main ways through which location tracking influences productivity:

  1. By promoting productive behaviors
  2. By optimizing daily tasks
  3. By increasing accountability and transparency

Changing Behaviors

As author Jimmy Rodella writes “employees are more aware of how they spend their time if they know they are being monitored”. To test this assumption, leave your employees to their own device for a couple of weeks, and try to observe any changes in behavior or productivity. More often than not, employees will be performing worse in the absence of an observer. As such, a tracking software - when implemented - plays the role of the observer, making sure that employees are in the right place, at the right time.

Optimization of Processes

Furthermore, one of the better reasons why businesses should use location tracking software is because of the insight it provides. This is especially true for construction, delivery, and landscaping businesses that rely on remote workers to be as efficient as possible when moving from one job site to the other.

Technological advancements have allowed developers to integrate geofencing capabilities within their time and location tracking software. Geofencing gives the user the ability to create a virtual geographic boundary for every ongoing project, client or task. 

Furthermore, from a manager’s perspective, employees can be assigned and monitored across different job sites directly from mobile devices. While from the employee’s perspective, automatic notifications will provide clear information on when to clock in or out, when to move to the next job site and more.

Deploying employees to the closest job sites can save time and allow for more work to be done in a single day. As a manager, employer or even business owner, you will never be in the dark. At a glance, you can find out where your team is, how long they’ve been working and what they’ve been working on.

Promoting Accountability and Transparency

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In addition to optimizing processes, this technology encourages accountability and transparency throughout the entire business.  It is no surprise that many small businesses don’t consider accountability and transparency as an important element of productivity. According to a recent study by Ultimate Software and the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK),

80% of managers said they're transparent with their teams, just 55% of employees agreed. What's even more disturbing is that only 53% of employees felt like their managers actually cared about their well-being.

In the presence of time and location data, business owners are better equipped to make informed decisions regarding the effectiveness of their staff. As such, if someone is under- or over-performing then there will be sufficient information to determine who the individual is, and provide feedback as needed. At the same time, the employees will have a general understanding of how productive they really are and what they can do to improve.

Where there is accountability, there will be transparency and vise versa. A transparent organizational culture is proven to improve the productivity and satisfaction of employees. Multiple studies indicate that transparency is the number one factor contributing to employee satisfaction. And why not? Transparency builds trust, and trust fosters healthy relationships between the company and its workforce - leading to higher levels of motivation and productivity.

What Businesses Benefit from GPS Productivity Solutions?

GPS technology is versatile and it fits across different business models. We have already mentioned a few of the businesses that benefit from such a solution, but the list does not stop there. If you think your company falls in any of the following industries than we highly suggest considering a time and location tracking software as part of your 2020 bucket list:

In most cases, businesses that end up implementing a location tracking solution are those that are reliant on remote workers. To illustrate, in construction, crew members have to transition across the same job site for long-term projects, while consultants have to be swift and move from one client meeting in New York to another one in Chicago.

All in all, every business, regardless of size should seek to become more efficient and productive with each working day. The digitalization era has brought fierce competition to our footsteps and if businesses don’t adapt to its advancements then they risk getting run over by those who will. 

Now is your turn, what is your real potential?


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Atto is the simplest timesheet app for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s intuitive interface and carefully designed features, including time tracking, location tracking, team insights and automated timesheets help employees and managers focus on real work.

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