From marathon lunch breaks to spur-of-the-moment quests for missing parts, keeping tabs on your construction team’s timesheets can be more complicated than putting up a skyscraper. But as any tradesperson knows, having the right tools can turn a tough task into a breeze. And when it comes to dealing with time-tracking headaches (like buddy punching), time clocks are the tool of choice.
But with geographically dispersed teams working on different projects, you need a more specialized tool than most. We did a little digging to find the best contractor time clocks for construction businesses. Let’s get to it!
What is a time clock?
From punch clocks to digital apps, time clocks are essential for managing hourly teams. They track work hours (including breaks) and offer insights to ensure accurate compensation and improve project timeline predictions.
What is a time clock app?
A time clock app lets your crew effortlessly clock in from their devices. With advanced features like GPS tracking and overtime alerts, it’s not just about simple time tracking—it’s your all-in-one tool for seamlessly managing costs and payroll.
Why does a construction business need a time clock app?
Balancing multiple projects, job sites, and team members is a hefty task, especially when you can’t be on-site to oversee everything. Time clocks act as your assistant supervisor, holding your remote teams accountable and keeping projects on track. Just make sure they have the following qualifications.
- GPS tracking for on-site accountability: Just because someone clocks in for their shift, doesn’t always mean they’re on-site and ready to go. With geofencing and GPS tracking, you can create a geofence around your job site(s) and prevent your team from clocking in while they wait for their Dunkin’ Donuts order.
- Mobile communication: Integrated messaging features keep the lines of communication open, regardless of your team’s location. Whether you need an update on project timelines or your team needs your take on an unexpected complication, you can do it all right in the app.
- Labor costs and compliance: Keeping tabs on labor costs and staying compliant with labor regulations can be a challenge when you’re not on-site. Time clocks with integrated labor cost controls alert you when a team member’s hours are approaching the overtime threshold, so you keep labor costs under control.
- Shift scheduling: When projects throw unexpected curveballs, scheduling can become a headache. Time clock apps with integrated scheduling features allow you to view your team’s availability, rework the schedule, and notify your team of any changes.
With the right features, time clocks can completely transform the way you track and manage your remote teams—saving you time, money, and endless headaches.
The 5 best contractor time clock apps
Sorting through time clock solutions can eat up weeks of your time, and we’re going to assume that’s not your idea of a good time. So, we’ve created a menu of sorts, with the best contractor time clock apps for construction businesses—all you have to do is decide which one works best for you.
Best all-in-one solution: Homebase
Homebase is an all-in-one platform for time tracking, team scheduling, communication, automated payroll, and labor cost management and compliance. With features specifically designed for geographically dispersed, hourly-based teams, Homebase takes the chaos out of managing construction teams.
- Mobile time tracking with built-in GPS (and geofencing capabilities) restricts your team from clocking in before they’re onsite, eliminating buddy punching and time theft.
- The user-friendly scheduling feature simplifies complex scheduling (of geographically dispersed teams) by auto-populating timetables.
- Built-in team messaging makes it easy to share project or scheduling updates with your team, regardless of their location.
- The automated payroll feature automatically converts timesheets into wages, accurately calculating hours, breaks, and overtime for seamless payroll.
- HR and compliance tools help you stay on top of overtime, minimum wage, and other regulations.
- All-in-one tracking, scheduling, payroll, and HR solution.
- User-friendly mobile app.
- GPS tracking and geofencing eliminate time theft.
- Instantly communicate directly in the app.
- Responsive customer service.
- Limited project management tools compared to other options.
- The free plan provides basic features like scheduling, time tracking, and employee management for small businesses with up to 20 employees.
- Paid plans range from $24.95-$80 per month for unlimited employees.
Best for time tracking: Buddy Punch
Our top choice for time tracking, Buddy Punch makes it easy to track and manage your team’s hours, regardless of their location.
- Punch limiting restricts when your team can punch in at various locations, ensuring no one clocks in early without your approval.
- Geofencing and GPS tracking capabilities allow you to set up job site coordinates and restrict your team from punching in before they’re on site.
- Job costing logs project-specific time to monitor labor costs efficiently across projects.
- Accurate time tracking and PTO management.
- Responsive customer support.
- Payroll integrations with QuickBooks, Paychex, and ADP.
- Users can’t edit or delete punch-ins and punch-outs, so if someone forgets to clock in or out for their shift, it can be a pretty big deal.
- No team messaging feature.
- Lacks an offline mode.
- Difficulty editing multiple schedules.
Buddy Punch offers a free 14-day trial for new customers. All of their paid plans have a base fee of $19 per month plus additional fees ranging from $3.99-$6.99 for each user (billed monthly).
Best for payroll integration: QuickBooks Time
QuickBooks Time is our top choice for construction businesses that want to make payroll as painless as possible, thanks to its seamless integration with QuickBooks.
- Time Kiosk accurately and securely tracks your team’s hours.
- Team scheduling.
- Precise GPS tracking for remote or field-based teams.
- Integrated project tracker to manage hours and costs.
- PTO tracking and payroll integration with QuickBooks.
- Accurate time tracking, payroll calculations, and PTO management.
- Precise location-based time tracking with geofencing.
- Customizable project and time tracking management.
- More expensive than other options, especially for large teams.
QuickBooks Time offers a free 30-day trial for new customers. Paid plans start at $30 per month, plus an additional $10 per user (per month).
Best for project management: Workyard
Tired of juggling all the moving parts that come with project management? Workyard can lighten the load with advanced features like:
- Activity tracking dashboard with real-time visibility into project progress and team activities.
- GPS time clock ensures accurate time tracking for field-based teams.
- Scheduling and task management make it easy to assign and track tasks.
- Accounting integration simplifies payroll and project invoicing.
- Tailor-made for remote or field-based teams.
- Project time tracking capabilities.
- Streamlines the payroll process.
- Difficult to correct time entries without voiding others.
- Some users had problems adding their Workyard schedule to calendars like Google Calendar.
- GPS is not always reliable.
Workyard offers new customers a free 14-day trial. Paid plans start at $50 per month (plus an additional $6-$13 per user, per month, depending on the plan.
Best for remote teams: ExakTime
Feel like you’re constantly struggling to keep tabs on your remote teams? ExakTime was made for that, with features like:
- Geofencing and GPS time tracking precisely record employee locations during clock-in or clock-out.
- ExakTime also provides rugged time clocks designed to withstand harsh environments to ensure reliable time tracking regardless of work conditions.
- Activity and cost code tracking provides valuable insights into employee efficiency, project hours, and labor costs.
- Robust time tracking capabilities.
- Comprehensive reporting provides valuable project and crew management insights.
- Real-time oversight of remote teams.
- Technical glitches can produce duplicate time entries that are difficult to remove.
- Some users have had issues with customer support.
- More expensive than other options.
ExakTime’s entry-level plan starts at $50/month, plus an additional $9 per month per user. For Premium and Elite pricing, you’ll have to talk to their sales team (sorry, not sorry).
Deciding which time clock app suits your construction business is a personal choice, but if your hope is to grow your business (and who’s isn’t?), you’ll need a scalable solution that will help you get there.
Homebase is the all-in-one time clock app built for contractors and construction crews. Try it for free.
Contractor time clock app FAQs
What features should you look for in a time clock app?
When choosing the time clock app for your construction business, you should consider features like GPS tracking and geofencing for accurate time tracking, mobile accessibility for on-site decision-making, simplified shift scheduling, and payroll processing.
What are the benefits of using a contractor time clock app?
Construction teams will benefit from precise time tracking, increased efficiency, improved labor cost control, and accurate payroll. Time clocks take all those tedious, time-consuming (but critical) tasks off your plate, so you can get out from behind your desk and back into the real world.
What’s the best time clock app for construction teams?
With geofencing and GPS features specifically designed for remote teams, and simplified scheduling, Homebase makes it easy to track your team and adjust their schedule to accommodate unexpected project curveballs—making it the best time clock app for construction teams.