Buddy Punching in the Workplace: 10 Reasons Why Employees Commit It and How to Prevent It

Buddy Punching: A Common Type of Time Theft

Buddy punching, also known as time theft, is a widespread problem in the workplace. It occurs when an employee asks a coworker to punch in or out for them, even if they are not present in the office or have not completed their full hours of work. This practice costs employers millions of dollars every year and can have a significant impact on productivity and employee morale. In this article, we will explore the ten reasons why employees commit buddy punching and how companies can prevent it.

How Does Buddy Punching Work?

Buddy punching happens when an employee asks a coworker to punch in or out for them, sharing login credentials to falsify their working hours. Some employees may do this to avoid being late or going over their break time. They may also do it to earn monetary rewards associated with perfect attendance or to attend to personal matters while at work. Additionally, employees with a negative attitude towards work may do this to increase their self-esteem and demonstrate their power to cheat company rules.

The Cost of Time Theft

Time theft is a costly issue for employers, with estimates suggesting it costs millions, even billions of dollars annually. This problem not only affects a company’s bottom line but can also put them at risk due to the sharing of sensitive information between employees. Therefore, it is essential for companies to take measures to prevent time theft, including buddy punching.

The Solution: Biometric Fingerprint Technology

One effective solution to prevent time theft is biometric fingerprint technology. This technology allows companies to track employee whereabouts and record their exact time in and out of the office. It can also detect the location of the employee when punching in or out, making it challenging to commit time theft. Companies should also provide clear written policies about time theft, implement a zero-tolerance policy, and ensure that the policy is effectively communicated throughout the organization.

What to Look for in Biometric Fingerprint Technology

When selecting biometric fingerprint technology, companies should look for software that is easy to use, secure and has round-the-clock support. It should also track employee worked hours, be accessible from anywhere, and detect where employees are punching in or out.

Benefits of Biometric Fingerprint Technology

Studies have shown that biometric fingerprint technology can reduce time theft among employees. It can also increase productivity by ensuring that employees are present and working during their scheduled hours. This technology can also improve employee morale and reduce the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings between coworkers.


Buddy punching is a common type of time theft that can have a significant impact on a company’s finances and productivity. Employees may do this for various reasons, including avoiding being late, earning monetary rewards, attending to personal matters, and increasing self-esteem. Companies can prevent this negative practice by implementing biometric fingerprint technology, providing clear policies about time theft, and communicating a zero-tolerance policy throughout the organization. By taking these measures, companies can combat buddy punching and prevent paying employees for time they didn’t work.

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