geofencing technology

11 Mobile Workforce Problems Solved with Geofencing Technology

Businesses that are always on the move face unique challenges around keeping jobs moving and finishing work on time to the client’s satisfaction. As a leader managing field teams, you’ve probably read a lot about fleet tracking, but we wanted to take a little bit of your time to talk about a geofencing solution designed to automate payroll accurately instead of adding more pressure on you and your teams.

Experts in construction, cleaning, home health services, field sales, delivery, landscaping, and many more know the situation well. The core of your service offering is your ability to be everywhere at once, and it can be challenging to complete all that work while also making your people jot down their time accurately.

And how can you accurately determine where people are?

You need to streamline and manage your fleet so that you know when teams are on site, where they are, and how long they work. It needs to be automatic, customizable, and efficient so that you can focus on the big strategic problems of running your business.

There’s no good reason to call or disrupt a job site to determine if people made it to work on time.

While literally being everywhere and seeing everything is impossible, we’ve got the next best thing: geofenced job sites in Hubstaff.

When paired with business-efficient integrations within our platform, our geofence solution is the modern, one-stop solution your on-the-go team needs.

Implementing geofencing is a small change that makes a significant difference for your business if you’re currently dealing with:

  • Employees constantly moving between multiple work sites

  • Messy manual timesheets

  • Buddy punching and employee time theft

  • Untracked invoices from a variety of clients and employees

  • Relying on the word of your employees to know when and where they worked

  • Problems measuring profitability

  • A lack of insight into how much time you’re spending with your customers

How geofencing technology works

how geofencing technology works

Let's start with some definitions.


A geofence is a virtual border you can place around a physical job site or location within a digital platform. Like a real-world fence, it can define any geographic area from 150 to 5000 meters. Systems require location based technology for creating geofences.

With Hubstaff, geofencing sits on the digital map. That allows you to track multiple employees entering or exiting a large area, like a construction zone. It’ll create reports when any or all users enter the geofencing location.

You also can narrow geofencing tracking down to a single professional, like a nurse performing home visits. This tracks as a device enters a fence thanks to map and app data.

Whenever your assigned employee crosses the geofence, you can set it to track the time they started working and when they leave, down to the second. Even better, it can all be automatic for users.

Platforms like Hubstaff also offer reminders to clock in and out. That makes a geofence strategy compatible with your business needs and location based operations.

Job site

A job site is any physical location where you want to track how employees enter and leave, as well as how long they were there. You can also use Hubstaff time tracking to stay on top of travel time and the routes taken to and from physical job sites. 

Within our platform, you’ll see the menu option written as “Job site” as well as when we send in-app notifications.

A geofencing job site will mark when a user enters or when a device enters that location. We track it based on employees and stay durations, while other services may use this for marketing when a consumer enters a location.


Geofencing software works with GPS (global positioning system) in your team's mobile devices. Just like a rideshare app or food delivery tracker, GPS gives us incredibly accurate info on when your team members are on the job (and when they’re not) by precisely tracking when they enter or leave a Job site through the geofence you’ve created.

It’s like knowing when they walk through an invisible digital door — only you control the door from your phone and can see who’s passed through it anytime, from anywhere. It’s the location based technology we’ve come to rely on in our daily lives.

Geofencing can track when people return to previously visited locations, which is a way to track employee engagement numbers. All they need is Hubstaff on their device.

You can add geofencing and location tracking to any Hubstaff account to track your users.

11 problems solved with geofences

Not having a time tracking system

Solution: Implement an automatic digital time tracking system with geofences

You're not alone if you’re still tracking time on paper or can’t get your team to track their time accurately and consistently

Smaller companies have a common challenge of overcoming manual tracking because it uses an honor system that doesn’t give you control or any real insight into how your teams spend working hours.

That’s where automatic time tracking and virtual fences come in very handy.

Hubstaff’s geofencing software is a complete, automatic time tracking solution. All your employees do is download the app to track work time automatically. At the end of each day, you get a detailed, customizable time report for each employee.

shift attendance report

As your team members are out on the job, you can also check their locations any time you want on a live map. Everyone using the mobile apps has their route and specific location data recorded.

route tracking

Download any employee’s timesheet so your admin staff or accountant can quickly pay your team members for their hard work. Hubstaff will even calculate pay amounts automatically based on set pay rates. That saves you hours of time and headaches.

Tracking is all done automatically. Depending on how your business is structured, any manager, owner, or admin can set up Job sites easily in Hubstaff.

setting up geofences in Hubstaff

With geofences, you’re in complete control.

  • Set up Job sites with specific rules so that the timer will start or send a reminder to certain people as they enter and leave a specific geofenced location.

  • Define the location, set the rules for that location, and get automatic reporting, simple invoicing, and built-in payment calculations.

Forget about needing to travel from job site to job site to check on your teams. Geofenced time tracking lets you quickly see where everyone’s time is being spent, all just by logging into your computer or mobile app.

Buddy punching and time theft

Solution: Hubstaff makes sure that each team member’s mobile device is at the job site before tracking time

Buddy punching is when one employee clocks another into work by sharing usernames and passwords. If you use an older paper timesheet system, it’s even easier for employees to do this.

Employers lose hundreds of millions of dollars to buddy punching and time theft every year.

Companies often rely on team leads to monitor buddy punching. But without geofencing, that means you’d need an eagle-eyed team lead physically present at every job site, ready to catch every buddy punch.

What if your team lead has five places to be on a particular morning?

Geofences are an automatic solution to buddy punching and time theft without adding extra hoops for you to jump through or over-relying on specific employees.

To automatically clock in at a Job site using Hubstaff’s geofencing solution, each employee’s phone must be inside the geofence’s designated range to start tracking time.

Unless your employees hand off their phones to other people to clock them in (which likely wouldn’t happen), there’s no way for anyone to buddy punch for a co-worker. 

And even if someone tried to sign into their co-worker’s account on their own phone, it would sign them out of their own account. That means they can’t track time for two people, and who is likely to let another person get paid instead when they’re on the job?

Geofencing is the smart way to doublecheck your location based payroll options.

Messy, untimely, and inaccurate invoices

Solution: Generate a variety of digital invoices — from contractors to business owners and from business owners to clients — based on accurate employee time tracking, job notes, and pay rates

Busy field teams have a lot to focus on to get jobs done well and on time. Creating transparent and trackable invoices isn’t usually high up on their list, and for a good reason.

Without an invoicing solution, it’s common to fall back on sloppy, handwritten invoices that are hard for you and your clients to read and impossible to track. That’s like the pain you had with site visits before using geofencing software.

In the modern business world, you shouldn’t have to hire an admin to gather all these invoices, decipher them, enter them into the books, and then invoice the client.

This causes confusion on the business and client side — something no one wants. Plus, without accurate time and location tracking, there’s no way of knowing if your team was actually on the job site during the dates and times they listed.

Hubstaff makes invoicing a whole lot easier.

Our software collects four crucial data points to ensure your invoices are accurate, thorough, and give your clients confidence in your work and how you run your business.

Our software collects four very important data points to make sure your invoices are accurate, thorough, and give your clients a sense of confidence in your work and how you run your business.

add pay rates in Hubstaff

Pay rates

Always know who needs to be paid what amount based on their tracked hours and their pre-set hourly or fixed pay rates. These amounts can be automatically pulled into detailed invoices that you can generate in seconds.

Proof of work

With geofencing software and Job sites, you’ll see proof that subcontractors and team members were at the site when they said they were. The system automatically clocks them in and out when they start and stop work. It also can send reminders to start tracking if someone hasn’t signed in during the workday.

location activity in Hubstaff

In the know

Team members can leave notes, making passing information to your clients through invoices easier.

Plus, your administrative support can easily see all notes and understand precisely what was worked on, when, who was working, what everyone owes, and why they owe it.

admin work automated in Hubstaff

Going digital

Hubstaff timesheets are emailed daily, invoices are downloadable, and payments can be sent through one of our many integrations. Everything is digital and archived so that nothing gets lost. Enjoy no more paper timesheets or manual invoices.

Hubstaff digital timesheets

You don’t know where your people are

Solution: See where your entire team is on a map at any given time

If you own a company or manage an on-the-go team — like landscaping or contracting services — you know how hard it is to keep track of all your people. The choices are:

  • Hop in your truck and go check on everyone

  • Call them and hope they answer

Both options add stress and overhead to your job and take up valuable time.

We’ve got a simpler option with reliable geofencing accuracy.

If your team uses Hubstaff with geofencing technology, you only log in to your computer and see where everyone on your team is on one singular map. Leaders quickly set up a virtual perimeter or virtual boundary based on physical locations. Alerts are automatically triggered when your people cross these virtual boundaries.

No matter how many employees you’re looking after, everyone displays in the app and the project they’re working on.

implementing geofencing technology

You’ll see that Jim is working on framing, Sanjay is busy cleaning up, and Yvonne is on a run to the hardware store. (Good work, everyone.)

Scenario one:

As part of running a liquor distribution company, you pay your reps $25 an hour to give samples at various liquor stores across the city. Making sure that the reps are visiting different stores during their shifts is part of the job, but you don’t want to call around or drive to confirm that they are entering and leaving the stores when they’re supposed to.

Geofences do this automatically and will calculate the exact amounts you owe your team members.

Scenario two:

A mobile employee of yours gets paid a salary instead of hourly. You have three job sites she needs to travel between for your residential landscaping company, so three geofences are set up for the homes.

But then you remember your son has a soccer tournament you don’t want to miss. Without something like Hubstaff in place, you might not be free to take care of the things life can throw at you. Now, go watch him score the winning goal, knowing you can see the exact time your team members are working once you get back home. 

Or, check via our mobile app — but only at halftime.

In this case, you pay her 8 hours for the day. Geofences show you that she was at the job site for 6 hours and 45 minutes, and that she spent 1 hour and 15 minutes driving from location to location, which you agreed is expected and acceptable.

Along the way, you received push notifications about the jobs as they were being done. 

Now, you can invoice your clients for three successfully completed jobs. Sleep easily, knowing you can enjoy time with your family instead of driving around to check on different sites.

Teams won’t track time

Solution: Use automatic time tracking that doesn’t need them to do anything

Simple employee processes have the highest chance of success. 

Asking employees to use a manual tracker each time they start a job or change a task will become a drag quickly. There will be errors, and people will likely stop tracking after a while.

This potential for error and frustration is one of the reasons geofencing technology is so powerful. Your team members only have to open the app once when they begin work and stop it again when finished. Everything else is automatic as team members enter and exit Job sites — you can select sending reminders or automatically start tracking time.

At the end of each day, you get a map of everywhere an individual team member went during their shift. You’ll also get a clean, digital timesheet of the projects they worked on sent to your inbox.

timesheet report

This means your team doesn’t have to learn a new process, stay on top of tracking, or interact with a manager to track their time — the software does it all for them.

People are chasing down paper timesheets

Solution: Automated digital timesheets with payroll amounts calculated

Most of us hate paper timesheets. Whether we’re employees or business owners, we want to know that the amount paid is accurate. Manual timesheets make this unclear; tracking down physical time cards to figure out payments can be a nightmare.

Hubstaff makes timesheets and payroll a dream.

With Hubstaff’s time tracking system, employees can easily track work time directly from their computer or mobile phone to a specific project or task. If someone forgets to start the timer, they can enter it manually for your approval.

Even better, with geofence technology, you automatically track their time based on their geographic location without your employees having to do anything.

  • Set a pay rate for an employee or contractor, and Hubstaff uses that pay rate to calculate the amount owed — down to the second — based on their work duration. These amounts can be fixed or hourly.

  • Set different pay rates for individual employees and varying billable rates for specific projects to easily see how much to bill when the project is completed.

  • Run reports at any time to see how much time has been tracked, or set up timesheet approvals so employees can review and then submit them. Our approval process allows employees to review their timesheets, ensure they’re correct, and agree to them before submitting them to management.

  • Mark a timespan as paid, and Hubstaff will record the time and date for your records at the end of the year.

Running reports takes just a few seconds, whether you’re looking at individuals, projects, or entire teams. You can even save filters to access the exact reports you want. 

Schedule recurring reports to be automatically generated and sent to you, streamlining processes even more.

When ready, simply view, export, and import reports. Enter the amounts into your current payroll tool or integrate to automate that step. Then, pay people through Hubstaff with one of our many payment and accounting integrations.

payroll screen

Since your entire team is now tracking time digitally, running payroll at the end of the month (or whenever you choose) should only take a few minutes instead of hours or days.

No insight into how profitable jobs are

Solution: Hubstaff gives clear insight and calculates profitability based on how much time you spend with each client

Knowing what’s working best and where you’re earning the most is key to business success and future growth. Understanding profitability levels with Hubstaff is easy, and we measure it with two main methods:

Method 1: If your company bills based on working hours, you must enter that bill rate into the project.

Hubstaff will take all of the time tracked for these projects and total the hours, multiplying them by bill rates, and showing you the revenue for that project quickly. Easy as that.

cost and budget estimation

Just have pay rates entered for employees, and Hubstaff will provide the amounts owed. The amount in the middle is your profit level. That’s our favorite part.

Method 2: If you either pay your people a salary or you bill your clients based on a flat rate, then it’s a little more complicated, but we’ve got it all figured out.

Suppose time is being tracked accurately to the projects being worked on. Here, Hubstaff will always calculate one component, such as the billing amount or the payable amount, for that particular project. 

Pair our geofencing software with our built-in project cost management tools, and you’ll easily be able to come up with accurate profitability levels.

No way to track your mobile teams

Solution: With geofences, get easy-to-read reports showing the amount of time each employee spent at a specific Job site

It happens all the time. An employee takes a three-hour lunch, sleeps on the job, or simply sits around, not doing anything day in and day out.

No matter how much you trust them, you have no real way of knowing without geographical location based services.

Because team members track directly to projects, it’s easy to keep employees accountable using Hubstaff. Start by defining a project or hours budget for a project. Break these up into specific and finite jobs — this is the key to keeping team members accountable.

For example, if you’re building a home for a client whose last name is “Becker,” resist the temptation to name the task “Becker house” — it’s not specific enough. Instead, break projects up into specific buckets for each task. “Becker plumbing” would get assigned to your plumber, “Becker framing” to your framer, etc.

Set up checklists within tasks that are specific to the project. The primary bathroom, dining room, and kitchen could all be checklist items under plumbing and framing.

Easily check who worked on “Project: Becker Framing” or “Task: Kitchen Cabinets” to see how much time people spent on those tasks. If you’re going way over the original estimate, then you can make corrections quickly. Or, set a custom budget limit, and we’ll notify you when you’re close to reaching it.

You can do all this from your office, truck, house, or even while on vacation outside the country.

Unable to track billable vs. non-billable time

Solution: Use software that easily assigns specific projects as billable

A common problem our mobile workforce customers face is that they need to pay their team members for project-related work that they can’t bill the end client for. Some examples could be internal meetings regarding the client or prep work for presentations.

With Hubstaff, assign projects to be either billable or non-billable. As your team tracks their time, Hubstaff will automatically calculate client invoices based only on the billable time tracked.

This lets you know how much time teams spend on non-billable work, so you have calculated more accurate profitability levels across clients.

Plus, reassuring your clients that they won’t have to pay for non-billable work is easy since you’re using Hubstaff to track time to billable projects only. It’s also an option to use data from reports to create non-billable tracking reports for clients and put them totally at ease.

Time spent on jobs is a mystery

Solution: Create geofences that will allow you to track exactly how much time each team member spends at a client location over any date range

Face-to-face time with clients is a valuable way to build professional trust. For some industries, like sales, it’s integral to strong relationships. Your management team must ensure that your sales reps or others spend adequate time with important customers.

Hubstaff makes this easy.

With geofencing software, run reports automatically listing how much time was spent at various client sites. Dive deeper into these business intelligence analytics by person, project, or department.

Use this information to model best practices and make comparisons state by state, region by region, or any other breakdown you choose.

That ensures you’re generating positive customer engagement whether you offer a traditional service or a brand new concept.

No way to communicate with customers

Solution: Schedule automated job site reports so both you and your clients can see easy recaps of employee check-ins and check-outs

Solution: Schedule automated Job site reports so you and your clients can see easy recaps of employee check-ins and check-outs

With field services teams, tracking who was where and who did what is very hard. It’s even more challenging to maintain a level of communication and transparency with your clients and customers.

At the same time, keeping an open dialog and frequently updating you and customers can go a long way to ensuring that a project goes well and that you’re meeting the high level of customer service you demand.

You can’t do this with just geofencing software and cellular data.

Depending on the level of transparency you want with your clients, Hubstaff offers two methods to communicate openly with customers and build a natural sense of trust and loyalty.

Method 1: Schedule automated Job site reports.

Automate daily or weekly Job site reports to be sent right to your clients’ inboxes, or review them first before sending a recap. These summarize who entered and exited a particular location and the total time spent there.

Method 2: Invite your clients to Hubstaff.

Invite your clients to specific projects to see reports on their own time. Invite the Becker client to use Hubstaff and give them access to all the “Becker” projects. They can log in directly and see how much time has been tracked for specific projects, what’s being worked on, and by whom.

Communicate more transparently with your clients and give them a real sense that you have their best interests in mind — and aren’t afraid to show them metrics on how you’re managing their project and its costs.

We’ll help you make geofencing work for your operations on the app and our desktop options.

Support team

Need help getting started with job sites?

if you’re ready to start using Geofences for your team but not sure where to start, set up a free 1 on 1 demo with our support team. We’ll show you how the feature works and how you can best use it with your specific industry.

Book demo

Industries that will benefit from geofencing

Get back to work with job sites

Start tracking time automatically with Hubstaff.

Get your 14 day free trial