How to use Automated Time Tracking

ServiceM8 Automated Time Tracking can automatically Check In and Check Out of Jobs (for tracking your billable time), automatically Clock On your shift at the start of the day, and automatically Clock Off your shift at the end of the day (to help with payroll). This helps automate the chore of tracking your time, avoid missed billing opportunities, and streamline payroll — consistently, across all staff and jobs.

Automated Time Tracking makes decisions about whether to check in/out or clock on/off based on factors such as your GPS location, the time of day, and the jobs that have been assigned/scheduled to you.

In order for Automated Time Tracking to work, all field staff need to set the GPS 'Location Access' permissions of the ServiceM8 mobile app to "Always Allow" with "Precise Location" — to do so, on your iPhone/iPad:

  1. Go to Settings > ServiceM8 > Location.
  2. Set Allow Location Access to 'Always'.
  3. Switch Precise Location ON.

Note that the ServiceM8 app does not share your location when you are on Break or Clocked Off your shift.

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Automated Time Tracking had a significant upgrade in September 2022, so please ensure:

  • All field staff allow ServiceM8 'Always' + Precise location access on their iPhone/iPad (see image above)
  • All field staff update to the latest ServiceM8 app from the iOS App Store;
  • You have activated ServiceM8 11 in your Online Dashboard — click here, then 'Activate' in Settings (note if the 'Activate' button does not appear you may have been auto-upgraded to ServiceM8 11 already).

Please also note the difference between:

  • Clock On/Off (i.e. shift time): you Clock On & Off your shift at the start and end of the day, for payroll purposes. You can manually Clock On/Off your shift, and take Breaks, via the 'My Shift' button in the Activity tab of the app.
  • Check In/Out (i.e. job time) : you Check In & Out of individual jobs throughout the day, for the purpose of tracking time per job, and billing for this time as labour. You can manually Check In/Out of a job via its job card in the app.

Automatic Clock On/Off

ServiceM8 will automatically Clock On for the day when you arrive at the office or at a scheduled job's location, or when you manually check in to any job.

You will automatically Clock Off after you leave the office at the end of the day, or when your last job for the day. 

Note that automatic Clock On/Off does not happen instantly. It can take time for ServiceM8 to gain confidence that you have started work, or finished working for the day. However, once ServiceM8 has determined to Clock On/Off, the recorded time of that event will be rolled back to the time you actually arrived or left the location.

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Clock Off Rollback

If you don't manually Clock Off your shift, and ServiceM8 didn't have enough information/certainty to Clock Off automatically — when you eventually Clock Off, ServiceM8 will suggest Clock Off times you can roll back to, based on your activity and movements, such as when you left the office, or your last job.

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Automatic Check In/Out

ServiceM8 will automatically check you in to a job when you arrive at the location of a Job that has been allocated to you, or scheduled to you for the current day, or when you arrive at the job after using the "navigate" function within ServiceM8. 

ServiceM8 will automatically Check Out of a job when you leave its location. This will happen even if when you manually Check In.

Note that automatic Check In/Out does not happen instantly. It can take time for ServiceM8 to gain confidence that you have arrived at or left a job location, and that you should Check In/Out. However, once ServiceM8 has determined to Check In/Out, the recorded time of that event will be rolled back to the time you actually arrived or left the location.

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Check In Time Adjustment

There may be times when ServiceM8 does not have the data points to automatically check you in to a job, such as when the address is not saved to the job correctly, or the job is not scheduled to you. However, it can still detect when you arrived at your current location. 

So, in these instances where ServiceM8 is unable to check you in automatically (and you haven't checked in manually), when you open the job card and tap 'Start job', ServiceM8 will offer to wind back the check in time to the time it detected your arrival on site. 

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Off-site Trips with Automatic Time Tracking

ServiceM8 can also track time taken for trips away from the job address, for job-related purposes e.g. visiting a supplier for parts.

When you leave a job address, such as for a trip to a supplier, ServiceM8 will still check you out of the job, but will track your travel and time at each location before returning to the job address. You will then have the option of adding ‘Trip’ time to the job in the Check Out process.

If you made more than one stop away from the job address (e.g. you visited Supplier A for parts, then visited Supplier B for an unrelated task, then returned to the job address), then you will have the option of selecting which Trip/s you want to add time to the job. From ServiceM8 11, this will be suggested as part of the Check Out process.

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Trip time added to a job includes:

  • Travel time from your previous location (e.g. the job address), to the selected Trip destination;
  • Time spent at the Trip destination; and
  • Travel time from the last location you stopped at, back to the job address.

If you visited several locations but aren't adding all of them to the job's time:

  • Travel time TO each selected Trip destination will be calculated from the previous location you stopped at; and
  • Travel time BACK to the job address will be from the last location you stopped at, regardless of whether you're charging for time at that location or not.

Undo Actions

.If you get automatically Checked In/Out of a job, or Clocked On/Off your shift, you can Undo the action and revert back to your previous state — just tap the push notification of the automatic action to see the option to 'Undo'.

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Tips for Automated Time Tracking

To have the best experience with Automated Time Tracking, please ensure:

  • All staff have their iOS device's set to give ServiceM8 Location Access 'Always', with Precise Location ON (see above). Special highlights will also be visible in the Staff Schedules & Dispatch Map views of the Dispatch Board (online) when a team member has not provided ServiceM8 enough Location Access for Automated Time Tracking and GPS location/status to work.
  • You are accurately scheduling jobs to staff members, as ServiceM8 will take a staff member's schedule into account when making decisions to automatically Check In/Out and Clock On/Off. See the Learning Roadmap for guidance on how to schedule jobs.
  • You are accurately setting the address for every job — please ensure you search the job address and select it from the dropdown when creating the job, as ServiceM8 will take the job's address into account when making decisions to automatically Check In/Out and Clock On/Off.  
  • Your office location is set in Preferences > Company Information, as ServiceM8 will take your office location into account when making decisions to automatically Clock On/Off.

Can I deactivate Automated Time Tracking?

Yes — if you find that Automated Time Tracking is not suitable for you, you can disable per user — on your iPhone/iPad, go to Settings > ServiceM8 > Automated Time Tracking. If you choose to disable it, please send us a quick email to support@servicem8.com with your feedback on how it doesn't suit you & your business.

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