Autopaychecks Blog July 2013: How Much Does 6 Minutes a Day Cost You – Really?

How Much Does 6 Minutes a Day Cost You – Really?

Let’s assume that the average hand-written time card overstates the time actually worked by six minutes. An employee comes in at 8:03 and enters 8:00 on the time card, then take an extra three minutes at lunch. No big deal, right? Unless you do some figuring and find that, at six minutes a day, a full time employee annually racks up twenty-six hours of unearned wages! More than three days of work!

That’s a big hit to your bottom line! Let’s do a little more arithmetic. Start with a salary of $12.00 per hour. Add the required extras – FICA, Medicare, worker’s comp – and it’s $14.67 per hour. Multiply that by twenty-six hours and it works out to $381.47 annually for each employee. With five employees that’s more than $1,900.00!

Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, that’s real money, but it’s not going to seriously impact my business.” As they say on the television infomercials, “But wait, there’s more!”

The Other, Bigger, Piece of the Equation

The cost of wages paid for work not performed is bad enough. However, it’s dwarfed by the often-overlooked cost of services not received. What does that mean? Without getting too heavy, here’s the idea.

All business models have a figure that represents the “value” per hour of each employee. Using our example of a $14.67 per hour employee, each employee must bring in more than that amount to be profitable. The “value” of an employee is simply the difference between what they’re paid and what they bring in. That difference is what pays for rent, utilities, insurance, profit etc. It’s what makes a business viable.


To see the true cost of lost employee productivity, look at this example. Say that Able Remodeling Company bills customers $72.00 per hour and incurs an employee wage cost of $14.67. In reality, that employee is probably doing billable work only 60% of the time. So we must multiply $72 x .60 (60%) and get an effective income production rate of $43.20 per hour. This is the average value of your employee’s service while working. It is also the cost to you of services not received when they are not. This amount must be added to the wages paid for misreported time because you paid the wages and received no service to offset that cost. So the real cost of that misreported time is $57.87 per hour!

Stay with me now, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. Using our example of six lost minutes a day, $57.87 per hour works out to more than $1,500.00 annually. With five employees the hit to your bottom line more than $7,500.00! OUCH! (Doing the math on the ten-lost-minutes-per-day employee is too depressing. We’re talking five figures now! $15,894.00!! It’s scary to think how much of your money is taken in such a casual way by employees who don’t even realize that they are doing it!

As an employer, you know that these figures are probably conservative. In some businesses you could double these losses due to misreported work time. In this challenging economic environment, cost control is of utmost importance. So what can you do?

Fortunately, we have time management solutions for businesses of all sizes and situations. Everything from web-based punch clocks and PC based systems, to ergonomic hand readers and cell phone based solutions that even track employee location via GPS. All of these integrate with our payroll system to save you time and money. When you consider the true cost of unproductive time, it’s easy to see that the payback time for such investments won’t be long. Furthermore, they’ll continue to pay off for years.

To discuss how we can integrate such money saving systems into your business operation, please give us a call here at Autopaychecks, Inc. at 970-245-4244. Ask for John. Or e-mail me at The sooner you do, the sooner you can start saving.