15 common myths about location tracking

image of busy highway with a white shape over it

Ever heard any of these?
Here are some of the most-used myths you might come across when talking about location tracking software. Let’s now take a closer look and clear the air once and for all:

Myth 1: We don’t need to track our employees, we trust them

illustration of binoculars

You trust your staff and hire only the best. So why should you monitor their whereabouts or activities? That’s a common argument coming up across many companies when words like “tracking” or “auditing” come up.

It’s important to explain that location and activity tracking is not about lack of trust. Instead, it enables to spot issues by collecting relevant data. These then drive improvements to company operations. And that should not only boost overall productivity and results, but ultimately make the employees’ jobs easier.

Myth 2: They will feel controlled

Rules at work exist to both protect workers by creating a safe environment and help workers be more efficient. The same goes for location tracking – just look at it as one of the business processes that improve the workers´ lives and help make their jobs easier.

Myth 3: It’s just dots on a map

phone with dots on a map on display

Tracking solutions can do a lot more than just display the current position of the field staff.

It can also provide a clear-cut overview of how much time people spend on different tasks. And you can also schedule appointments, create route plans, or update vital job requirements and immediately push it to the staff on the go. With the right solution you can not only track their progress, but make sure they have all the tools and information to succeed.

Myth 4: With the extra functionality it’s going to be way too expensive

Not really, as most providers today offer a volume-based subscription packages. You don’t need to cover high flat rates, instead you simply pay for the number of users working with the solution.

Also consider that license fees often differ based on which part of the solution the user needs. For example, the price of a mobile license for field workers who use only the mobile part of the solution is significantly lower, than the price of a back-office license for managers who also need the monitoring and scheduling capabilities.

Myth 5: But it is still complicated to implement and use

illustration of complicated situation with tablet and exclamation points

To have a reliable GPS tracking system in place, you don’t need additional hardware or extensive software to effectively monitor the progress of your mobile workforce in the field.

Today, your field team can simply download an app to their phone or tablet. The app will utilize the device’s GPS module to share real-time location data with the back office – and that’s just the start. It can be used to navigate route plans and track the time users have spent on different activities. Or even to access other job-related information.

Additionally, the tools for supervisors and managers typically come as cloud-based web applications that can be even integrated with various enterprise systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, and many others – something they most likely already know and use.

Myth 6: Location tracking is worthwhile only for big companies

There’s a frequent misconception that location tracking is only beneficial for large corporations with thousands of employees. However, it helps to increase productivity, reduce expenses and improve your services – which is worthwhile for any company with workforce in the field, regardless its size.

Myth 7: Tracked workers feel additional stress

illustration of a stressed employee

On the contrary, location tracking simplifies work and reduces the stress that field workers feel. This is because they don´t have to worry about things such as filling out timesheets, recording which customer they visited and when, or reporting where they are going. Supervisors can see their route plans, schedules, and current location, so there is no need to additionally ask the workers about this.

Myth 8: Tracking demotivates employees

As we mentioned earlier, tracking improves productivity and effectiveness and helps streamline company operations. Thanks to this, your mobile workforce can see how much they have improved. Immediately seeing the results of their work doesn´t demotivate workers, on the contrary – it helps them feel more motivated.

Myth 9: Location tracking needs Wi-Fi or mobile internet to work

illustation of map with wifi signal

When you are connected to the internet, your phone uses it to stream maps to your device and access information such as live traffic updates or road blockages. It also uses the location of nearby cell phone towers and other Wi-Fi networks to determine your exact location. However, the GPS feature still works without the internet, as the satellites that it connects to are always functioning. Even if you are in an area with no service or Wi-Fi and you cannot send any data, the GPS will connect to satellites and your location will be traceable.

Myth 10: It will track employees when they´re off the clock

There are location tracking solutions used for criminal surveillance that have their own set of laws and can track people 24/7. However, location tracking solutions suitable for employee tracking can be turned off once workers are off the clock. They won´t track their location unless it is necessary.

Myth 11: It isn´t reliable enough

illustrated map with marker

GPS satellites don´t go down. Even if something like that ever happened, there are spare satellites in orbit that will cover for them. You might experience small interruptions in areas where there are too many obstructions, but this is exactly why maps are continuously updated to add new location. This ensures accuracy and reliability, as routes don´t change very often, and there is no need for live updates.

Myth 12: GPS tracking is illegal

It is legal for employers to track their employee´s location in most states. What is, however, illegal is violating the worker´s privacy. As long as you are not violating your workers´ privacy and using company-owned devices, you can track their location.

Myth 13: Location tracking solutions access my worker´s personal information

illustration of orange and green padlocks representing privacy

Location tracking apps on mobile phones access only the location of the phone owner or information they explicitly allowed them to access. In fact, Google, or apps such as Facebook, Instagram and various social networks have access to much more personal information than any location tracking solution.

Myth 14: The government can track my worker´s movements

This is a fairly common misconception about location tracking. The GPS system isn´t designed to transmit signals, only to receive them. This means that the employee´s location cannot be shared with a third party. Simply put, external sources cannot track location tracking systems they don´t have access to.

Myth 15: They eat up all the data and battery

illustration of batteries recharging

Just like every other app, location tracking apps will use some of your data and battery. But GPS runs in the background and its data and battery usage is very small compared to widely used messaging or social media apps that have numerous features running in the background.

Discover location tracking with Resco

One of the useful features of Resco´s all-in-one solution Field Service 2.0 is location tracking with Resco Routes. This feature enables you to:

  • track real-time location of your field staff,
  • schedule appointments and create optimized route plans,
  • use a pre-configured app for field staff, including time sheet management.

To discover all the benefits of Resco Field Service 2.0, check out the Resco Field Service 2.0 product page.