This article explains what is geofencing, how to set it up and answers frequently asked questions.
Geofencing is available on the Premium and Enterprise plans.
1. What is geofencing?
Geofencing in PARiM means that clocking in, starting a break, ending a break and clocking out actions require the staff member to be within a defined radius of their work location. If the employee is outside the perimeter, they are unable to take the aforementioned actions.
Geofencing requires Time & Attendance module to be enabled.
2. How to set up geofencing?
You can enable it in System Settings > Time & Attendance > Geofencing.
You can then select which employee actions should have geofencing enabled.
Geofencing On for Check In requires the Check Calls module to be enabled, otherwise, the option is hidden.
Please note that it may take up to 24h for the Geofencing controls to apply to all the employees.
For geofencing to be effective, we recommend disabling timeclock actions in the Staff portal as it does not use the Geofencing features.
For each location, you can decide if geofencing is turned on or not and what is the allowed radius.
We strongly recommend starting out with a larger radius such as 1.5 km/1 mi to ensure poor GPS conditions will not cause issues when starting to use this feature. Over time as your staff get used to using it and you see that a smaller radius will work for them, you will be able to make it smaller.
You can also decide if geofencing is turned on or off for each event, depending on practicality. The radius will be defined by the location where the event is happening in.
- Why only track employee location during certain actions when it's possible to do it at all times?
In Article 5 of the GDPR, the law states that personal data should be “adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed”.
Additionally, it is illegal in the UK and in many other places in the world to track people without their consent. If PARiM or any other app constantly tracks employee movements throughout their shifts, the employees could at any time say they no longer consent to it even if they previously gave their consent.
However, it's perfectly reasonable to expect an employee to be present at their place of work when they sign in, out or when starting and ending their break. PARiM app simply provides a convenient way to do it.
Geofencing achieves the same goal as GPS tracking does, but without infringing on people's rights.
- Why do you recommend disabling clocking in via the staff portal?
PARiM Android and iOS apps get the phone location from the mobile service provider which is usually quite accurate.
When logging into the staff portal on a phone, the location data is received from the mobile browser which is often inaccurate past the point of being unusable.
- Why are my employees are unable to clock in even though they are at the location?
If the device's accuracy is greater than the location/area radius, the clock actions are not allowed. You may want to consider increasing the allowed radius for the area/location.
If the employees log into the mobile browser to clock in rather than using the app, ask them to use the app and consider turning off clocking when using the staff portal.
Sometimes clocking in at a location is not possible due to an issue with mobile positioning. PARiM app asks for the clocking in location from a mobile service provider. If there are issues with mobile positioning then the received location will be incorrect and it may not be possible to clock in. An immediate solution would be for a Supervisor to do the clocking actions on behalf of the employee in the admin portal. Usually, mobile service providers fix their system within 1-2 days. If it keeps happening for longer, contact PARiM support.
- Is there a way to increase GPS accuracy?
GPS accuracy depends on the number of visible GPS satellites. Locating all visible satellites can take several minutes, with accuracy gradually increasing over time.
To improve GPS accuracy, keep a clear view in several directions. Walls, vehicle roofs, tall buildings, mountains, and other obstructions can block lines of sight to GPS satellites. When this happens, your device uses Wi-Fi or cellular networks to determine your position until the GPS satellites are visible again. This can cause issues with clocking in as information from mobile network positioning is not as accurate as GPS.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to increase mobile positioning accuracy.
Method 1. Increase Accuracy of GPS
Go to Settings and look for the option named Location and ensure that your location services are ON.
Now the first option under Location should be Mode, tap on it and set it to High accuracy. This uses your GPS as well as your Wi-Fi and mobile networks to estimate your location.
This will use more battery but will utilize all available methods to give you the most accurate location possible.
Method 2. Refresh your GPS Data
Sometimes your device gets ‘stuck’ on certain GPS satellites, even if they’re not within range, causing it not to work properly.
To fix this, you can use an app like GPS Status & Toolbox to clear your GPS data.
In the app, tap anywhere on the screen → Menu icon → Manage A-GPS state → Reset, when finished go back to Manage A-GPS state → Download. Your GPS data will refresh.
Enabling access to Location Services for the PARiM app for iOS 15.0+:
When first signing into the PARiM app, it will ask to provide permissions for the Location Services function on the phone. If this was missed or is not showing up, then on the Schedule tab in the top-right area there will be an arrow with a line through it to indicate that this function isn't enabled. If you press that button it will open up this prompt again.
Method 1. Enable Location Service
Settings > Privacy > Location Services > PARiM > "Always"
From the same screen, check that the "Precise Location" toggle is turned ON.
[iOS10] Settings > General > Background App Refresh > On , PARiM > On
Method 2. Ensure the date and time are correct
Make sure that you've set the date, time, and time zone correctly on the device in Settings > General > Date & Time. If possible, use Set Automatically.
Method 3. Disable Low Power Mode
If enabled, these settings can prevent the PARiM app from running in the background. To check, go to Settings > Battery > and verify that Low Power Mode is disabled.
Sometimes a mobile service provider can have issues with mobile positioning which means that information that the PARiM app receives can place the employee very far from their actual location. In this case, troubleshooting steps will not work until the service provider has fixed their technical problem. Usually, these types of issues are solved by the mobile service provider within 1-2 business days.
If the guide and FAQ did not answer all of your questions, you can get in touch with our support by clicking on the chat bubble or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.