News | BRG press release

BRG Experts Release Findings from Study Assessing Remote Workers’ Wage and Hour Compliance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 6, 2020

BRG announced today that Director Elizabeth Arnold and Associate Director Chester Hanvey, Ph.D. have released findings from their original research regarding remote workers’ wage and hour compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the study was to assess the degree of hourly employees’ compliance with specific time-clock practices while working remotely; and the organizational and individual employee attributes that contribute to wage and hour compliance.

“We are pleased to share our findings, which provide detail regarding a range of work characteristics and organizational practices during COVID that previously may not have been available to external parties, such as the positive nature of communication among remote employees and their supervisors,” Arnold said. “Most organizations are aware of the importance of remote timekeeping policies and are working to communicate them to employees.”

Hanvey added, “The study also helps identify some of the factors, like company policy clarity and personality traits, that contribute to remote employee timekeeping compliance.”

The sample included nearly 800 nonexempt (hourly) employees across the U.S. who have worked remotely at some point since March 2020. The participants of this online survey represented a cross-section of employees from a range of industries, jobs, departments, tenures and locations.

Highlights from the Study by Topic

Awareness of Timekeeping Policies

  • Approximately 70% of respondents reported that they have been provided remote timekeeping policies in verbal and written form.
  • More than 75% of respondents feel that their company’s communications regarding remote-work timekeeping policies have been clear.
  • Approximately 80% of respondents indicated that they know their company’s remote timekeeping policies, understand the policies, and know their timekeeping responsibilities.

Work Time Reporting

  • More than 75% of participants indicated that their company’s timekeeping system is easy to use and that they feel confident using it.
  • Approximately half of respondents reported they “never” or “sometimes” report computer bootup and shutdown time as part of their work hours.
  • More than 35% of respondents reported they “never” or “sometimes” record time spent on text messages with coworkers before or after the workdays.
  • More than 25% of respondents reported they “never” or “sometimes” report time spent on work-related instant messages and reading and responding to work-related emails as work time.

Factors That Contribute to Timekeeping Compliance for a Remote Workforce

  • Clarity of company policies is related to timekeeping compliance. In particular, clarity of company policy had the strongest impact on whether employees report certain activities as compensable.
  • Effectiveness of supervisor communication is not related to compliance with remote timekeeping policy compliance.
  • Employee self-discipline was one of the strongest factors in our study found to be influencing compliance. We found that employees with high self-discipline appear to be more likely to underreport hours worked.

Read more about the Wage and Hour Compliance for Remote Workers during COVID study.

BRG Experts

Related Professionals

Elizabeth Arnold


San Francisco Bay Area

Chester Hanvey


San Francisco Bay Area