Should you time track your employees?

Ciara Byrne
Djim Loic on Unsplash

Time tracking is a concept that many organizations adopted in order to improve their project management, analyze employee progress, and track their work habits. Essentially, time tracking refers to how businesses log the working hours of their employees, providing transparency on how many hours they worked on projects or tasks to make sure they are compensated accordingly.

While there is a big dilemma on the topic of time tracking, it is one of the safest ways for managers to see how productive employees are, and how much time they need to complete a certain task. If we dig deeper into it, we can see that there are even more benefits for businesses and even ones that extend to other departments.

The benefits of time tracking

Time tracking is a great practice for individual employees – and an even better one if you work with a remote team. Seeing how much time they spend doing their work-related and other tasks is a good way to estimate your current and future projects, but also keep track of all minor and major daily activities.

A survey conducted by Harvard Business Review confirmed this statement, showing that filling timesheets is a waste of $7.4 billion for the US economy. This amount comes simply because of workers who failed to record their hours. Using a time tracking app is also smart because of the following benefits.

It allows for transparency into your work processes

Using a remote time tracking app is not only a good way to see how your employees spend your time at work – it is also a step towards making your business more transparent. By doing that, you can stay on top of the working process and gain insights into the tasks that are completed while seeing their exact duration.

With the right time tracking tool on your side, you can also see how efficient your employees are, and how easy they can manage their workload and optimize their productivity on the most needed tasks.

It demonstrates increased accountability in employees

Every manager strives to make their employees more focused on what they do. The practice of time tracking supports that – your employees will quickly start to notice trends and patterns in their work hours and be more accountable for their own performance.

If you are managing or are part of a scrum team that is all about finding the best ways to complete projects and deliver products within a specific timeframe, a time-tracking solution can be of great help to you. For starters, it will show you where your team’s energy is mostly spent, and how well you are with your resources towards the completion date.

It provides great insight into your billing and operational efficiency

Service professionals know that time tracking is one of the goals to better operational efficiency. Whether on the field or in the office, the productivity level of each contributor is important. An app that tracks time can help you see how much time is spent on client work so that you can bill your clients accordingly, but also smoothen your internal communication.

In translation, your time tracking solution can make up for more billable hours. However, the real benefit of this solution is the insights that it delivers so that you can make better decisions and run a more profitable business.

It shows you where most of your resources are spent

Time and resources are metrics that correlate. The time that is spent on certain tasks is a good measure of how much resources you need for that or similar tasks. It also shows whether a department needs more resources such as workforce or other inputs, but also gives you insights on which employees contribute most to the increased team productivity.

On the other hand, a time tracking tool can also show you the things that need to be changed in order to make everyone more productive, eliminate roadblocks, or align specific teams and/or team members.

It lets you track how your budget gets burned

Investing in a solution that automates your time management and makes everything clearer can help you make rational financial decisions. As your employees or remote team members fill in their timesheets and register their time spent on certain tasks, you won’t have to invest a lot of energy seeing how much of your budget has already been spent. Instead, you’ll only need to make sure that the overall budget matches their total billable hours.

What’s the best way to introduce time tracking in your organization?

At this point, you can probably see how valuable time tracking is and how you can reap the benefits within your company. However, you should also understand that despite its efficiency, introducing time tracking to your employees is likely to cause resistance from some team members, mostly because of the feeling that they will be watched for all of their time spent at work.

Therefore, make sure to communicate the greater value of time tracking, and the benefits it will bring to the entire organization. Show your team members how they can use it as a practice to work towards their personal and shared goals, but also contribute to the greater good of your business. Time tracking can help you prevent virtual burnout, and make sure that everyone is equal in terms of their contribution, overall well-being, and productivity.

Final thoughts

In the end, we all know that time is the most valuable asset we have. Failing to manage yours and your employee’s time at work can cause operational inefficiency, delays, and projects that go over budget. That is why time tracking is necessary – many organizations adopt tools like these to keep an account of how their team members spend time at work. Besides, a time tracking solution can give you plenty of insights on all the ways you can save time and money, making sure that you are aligned with all of the important project milestones and deadlines.

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