How to Get Most Out of Your Time Tracking Tactics?

Updated on :June 16, 2024
By :Jemimah Rodriguez

Tracking the employees' time is essential for every business because it highly impacts the productivity and revenue generation aspects of the organization. Also, the increasing trend of remote work culture, hybrid work culture, and BYOD has created a need to track employee work hours consistently. Time is a currency that every business organization needs to spend wisely. This is why modern businesses use powerful time tracking software to fine-tune their employees' time and ensure that it is being spent on tasks that actually benefit the organization. 

The concept of time tracking is quite simple but comes with its own set of challenges. Inaccurate time tracking using spreadsheets can lead to overpaying employees or underbilling the customers, resulting in revenue loss for the business organization. 

Moreover, after the Covid-19 pandemic struck, most of the companies started following remote and hybrid work cultures, and in that situation, tracking employees' productive time was challenging. Thanks to time tracking tools that made it possible for the companies to accurately track employees' work time regardless of where and in which time zone they are working.

In the past couple of years, an increase in the use of time tracking software to keep tabs on the remote workforce has been experienced. These time tracking tools allow managers to track employees' productive time and monitor the tasks being performed by their team on a real-time basis. 

Using a well-featured time tracking software is beneficial as it helps maintain high productivity, identify workflow bottlenecks, improve the quality of services delivered to the customers, and make the right decisions.

Merely using the best time tracking software is just not enough. Applying the right time tracking strategies that can motivate employees to use the time tracking system honestly is also important. The best time tracking software with effective strategies can help employees feel valued, and work with genuine enthusiasm and zeal that can benefit your company in terms of high productivity and revenue generation.

To dive deeper into this subject, below-mentioned are some topics this article covers -

What is Time Tracking?

Time tracking is a process wherein managers can analyze the number of hours employees work in a day within the organization. It also helps in monitoring the time spent by employees on specific tasks enabling managers to make better decisions while allocating tasks, billing the clients, and paying salaries and incentives to the employees.

Time tracking methods are used by the managers to get answers to the questions like -

What is Time Tracking?

Accurate answers to these questions can help bill the clients competitively and enable employees to focus more on strategic and revenue-generating tasks rather than unproductive and not so lucrative activities.

The managers follow different methods to track the employees' time as given below -

Different Methods of Tracking Employees' Time

Spreadsheets

The use of spreadsheets is an ancient but simple method of tracking the number of hours worked by the employees. The employees just need to enter their clock in and out time in the spreadsheets manually. Tracking employees' time using spreadsheets increases the chances of time theft and thus is not a reliable way to consider. Moreover, using this method, it is difficult to determine the time your employees have spent on specific tasks resulting in inaccurately billing the clients.

Punch Card

The employees need to place the punch card on the time clock while entering and leaving the office to record their attendance. This method is more of attendance tracking rather than time tracking. In this method, the chances of buddy punching are higher and can give no specific answer to how your employees are spending time within office premises.

Biometrics

This is a better version of punch-card systems. The biometric equipment is used for fingerprint scanning, face recognition, or retina scanning to record the employees' attendance. This method eliminates the chances of buddy punching but still fails to measure the employees' productivity.

GPS Tracking

This time tracking method is usually used for the employees who are traveling for work or assigned for fieldwork—for example - sales executives, courier personnel, drivers, etc. The GPS-enabled mobile devices integrated with the time tracking software allow managers to track their employees and plan their daily routes efficiently. The companies also use GPS tracking systems to ensure that the business vehicles are not being used for employees' private purposes.

Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software is considered the most practical and best way to track employees' time these days because of its versatile functionality, flexibility, and affordability. The time tracking tool is installed in the employees' computers, and as soon as they log in with their credentials, it starts working in the background and records every detail of their activities and sites visited. When integrated with project management software, the time tracking tool can provide accurate information on the time spent on each project, which makes ascertaining the time spent by your employees on every task quick and easy.

Time tracking system is beneficial for employees and employers alike. Businesses get complete information about their employees' work-related activities and can measure their productivity to make smart decisions for the future. At the same time, employees can optimize their daily schedules, analyze their efficiency, and plan strategies that can help them complete more tasks in less time.

Earlier, when the use of time tracking software was not so widespread, how did companies manage to track their employees' productivity and ensure efficiency in their workplace? Let's have a quick overview of the history of time tracking and how time tracking software came into existence.

History of Time Tracking

Before the emergence of time tracking software, managers used to maintain registers and excel spreadsheets to mark the attendance of their employees. After that came automated biometric machines that were integrated with computers informing managers about when their employees entered and left the office premises. But, now, when most of the employees are following remote and hybrid work schedules, these biometric systems fail to satisfy the companies' needs and this is where the use of time tracking software became prevalent.

Time Tracking History

Time tracking solutions have undergone a great metamorphosis to meet the current requirements of business organizations. Now, it is not only required to record the employees’ attendance, but is also useful for calculating the time taken to complete every project, and making improvements in terms of productivity, efficiency, and profitability of the business.

Also, like other applications that are continuously evolving to help the businesses to stay competitive and grow, so is time tracking system. Let’s have a look at some of the latest trends in time tracking software that are helping many companies to address modern time tracking challenges.

AI-powered time tracking software is capable of capturing all the tasks done by the employees and preparing the time sheets accordingly. So, no manual timesheets are required to be filled which saves time and eliminates errors. Accuracy in time tracking helps employers to make smart decisions. Also, AI-based chatbots integrated to time tracking software allows employees to get answers to their queries quicker and encourages them to make the most of their time.

Mobile Compatibility

The time tracking applications compatible with Android and IoS devices allow employees to fill their timesheets and record their attendance from anywhere in the world. After Covid-19 pandemic, most of the employees are working from different locations, the time tracking apps are of great use. Also, for sales professionals or other workers on site, mobile compatibility in time tracking software is convenient and can give fair outputs in terms of attendance and wages calculation.

Security

Now, time tracking software is not all about just recording attendance of the employees. It also holds a lot of information about projects, tasks, deadlines and employees performance. Two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption is required to save important data from getting leaked and eliminate malware and suspicious activities.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on the Global Online Time Tracking Software Market?

Covid-19 pandemic has speeded up the adoption of technologies by several folds and this transformation is here to stay. As per Mckinsey report, 93% of companies have experienced acceleration in remote working and/or collaboration and this has made adopting time tracking software a necessity rather than an option.

The global time and attendance software market size was valued at $2,156 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $5,312 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 9.4% from 2021 to 2030. This growth is because Covid-19 pandemic has made many companies adopt  remote and hybrid working methods which can be managed accurately only with the help of online time tracking software.

Time Tracking Software Market Size
(Source: alliedmarketresearch.com)

This growth is because the employee time tracking system can help employers to master remote working and be productive. Managers have a reliable platform now to monitor the tasks of their employees working from any place and analyze the progress of the task completed quickly at a glance.

Precisely, using an automated system for employee time tracking can create a clear, transparent, and honest company culture in which employees are more disciplined and motivated to do the tasks they are hired for. It also enables employees to escalate in terms of their personal growth and career.

To elaborate further on this subject, let's have a look at some reasons proving the significance of implementing automated employee time tracking systems within a business organization.

Why is Implementing Automated Employee Time Tracking System Important?

Improves Accuracy

An automated time tracking system calculates the number of hours worked by the employees accurately, thus helping companies bill clients correctly and pay their employees the amount they truly deserve.

Enhances Productivity

The time tracking software enables you to identify the tasks that utilize employees' unproductive time. With this information on hand, you can assign the tasks based on employees' skills and enhance productivity.

Records the Task Details

The time tracking software can record every detail of the tasks done by the employees in a centralized database. This helps managers explain to the clients the time taken to complete a task or how the quality has been improved in their projects.

Increases Accountability

Time tracking software makes employees accountable for their tasks done during business hours, thus helping in maintaining a disciplined and motivational work environment that encourages them to do better each time.

Retaining Top Talent

As time tracking software allows monitoring the performance of the employees accurately, it becomes easy to pay them for their efforts and create a sense of accomplishment, ultimately leading to retaining the top talent within the organization.

Eliminates Leaked Hours

Companies need to deal with a lot of unproductive time being spent on checking emails, social media accounts, smoke breaks, etc. Unproductive time leads to revenue loss. Accurate time tracking saves businesses from saving hundreds of such billable hours.

Thus, using time tracking software, employees spend more time on productive tasks, get more done in less time, and keep track of the tasks they are doing. This automatically helps employers maintain a transparent and healthy work environment within the organization.

Precisely, the automated time tracking system benefits the employer and employees alike in various ways like -

Time Tracking Software Benefits

Precisely, effective time tracking is critical to the success of any business, but many employees are never happy about having to get their time tracked and tasks monitored. Let's have a look at why employees resist time tracking, challenges that hold them back from using time tracking software, and how to overcome them.

Why Do Employees Resist Time Tracking?

Reason Employees Resist Time Tracking

How to Overcome Time Tracking Challenges with Time Tracking Software?

Real-Time Tracking

Most of the companies these days are following flexible schedules that include remote and hybrid work models wherein employees are allowed to work from the place they want at their own pace. In that case, tracking time and updating the same to the managers and supervisors become challenging.

Solution: Implementing a robust time tracking system with latest features can help in overcoming this challenge. The time tracking system works in the background of the employees’ system and automatically records the time spent on the projects, and their productivity. As all the data is available on a real-time basis it becomes easy for the employers to manage the employees working from home and office easily using a centralized system.

Increased Micromanagement

Employees feel that time tracking software has the potential to increase micromanagement. Micromanagement can lead to dissatisfaction among the employees and make them even resign from their jobs.

Solution: If not solved promptly, this issue can create a big problem for the company in the future. Explain to your employees that the time tracking system is not for micromanaging their tasks; it is just about keeping track of whether projects are being completed within a specified time frame or not. Also, a time tracking software can track the productivity of an employee. Every company can adopt a method to award those employees with high productivity - which can only be tracked via a time tracking software.

Creates Dissatisfaction

The employees feel demotivated when they feel that their time on tasks is more important than their skills, experience, and expertise. They expect that the wisdom and knowledge they are imparting to the company should be valued. The experienced employees might feel uncomfortable getting their time tracked, and screens monitored.

Solution: Provide extra incentives to the employees for completing their targets regardless of the time they have spent on the tasks. Sometimes it is about the employees' skills that make them do more work in less time. So, just don't be focused on the number of hours they have spent daily. It would help if you also consider the goals they have accomplished that have benefited the organization.

The challenges mentioned above and solutions to overcome them depict the importance of time tracking and letting the employees know the purpose clearly. 

Thus, using the best time tracking software with the right time tracking tactics can help you overcome all the challenges relating to employee acceptance to new time tracking methods. It helps create a positive work environment, ultimately leading to better productivity, revenue generation, and business growth.

Now what can be  the most important tactics that can help you implement the time tracking software successfully and make the most out of it?

8 Important Tactics That Make Time Tracking a Positive Experience for Employees

#1 Communicate Well

The first step towards implementing a time tracking system is communicating with your employees in advance. Explain to them why time tracking is essential. The benefits of time tracking software should be employee-centric and not employer-centric. There are many ways in which time tracking benefits employees, which we have discussed above. It becomes essential to communicate those benefits to the employees to make the implementation process more straightforward and motivate them to apply it in their daily work routine.

#2 Build Trust

Employees need to understand that you don't want to spy on them or micromanage their work. All you need is to track the time spent on non-profitable tasks to make improvisations to the workflow. After all, the success of a business organization is the success of its employees too. Build your employees' trust in you by giving them the power to adjust their meeting times your time tracking software has not calculated. Also, you can relieve them from time tracking in case of any event or celebrations within the office.

#3 Be Empathetic

When you implement a new time tracking software for the first time, give your employees some time to adjust to this transformation. Initially, the employees may forget to login into the time tracking software. Help them set up the time tracking software on your employees' devices and make sure the software launches automatically. Understand your employees' problems and be empathetic towards them while transitioning to the new system, especially if they are not tech-savvy.

#4 Ensure Transparency

Creating transparent work environments wherein employees have real-time access to the work-time and project details and openly discussing issues relating to the same can foster healthy relationships. For example, if someone forgot to log in to the time tracking system, they should be reminded through email to enter their missing hours manually. This would be an excellent method to keep employees motivated and follow the time tracking system.

#5 Apply Easy Solutions

The time tracking system you implement within your organization should be simple and user-friendly. Moreover, it should be Device and platform-friendly so that your employees can track their time and projects from wherever they are. No complex installations and configurations should be required to make your time tracking system work.

#6 Ask for Feedback

The feedback of your employees about how they are feeling about the entire time tracking process is important to make improvements. Your employees might comment about many things that can make the whole process smoother than it is. It will help if you value your employees' feedback as that will help you gain their cooperation and benefit from your time tracking system implementation.

#7 Convey Guidelines Clearly

There are different metrics within the time tracking system based on which the employees' performance and productivity are determined. Convey proper guidelines to your employees stating which metrics would be the priority for the management. For example, for your organization, if a project gets completed in less time than expected, the people working on that project are rewarded and appreciated. This helps employees to perform better and stay competitive. But, if the productive hours are something that you give utmost importance to, you need to inform your employees to help them improve their efficiency and achieve common goals.

#8 Don't Stick to Numbers

Value employees' performance by the projects completed within a particular time frame rather than just going by the hours worked by them. If you start rewarding or punishing your employees simply based on the number of hours they have worked, they will start cheating the software and misleading their managers. Ultimately productivity goes down, and there is inaccuracy in data generated. If you start focusing on just the numbers, your employees might get disinterested in work and also can join the Great Resignation Movement.

Time Tracking Software - A Smart Way to Improve Team Productivity

Finally, tracking employees' time accurately is essential, but at the same time doing it the right way is highly significant to establish a productive and transparent working environment enabling employees to give their best and achieve even the achievable goals.

A time tracking software allows billing clients and paying employees accurately, setting clear objectives, managing projects in a better way, communicating effectively, and maintaining a transparent work environment, everything adding up to improved productivity, ultimately leading to skyrocketing business profits.

Yes, using the best time tracking software plays a significant role in improving team productivity but at the same time, using the right tactics is also essential to make the most out of it.

Just go through this comprehensive list of time tracking tools to find the best one compatible with your business tactics, helping you create a productive work environment and at the same time build strong relationships with your employees.

Jemimah Rodriguez
Jemimah Rodriguez

Jemimah Rodriguez is a content marketing specialist having 8+ years of experience in content writing, SEO, and social media optimization. At present, she is working with GoodFirms – a reliable platform helping businesses in selecting the right Software Companies & Products. For further information, you can get in touch with her on [email protected]

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