Hubstaff time tracker appHubstaff time tracker app

The Benefits of Tracking Your Employees' Time

No matter what size or type of business you run, keeping track of your employees’ time can be difficult and even messy at times.

Why track employees’ time?

Let’s start with the basics. Time tracking is the process of tracking one’s time in hours so that they can get paid at the end of their payment cycle.

As a manager or boss, you’ve probably said the age-old phrase, “Don’t forget to log your hours this week.” Trying to get everyone to log their time can sometimes feel like herding rogue sheep. Additionally, doing manual timesheets can bring up issues of dishonesty, excessive overtime, and even time theft. Yikes.

This is why is time tracking is so important. There are several benefits to time tracking and a number of industries time tracking can be used in. So let’s get into it.

The downsides to time tracking

While time tracking can be beneficial to many businesses, there are still some disadvantages that need to be considered when deciding if implementing time tracking in your workplace is the best move.

When it comes to the pros and cons of time tracking, the first thing to think about is how your team members will take the news that you’ll now be monitoring their activity at work. While this may not be that big of a deal to some (probably those who do what they’re supposed to at work), others who are used to binging cat videos and liking their best friend’s baby photos might be a little less excited. This will only help increase productivity, though, in those who typically don’t work too hard, so it’s really a benefit and investment in your business in the long run. Learn how to motivate employees to track time here.

Another consideration is that your employees may begin to feel that they’re being watched all the time. A big brother effect at work isn’t exactly what most people want in an office setting. If you’re using a sophisticated time tracking app like Hubstaff — that doesn’t save any personal information and only monitors what they’re doing at that very moment — then they don’t have anything to worry about.

The best ways to track your employees’ time

Many services offer time tracking templates and software that make it easier to track your team’s time at work. Our preferred method (sure, we’re a bit biased here) is Hubstaff.

Hubstaff desktop time tracking app

Using our desktop, web, or mobile apps, Hubstaff allows you and your team to automatically tack time towards specific tasks and projects while everyone works. Our apps will automatically track the activity levels of each employee, and you can even set it up to take automatic screenshots so you’re always in the know.

Hubstaff mobile time tracking app

If you run a more on-the-go team with remote or traveling employees, they can use our iOS or Android apps to track time wherever they are. The Hubstaff mobile apps will automatically track GPS locations, and you can even set up geofences to have team members clock-in automatically when they’re on a physical job site.

automatic payroll with Hubstaff app

At the end of the work-week, Hubstaff will automatically notify you to pay your team, which you can easily do with the click of a button based on the predetermined pay rates that you’ve set up.

Who is time tracking meant for?

The short answer is pretty much everyone. However, time tracking benefits different teams in different ways. Here are just a few examples:

AgenciesAgencies typically employ a lot of freelance talent to meet the tight deadlines of their clients. Because of this mix between full time and freelance, using a time tracking app like Hubstaff is beneficial for any agency. They can make sure they accurately pay all their team members for their work without worrying about the differences in pay rates or employment status. At the same time they can easily create accurate invoices ready to be sent to clients.

Architecture and law firmsFirms, just like agencies, utilize a lot of freelance talent and have a lot of clients to keep up with. By using time tracking software, firms can properly bill clients and draft invoices while still being able to pay their members and track productivity for ongoing projects.

Freelancers and consultantsAs a freelancer or consultant, you’ve got a lot of hourly clients to juggle. Making sure your billing each client for the correct amount of time you’ve spent on their work is vital (considering they’ll only want to pay you for the hours you’ve put in on their projects, not someone else’s). By tracking your time, you can accurately log timesheets for each client, impress them with your efficiency, and send out invoices to get paid for all the work you do.

By tracking your team’s time accurately, you won’t have any guesswork as to how long each person was on the job. Plus, you’ll get a better picture of how long certain services take, meaning you can better predict how much everything will end up costing you and your clients.

Small businesses and startupsBoth startups and small businesses have many moving pieces at one time. To balance ever-changing team members and out-of-the-ordinary work schedules, implementing time tracking makes keeping tabs on everything a lot easier. Managers and owners won’t have to deal with manual timesheets, meaning that’s one less thing on your desk to review.

If you’re wondering whether or not your business would benefit from starting to use time tracking, see if your company matches any of the following criteria:

  • An office or work setting that bills by the hour
  • A business that works with several different clients
  • Companies that employ lots of remote or freelance talent
  • Managers looking to monitor their teams better
  • Teams looking to increase productivity
  • People who like to watch numbers count up

What team members benefit from time tracking

Well, once again, pretty much everyone. Let’s take a look at a few specific roles on a team and how they can benefit from time tracking.

Project managersAs a project manager, you have to be able to determine who on your team can complete specific tasks. By using time tracking, you can more accurately see how long any given task takes to complete, and who on your team works most efficiently.

Writers and designersIf you work on a creative team, you’ll be able to see how long each project takes to complete as you work through your to-do list. So, if you’re designing a website for a law firm, and it takes you 80 hours to complete, you can then better estimate how long future web design projects might take you.

ProducersAs a producer, you’re working with many outside companies to get your work done. With time tracking, you can accurately pay them for their time and bill any clients based on all the hours worked across teams.

ContractorsWhen you’re working on-site, your attention is more on the job at hand rather than what hour it is into the workday. By using a mobile time tracking app like Hubstaff, your contractor team can better track time on-the-go while focusing on their work.

DevelopersSometimes things don’t always go to plan when you’re developing software. By tracking their time, a developer can accurately see how long specific tasks take to complete while still being able to run all their tests. Plus, with a lightweight app like Hubstaff, time tracking will never actually get in the way of their hard work.

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