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No matter what size or type of business you run, keeping track of your employees’ time can be difficult and even messy at times.
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.
Other than the obvious benefit of knowing how long someone has worked, tracking your team's time using time tracking apps like Hubstaff provides a number of benefits. Here’s seven reasons time tracking could benefit you and your company.
Accurately track time and easily see where your money is going. Monitor project budgets and re-prioritize tasks if something isn’t paying off the way you’d planned for.
When team members are tracking time towards specific tasks, or in the middle of working on a project, it helps set clear goals for everyone and removes confusion around what each person should be doing.
When your team members are tracking time towards specific tasks, or in the middle of working on them, it helps set clear goals for everyone and removes confusion around what each person should be doing.
Using a time tracking app like Hubstaff allows teams to stay on task with ongoing projects. See where any potential hiccups are in the day-to-day, and use that insight to create strategies to help your team be more productive in the workplace.
Time tracking gives a line-of-sight to how long it takes your team to get tasks done. Managers can better prioritize future projects and team capacity.
With tracking software like Hubstaff, team members can log hours automatically and give transparency into their work, which can help managers keep team members accountable.
As an employee tracks time, they’ll be able to let their managers know if they can hit deadlines within work-week hours, making it easier for teams to communicate their needs to co-workers and managers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The short answer is pretty much everyone. However, time tracking benefits different teams in different ways. Here are just a few examples:
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.
As 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.
If 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.
As 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.
When 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.
Sometimes 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.