Time Tracking Software | 10 mins read

A Look into Time Tracking and Time Tracking Software

a look into time tracking and time tracking software
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

What is Time Tracking?

Time tracking is defined as the process of recording the work hours of employees in order to properly compensate them. The term time tracking is commonly used in the business setting alongside other time and attendance terminologies such as phrases like billable hours and time management.

The ability to properly track time spent on the clock and compensate team members appropriately is absolutely crucial to maintaining a business. Time tracking can be broken down into 3 primary parts-

1. Time entry
2. Approval
3. Reporting

Time entry is defined as the every day process by which employers record employee start time and finish time each shift. Time entry can also include any breaks that are not established as a part of the team member's work contract.

An employee's start time, end time, and any breaks recorded are ordinarily referred to as timestamps. In the workplace, employees commonly refer to these timestamps more colloquially as clocking in, punching in, clocking out, or punching out.

The concept of referring to a timestamp as a punch dates back to the practice of the application of a physical stamp by a manual time clock on a paper timecard. Contemporarily, a physical employee timecard, spreadsheet, or time tracking software can record timestamps.

An employee timesheet is an organized record of timestamps. Once a time entry is recorded, human resources will need to approve the entries before compensating employees accordingly.

The approval process is also necessary for ensuring that there is both accuracy and compliance for work hours performed. Human resources departments, managers, or time tracking software programs will calculate team member work hours, making sure any overtime hours worked are included.

All time tracking efforts include reporting, usually in multiple stages of the process. For instance, reporting occurs generally during approvals submitted initially in addition to when work hours are verified during payroll processing.

Previously, tracking time efforts were completed by employees and solely by hand. However, with the assistance of ever increasing technological advancements, a significant portion of, if not all of, time tracking tasks are now able to be performed through computer software programs.

Although some businesses still choose to undertake these operations by hand, technological advancements have decreased how much time is needed to complete them as well as their accuracy levels. Especially for companies that do not have simple time tracking needs, technology has been immensely beneficial for the entire time tracking process.

Why Time Tracking is Important?

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Tracking time has been recognized as absolutely crucial since virtually the beginning of humanity. When considering that every person and business possess the same amount of hours each day, the universal importance of time is nonnegotiable.

However, although all businesses are supplied with the same hours each day, the way hours are used varies significantly. These variations greatly impact both business profitability and the overall success of a company.

A common misconception is that tracking time is solely important for measuring profitability. Alternatively, time management and tracking time efforts reveal more critical business information.

For example, beyond measuring how profitable employee time is, time management skills are important to analyze. Through tracking time used, team members can better learn more about various best time management tips and practices.

Without the ability to properly track time it is essentially impossible to optimize its usage. Ironically, the process of tracking time can feel like it takes too much time to accomplish.

The introduction of easy use time tracker software programs and tools have made it much simpler to accomplish accurate time tracking. From a mobile time app that can be accessed with one click to time management tools there are so many options for businesses to choose from.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

How Time Tracking Contributes to Productivity

There is a clear relationship between time tracking and productivity. Time tracking affects both individual team members and overall workplace productivity levels, and vice versa.

Employee time tracking directly influences overall workplace productivity in meaningful ways including-

1. Balancing Workloads

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When employee time is balanced, everything from project profitability to team management is positively influenced. Tracking employee hours provides businesses with a comprehensive overview of available capacity levels for each staff member.

The ability to foresee employee burnout or disengagement can help motivate team management efforts. For example, a simple time modification such as transferring tasks from one employee to another can help ease the strain an individual team member is experiencing.

One significant objective of tracking time should be to accomplish the most balanced workload possible, ensuring both great resource allocation and team support.

2. Staying Focused

Staying focused in the workplace can be difficult for most employees. Time tracking allows team members to track work and project progression in a way that simplifies prioritization efforts.

Employee time tracking reveals not only what a team member is working on in real time but also makes it easy to review how much time is spent on each task. Then, team members and management can evaluate if time spent is being applied to the most urgent and valuable tasks.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

3. Avoiding Obstacles

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Knowing what blocks productivity is absolutely crucial to optimizing it. For example, employers may learn time is wasted through unproductive meetings or outdated processes.

As a result, meaningful time management and productivity improvements are more focused, targetted, and well informed. Additionally, individual team members can work on fulfilling their best time management and optimization skills.

Confronting tasks that require too much time and being able to add time to more valuable projects results in long term productivity gains for everyone at a business.

What is Time Tracking Software?

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Time tracking software uses technological advancements to make the process more effective and efficient. With 43% of employees reporting that have exaggerated their work hours in the past, tracking software can help ease employer concerns.

There are many types of time tracking software and tools available for companies to consider investing in and implementing. Time tracker features, timesheets, and project management are all common components of time tracking software.

Any mobile app that has time tracking as its primary objective is classified as a time tracker. The best time tracker is one that is accessible through mobile apps and internet browsers.

A time tracker will record time clock entries and provides users easy use when viewing data and analytics regarding time spent. Timesheets are another tracking tool type that should be accessible via mobile app and internet browser.

Timesheets that integrate into invoicing programs can be immensely helpful for human resources departments. Not only will employees get paid faster, but there will likely be more accurate time and wage compensations.

Additionally, billable hours can be invoiced to clients in real time with a compatible timesheet program. Project management systems are included under the tracking software umbrella due to their integral relationship.

Another tracking software common feature is a dashboard that showcases real time data. This tracking tool is immensely useful for approving time off requests and to keep track of employee absenteeism.

Why You Should Use Time Tracking Software

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When listing reasons for why a specific company should invest in and implement a time tracking software, management may discover that there are actually few reasons not to. However, a common concern that may need to be addressed is the cost surrounding new technological investments and any team member rigidity towards change.

When introducing a new time tracking software or tool to team members it helps to highlight the benefits that they will receive. From the ability to get paid more quickly to easy use capabilities, there are many advantages to highlight.

Although it is generally not difficult to learn time software particulars, some team members may need additional support. If team members struggle to use time tracking software programs, training and assistance should be swiftly provided.

The best time tracking software for each company may be different depending on a wide range of factors including if a business has simple time tracking requirements or more complex components. Regarding the cost of software programs, there are various payment options available for businesses to consider.

Many software companies are flexible with how they get paid for their services, accepting credit card or check payments. Some time tracking tool or software programs offer a one time expense while others, a reoccuring monthly or yearly fee.

Before investing in a software program or tool it is valuable to utilize multiple day free trial offers. A multi day free trial can help employers start tracking time and experiencing software benefits before spending company funds or prior to any large one time expenses are executed.

The Benefits of Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software offers businesses a wide variety of benefits. From improving overall workplace productivity to the time management of individual team members, the advantages of time tracking software programs and tools are difficult to dispute.

Significant workplace benefits of time tracking software investment and implementation include-

1. Accountability

Time tracking software is an outstanding way to increase and maintain accountability amongst team members. Not only can executives view project management and task progression with real time updates, but each employee is able to be recognized for their individual accomplishments.

Time tracking tool and software use are not helpful for intimidating team members into being more productive or efficient in the workplace. Alternatively, employees are more likely to hold themselves accountable when they receive recognition for the hard work performed and feel trusted by their supervisors.

A mutually beneficial arrangement for both management and team members, time tracking software can increase both employee accountability and project profitability immensely.

2. Production

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It is a common misstep that most companies will begin a multitude of projects simultaneously. However, studies show that multitasking can decrease productivity by up to 45%.

Time tracking software combats this statistic by emphasizing which aspects of employee labor need prioritization. Instead of spreading employee time too thin across many different projects, time tracking software will help keep track and prioritize projects optimally.

Additionally, time tracking project efficiency and profitability allows management to step in if project profitability is not appropriate in comparison with the associated time spent by employees.

3. Morale

Employee morale is too often underrated within project profitability and time management initiatives. However, studies show that keeping employee morale high is nonnegotiable to increasing productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness in the workplace.

The best time tracking software will not only provide employers with a real time and easy use tool for viewing employee time spent and work in progress, but it also can reveal a lot of information regarding the entire employee experience. With this information, employees can be provided positive feedback and given an opportunity to improve in both meaningful and measurable ways.

Businesses using a time tracking tool or software program correctly can help make employees feel valued and trusted in the workplace. Micromanagement, known to negatively impact the entire employee experience in addition to bottom line profitability, is not necessary when the best time tracking system possible is in place.

Conclusion

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  • Time tracking is the process that records hours employees spend at work in order to properly compensate them.
  • The 3 primary components of time tracking are time entry, approval, and reporting.
  • Time tracking app and internet browser accessibility both help employees log time most efficiently and effectively.
  • The ability to track hours that employees are on the clock and time projects is optimized with proper time tracking software program implementation.

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