Time Tracking DefinitionTime tracking is an essential concept in organizations where employees record their working hours to help in easier management and planning. The data recorded can be used for payroll accounting and the assigning of working hours to projects. With current labor laws requiring proper remuneration, companies are obligated to record their working hours to avoid any discrepancies.
Why is Time Tracking Important?
Besides compliance with regulations, below are some reasons why companies are increasingly embracing the practice of tracking time:
When tracking their time, employees are able to identify how often and why they get distracted or slowed down from the tasks at hand. The identification of such areas enables them to take corrective measures to make themselves more productive. Knowing time is being monitored also helps in reducing idleness.
Helps in Understanding Capacity
Tracking time enables managers to gauge the time taken to complete a certain task, which enables them to know if the remaining time will be enough to complete the project. This enables them to determine whether there is a shortage of excess of personnel working on the project, and measures to take in order to be more productive. The daily or weekly timesheet created can be used to compare the workload of different departments, enabling the proper allocation of human resources.
Facilitates Project Management
Especially when using software to track time, it is possible for managers to access all the project information they require in real-time. Expense tracking also improves their ability to estimate and manage costs in real-time, making changes before they affect the project progress.
Accuracy in Billing
Applications that automatically track time captures every information while the employees are going about their work. Especially for companies offering services billed based on the time spent, accurate recording of time enables easier determination of billable time. Employees filling out their daily timesheet – either manually or automatically – also helps to determine the billable time for different projects. Expense tracking also facilitates easier billing as the cost of the project can be easily estimated.
Helps in the Assessment of Client Value
Estimation of the time it takes for the completion of a given project and weighing it against the amount paid by the client enables the estimation of the client’s value. This enables more time to be dedicated to the clients with projects that actually bring the bacon home.
Disadvantages of Tracking Time
While time tracking evidently has a host of advantages to organizations, some are still hesitant to introduce this concept. Below are some disadvantages that companies associate time tracking with:
Unfair Evaluation – while it helps to have employees who are able to complete their tasks quickly, speed can be disadvantageous if it compromises quality. Some employees could rush their tasks just to fill in their daily timesheet. Tracking time is more rewarding to employees who work quicker but that does not necessarily mean they are the ones who accomplish more.
Negative Effects of Monitoring – not everyone can work comfortably under the pressure of being monitored. Tracking time could reduce the morale of some team members which could lead to lower performance.
Open to Manipulation – some software is liable to manipulation by some employees who could cash in on time they have not worked for.
Discrimination – tracking time makes it easier to divide employees based on their performance, making it easy for discrimination to occur against those with certain inhibitory factors such as disabilities. These may be brought out more clearly when daily or weekly timesheet is compared.
Forms of Time Recording
Below are the methods that organizations can use to track their time:
- Excel template
- Mobile time
- Online working tracking
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