Facts About Time Tracking That Will Make You Think Twice
Many people do not believe that time tracking yields results. In this article are some facts that will give you more insight into time tracking.
A lot of controversies revolve around the topic of time tracking. Some people think it is useless, while many others feel like it is the key to more productivity in any given organization. But, in acutal, what is time tracking?
Time tracking largely refers to how people log in all the activities they engage in into a system to monitor what they use their time for. Companies and organizations widely use time tracking to track what their employees use their time for. They are two types of time tracking. They are personal time tracking and project time-tracking.
Personal time tracking involves using simple apps to note what you use your time for on your device. Project time tracking, on the other hand, usually involves a lot more. This type of time tracking takes note of the activities of many people. Organizations and project managers use it to monitor the timeline of projects. It is mainly used in cases that actively combine project and resource management.
First, let's go over some of the reasons people believe that time tracking is redundant.
Why People May Think that Time Tracking is Redundant?
1. They Think it Is Counter-productive
In organizations, people usually have to log how they use their time into a system. Many employees feel like this is counter-productive and that instead of saving time, it wastes time. Firstly, they believe that they should use the time for logging in daily activities for work. Secondly, they also feel like logging their activities gets them further distracted from work. For people to fill their activities, they probably have to carry tier phones, and from there, they move on to social media or mobile games.
2. It Requires Compartmentalization
Activities that get logged in are usually divided into groups for simplification. You would have a group for emailing, typing, recording, etc. It depends on the kind of organization and what the work of the employees entails. Sometimes, one employee would be engaged in an activity that falls under more than one category. In such situations, an employee may not know under what group to log the activity. This may lead to confusion and frustration with the time tracking process.
3. It's an Excuse to Fire Me!
Many employees think that time tracking is just another way for their bosses to find fault and let go of workers unnecessarily. Companies may use the information gotten from time tracking to evaluate employees and even stipulate remuneration. Hence, workers get afraid, and many of them try to frustrate the process.
4. It Restricts Fluidity
Many people feel like tracking time restricts fluidity, imagination, and inspiration. They feel that logging all your activities into a system interrupts your thought process and prevents you from being the best you can be at your job. Furthermore, there's an argument that humans function best when they are not being restrained by being told what to do at specific times.
5. It Is Fueled by the Obsession With Productivity
Many people believe that there is an obsession with productivity today, so much that people want to look productive even when they are not doing anything. It is believed that this supposed obsession is what fuels time tracking. They also argue that the time they spend logging in activities should be spent working. And if this happened, people would be productive rather than pretend to be productive.
Benefits of Time Tracking
While many of the complaints described above are true, the fact remains that time tracking is an indispensable part of teamwork and productivity. Here are some of the benefits of time tracking.
1. Transparency Among Employees
Many times, employees fail to meet deadlines due to lack of focus and a thousand unimportant miscellaneous activities. These unnecessary activities accumulate, leading project managers and superiors to wonder why tasks are not being done at the right time.
Losing focus is very easy, and everyone tends to do it from time to time. The smallest things can make you lose focus on your work. It could be a co-worker from the next cubicle mentioning something that you are voluble about. Having a time tracking system that holds everyone accountable spurs employees to focus on their work and be transparent about what they use their time for. Moreover, it increases employee productivity as well.
2. Operational Efficiency
Operational efficiency is a metric that shows profitable output concerning operating costs and input. Operational efficiency is much more than profit. It is the measure of how much is produced while also looking at resources spent. Time is one of these resources.
Time tracking software is the easiest way to measure the time that goes into tasks. A time tracker enables you to know just how productive your firm is. In addition to other resources, the time spent can help you arrive at a near-perfect estimate of operational efficiency. Knowing your operational efficiency, in turn, allows you to make changes in areas that are necessary.
Sometimes, in an organization, people tend to spend time on unproductive work. Some tasks are unnecessary, and they do not have much importance. Time tracking enables companies and organizations to note these tasks and do something about them.
More specifically, some tasks require more resources to carry out; else, they will take too long. For instance, something as simple as going for a sales call may be more effective if the organization provided transportation for its workers rather than allowing them to drive themselves or ride the bus or train. Another example would be investing in software that will help employees save time, directing newly-gotten resources into more productive areas.
4. Budget Control and Estimate
Budget control and estimate are easily achievable by tracking time in the workplace. Time tracking gives an insight into the number of resources and time spent on everyday activities, including production. Hence, it consequently gives an insight into budget control, allocation, and estimate.
5. Reduces Employee Workload
With time tracking, you know just how much work almost every employee is doing. Many employees focus on their work so much they tend to burn out. Time tracking enables you to know when to reduce the workload on your employees. The best time tracker enables you to decipher when you should get new hires. Sometimes, some positions and departments need supplementary workers because of the workload that they may have, compared to others.
6. Time Management
For both individuals and organizations, time tracking helps a lot with time management. This works more for individuals. Installing a simple software for time tracking on your device allows you to know just where and how you spend your time. It shows you the areas where change is necessary to improve productivity and self-development.
7. Saves Money
A survey by the Harvard Business Review on filing timesheets shows that the U.S. economy wastes about 7.4 billion dollars every day in productivity because workers do not know how to record their hours. Time tracking lets you save money. Many of these ways have been highlighted in some of the benefits highlighted above.
Automatic Time Tracking as a Solution to the Problems of Manual Time Tracking
There are time tracking software applications that enable organizations to track time without their workers having to log in to the activities that they carry out. These applications normally monitor what everyone is doing on their computer. However, this may amount to an intrusion of privacy. Also, activities not done on the computer may not be accounted for.
Automatic time tracking is great, but it may not suit industries where the bulk of the work is done offline. Also, it is not very reliable for categorizing activities.
Making Time Tracking More Palatable for Your Employees
The employees of any organization are very important. Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, once said,
"Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients."
Yes, time tracking is beneficial, but if your workers have strong reservations against it, it is not expedient to force it down their throats. Here are some ways to make time tracking work while appeasing disgruntled workers.
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1. Explain the Advantages of Time Tracking to Them
Appeasing your employees and helping them get accustomed to time tracking could be done by explaining the advantages of time tracking. When people are being inconvenienced, they like to know why. You could show them ways in which time tracking helps the company, and them too!
Sometimes, all your employees want is to be carried along. Tell them about the things you're doing that affect their means of livelihood and why you are doing these things. Understandably, employees cannot always be carried along because some kinds of information are not meant for everyone's ears. Still, it is advisable to work with your employees on a close, transparent level as often as possible.
2. Ensure That They Log Their Activities Only on One Platform
The first problem that your employees have is that they have to log in their time. There are many purposes for time tracking. But to get the information, you only need it in one place. So, whatever you do, ensure that you only require people to input their activities on one system.
Some companies have multiple timesheets and make their employees fill all of them. This is usually brought about by poor organization and inefficient software for time tracking. It makes an already monotonous process even more difficult. One simple timesheet is adequate.
3. Put All the Time-reporting Activities in One Place
Project time tracking usually involves a lot more than just logging hours into a timesheet. Many a time,software for time tracking is linked to project management, resource management, and remuneration. Your workers should be able to view their projects, request time off, track time off, log overtime, and more. Depending on the industry, all these could be a part of the time tracking process.
With a time tracking system that encourages cohesion, your workers would already see the advantages of time tracking. You can achieve this by using the best time tracking software.
Explore Clockly - Endless Software for Time Tracking for Your Business
Clockly comes with all the features mentioned above. You can plan your projects, assign them tasks and subtasks, go in line with perfect sprint planning, define the roles and responsibilities clearly, budget your projects based on the performance of previous projects, and view the real-time analytics about your business. This is how Clockly helps in maintaining project architecture and budget planning.
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