Time Tracking Software | 9 mins read

A Guide to Time Tracking and Time Tracking Software

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Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

What is Time Tracking?

Employee time tracking is absolutely essential to business operations. From a business perspective, time tracking is the process of recording employee work hours. An organization's ability to track employee time spent at work is crucial for proper compensation.

Time tracking consists of 3 primary components- entry, approval, and reporting. Time entry occurs when employee time in and out is annotated for each shift worked. Both billable hours and non billable hours may be included in time entries for staff members. For example, employee free time like breaks and professional services would be incorporated into time entries submitted.

Time entries must then be approved by the human resources department. Small businesses with a very small staff may require approval from the owner or project managers instead. The approval process helps large and small businesses alike make sure the work done by team members is accurately compensated.

The final time management and tracking step to be aware of is reporting. Reporting can occur throughout multiple stages of time management and tracking processes. For example, reporting occurs typically when team members submit time entries for approval initially. Then, reporting generally occurs again when hours worked by team members are confirmed during payroll processing.

Previously, time management and tracking tools were limited to simple time recording devices. Older time tracker tools included using time cards marked by a physical stamp. Tracking project progression was accomplished through a time clock and handwritten annotations. For tracking invoicing or expense tracking processes, manually organized filing systems were commonplace.

Software time tracking developments have revolutionized the way time management and tracking occurs. Tracking features like GPS tracking for remote workers and mobile app accessibility have transformed employee time processes. Project tracking tools can indicate everything from time management issues to employee productivity levels. Automatic time tracking minimizes how much time team members use to keep track of hours worked. Due to their easy use tracking features and accuracy, the best time tracking tools are now a management software staple.

Why Time Tracking is Important

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The concept of tracking time has been around from the very beginning of mankind. Tracking work time has likewise been around from the introduction of work hours and the concept of employment. Every person has the same amount of hours each day, as do small businesses in general. Even though all small businesses have the same hours available each day, the way employee time is used varies significantly. Employee time variations impact everything from employee productivity to project management processes.

One time misconception is that time tracking is only valuable for measuring bottom line profitability. However, time management and time tracking are valuable for many other important business operations. For example, time management and tracking tools help small businesses with employee monitoring and productivity tracking efforts. Understanding how employee time is used even allows team members to better apply time management tips and best practices.

Without the ability for small businesses to accurately track employee time it is essentially impossible to optimize employee time usage. Unfortunately, manual time tracking, even for simple time entries can require way too many work hours to accomplish. Thankfully, the best time tracking tools and tracking software available, have simplified and streamlined previously manual time processes. From an easy use time tracking app to software time data dashboards, the best tools are within reach.

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How Time Tracking Contributes to Productivity

There is a distinct relationship between time tracking and employee productivity levels. Time tracking and time management more broadly affect both individual team members and overall workplace productivity levels. Significant ways that time tracking and time management directly influence employee productivity levels include-

1. Balance

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Time management focuses heavily on balance to make sure that employee time spent is optimal. Balanced employee time in the workplace influences everything from project management to employee productivity levels. Tracking work hours supplies businesses with a broad understanding of available capacity levels for each employee.

One time tracking objective that small businesses must make sure to prioritize is to accomplish the most balanced workload possible. The best software time tracking features help make sure balance is prioritized. Optimally balanced employee time avoids decreased employee productivity levels which can lead to disengagement and even complete burnout. Even a simple time modification such as transferring tasks from one team member to another can help employee time balance.

2. Focus

Both remote employees and office team members know that staying focused at the workplace can be difficult. Project managers and owners at small businesses also know this struggle well. Unsurprisingly, many employee monitoring efforts are focused on a lack of attentiveness in the workplace. Oftentimes, a lack of employee productivity and attentiveness go hand in hand.

Time tracking helps team members to track time spent which in turn assists with the prioritization of projects and tasks. Time management and tracking software allow employees to pay better attention to time spent and get work done more easily. Management software shows what team members are working on in real time and time spent on each task. As a result, team members and management can make sure time spent is being utilized optimally.

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

3. Proactive

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The best time tracking and management software are proactive instead of reactive. Recognizing what decreases employee productivity is critical for managing it. For example, small businesses using time tracking tools or management software may realize that meetings are actually time spent unproductively. The best time management and tracking software not only identifies employee productivity problems but can even help rectify them.

What is Time Tracking Software?

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Time tracking software is a welcome alternative to manual time tracking tools. Time tracking software is now considered a management software and tracking system staple. There are various time tracking software and tools available for small businesses to invest in and implement. Everything from a simple time tracker to the best time management software is used by small businesses around the world.

Any mobile app that has time tracking as its main purpose is considered a time tracker tool. A time tracker records time clock entries per user in real time speed. The best time tracker is a core component of a great time tracking system and larger management software suite.

One time related application of tracking software that may not immediately come to mind is employee time theft reduction. Studies show that employee time theft is a significant issue that often motivates employee monitoring initiatives. In fact, 43% of employees report they have exaggerated their work hours in the past. The best time tracking system supplies easy use data and analytics for review, making employee monitoring more simple and accessible.

With the best time tools, complex processes like tracking invoicing and expense tracking are a breeze. Billable hours can be invoiced to clients at near real time speed once time entries are approved. Non billable hours can be incorporated in expense tracking with the same near real time application. Ultimately, the best time tracking software has many valuable applications for both small businesses and large corporations.

Why You Should Use Time Tracking Software

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Small businesses investigating why they should use time tracking software often discover there are really no reasons they should not. Small businesses may discover that there are concerns of team members and management towards time tracking software implementation. One time tracking software concern that may need to be discussed is its cost. The best time tracking system may come with high initial costs. However, small businesses must make sure to remember decreased time spent on manual time related processes from tracking system implementation.

Price plays a significant role for small businesses looking to choose the best time tracking software option possible. Many software providers offer a multi day trial for small businesses to try free and without future obligation. Others require credit card deposits even before small businesses start free trial periods. A time tracking system may offer a one time payment while others charge per user or per month. Before investing in a time tracking system small businesses should make sure to check for free time tracking software trials. Small businesses that start free trial offers can benefit from advanced tracking features before executing any major credit card purchases.

One time related concern that is also common is the resistance of team members towards change. Team members that have used manual time tracking processes may be hesitant to change their methods. When small businesses introduce time tracking software to team members it helps to highlight benefits anticipated. Small businesses should also make sure to provide team members additional support if necessary. The best time tracking system will have help center representatives available. More experienced team members can also offer software help to less experienced employees.

The Benefits of Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software supplies large and small businesses with many significant benefits. From employee productivity to automatic time tracking, benefits are felt by both individual team members and the workplace more broadly. Notable benefits that the best time tracking system offers include-

1. Productivity

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Employee productivity is a hot topic in employee monitoring initiatives. There are common misconceptions surrounding employee productivity all small businesses should understand. One common employee productivity misconception is that more hours worked increases employee productivity levels. Another common misconception is that multitasking can increase employee productivity levels. However, studies reveal that multitasking can decrease employee productivity up to 45%! Thankfully, the best time tracking system helps project managers and team members to prioritize and use time most effectively. As a result, the best time tracking system helps employee productivity levels remain high long term.

2. Morale

Studies show that employee productivity is strongly correlated with employee morale. In fact, employee morale influences not only employee productivity levels but also efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace Project managers and business owners can use the best time tracking tools and management software to boost employee morale. For example, team members can be given positive feedback on time management and project management to further increase morale.

3. Accountability

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The best time tracking system is a great way to establish and maintain accountability. Real time accessibility allows small businesses to keep track of employee time spent per user on tasks. Team members are also more likely to hold themselves accountable when they can track work hours individually. As such, the best time tracking system benefits both individual team members and small businesses as a whole.

Conclusion for Time Tracking Software

  • Time tracking software is a great tool for both small businesses and large corporations.
  • Employee productivity is directly impacted by the time tracking system in place.
  • Benefits of the best time tracking software range from increased employee productivity to optimized accountability.

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