5 reasons why your employees should track time
How can you manage time, if you do not track it? Well, you cannot.
“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” These wise words were said by Peter Drucker, one of the fathers of management theory. He understood that good time management is the most important condition for a company to run smoothly.
But how can you manage time, if you do not track it? Well, you cannot. If you are still on the fence and think that logging time is tedious and unnecessary, consider the many benefits you and your company will gain from using a time tracking system.
1) Easier and more efficient project management
In the modern workplace, especially in smaller businesses and startups, there is usually various employees simultaneously working on several projects. Freelancers, contractors and homeworkers add up to the complexity of the workflow. When a project or team manager does not keep a close watch on everyone’s tasks, responsibilities become ambiguous, which causes unnecessary delays.
A time tracking system gives you an overview of what is going on within your company.
Knowing just how your employees spend their time, you can streamline your workflows and always know the status of each task. Following the progress of daily, weekly and monthly activities becomes significantly easier even with filling out a simple Excel time tracking template. It helps both project managers and team members to handle their duties on time.
Employees logging their own working hours on their own cuts down the workload of a manager considerably. Additionally, time tracking simplifies paying salaries, especially if your employees are paid by the hour.
2) Accurate planning for future tasks and projects
Time tracking sheets provide you with valuable data essential for making successful future plans and strategies. Without consulting the data gathered from finished projects, it is practically impossible to realistically plan future activities. Time tracking allows you to see how long someone really needs to finish a task, and adjust the schedules accordingly.
With a time tracking system, you will be equipped to handle sudden changes when it comes to regular tasks, and prepared to make adjustments in the original plan. It will help you establish credibility with your clients, as the chances of not meeting deadlines will drastically drop.
3) Effective cost management
Enhancing profits and reducing costs are goals of every business. But you can only lower costs, when you have a realistic overview of where time is spent inefficiently. With a time tracking system, you see where potential time-wasting problems lie, and address them before it is too late.
You reduce the risk of going over budget by accurately predicting the costs of future projects.
Monitoring the exact number of hours spent on a project also means no more losing money when billing your clients. At the same time, it indirectly fights procrastination; when employees keep a record of the time that goes into a task, they are less likely to slack off and waste precious hours.
4) Increase in productivity
Time tracking is a way to make sure that minor tasks do not come in the way of finishing important projects on time. It helps your employees identify essential and non-essential activities and stay on top of them. If employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them (and when), they will be able to organise their time with double the efficiency.
Having employees log their hours, it will help them increase their work focus. By timing yourself, you get the insight on what you spend too much or too little time on. By knowing how long tasks take, you are less inclined to be distracted by checking e-mails or browsing the internet.
After doing it for a while, you establish a work routine, which is an effective procrastination cure.
5) Constructive employee performance reviews
Time tracking comes in especially handy when it is time for the annual performance reviews. It is recommended to base performance reviews around quantifiable data, as it is difficult to stay completely unbiased when judging employees.
If you have the numbers, you can compare individual team members and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Quantity does not beat quality, but it is one of the key factors. If your employees track time, you will have an insight into which projects they worked on, how many hours they spent, how much did they cost you, and how much revenue they brought.
You will be able to give meaningful feedback and objectively reward good work.
One extra reason: It can be really easy
Finding the right system for time tracking depends on your company’s unique needs. If you are looking for a free and simple time tracking tool that can be easily implemented right away – without overburdening your employees, timesheet templates could be the perfect answer for you.
Your employees are most likely already familiar with Excel, so all you need to do is download an Excel time tracking sheet and share it with your employees.