Why even a simple Excel time tracking sheet is better than nothing
Read more about the benefits for employee and managers when it comes to time registration in Excel
The workplace is constantly changing. Predictions say that by 2023, it will evolve into a diverse, extremely dynamic and largely virtual environment.
Since work practices across all industries are already increasingly project-based and with flexible hours (especially at agencies and consultancies), it is more important than ever for both project managers and team members to be good at juggling several projects at once. And for that, just like with actual juggling, timing is of essence.
Time management is the most crucial aspect of project management, and yet, plenty of companies are still reluctant to implement a time tracking tool into their operations. Why?
Because of misconceptions about time tracking.
Firstly, some managers might think that tracking employee time is akin to micromanaging them.
This is wrong. Time tracking actually gives employees greater autonomy, as they get more room to control their own schedules within the set deadlines.
Secondly, new or smaller businesses sometimes think that their size does not warrant a use of a time tracking tool. Wrong again. No matter the size of a company, even if it consists of a single person, there will always be an overlap of projects, and if the person in charge does not keep an eye of them, the ball is bound to drop.
Third, and perhaps the most persistent reason for resistance to time tracking is the fear that it will be too tedious, complicating, and time-consuming. But just by knowing how many different types of time tracking tools modern technology gifted us with, anyone can see that this cannot be more wrong.
The advantages of using a simple Excel time tracking sheet
For companies that currently do not employ a time tracking system and still have some reservations about it, the best way is to start simple.
Using an Excel timesheet template has some clear advantages.
- It is simple and free. Excel time tracking templates come with pre-designed formulas, which means you will not have to figure the system out on your own or build it from scratch. At the same time, this tool is free-of-charge, so if you are worried of adding extra costs to your organisation’s budget, this is a perfect solution for you. Since Excel comes with the Microsoft Office package, your team members will already have it available on their computers. All you need to do is download the free timesheet template, store it on your local drive and share it with your employees.
- It is adaptable. Excel timesheets are easy to change and customise it to the unique needs of your company or project. You can use them for separate work periods, i.e. daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly sheets, and you can use tabs for different projects.
- It is user friendly. Most of your employees are already familiar with Microsoft Excel and have at least some degree of understanding how it works. This shortens the learning curve and saves time. When you download the free Excel timesheet, you can start logging time right off the bat.
- It is analytical. Excel is known to be a strong tool for analysing and reporting. By using its advanced analysis features, you may find important correlations that are otherwise difficult to notice. You can also use Excel’s reporting options to your advantage and turn weekly or monthly reports from a burden into a breeze.
Time tracking, even by using a simple Excel time tracking sheet, gives you something extremely valuable: Data
From the data gathered by time tracking, both managers and employees gain valuable insights into how work time is spent, and consequently, how to improve their overall performance.
What do managers gain from using an Excel time tracking sheet?
- Increase in company’s profitability. For any type of business, the bottom line benefit of time tracking is profitability increase. Time translates to money, and to optimise the use of this valuable resource, you need to have a clear idea where it goes to waste and where it brings the most profit. This can only be achieved with time tracking. In fact, if you do not know how the time in your company is spent, you are probably losing money.
- A tight grip on current and future assignments. Time tracking helps you know if your employees are on top of their projects, and if the assignments are in tune with the set goals and deadlines. You have a clear overview on how your team members spend their time and can evaluate their performance in real-time. This is especially helpful, if you have employees that are working remotely. Time tracking also makes it possible to accurately plan timeframes for similar future projects. And, you can delegate tasks among team members more efficiently, as you understand their strong and weak points.
What do employees gain from using an Excel time tracking sheet?
- Increase in productivity. Using timesheets helps you recognise where your time and efforts are actually going. Once you start tracking time (and identifying where and when you are wasting it), it becomes natural to spend it more responsibly. This improves your productivity and efficiency. Time tracking also helps you stay focused on one task at a time, enhancing the quality of your work and minimising the chance for making mistakes.
- Better control over your time. Keeping track of your assignments and their respective deadlines helps you stay on schedule. With even a simple timesheet, you become much better at prioritising important tasks and avoid missing any crucial deadlines. Time tracking will prevent you from getting lost in a sea of tasks that piled up due to poor time management.
So, should your company start using a time tracking tool? When you look at the benefits you gain from even a simple Excel time tracking sheet, it really becomes a no brainer!