What is your company’s most valuable yet most limited asset? You may find yourself thinking through a long list of things your business needs to succeed but the answer is actually pretty simple.
Time is your most valuable asset. When your employees make the best and most effective use of their working hours, it maximizes the productivity and efficiency of your business, which in turn, increases profitability and your overall success.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of time tracking, how it’s implemented, and how time tracking can benefit your workplace.
What Is Time Tracking?
Time tracking is an essential and beneficial practice for every company. It’s a way of documenting employees’ working hours, compensating employees for hours worked, and measuring the amount of time spent on projects. Time tracking can also assist businesses in scheduling shifts, measuring employee attendance, and documenting employee productivity.
Time tracking can also help you remain compliant with federal time tracking laws. Every employer is likely familiar with FLSA recordkeeping requirements. The Fair Labor Standards Act— commonly abbreviated as FLSA— is a federal law that governs practices like overtime pay, minimum wage, and recordkeeping in the United States.
At the core, FLSA regulates the hours your employees work, the standard of pay they receive, and the records employers have to keep. Implementing an effective time tracking policy in your workplace can help you stay on the right side of FLSA.
Benefits of Time Tracking for Employers
Time tracking provides several benefits for employers, including:
- Better project management: Time tracking helps employers to better manage projects by providing accurate information on how much time is being spent on each task. This information allows employers to make informed decisions about resource allocation, project timelines, and budgeting.
- Improved productivity: Time tracking helps to improve productivity by allowing employers to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the workflow. This information can be used to optimize processes and make improvements that increase productivity.
- More accurate billing: Time tracking ensures that employers can bill clients accurately for the work done. This reduces the risk of underbilling or overbilling clients, which can damage relationships and lead to financial losses.
- Enhanced employee accountability: Time tracking promotes employee accountability by making team members responsible for accurately reporting their time. This helps to ensure that team members are working efficiently and effectively and that they are meeting project deadlines and goals.
- Better performance evaluation: Time tracking provides employers with valuable data for evaluating employee performance. This information can be used to identify areas of strength and weakness for each employee and to provide feedback for improvement.
- Legal compliance: In some industries, time tracking is required by law or regulations. By implementing time tracking, employers can ensure that they are complying with legal requirements and avoiding fines and penalties.
Benefits of Time Tracking for Employees
While time tracking is helpful for company leadership, it can also offer several benefits for employees as well. These include:
- Better time management: Time tracking tools can help employees manage their time more effectively by providing insight into how they spend their time. Employees can use this information to identify time-wasting activities and focus on tasks that are most important.
- Increased focus and motivation: Time tracking can help employees stay focused on their tasks and increase motivation by providing a clear picture of what needs to be done and how much time they have to complete it.
- Improved work-life balance: By tracking their time, employees can better understand how much time they spend on work-related activities and how much time they have for other aspects of their life. This information can help them make adjustments to achieve a better work-life balance.
- More accurate invoicing: For employees who bill their time to clients, time tracking can help ensure that they are accurately billing for the time spent on each task. This can help improve accuracy and reduce billing disputes.
- Performance feedback: Time tracking can provide employees with valuable feedback on their performance, including how much time they are spending on tasks, how efficiently they are working, and where they can improve. This feedback can be used to set goals and improve performance over time.
Benefits of Implementing Time Tracking Software
Have you ever thought about how many essential business practices would be so much harder without technology? Imagine if you had to gather all forms of relevant employee productivity data by hand and painstakingly print it out and file it away.
Thankfully, most of those processes have now been digitized and it saves businesses a lot of time! If you’re not taking advantage of fast, efficient time tracking software, your current time tracking system may be just as slow and complicated as its old-school counterparts.
Just in case you need any extra convincing, let’s examine a few key benefits of implementing time tracking software.
- Increased productivity: Time tracking software allows managers to monitor how employees spend their time during work hours. This helps identify potential bottlenecks and inefficiencies in workflows and allows managers to reallocate resources to more productive tasks.
- Streamlined payroll processing: Employee time tracking software automates the process of tracking work hours, making payroll processing more accurate and efficient. This reduces the likelihood of time tracking errors and reduces admin for HR personnel.
- Improved project management: Time tracking software provides real-time data on employee hours spent on each project. This helps managers identify potential delays and adjust resources and timelines accordingly.
- Better employee accountability: Time tracking software provides a clear record of employee work hours, reducing the likelihood of time theft or inaccuracies. This also encourages employees to be more accountable for their work hours and promotes a culture of transparency.
- Accurate billing and invoicing: Time tracking software helps businesses bill clients accurately based on the actual hours worked on each project. This helps reduce billing disputes and improves cash flow.
- Enhanced employee engagement: Time tracking software helps employees better manage their work hours, leading to increased job satisfaction and engagement. By providing a clear understanding of how they spend their time, employees can make better decisions about their workloads and avoid burnout.
Benefits of Time Tracking by Industry Type
Although every industry has slightly different needs and regulations, there’s no doubt about it: every business can benefit from streamlined, accurate time tracking policies. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of time tracking that are universal to businesses in every industry.
- Professional Services: Time tracking is essential for professional services firms such as law firms, accounting firms, and consulting firms. These firms need to accurately track the time spent on client projects to ensure that they bill clients accurately and manage their resources effectively.
- Construction: Time tracking can help construction companies manage their workforce and ensure that employees are being paid accurately. It can also help track the time spent on each task or project, which can improve the accuracy of future project bids.
- Healthcare: Time tracking is essential in healthcare to ensure that staff work the appropriate hours and receive accurate compensation. It can also help track the time spent on patient care, which can be useful in identifying potential areas of improvement.
- Manufacturing: Time tracking can help manufacturers track the time spent on each production task and identify potential areas of inefficiency. This information can help managers optimize production processes and reduce waste.
- Retail: Time tracking can help retailers manage their workforce and ensure that employees are being paid accurately. It can also help identify peak hours and optimize staffing levels accordingly.
- Education: Time tracking can help educators manage their time more effectively and ensure that they are meeting their instructional obligations. It can also help identify potential areas of improvement in lesson planning and delivery.
Benefits of Time Tracking by Business Type
No matter what industry you work in, time tracking is crucial to ensure that you and your team are meeting your goals and making the most efficient use of your time. But, just as specific time tracking needs may vary from one industry to another, the same is true for different types of businesses.
So, let’s take a look at some individual needs and benefits that are unique to three types of businesses.
Field service businesses
When your employees are out working on job sites, it can be difficult to keep track of their locations and ensure accuracy in time tracking. For the most accurate results, field service businesses need time tracking software like Workyard that captures precise GPS location, arrival, and departure information.
Single location businesses
Although some aspects of your businesses’ needs may vary depending on your industry or the nature of your employees’ work, most single location businesses benefit from time tracking software that allows employees to log their hours electronically and submit notes or photos associated with their projects.
In some cases, there may be a bit of overlap between the time tracking needs of a single location business and a remote business. For example, both types of businesses can benefit from time tracking software that syncs with employee productivity monitoring platforms.
These platforms often take screenshots of an employee’s computer screen while they’re working and record their level of activity and engagement with their work computer. These features can be useful for proving that reported hours align with genuinely productive working hours. This accuracy can, in turn, ensure that your client invoices and payroll are accurate.
The rising popularity of working from home has been a game-changer for almost every industry. With more and more employees choosing flexible working options, many businesses have been required to adapt their offices to include the flexibility of working from home.
Likewise, many new startups have taken advantage of this shift to launch as fully remote operations, which means that no employees work in a central, single location. So, whether your company is in the process of adapting to a hybrid office or you’re fully remote, employee time tracking is still vital for the success of your business.
One big concern impacting remote businesses is the issue of accuracy in employee productivity. When your employees aren’t physically present during set working hours, how can you be sure they’re actually working? If you’re going to track your remote employees’ time, you need to feel confident that the hours logged are accurate.
That’s why remote businesses are most likely to benefit from time tracking platforms that align with employee monitoring software. Whether you implement programs that log keystrokes, record a video of your employees’ screens, or take periodic screenshots of their laptops as they’re working, you need these features to sync with your time tracking software.
Why Workyard Is Best for Businesses With Employees In The Field
There are plenty of employee time tracking solutions on the market, so it’s important that you take time to shop around and find the one that best aligns with your needs. Although single location and remote businesses may share many of the same time tracking needs, businesses have a few more specific requirements that standard time tracking software just doesn’t cater to.
That’s why Workyard’s construction time tracking software is uniquely equipped to close the gap in field service time tracking software.
By simplifying construction timesheet data and turning it into an accessible labor cost analysis, Workyard makes it easy for you to guarantee accuracy in payroll and invoices.
And with geofencing features that automatically note when your employees arrive and leave a site, Workyard also makes it easy to keep track of employees’ working hours and confirm that they’re on site.
Whether you work in construction, healthcare, or a creative startup, the benefits of time tracking are clear. When you can accurately track your employees’ hours, you eliminate over-reported hours, payroll discrepancies, and issues with client invoices.
To continually reap the benefits of time tracking, it’s important to take your time and find a solution that best suits your business. Field service businesses, single location businesses, and remote businesses all have different time tracking needs, so choose carefully when evaluating time tracking software and apps available to you and your team. Sign up for a free trial of Workyard today!