Employee Time Tracking Software – Why and How To Get the Best
Why Track Time and Who Is It For?
Businesses of all sorts who have employees who spend most of their time working on computers, or those staff members who spend a lot of time outside the office are the ones who can benefit the most if they track their time. Some businesses that will find time tracking the most useful tool include, but are not limited to:
- Businesses that offer their employees with flexible working hours;
- Businesses that need to work with multiple clients and need to bill them by the hour for the services provided;
- Businesses that encourage a work-from-home arrangement;
- Organizations that need to know how they spend their time in different areas (also internal activities);
- Any business that wants to improve employee satisfaction, profitability, and productivity.
An employee time tracking software in Outlook allows businesses to document and trace time entries from their employees for payroll purposes. In addition, such a tool can also be used effectively to capture contractor and client entries for services rendered. This greatly facilitates the otherwise complex process of client invoicing.
Even if you’re not invoicing clients, it still makes good sense to know how your employees spend their time in different areas, so that you can optimize accordingly.
Why and How Employee Time Tracking is Important
There can be an unlimited number of reasons for people and businesses to track their work hours. From managing projects to creating invoices for clients and getting paid, employee time tracking software can prove to be instrumental in tracking the progress of different tasks assigned to different individuals and ensuring that projects do not cost more money to complete than they actually bring in, and also to just make sure that projects stay on track.
- Identification of Non-essential Tasks: Employee time tracking software helps employees to get rid of unproductive activities and replace unimportant tasks with more productive ones. Data is presented in the form of reports and timesheets, so that employees can incorporate them into their project plans and avoid wasting time on tasks that do not contribute to business. Pairing employees’ work-time tracking with project-task management is a great benefit of time reporting software integrated with the Outlook Calendar.
- Improving Accurate Time Estimates: Previous histories of tracked time entries can be used as a model for planning and executing future projects. An employee time tracking software solution can help you make better time estimates, assign more meaningful project deadlines and monitor employee performance on a day-to-day basis. For instance, based on their records of past performance, management can monitor if a certain individual will be able to finish a project on time.
- Fair Compensation: Using an employee time-tracking plug-in with Outlook can help businesses get the most out of the compensation they deserve. Eliminating potential guesswork from billing and invoicing, especially with problematic clients, a time tracking tool will enable fair compensation for services rendered in the form of hard evidence of work performed.
Can an Outlook Time Tracker be Good for Your Business?
While there can be hundreds of ways to keep a track of time at the workplace, it makes sense that a business should opt for the least cumbersome technique. A good employee time tracking software, which is also integrated with a calendar feature, is one of the most convenient and most expedient ways to manage employee time within a professional organizational setting.
Chances are that you may already be using Outlook at your workplace to manage emails, schedule events and keep track of important data including tasks, appointments, contacts and notes. With the addition of a time tracking plug-in, you will now be able to convert all your Microsoft Outlook calendar entries into time entries. If your business is on the growth path, high-quality and easy-to-use employee time reporting software will prove to be both practical and productive.
Benefits for Remote and Virtual Teams
It can sometimes prove to be challenging to get fair compensation when your client does not know how much effort went into a project. When using a time tracking solution, especially one that links to an online platform or one that can be viewed and updated on any device periodically, as well as integrates with Microsoft Outlook, can offer remote teams several advantages.
- Teams that work remotely or virtually have an easy visual representation of the time they spent working, which they can share with clients, who can then take that into account when appraising projects and services provided.
- Working alone can be mentally exhausting, especially when you do not have anyone to motivate you. With time tracking software, team members remain motivated and productive as they can see each individual’s contribution.
Benefits for In-office and In-the-Field Employees
If a business has employees who need to work both within an in-office and in-the-field arrangement, it can be difficult and time consuming to communicate the progress of a particular project or raise concerns about problems. With software that has online integration:
- Managers and supervisors can keep a track of progress, and assign additional resources before problems arise.
- Ensure that all of an employee’s progress and contribution is properly documented so they are not unintentionally undercompensated.
- Ensure effective and detailed communication amongst in-the-field and in-office teams, and generally improve the quality of communication.
Benefits for Businesses that have High Customer Integration
When the client knows what work is going on, and how far a project has progressed, there is less stress in the workspace. When clients have the ability to view what resources have been utilised and how much time a particular task has taken, the transparency created is unparalleled.
- When a client receives accurate and up-to-date information about their projects, and precise estimates of costs, a greater sense of trust and reliability is achieved.
- Clients are billed more accurately, and the business is compensated according to the actual resources and time that was taken to complete a project.
Improving Productivity = Greater Profits
Any business that wants to improve its productivity should track time. When productivity improves, profits usually also increase. Companies that utilise employee time tracking software are:
- Aware of their capacities;
- Able to better manage their workloads;
- Able to give better estimates of expenses and deadlines;
- Able to more accurately estimate how much work they can take up in a certain duration by being aware of their productivity levels.
Employee Time Tracking Software Makes Life Easy
When you use software integrated with Outlook for tracking employees, you save a huge amount of time. When reports, invoices, and communications are automated and managed by Outlook time tracking software, you only need to focus your energy on more important tasks.
If a business operates without dedicated software for time tracking, you can expect managers to spend a lot of time doing paperwork manually.
With time-tracking software, teams and supervisors alike can allocate their time completing activities that have a higher return and greater profit margin, or activities that need more focus and time, without stressing out oneself.
Whether it is a team of 2 or 200, communication is key to achieve goals efficiently and in a timely manner. With larger teams, it is usually more challenging to keep track of multiple concurrent projects and their progress simultaneously. There can also be instances when team members do not know their complete share of work, or overstep into someone else’s domain.
Using an Outlook time tracking tool can help in minimising such issues, and resolve potential conflicts of workload and team contribution. Using a time-tracking plug-in with calendar integration can also help to organize teams and prioritise tasks more accurately and efficiently to attain shared team goals as well as any personal targets.
Keeping Employee Motivation High!
When time is tracked and accounted for in precise terms, and such data is available to and accessible by anyone in the organization, it becomes possible to compare your progress with your colleagues as well as team members’ progress. This instils a healthy culture of growth and productivity in the workplace. When employees see other teams or individuals develop and grow, they start comparing:
- How does Matt always finish this task faster than me?
- I spent so much time on unprofitable activities, how can I be more productive?
- I made a bet with Sue if she could beat my results!
Good employee time tracking software should be able to help businesses manage both employees’ time and projects’ duration in one place simultaneously. An employee time tracking software plug-in works even better when paired with additional features, such as a calendar. With employee time tracking, resource scheduling, task management and project monitoring capabilities, an employee time tracking software will greatly benefit businesses balance their varying time, human resources and budgetary demands.
Employee Time Tracking is a Seamless Part of Business
Businesses and industries today are built on billable hours, as well as fixed-fee projects. For other companies and organizations, knowing how time is spent on different areas is also paramount. Many organizations lack a proper framework for tracking employee time, so they never have a true understanding of how much time is required to complete a project or activity, and how much time an individual is contributing towards project completion. With Outlook employee time tracking software, all types of capacity and productivity issues, as well as client billing and project forecasting, can be quickly resolved and significantly improved.
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