Get an Outlook Timesheet Plugin FREE of Charge
In this article we’ll be exploring what the challenge is with traditional time tracking approaches, how you find a solution for that and even how you can get an Outlook timesheet plugin free of charge.
Do read on…
The challenge with traditional approaches to timesheets
In a lot of organizations timesheet reporting is done by using for example a spreadsheet in Excel, which then needs to be collected by a supervisor, the numbers manually aggregated and then based on this some sort of report may see the light of day. In other organizations there may be a dedicated software program for this, which requires users to stop what they are doing, go into another program and then enter their time manually.
In both of these cases it’s a manual process, meaning that your employees must remember what they did and when they did it.
This is really a hassle for your employees and usually not something that they look forward to.
Because of this it very often ends up not being done at all, or in best case being done late, and usually in a not too accurate way.
This results in supervisors having to chase down timesheets, which creates further frustration and hassles.
On top of this your collected timesheet info may become inaccurate, which gives you the wrong impression of how things are. This can then result in incorrect invoicing of clients, payroll calculations and also hurt your project management and resource division.
Finding a solution
So how do you solve this situation? You need to find a solution that is not a hassle for your employees. Find something that will actually make life easier for them.
To do so, find something that they are already familiar with.
Most professional organizations use Microsoft Outlook, including the Outlook calendar, so you should build on that familiarity. Use your Outlook calendar as the basis for your time tracking.
There is a solution (hint: TimeSheet Reporter), which makes it possible for you to get a plugin for Outlook, so that you can use your Outlook calendar entries as the basis for your timesheet reporting.
You can currently sign up for free for this solution, and after having installed the Outlook add-in, you can then report time via your calendar.
When creating a new calendar entry, you can then also select your proper timesheet information, like organization, project and activity and that’s it.
It really is easy for your employees, and at the same time it becomes more accurate, since it uses the info that is already there in your calendar, and it also gets done.
What your timesheet solution should also include
Some of the other things that your timesheet solution should include would be optional supervisor approval of time entries. In most cases this is a very useful feature to have. When an employee has created their time entries, they can then submit them for approval, and a supervisor can then approve them.
Besides this, your solution should also include strong reporting capabilities, so that you can easily get an overview of how time has been spent. This can be for individual employees, and also for specific projects and activities, or simply an overall overview of how time is being spent.
You should be able to export this data to for example Excel or CSV format.
Furthermore it will be a great benefit to your employees if you give them access to the reporting function. If you don’t want your employees to see how their colleagues are spending their time or their boss, you can still give them access to the reporting tool, but limit it, so that they can only see their own time entries.
If you have the need for it, it is also nice to have an option of having features for having hourly rates in the system as well as the ability to track expenses, such as hotel stays, mileage, etc.
How to get an Outlook timesheet plugin free of charge
So is it possible to get started with tracking time at no cost?
Yes. With TimeSheet Reporter you can sign up for free and get started with an Outlook timesheet plugin free of charge.
You simply sign up via the website, and you can then try it out and enjoy all the benefits.
In this way you can demonstrate how it will work in your organization and when you’re ready you can then roll it out to all your relevant employees.
No need to wait getting started. Sign up right away and enjoy the benefits.
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