How To Turn Outlook Into a Timesheet Calendar – Best Work Time Tracking
Have you been working round the clock to improve your business outcomes but see no improvements? Do you have trouble identifying where exactly you fall short? Do you wish to make your management smoother and less bumpy? The answer may be to start from scratch.
To enhance your outcome, you have to observe and analyze the input i.e. time. Work time tracking is the key to organizational success because once you know how much time each employee in each department is spending on each task, client, activity, or project, there is no limit to what you can do with that information.
Different Methods of Work Time Tracking
Businesses have been trying to evaluate their time for a long time, but its efficacy has been minimal because of the methods traditionally used. The most common way of work time tracking is maintaining a timesheet calendar on paper. While that may seem like something simple, doing it is not only cumbersome and tedious but also ineffective.
Paper records are replete with human errors, be it transcription errors or calculation ones, and thoroughly rechecking them costs a significant amount of time. Since this task is enormous, it requires a separate workforce, enhancing the administrative and financial burden on the business.
A simpler method than that could be one on a spreadsheet, but that also raises questions about the accuracy of data. Since people may not exactly remember how much they spent on a certain project a week ago, the information cannot be trusted for analysis.
The best method for tracking work time is using a digital solution that does this job for you. You want it to record the time you spent on each project and transform that into usable information. For this purpose, there isn’t a shortage of work time tracking solutions out there. However, not all are created equal.
Turning Outlook into a Timesheet Calendar
Unknown to a lot of people, Outlook can do a lot more than just send emails and maintain a calendar. That calendar itself can easily be upgraded into a timesheet calendar with a simple compatible solution that will leverage this pre-existing framework to its benefits.
We all regularly create appointments in the Outlook Calendar. All this solution will do is add a couple of extra fields such as organization, project, and activity, and that appointment becomes a time entry. For example, a budget meeting at your own organization can be blocked for the respective time in the calendar with your organization’s name under organization, ‘accounting’ or ‘administration’ under the project, and ‘budget meeting’ under the activity.
These entries can then be submitted to the administration for approval, strengthening the accuracy of this timesheet calendar solution, so that this data may be used by departments such as billing, human resources, and upper management.
Why You Should Use Outlook for Work Time Tracking?
There are endless solutions for work time tracking out there and you are free to choose any of them. However, Outlook is an unmatched office tool, so using that with a proper time tracking add-in, this is bound to optimize your business, improve your workflow, and establish your company as a forerunner in the market. That is possible due to its multiple unique benefits.
Every organization uses Outlook for one purpose or another. While some may use it just for communication, others have integrated it into their business practices. Either way, everyone is already familiar with Outlook to a certain degree, making it easier for them to adopt a timesheet solution that leverages that into their busy schedule.
Outlook is accessible for people all over the globe, whether they are working in the office, on the road or from home. This again underlines the benefits of using a time reporting solution that works as an add-in to Outlook.
You also need a solution that can be accessed from the browser on your phone, so that time tracking can easily be done in remote geographic locations as well. If someone isn’t home, they can still input their entry to be synced later, rather than forgetting about it and then getting it wrong.
Outlook also has an extremely user-friendly interface, with a layout that is easy to browse, so turning the Outlook calendar into a timesheet calendar makes it simple to use, and accessible to all kinds of audiences.
Better Task Allocations
When you use Outlook for work time tracking, it can present to you all kinds of data in various forms such as graphs and tables. All it takes is a single click to filter that information through multiple variables such as comparing the time taken by one employee with that taken by another on a similar task.
A good time reporting solution equips you with information such as who spends how much time on certain projects, possibly excelling in it, and who struggles to finish the same task. This gives you an idea about individual employees’ strengths, which will allow you to better manage your human resources and maximize operational productivity.
A good timesheet calendar also allows you to identify who is being overworked, who can take on additional projects, who is currently free to be assigned to a project, and whether work is evenly distributed. All of this helps skyrocket your organizational efficiency.
When you have accurate knowledge of how long it actually takes to finish a task, thanks to your work time tracking, you begin to understand the contributions from each employee, making you a more empathetic leader, which translates into better workplace relationships. That, coupled with equal distribution of workloads, is what keeps your employees satisfied and motivated.
Additionally, a timesheet calendar solution provides employees’ real-time insights into their own time. They have an omniscient view of all the data available, including how they’ve spent their time in different areas. This enhanced ownership over their own time and ability to view the schedule in advance, establishes a more transparent relationship between you and your workforce.
Minimized Costs and Raised Revenue
As already established, time tracking based on paper or spreadsheets are unnecessarily expensive due to the amount of manual labor involved. The switch to digital software is crucial to cutting down costs.
Since it is an Outlook-based time reporting solution, no money is spent on additional training that might otherwise be required. Everyone is already familiar with the functionalities of Outlook and does not need to sit through yet another workshop.
Some Outlook compatible solutions also let you add hourly rates and other billable costs onto your time entries for improved financial tracking.
Moreover, allocating tasks according to suitable skillsets based on the data obtained from an Outlook timesheet calendar enhances the productivity and overall value of the workspace, expanding its capability to generate revenue. Maintenance of a comprehensive timesheet calendar for accurate client billing will also improve client satisfaction, recommendations, and market image, drawing in more potential customers.
Assessment of Productivity
Before tasks are started, an estimated deadline is established. Now that a your time reporting data has told you exactly how much time it actually takes to do that, the time dedicated can be compared to the output, to measure productivity. Work time tracking allows you to identify which activities delay task completion so that the relevant area can be optimized, and workflow improved.
Timesheet calendar data is crucial for all the departments of an organization. The same data is used in labor allocation, client billing, payroll, and other managerial decisions, and old data is stored to run analytics and trends upon for future projections. As a result, this data is highly important for the organization and may not be lost. Not only should each account be protected by unique user credentials, but you must also make sure that communication from the Outlook add-in and the server part is encrypted.
Simple Flextime Solution
Outlook time trackers can also work as simple flextime solutions, giving you the option to place a target on the number of hours that should be logged by certain employees into the timesheet calendar.
This specification in the solution allows you to compare how much time should have been reported versus how much time has actually been reported.
Outlook is a state-of-the-art tool for time management and communication, and should thus be used as such with the help of compatible software. Once you begin doing work time tracking and evaluate project efficiency, you will start accomplishing much more than you already do and streamline your business operations. Turn your Outlook into a timesheet calendar and the only way is forward.
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