Reasons Why You Need a Work Hours Tracker for Your Company
In today’s economic climate, making a business of any size work is not a small feat, in fact for many it is a challenge too far. Statistically, a new business is most likely to fail within the first 12 months of operation. Get past this stage and things are looking good, but get past 24 months and you are far, far more likely to make it. Running a business of any size is no small feat, especially when you consider the fact that there are so many different elements to focus on. A business however, is only as strong as its employees, which is why it pays to help make them be more productive in the workplace. But how can one go about doing that? Well, in reality there are many proven strategies aimed around boosting employee productivity, though integrating a new work hours tracker is certainly up there as one of the most effective. Work hours tracking, also known as time tracking, has helped countless businesses all over the globe boost employee productivity and morale, while simultaneously saving money and increasing profits in the process. But why does your business need a work hours tracker? Well, let’s take a look, shall we?
Key advantages of a work hours tracker
Time tracking software is an incredibly useful business tool to have at your disposal. In fact, many businesses out there literally credit it for saving their businesses and making them a success. A work hours tracker not only functions as an effective scheduling tool, it also serves as a fantastic record for how many hours your employees have worked, when they’re due time off, when they may not be eligible for time off, and much more besides. With that said, here’s a more detailed breakdown of some of the key advantages associated with integrating a work hours tracker as part of your business strategy:
Enhance business quotes and estimates
No matter what line of work you are in, chances are you will have to provide a series of quotes and estimates to your customers, and potential customers in a bid to gain their business. After all, without customers there will be no money, and no money means no business. When providing quotes and estimates, although these are not always going to be exact figures, if you want to make an impression and keep the client happy, it’s essential that you ensure your quotes and estimates are as accurate as possible. The last thing you want is to provide a quote for a job to a client, only to find that once you complete the job, you vastly underquoted and therefore have to charge them more than initially quoted or yourself taking a loss. This is a guaranteed way of upsetting potential customers, which is the last thing you want. If you imagine somebody quoting you one figure for some work, which you agreed upon, only to find them then charging you more than double the amount you initially agreed upon, this would not make you happy. With time tracking software however, this needn’t be a concern for you because the software in general helps you to provide precise and accurate quotes and estimates, to help you make the right impression with your clients. Keeping clients happy means they are more likely to use your services again, plus they will be more likely to recommend your services to others. You see, time tracking software will help you log the duration of each type of task your company provides, helping to give a clearer insight into how long a task will take, and how much you should charge.
Monitor your contractor progress
Another very useful benefit associated with time tracking software is the fact that it allows you to monitor the progress of your contractors. You see, a lot of businesses out there will employ freelance workers, as well as independent contractors. As a business owner, you need to keep tabs on them and their workload to ensure they’re keeping you within budget. You see, freelancers and independent workers may not necessarily feel the same levels of loyalty to you as your regular staff members, therefore they may not always be careful in regards to how much they’re spending and so on. By having freelance workers and independent contractors fill in timesheet reports like your other employees, you can help ensure that you know how many hours they have worked each week, and how many hours they have dedicated to specific projects.
Track employee performance
As mentioned, a business is only as strong as its employees, which is why it’s vital that you get the most out of your staff members. With time tracking software, you can accurately track and monitor employee performance, to help get a better insight into your workers. By having them fill in time tracking sheets you can see how long it has taken them to complete certain tasks, as well as just how many tasks and jobs they have completed in a certain duration of time. If for example, you can see that an employee has completed a number of jobs well ahead of schedule, you know that they’re performing well. If, however, the time sheet reporting software is indicating that a worker has taken far longer than they should on certain tasks, this indicates that they aren’t performing to the standard you expect, and you can then take the necessary actions required to get the best out of them.
Track hours in Outlook
This video shows you how to track your hours in Outlook with TimeSheet Reporter:
In the workplace, there are always jobs and tasks that are considered more important than others. For example, if you’re working on a project that should be completed in six weeks’ time, and a very similar project that should be completed in three weeks’ time, the project due in three weeks should obviously take priority over the project due in six weeks. With time tracking software however, you get to see this info in black and white, allowing you to get a clear insight into your current workload, and into which jobs should be prioritized first. By going with time tracking software which integrates with your calendar for example, you can then look at your current workload and can prioritize jobs in terms of importance. This is very useful as it will allow you to make better use of your resources and your employees in general. You see, each individual with access to the software can see how jobs are progressing, and based on that get an impression of how many hours may be required for each stage. As an example, if you can see that you have a job due in several weeks that only requires a couple of hours of work, this will probably be fairly low on your list of priorities, allowing you to delegate accordingly.
Monitor the status of tasks as you go
In most cases, the second a task leaves your desk you are basically leaving it in the hands of your employees, hoping that they’ll get it done quickly and efficiently. Now, the more employees you have working for you, the more jobs there will be for you to worry about. With a work hours tracker however, you monitor the status and progress of tasks as you go. All you need to do is log in and you can then check the status of each and every task you and your team are currently working on. This means that you can log in and see how many jobs still need to be completed, how many have been completed, and how far along each employee currently is on each job. This in turn means that you get a better idea of who is on schedule, who is ahead of schedule, and who is behind schedule. You can then act accordingly.
Delegate tasks efficiently
In the workplace, some jobs are simply too large for one person alone, yet unfortunately it is often one person taking on the responsibility of two people. Sometimes however, employers will delegate a one-person job to two people, making it a complete waste of time and resources. With a work hours tracker however, you can delegate tasks efficiently as you can see when a job is due, and how far along an employee is. For example, if you can see that an employee is struggling to stay on schedule with a particular job, you can then assign a second person to that same task to ensure the deadline is met and that the work is completed on time. On the flipside, if you can see that two or more employees are working on a job that would ordinarily only require one person, and you can see that they are well ahead of schedule, you can reassign one employee onto another task to better make use of your resources and time. Basically, with time tracking software, transparency is the word of the day as you get a clear insight into how well your employees are performing, how many jobs you currently have in the pipeline, how far away from completion each one is, and whether employees are on schedule, ahead of schedule, or behind.
Keep track of employee strengths and weaknesses
Now, when it comes to a work hours tracker, one of the first complaints that employees often have is that they’re being spied upon and they feel as if their privacy is being invaded. Once they understand precisely how a time tracker works, and once they see just how awesome it really is, all of a sudden these complaints are no longer an issue. The simple truth is that some employees have been known to slack off, and some are perhaps not as productive as they could be. In most cases however, it’s a question about providing the right resources and training to the right employees, since most employees want to do a good job. Time tracking software is extremely beneficial in that it is able to highlight areas of concern. If you can see that an employee happens to be spending considerably more time on a task than other employees who are doing the same thing, this highlights the fact that they may be struggling. A timesheet solution isn’t about spying on employees, it is about helping them, and one of these trackers will help you to do precisely that. If the software is highlighting an issue, you can assign the employee the relevant help required.
Understand the ins and outs of your business
Another very useful benefit of implementing time tracking software in the workplace is the fact that it enables you to get a better understanding of how your business works. It doesn’t matter which services you provide, or which areas you specialize in; one of the key advantages of a work hours tracker is the fact that you can see exactly how long certain project and activities take. Say you work in web development for example. If you use a time tracker you can see how long, on average, it takes to complete a website from scratch. This not only gives you a better overview of your business, it also means that you can provide clients with accurate estimates in terms of when they can expect their website to be complete by. The more accurate your estimates are, the more orders you will likely receive and the happier your clients will be.
If you don’t sell services, you still need to know how much time different activities take, so you can estimate future projects better and also know if you spend your time in the right areas and ways.
Keep track of contractors
If you happen to employ freelancers, a work hours tracker is very useful because it will allow you to keep track of them and see how they are getting on. You see, when it comes to freelancers, they will likely be working for more than one person/company, and so getting estimates for completions of tasks can be harder because they have so many different jobs going on at once. If a client is waiting for an important project and has requested an update, the last thing they will want is to wait for days, maybe even weeks, as you try and chase up any freelance contractors working on that specific project. With a work hours tracker, you can see exactly how far along on the project they are, at the touch of a button. This means that you don’t have to chase contractors up, and it means that you can give your clients regular updates and keep them in the loop so that they know exactly how long it will be until they receive the goods/services they purchased.
Improve delivery times
Let’s face it, modern living is hectic enough, and when you include work in there, things speed up even further. When clients purchase goods or services from you, the last thing they will want is to be waiting longer than they have to. Being busy is good, and we know that you can’t rush quality, but in the eyes of some clients, speed is vital. If you tick off a client by having them wait too long for a delivery, there is a chance that they won’t return again. Another awesome benefit of using good time reporting softare, is the fact that you can use it to assign the right employees to the right tasks. If you can see from their data, that certain employees are more efficient at specific tasks, you can assign them to tasks based on their strengths. On the flipside, if you can see that certain employees are perhaps slower on some tasks, again, you can use this to assign them to tasks and projects in which they shine. Basically, you put the right people onto the right jobs and delivery times and completion rates all shoot up dramatically. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that that is going to be best for business.
The same goes with organizations that don’t sell services. Your managers will want to have projects delivered as fast as possible and in the best possible way, which such a solution will help with.
Another huge benefit of using time tracking in the workplace is the fact that it allows you to more accurately estimate your project deliveries. By consulting the data collected via the software over time, you get an idea of how long specific tasks take on average, manpower required, and whether any resources are required. If for example, you can see that you’ve been under-estimating for certain services or project deliveries, based on completion times and manpower requirements, you can use the data to accurately estimate different activities. This will make your organization so much more competitive and resourceful.
Backing you up with data
In a lot of situations you may need to provide upper management or your board with details on how your organization or company is performing. For this you need solid data.
Using the data collected via time tracking software, you can show upper management or your board exactly how well your organization is running based on how time is being spent, and how efficient your employees are. It’s easy to claim that your business is doing really well, but do you have the data and figures to back this up? If you use a work hours tracker, yes you do, and this is extremely valuable.
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