The Best Time Tracking for 2016 and Onwards
The single most important asset your organization has is your employees’ time, and you can’t maximize the ROI of that investment without good data, and good data is hard to find. There are a tons of software packages that promise to provide a solution, but not all of them deliver.
Here are what we think are some of the most important features to look for:
Integration Saves Time
It’s easy to spend more time collecting timesheet data than is saved by utilizing it. And yet, almost everyone in a business environment today has an online calendar to track where they need to be at any given moment. If you’re looking into time tracking for 2016 and forward, to maximize the ROI of the time you invest and the best data collection method is one that doesn’t require you to invest more time, but builds on what you already have.
That makes integration the first critical feature. If your proposed solution doesn’t integrate with the calendar in Microsoft Outlook, which most organizations today use, you need to find another solution. It’s really just that simple.
However, collecting data is only one aspect of integration. Remember that the purpose of the solution is to make the most of time spent, so anything that reduces time spent on tasks that don’t generate revenue is a bonus. To that end, look for a solution that integrates with your Outlook calendar, and also allows you to share data with your other systems, like payroll, ERP, Excel, etc. This will make things faster, it’s more accurate, and the more employees you have, the more important it is.
You Can’t Maximize ROI on Something You Can’t See
Collecting data isn’t the point of improving your time tracking in 2016 and forward. Utilizing that data to make better decisions is the point. That makes having an extensive reporting utility an essential part of any real solution.
Before you make any decisions regarding which solution to go with, ask yourself how you’re going to want to look at the data and demand that your solution provide that functionality. At the very least, you will want to look at time spent on a project, time spent by an individual, and a comparison of time spent by one person to that of another.
In addition, while you’re going to want to see data in a simple table, you’re also going to want to have it in pie charts and bar graphs.
Conduct Business with Your Phone
Remember, we’re talking about time tracking in 2016 and into the future. These days, many of us spend much of the business day out of the office and yet the routine functions of reporting time cannot always wait until we get back to the office. Your solution should enable you to perform these routine tasks—securely—via a smart phone, and also via your Outlook when offline.
Time is always of the essence. The difference between success and failure—the difference between surviving and thriving—often lies in the decisions we make about how to utilize our time. An effective timesheet system can help us make better decisions, but an ineffective timesheet system is only going to waste time you don’t have. So when you’re looking for a time tracking solution for 2016 and beyond, make sure you’re getting what you need.
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