Time Tracking Solutions – HOW TO Find the Best One
They say that time holds the power to change everything, yet a single moment that has passed will never come back to be availed. Everything is bound by time, which is why time has always proven to be the key element in gaining and maintaining the competitive advantage for businesses and organizations.
As the one commodity that every business shares equally – effective time management and time tracking is what can set an organization apart from the rest. Efficacious time management and time tracking allow organizations to accomplish more in lesser time and enhance their performance by determining how they function, where they struggle, how they misuse their time, and how to effectively allocate their time and other resources.
Time Tracking Solutions In the Modern World
The way businesses function have drastically changed over the last years, beginning with the shift to working more and more remotely. Fortunately, the progression of technology and the integration of these advancements into daily business processes have made the operations of organizations much easier.
Time reporting manually by means of traditional time clocks, spreadsheets and even paper, has become an outdated phenomenon, as employers try to maximize their employees’ productivity as they work remotely. So if not time clocks, then how do businesses track time?
With time tracking solutions, of course! Time tracking solutions are a great tool that can help businesses to:
- Simplify time entries and time-sensitive project reporting;
- Improve employee morale and employee-employer relations;
- Achieve higher levels of productivity, operational efficiency and profitability;
- Streamline business activities and enhance business growth and expansion.
Features of the Best Time Tracking Solutions
Time tracking solutions aren’t just there to make time entries or determine monetary profitability. The best time tracking solution aims to track a business’ various projects and their respective performance, calculate expenses automatically, create timesheets and set achievable goals.
In addition, good time tracking solutions are able to provide a larger picture of internal operations and client projects, offer practical solutions to increase individual productivity and save time; and more importantly, make business operations easier, more transparent and less time-consuming for both the employees and the employer.
Your Time Tracking Solution Should Integrate with Outlook
The use of the Microsoft Outlook Calendar as a calendar system has become a common phenomenon for most companies and organizations, and a good time tracking solution should leverage on what most businesses already have. This saves employees the hassle of having to shift their operations from what they are already using to another system, or undergo training to learn how to use timesheet software from scratch.
Timesheet reporting on projects and activities directly from your Microsoft Outlook Calendar simplifies the process of time tracking. Employees should be able to simply add a proper project or activity when creating an appointment in Microsoft Outlook to register the time spent on various activities, and optionally click submit when they have finished their appointment.
By means of a time tracking plug-in in Microsoft Outlook, employees have the convenience of automatically creating time entries to record the number of hours spent on various tasks. As opposed to recording time manually, this feature is much more accurate and saves a lot more time, which can then be utilized in more important and productive areas.
Time Tracking Solutions Should Provide a Summary of Time Outlay
The time entries entered should be easily accessible by both the employees and the supervisor. Both parties should be able to see an overview of how they have spent their time, and how they can look to improve on it.
If a user is able to view the time they have spent, it can help them improve their performance and overall work, to achieve better results. On the other hand, if a manager is able to identify that a certain team member is overshooting deadlines, they can offer their support and resources to help get the job done. This will also enable supervisors and project managers to generate accurate and timely reports in order to analyze their team’s overall performance and identify areas of improvement to make more informed decisions.
It Should Be Able to Track Business Expenses and Rates
Ideal time tracking solutions should allow an option for users and/or administrators to add hourly rates and expenses to their time entries. This enables the organization to bill their valued clients accurately by means of enhanced time tracking – making sure the clients are neither undercharged nor overcharged.
Having the option of tracking expenses, such as hotel stays and mileage, together with your time tracking, will also allow you to easily reimburse employees properly.
The best time tracking solutions provide a meticulous record of your employees’ working hours by enabling you to create equally-meticulous time entries in your Microsoft Outlook Calendar. In the end, when all the organization’s expenses are summarised into their project’s financials, they will have a clear understanding of what it costs their business to work on a project, and whether or not doing so is profitable for their business.
Should Help with Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is key to delivering quality work to clients as well as work on internal projects. With the help of ideal timesheeting solutions, employees can learn to balance their workloads effectively, prioritize tasks and activities, enhance focus and reduce stress levels. Employees also don’t have to undergo the nuisances of filling in timesheets at the end of each working day. Instead, the staff members can simply enter their log entries on their Outlook Calendar.
A good time tracking solution should also be able to help supervisors optimally distribute workloads to their workforce, based on the number of hours each member spends achieving team goals and targets, without overburdening any one employee. The best solution should be easy to use with a user-friendly interface and features that allow employees to save more time and spend less on unproductive activities. User friendliness is critical because it can increase retention and user satisfaction.
Ultimately, using good time tracking solutions eases the burden of work, increases employee satisfaction and boosts productivity at the workplace.
Timesheet Solutions Should Allow Accurate Projects Monitoring
The best timesheet solutions have the ability to let management monitor operations and employees’ work habits, track project resources, and construct timelines.
By getting an overview of how time is being spent, management can assess whether a certain project will be completed before a deadline or not. If not, the employer can choose to allocate more resources to the project to finish the project by the scheduled deadline. By tracking their employees’ progress on each project, employers can steer their organization in the right direction, implement informed strategies, delegate and communicate smoothly, and judge which tasks they need to prioritize first; which will surely never let them fall behind any deadlines!
Your Time Reporting Solution Should Report Accurately
Businesses and organizations don’t run on guesswork. In order for a business to successfully run, you need accurate and detailed analytics of every single internal record of your business. Without accurate data, the very foundations of a business are at the risk of collapsing. In terms of time tracking, the best time tracking software is accurate to the minute, so that you can have an indubitable records of your staff’s work performance – so much so that you can see where time is spent and also verify it.
You can then use this record to make significant decisions for your business about deliverables, resource management, and overall productivity of your staff, and to also accurately bill your clients and pay your employees.
Keeping an accurate record of hours worked enables you to track the performance of different departments, teams and employees so you can allocate work to the right people. However, not having enough accurate information can often lead to misinformed decisions, which can have grave implications for your business.
Should Integrate With Other Systems
The best time tracking solutions should go hand-in-hand with other systems and departments such as accounting, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning. This enables easy sharing and transfer of data from the timesheet solution to other systems, making invoicing your clients a lot simpler. This data can be used by various systems in project management, analytics, billing, etc.
Optimizing Your Organization
In a competitive market like that of today, every business is constantly seeking ways to enhance their productivity, optimize resources, and increase competitiveness. The implementation of time tracking is the best method to keep a business in the competition.
The best time tracking solutions give businesses and organizations actionable insight and accurate data into their performance, which they can use to optimize their company’s time management processes. It can also be used to optimize the hiring process based on worker skill set and availability. This leads to improved decision making and hence, yields better and more effective results – making a business more efficient and cost effective over time.
The best time tracking solution, especially one that integrates with Outlook, can prove to be very beneficial for all types of businesses – both small and large – and can do wonders for any organization. It is effective, increases employee accountability, and helps keep businesses compliant with regulations.
An ideal time reporting solution allows you to make well-calculated choices about how to run and price projects, how to distribute work, and even how to spend your day. It is time that you make the decision to lock up obsolete time reporting methods for good, and implement the best time tracking solutions that can help raise your business and organization to the next level of success.
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