Work tracking: How to introduce time tracking to your team?

  • October 4, 2021
  • by Ola Rybacka
  • No comments

Work tracking remains controversial, even now, in time of its common usage. People often become suspicious as fast as the subject of employee time tracking is introduced in their companies. Nothing strange about it, especially when an employer leaves them no choice and implements it without a proper explanation of the purpose.

So, how to make the employees willing to track their work hours? How to explain to them that employee monitoring software is essential for efficient work and recourse management from the point of a business owner? Let’s dig into it!

πŸ‘‰ What is work tracking?

It’s a corporate process of tracking and managing tasks completion and resources spent during the work results delivery.

One of its main parts is work time tracking that refers to how the company logs employees’ work hours to get them fairly compensated for fulfilling their assignments.

πŸ’Έ It’s also essential for appropriate project budgeting – for non-billable and billable hours estimation, tracking, and finally for their execution.

Work tracking provides project managers with a comprehensive analysis of how team members spend their work hours across their assignments. It sounds quite tedious, but luckily, the market is full of various SaaS work time tracking apps that streamline logging work hours.

πŸ’‘ The good thing is they won’t cost you a fortune – e.g., our work tracking app, TimeCamp, offers an employee time tracker app for unlimited users for free.

If you’re new to the subject but want to give it a try for your business, let me show you some of the most important things to do when introducing the time tracking app to your employees. But first, let’s take a look at what disturbs them the most.

πŸ‘‰ What are the most common employees’ concerns about work time tracking?

😱 Surveillance

As mentioned above, installing a work time tracker app on employees’ devices is often misunderstood as another form of surveillance. And it’s entirely understandable – nobody likes when others are looking over their shoulders to find out what they’re doing at the moment. It creates stressful situations that increase the level of anxiety.

What’s more, instead of making the employee more concentrated on what really matters for their assignments, they’re more focused on following the rules just to avoid messing with their superiors.

😱 Spying purpose

Employees also treat tracking hours as an attack on their privacy.

They imagine that time tracking software as a spying tool that logs each of their steps and provides their boss with a detailed summary of their daily activities.

That’s how it looks like when the team leader or entire company is set on micromanagement and admires every available form of controlling their subordinates.

😱 Underperformance

Being afraid of punishment also relates here. Having a team time tracking app installed on their computer, they can constantly think about the ulterior motives of their employer. Maybe it’s a way to find out who’s underperforming?

Recently, it’s been the main concern of remote workers, who considered time tracking software as a tool whose main goal is to show unproductive time instead of helping them stay focused in a domestic environment.

πŸ‘‰ How to introduce project time tracking to your team members?

Unfortunately, just thinking about using time tracking apps makes the employees suspicious because they still associate it with surveillance. It’s mainly caused by the years of employers’ bad practices; they usually presented a time log for employees with a fait accompli, without the proper explanation.

Well, how to let them know that time tracking streamlines managing projects and skyrockets overall work organization?

How to change their attitude towards tracking time and tracking tasks at work?

Let me guide you through it!

πŸ‘‰ Talk and explain!

Being honest with your team members is a key to success when it comes to good team relationships. Letting them know of important company decisions after they’ve already made them is bad for overall communication.

Such situations make the trust in superiors lower because nobody wants to submit to the rules they have no clue about. Only the person who wants to take absolute control of each step of their subordinates’ workflow tracks their working hours without informing them.

That’s why I highly encourage you to talk to your employees and explain the purpose of implementing project time tracking n your company.Β 

🀩 Grab a cheat sheet with a time tracking implementation explained in a nutshell! 

work tracking implementation cheat sheet

πŸ—οΈ It’s essential for proper modern absence tracking

Tracking employee attendance requires is a meticulous process. If companies do it manually, it produces tons of papers yearly. But no matter if it’s a big enterprise or a small business, owners are obliged by law to track employee attendance.

Instead of wasting resources on doing it manually, it’s much better to go paperless. Automatic time tracking provides teams with effortless attendance tracking.

Whether you choose a desktop app, browser extension, or web app, attendance software works in the background and properly log time spent working on daily assignments.

It’s beneficial from both employer and employees’ perspectives. Why?

  • Employers can easily track employees’ attendance by tracking work hours, vacation days, and sick leaves and approving their timesheets and vacation requests. And all that paperless, all the data are safely stored in the cloud and are easily accessible for managerial staff.
  • Employees, especially those who are billed hourly, can be sure that they’ll get paid fairly for their job, according to the number of hours logged for the given reference period.

πŸ—οΈ Accurate charging

If your company bills the customers for projects hourly, then time tracking is essential to make it effective. Time tracking software shows clearly the time data gathered for each project, which is essential for companies to charge clients according to the actual state.

πŸ’‘ Hint: TimeCamp offers a Guest feature that allows you to invite clients to your company account. They receive clients’ access to related projects and can stay up to date with resource utilization. Guests can only use the reporting features, which means they can’t track time, create projects, change anything in the time entries, and only see the final results for a certain task.

πŸ’‘ You can add as many guests as you need – they don’t count into your license limit.

πŸ—οΈ Streamlined project management

Time tracking apps integrate easily with project management software. They can import the entire project structure from the tool you use and let you track time for the exact project or task you’re currently working on.

Other integrations offer a built-in time tracking button so that you can track time straight from the project management apps you use.

TimeCamp offers employee time tracking with project management features. Its unique project tree structure allows you to add unlimited projects and tasks, track and manage time, and then generate the reports for time analysis.

Use the web app, desktop app, or mobile app to add as many different tasks as you want (or import them from your other tools), track time for them, and enjoy keeping your time entries in perfect order.

πŸ’‘ Hint: Besides unlimited projects and tasks, a free TimeCamp plan also includes unlimited users.

πŸ—οΈ Essential for project budgeting

Time trackers are a huge support for accurate budget forecasting. Based on tracked time spent on each project, you can easily evaluate their profitability on an ongoing basis. Such data is essential for further projects – it helps estimate time and costs for further operations.

A time tracking software also allows comparing budget usage with estimates – in TimeCamp; you can clearly see it on the progress bar in the Estimates report.

πŸ—οΈ Simple invoicing

Tracking time for projects is essential to track work hours and streamlines other company processes, such as invoicing. Based on tracking data, companies can automatically create invoices and send them straight to their clients.

The process is fully automated and doesn’t require any third-party apps, which saves much time on doing it manually.

πŸ—οΈ Accurate resource management

Using a time tracker is also essential for accurate employee scheduling. Tracking time, managers can clearly see their team’s time divided per each team member and then manage time for further projects, assigning tasks based on employees’ current availability (which is convenient especially for remote teams).

Creating a work schedule based on the actual state prevents employees from overworking and reduces the risk of scheduling conflicts and wasting labor hours.

πŸ—οΈΒ Tedious tasks automation

Automatic time tracking apps save much time on filling timesheets manually. Having one installed on the device they usually use, employees no longer need to write down the start/end hours in Excel files or Google Sheets; the desktop or mobile app does it for them seamlessly.

What’s more, these productivity apps work in the background, reducing distractions, which helps the users to stay focused.

πŸ—οΈΒ Productivity analysis

As mentioned before, tracking time isn’t for spying purposes but to find out what’s the actual state of employees’ performance. It’s essential for productivity evaluation and helps indicate processes whose performance doesn’t meet the expectations and the employees who are assigned to them.

In this case, time tracking software works as a productivity tracker and provides managers with priceless information about the number of hours worked spent on a particular project.

πŸ—οΈΒ Keeping track of non-billable hours

Besides tracking billable hours, time tracking software also indicates these non-billable, which are the administrative costs of work processes. Creating the right balance between them is a pain, but companies can track and analyze them to understand the true costs of running the business with a time tracking app. It’s also essential for accurate client charging.

What’s more, if the company tracks non-billable hours, employees can be sure they’re billed for their work overall, not only for the activities that make the profit.

A good example of non-billable activities are meetings, especially those to discuss the company or team-related issues. With TimeCamp and its Calendar integrations (e.g., Google Calendar or iCal), you can track time for them and mark them as non-billable.

πŸ—οΈΒ It automates timesheet management

Let’s face it: we all hate filling timesheets. Doing it manually is a huge waste of time that can be devoted to what really matters for our work. Filling them with even a simple time tracking app affects a team’s productivity positively.

That’s why, with the best time tracking software, employees can stop worrying about if their timesheets are filled on time.

A time tracker automatically fills them with time entries and computer activities if allowed, then sends it to their managers to approve or reject. Lifesaver!

πŸ‘‰ Your employees are still not convinced? Listen to their complaints!

It’s completely normal that your employees change their attitude towards time tracking after one conversation. I assume most of them will be complaining about the feature that often goes with time tracking – computer activity tracking. How to deal with it?

Explain to them that no self-respecting manager with a lot of their mind would spend their time meticulously browsing employees’ time reports to find the reason to punish them for unproductive behavior.

Sure, time tracking apps help to find out how employees are spending time at work, but trust me, managers have a lot on their minds, and it doesn’t leave much time on spying activities.

πŸ’š Letting your employees speak their concerns allows them to feel the mutual trust between them and the managerial staff.

Once you know their complaints and fears, you’ll be able to address them. Feel free to use the cheat sheet to explain to your employees the purpose of implementing time tracking software in your company.

πŸ‘‰ Transparency is the key

The devil is not so black as he is painted! Sure, employees can perform various forms of attitudes towards the fact they have to track time, but a proper explanation of the overall purpose and benefits for work performance would do the thing.

What’s more, don’t forget about the user onboarding. Your employees can be confused using the time tracking app for the first time. They probably haven’t used such a tool before; that’s why it’s good to organize a meeting and show them how a time tracker app works.

Wishing you a flawless time tracking implementation, good luck!

Ola Rybacka

Community Manager at TimeCamp, Ph.D., and speech therapy student, full-time otaku. γ‚ˆγ‚γ—γγŠι‘˜γ„γ—γΎγ™οΌ

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