In many professions time is a valuable asset. It not only determines the moment when things should be done – the deadline. It is also a basis of company revenues as organizations bill their clients for the time units spent on the particular project. To serve the purpose, it needs to be properly recorded. Unfortunately, in most cases it is not.
There is a wide range of reasons why organizations notify losses in their billable minutes. We can find them in many different aspects, but the human factor is here the most meaningful here. One thing is that people’s behavior is affected by various issues, that are not always easy to change. Personality, habits, attitude – all those demand a strong will and hard work. Moreover, even more important, is that every single employee may be a cause of the problem as they are the ones who are responsible for time tracking. Why don’t they do this?
1. Unreliable memory
Imperfect human memory is the most common concern in the term of time entries. Having a day filled with many tasks, meetings, phone calls and working on a variety of projects for different clients makes it very easy for your employees to forget what they were doing during the whole day.
This, in turn, results with blanks in your workers’ timesheets. If they are not filled right after something is done, it probably still won’t be done another day. With the new day everyone focuses on new duties and tasks. So if someone is not a type who takes notes each time he or she accomplishes an assignment, it can be hard for them to remember it afterwards.
2. Cons of Multitasking
Doing two or more things at the same time might be considered as more productive. It may seem that it increases employees’ efficiency and helps to save their valuable minutes, however, according to research only 2% of people can multitask successfully. Generally, the more people pay attention, the less focused they are on the priorities. Activities which are supposed to take minutes or just an hour prolongs. Finally, with so many tasks in progress they are too busy to track their time, thus they procrastinate. It makes them forget more. As a result, they do not log all of the time units taken for particular assignments.
3. Awareness of Imperfection
Another reason that people skip time tracking is they are afraid to realize that they’re not as productive as they would like to think of themselves. Many of them stay in the office long hours what makes them believe they work hard. Time is considered as a determinant for the phenomena of being efficient. This way it is easier to achieve goals. Recording time of all their activities may disturb this image by revealing some facts about the reality and the potential imperfection makes them feel anxious.
4. Time Tracking Kills the Latitude
Another thing is that recording billable minutes does not come naturally to working people, especially creative ones. Measuring time spent on the project seems to be artificial and causes resentment. What is more, workers who are forced to log time for every activity feel threatened and insecure. It is because time tracking creates the atmosphere of the overtime control and let’s be honest – nobody likes it.
5. The Easier the Better
Last but not least excuse for avoiding time tracking is the level of its difficulty. Most of the systems implemented within organizations are too complicated for the average employee. They require extra effort and thereby time to fill the timesheets every day. Not only your employees have better and more important things to do than struggling with the software but they will also try to avoid the feeling of incompetence and potential frustration.
If your company bills clients hourly, you can’t resign from time tracking even if you workers don’t like it. Recorded hours are the basis of your revenues, your employees’ salary and business relations. They provide information about your team’s productivity and project profitability. The clue is to find the solution to encourage people. But it is a piece of another story.