Employees don’t “punch the clock” like they used to. Nowadays, they open a time tracking software tool on their phone or computer. As with other software developments, time sheet apps simplify time tracking for everyone involved. Yet while this type of tool alleviates a daily burden from hourly employees, it’s management and operations teams who see the most benefits from a successfully deployed time sheet app.
Time tracking apps are simple on the surface — a stopwatch of sorts, with a rolling log of work weeks and project exertion. Many of the top products offer other features that assist with accounting and human resources, among other things. Even in its purest form, though, time tracking software can prove immensely valuable for your business in a slew of ways.
Some of the major benefits of using time sheet apps may include:
The term “human capital management” pervades the professional world year after year, changing the way we view employees and their individual potential and contributions. Along with workforce management software, time tracking tools aid the evaluation process by giving managers an accurate view of employee output so they can plan future labor accordingly. You can maximize team efficiency by identifying individuals who take too long on certain tasks or those who move too quickly — which might imply they are rushing things.
Understanding projects and tasks
You can’t fully assess the efficiency of workers unless you understand the demands of their projects and assignments. One perk of using a time sheet app is improved transparency into the difficulty (or lack thereof) related to various projects and tasks. If you and your fellow managers notice significant patterns from hours logged toward one thing or another, you can use this as justification for change — whether that means reassigning projects to different people or altering projects altogether.
It’s not hard to comprehend why some big-name time sheet apps like Paymo and UltiPro also function as payroll software. The two business functions go together like wine and cheese. Time tracking software that doesn’t already offer payroll features can often export data directly into a payroll platform, or at the very least translate time logs into CSV spreadsheets so you can forward the information to your accounting team. A digital database of employee labor greatly reduces the margin of error for payroll while streamlining the process for all involved.
For client relationships with an hourly component (e.g. consulting, website design, etc.), businesses who track time on paper — or by memory, for that matter — surely test the limits of trust with their customers. With the help of a time sheet app, you can invoice clients with accurate, to-the-minute specifics for each job milestone. Certain time tracking products even provide built-in features for invoicing, and some take it a step further with electronic payment capabilities. You can see what G2 Crowd reviewers said about the client invoicing features for time sheet apps, along with other feature comparisons, on the Fall 2016 Grid® for Time Tracking.
Last but not least, time sheets can (and should) light a fire under your staff in regard to focus and accountability. A relaxed and progressive workplace shouldn’t come at the expense of effort toward one’s job duties — on the contrary. Encouraging employees to track their time for certain tasks, meetings, projects or work days as a whole may help them hone in on their personal productivity, not only for self-betterment but for not wanting to be the weak link in the chain. Using a time sheet app can be an eye-opening experience for all parties involved, and shine a light where there are the most shadows.
An overlong and tiring workday can still make your employees want to “punch the clock,” figuratively speaking. But a time sheet app can reduce at least a smidge of stress, and benefit your overall operation in a number of ways. See what fellow professionals have said on G2 Crowd about popular time tracking tools on the market, and consider if it’s time you implemented one in your own company.