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Tired of paperwork?
For decades, contractors have used traditional time management techniques to keep track of their crews productivity. Starting from pen and paper timesheets to punch clocks, home repair contractors have tried them all. However, what they did not realize are the costs incurred from these techniques. Recording timesheets manually is the worst mistake you can make, not only will you be making mistakes but your business will be prone to various unethical activities - i.e. time theft, buddy punching and more. In fact, there are numerous reports from Nucleus Research and the American Payroll Association that have disclosed some scary statistics regarding buddy punching:
Nucleus Research report, around 19% percent of workers have admitted to buddy punching for a coworker. - Nucleus Research Report
So what are my alternatives? How can I make my home repair business more efficient?
To help you find footing, we will give you a few great tips that are proven to drive productivity in your business.
Start automating with digital time tracking apps
We just explained how disruptive manual time tracking processes are. The process may look something like this: The first hour, you are running around gathering timesheets or waiting for your crew to bring them to you. Then you are spending a few more hours trying to sort and record those timesheets.
This hypothetical case assumes that you are doing the heavy-lifting - which is the case for many small to medium home repair businesses. However, even if the person doing the work is not you, wouldn't it be more efficient if they spent their time working on other tasks that can’t be automated at a cost-effective price?
Think about it, you could be paying an average of $4 per user per month to have all of this process completed at the touch of a button. In addition, you will be getting advanced data that will help you foster a transparent and accountable culture.
Your best investment starts at $4/user per month
Automate mundane responsibilities and start focusing on tasks that really matter. .See Pricing
The digital time tracking market is crowded with apps offering all sorts of features. Are you looking to manage remote employees using a location tracker?
Now that there are hundreds of apps offering location tracking features, some more advanced than others. GPS Location tracking was initially designed to promote transparency and accountability throughout the organization. Now, its role has become even more relevant. Business across industries have used GPS-data to find more efficient routes, to better assign crew members to the closest job sites and more.
You are looking to manage payroll, track costs and understand employee productivity? Again, a solution exists. Getting to the time tracking app can be a process but once you find one that fits your needs then you’re set.
As a home repair contractor, you should be looking for a piece of software that is simple, yet effective. This software should accurately manage your crew's work hours, track remote workers across job sites, administer paid time off hours and report to you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Automating the entire time tracking process has helped many of our clients across similar industries achieve their true potential:
I love this app! Loads employee's location in real-time, reports timesheets, employees to clock in and out, always has staff ready to assist. This app really does offer everything you need and more than far as time tracking goes and it’s extremely affordable. This is an app I highly recommend to all of my friends and family who are running a business - AppStore Review
If you are interested in trying a simple digital time tracker then we recommend starting with the free 14-day trial offered by atto.
Implement an effective time reporting policy
If you are on a budget and looking for a free solution than your best bet is to establish a number of rules and regulations dedicated to time reporting. There are pros and cons to this alternative; On one hand, you will shorten the time it takes to manage timesheets, while on the other, you will still have to do the work by yourself and hope that employees are going to report their work hours accurately.
A simple Google search for “time reporting policy templates” will prompt you with numerous free policies that you can take and adapt to your business.
The structure of these policies is fairly similar, here is an overview: A time reporting policy template will go through definitions and general information, describe procedures and responsibilities, and highlight enforcement. The document will then be signed by the executives and presented to the entire staff.
Many service businesses, universities, and nonprofits are using these policies to transition to online solutions. While, it is up to you to decide whether you want to keep the manual time tracking process in place, do note that there are more effective solutions available to you.
Eliminate time-wasting distractions
In today's highly digitalized world it can be hard to stay away from distractions. We all love browsing through social media channels, reading articles about our favorite sports team or even learning about a product we are interested in, but we forget how addictive they can be. According to the SFGate survey, on average, people waste 2.6 hours every day on the internet while on the clock.
The long term effects of these daily 2.6 hours can be catastrophic. In a month, you could be losing 52 hours of effective work and depending on the industry that can translate to a $756 billion salary cost for employers.
Time wasters are especially prevalent across businesses that are dependent on remote work. Among others, home repair contractors fall within this category. As the employee of such a business you are expected to go to various job sites throughout the day, so what’s going to stop you from pulling out your phone and checking your social profiles for a few minutes?
For these reasons, many general and home repair contractors are inclined to enforce the use of work phones while on the clock. These phones are free of distractions, and they sometimes restrict internet access. Although not the most appealing alternative, eliminating time-wasting distractions should be the priority of any contracting business that desires growth.
At the beginning of this blog, we briefly talked about whose responsibility it is to value the productivity of workers. Based on research, we have understood that executives are those who are manually recording timesheets – unless they have a digitized time tracking system. As a result, they are losing valuable hours that could be used on strategic tasks that could benefit the business.
But what if you could hire someone to take care of that work for you? An intern maybe?
There are a ton of mundane tasks that can easily be delegated to interns or practitioners at practically no costs. This is important for small and medium home repair contractors looking to focus more on their on more strategic tasks. After all, as a contractor you’re not best suited doing marketing tasks, managing websites or even sorting out timesheets. Therefore, finding a responsible intern who will take care of the basics tasks will allow your crew members to allocate time more productively.
There are many ways through which a home repair contractor can drive productivity. We have outlined only a few great options with the goal of introducing the concept of time management in your business. Time tracking automation is the clear winner but delegation and support can be complementary efforts that will help you build a successful home repair business.
Time management is an important concept for your home repair business. It is the most effective way to grow your business at a low cost. Here are a few tips that will guide you on that journey.