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June 11, 2021

How to love time tracking


Table of Contents

Tired of paperwork?

The Harvard Business Review estimates that untracked work could cost the US economy up to $7.4 million per day

And it isn’t only the businesses and owners who lose money, but the employees as well.

However, introducing a time tracking software can be a jarring thing to do. With many employees used to the old clock in and out method, software that does this automatically can often feel like an invasion of privacy. 

Some of the most common perceptions for why employees don’t want to have their work automatically time tracked usually are:

  • Data gathered is used to “spy” on employees
  • The management uses this software to target low performing employees
  • The employees’ work can’t be properly measured
  • There is no benefit to gathering this type of data
  • It takes too long to fill in time tracking sheets

And all of these concerns are quite valid. So it’s important to acknowledge all of your team’s reservations about accepting this new method of tracking work and communicate to them how it will be used for their benefit as well. This way, managers can determine exactly how time tracking can change the company culture and practices for the better for everyone involved - most notably the employees. 

Here are some benefits that you can communicate to your employees, in order for them to start loving time tracking instead of hating it.

1. Overtime Is Recorded - Always 

A great way to warm up employees to the idea of time tracking is to tell them that all of the time they spend working on projects will be recorded correctly - especially overtime. Not only will they be at ease when knowing that all their working time will be accounted for, but they will also know that their extra effort will not go unpaid. 

See related: Calculating a fair price of labor.

2. No More Micro-Managing

This might seem a little contradictory to the general skepticism towards time tracking services, but it is a real perk. 

In some cases, field service businesses, like plumbing, landscaping, homecare, or renovation, for example, may have a few simultaneous projects going on. Managers often have to check in with their employees to look create progress reports. With time tracking software like Atto installed on their devices, managers can check in on employees from afar without having to disturb them.

Before, managers might have had to physically approach employees to retrieve timesheets that document the daily progress for each employee. But with time tracking software the need for this only arises in team meetings. While on the field, employees won’t have to worry about clocking in and out, or remembering their work hours, every moment will be captured by the software.

3. A More Optimized Workload

Another perk that your employees will benefit from time tracking is that they won’t be overworked or suffer from a potential burnout.

Not only will their time be accounted for, but managers can also generate reports that show how much an employee is working, how much time it takes them to finish certain projects and overall workflow. There will be more data on the team’s capabilities, which is a huge plus when managing expectations, coming up with deadlines and even when setting the price for a project.

4. It’s Fair To Everyone 

We’re all aware of the many times we have had to cover for colleagues who slack off from time to time. Admittedly, if this behavior is repeated the employees who actually work hard will begin to not take work that seriously or even feel undervalued because everyone is being evaluated the same regardless of their progress. 

With a time tracking service, this little problem slowly goes away on its own. Everyone will have to log in their own time and the software is transparent and fair to all employees. This can be seen in real-time and in timesheets as well. Your employees will greatly appreciate the fairness that you will be bringing to the

5. Deadlines Will Be More Feasible

Another benefit that all employees of field service businesses can enjoy with time tracking is realistic deadlines. 

Managers will be able to map out the time needed for a project based on their employees’ tracked time. Even if one is unsure, they can quickly check the timesheets and real-time log to see who is working on what and even how long it took a team to finish a particular project. 

This way, expectations will be realistic enough for the employees to be able to meet them without too much stress. They will be focused on the job they are doing instead of thinking of deadlines and risk potential problems in the future.

What are the major takeaways?

Being open and honest with your team is the best way to get them to love time tracking. Explaining how this software will make their lives easier and will benefit them a lot more. 

Bonus benefits to consider:

  • You won’t have to interrupt your employees’ workflow to remind them to clock in or out, as they will have an easy and clear way to do this on their phones.

  • Sharing results of the time tracking service with the whole team will boost performance, motivation and can even foster a little friendly competition to make days more interesting.

  • Constant feedback will help improve both the business and the employees’ productivity. Being able to communicate what is working and what isn’t helps teams build trust and work on solutions together. No need to take orders from the top - everyone gets an opportunity to solve problems.

  • A better work-life balance is key to having happy and satisfied employees. This balance can be achieved with the help of time tracking services, as they will build self-honesty and discipline which will lead to higher productivity and a happier team.

A short tip: whenever you introduce a new software to your team, it’s important to spend a little time explaining how everything works and what employees are expected to do. Employees should know how to track their time, when to start and when to stop, and also how to log other information that they need.

Time tracking services aren’t something to be wary of if employees know precisely how and why their time will be recorded. Honesty and openness are key to fostering a positive company culture that welcomes growth and focuses on employee satisfaction. They don’t say

“Happy employees = Happy customers” for nothing! 

So make sure to show your team how much they will be benefiting from using time tracking.

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