We all know that time is a precious resource but many times, we use it carelessly. One of the best ways to use our time wisely is through tracking our time. Almost every one of us might have experienced the negative consequences that occur when we don’t track our time properly. But time tracking can be painful, and if you get too granular, it can make you or the employees of an organization feel uncomfortable. Earlier, people would have an Excel spreadsheet for each project. They would fill in their start time and end time every day. This method wasn’t fair because many times they used to forget to fill in many activities.
Today, the scenario is totally different. Electronic versions of the traditional paper timesheet, called as ‘Time Tracking Software’ packages are available, which help us track our time without any hassle. Time tracking software is a computer software that allows you to record time spent on various tasks.
Types of time tracking software
Though there is much time to track software packages in the market, the basic types of time tracking software are:
Timesheet software is the very first form of the time tracking software. It evolved when computers came into offices. It replaces all the heavy paperwork and makes the tracking more organized. In companies, employees enter their time into an electronic timesheet. This software clearly explains how their time was spent at the office. As timesheet software is electronic, deployment of tasks will be much easier.
Time tracking/recording software
Time tracking/recording software records activities performed on a computer automatically. This is the latest version of time tracking software, which provides the actual picture about computer usage. It records all the activities and the amount of time spent on them.
Time tracking software can be integrated into different systems such as into accounting system, where timesheet data is directly fed into the company accounts. It can also be integrated into the billing system, which is used to produce invoices. It can be integrated into the payroll system, project management system etc. It can even be standalone, where it records timesheets and generates reports.
Time tracking software packages available today are convenient and user-friendly. They reduce the administrative burden on employees and completely eliminate emailing spreadsheets around the company. This software makes it simple for employees to report the amount of time they worked. This type of tracking software gives the employer more control over managing and monitoring employees’ working time and their productivity. Some of the main advantages of time tracking software are:
Exactly find where time has gone
Generally, employees often wonder where they have lost their time. At the end of the day, they realize that they accomplished very little. Small differences in daily work can add up to a significant gap over a month or year. Time tracking is the very first step and important step to managing your time. It provides accurate information on what activities and for how long you have spent your time on. This results in more productive work.
Can identify areas of improvement
Once you are clear about where you are losing your time, you can easily identify your key regions of improvement. The activities where you are spending more time than required are your key areas of improvement. Working on these things can make you more productive.
Budget our time
Knowing where time is being wasted and identifying key areas of improvement can help you budget your time for each activity. You can set a specific amount of time either in the beginning of the day or in the night before. It will help you not to spend more or less than the allocated time for each activity. It also monitors your progress throughout the day.
Sense of responsibility
Another benefit of time tracking is the sense of responsibility in using your time. Here, you will ‘report’ your time usage to yourself. It leads to better work/life balance. The act of tracking your own time can make you more sensible and productive.
Reduced distraction from the work
A major benefit of tracking your time is the ability to value work, which is in progress. Here, you need to clearly state the purpose of the time you spend on each activity. You will know what exactly you are doing at what time. Since you have a clear purpose in your mind, you will be unlikely to get distracted from other things.
Provides due diligence capabilities
Time tracking software documents all your daily activities and helps you calculate the value of the work performed during the month. Once you match your work performed to revenues and revenues in turn to expenses, you will get an accurate picture of profitability. Eventually, you can see accurate financial reports and you can make better business decisions.
Provides keyword search retrieval of all related slips
Time tracking software can increase revenue through automating billing and eliminating the ‘dropping’ bills. It will automatically bill your phone calls, charge for FedEx and any other related expenses depending on the task you are timing. It organizes all notes for instantaneous retrieval. When needed, you can simply access your note file and instantly view all the related clips related to your search.
A well-tracked work performance means increased revenues and improved health of the organization. It translates into more opportunity for bonuses and salary hikes for employees. Simply, the whole company benefits from better performance using time tracking software. Remember, there are hundreds of time tracking software packages in the market. Choose the reliable and most relevant software for your situation.