Employee Time Tracking – A Comprehensive Guide

Portia Neequaye

Portia Neequaye

4 min read

2021-01-07

Employee Time Tracking – A Comprehensive Guide

Time tracking is the act of tracking and recording employee working hours. Time tracking is often associated with companies who tend to pay employees on an hourly basis. Working hours are calculated or tracked from start of work time till end of work day.

Employee time tracking sounds a bit controversial when mentioned. Studies show that majority of people waste as many as eight hours a week on tasks that are not work related. This does not include lunch breaks, meetings, etc. Tracking employee time is necessary, since it encourages and aids productivity. The most heard of complaints employees raise are; forgetting to track time, to record projects, timesheets getting lost, etc.

Dos and Don’ts of Time Tracking

Dos:

  • What makes other team more successful and efficient than others is how they track their time. Time tracking formula needs to be super simple and much easier to understand, so everyone can access it without any hurdle.
  • Time tracking shouldn’t take much of your time when entering data rather; it should save your time. You need to ensure that timesheets doesn’t take more than ten minutes to enter employee’s time on a regular day. Usually it’s best you pre-design timesheets, just so it speeds up the process. Some tracking apps do the filling automatically as far as project categories are set beforehand.
  • You need to organize and manage your time by setting rules to guide you in future; you need to set a minimal log in time, log overtime, sick days, reimbursement, sick leave days, etc. so that everyone’s is informed and necessary action taken by the one in charge (HR). Assuming your sick leave days are not logged in the timesheets, it might affect payment, as well as productivity.
  • When time tracking, everyone’s time needs to align; Projects managers spend lot of time to review and document everyone’s work time, hence if it’s unorganized it makes them lag behind. The safest and easiest way to organize employee time is to use a time tracking app. There are a lot of them; some payable, others free.

Don’ts:

  • No need to waste too much time on tracking your work time. Your manager shouldn’t also go through a lot of time to analyze your results. Simply avoid double data entry and submit error-free and organized data
  • To have an accurate work report without any compromising employees’ safety, you need to be honest with your team or employees. Try explaining to them that being online for eight hours is achievable and they can do it.
  • Don’t lose your data; time report, email, etc. the best way to keep data safe is backing up data often. You can save it outside the tracking app. Also , don’t forget to use your time reports

Simple Ways to Motivate Employees to Track Time

  • Communicate the Essence of Time Tracking

Reframe the essence of time tracking by focusing on its benefits. One benefit is employees are adequately compensated for work done. If you happen to work overtime, you are duly compensated. It also encourages healthy work relationship. Employees who have more workload can be tracked and tasks eased for them to have a healthy life too. (Employees’ health are prioritized)

  • Assure Employees

Having long breaks or conversations with colleagues doesn’t warrant any punishment. All these improve transparency and enhance productivity. Don’t force employees to log in/off at a specific time when they are mostly less productive.

  • Encourage Feedback

Consult your team to find out their thoughts on how they are being managed. Regular feedbacks put you and your team on the right track.

  • Assist employees with onboarding
  • Set clear guidelines
  • Make time tracking easy

Methods to Track Time

  • Google sheets
  • Timesheets
  • Spreadsheets
  • Swipe cards
  • Timesheets calculators
  • Time tracking app

Conclusion

Employees need to be motivated to log in their hours. It is not enough to implement time tracking alone. Most people get tensed when they are being monitored; this is caused by work anxiety, such fears need to be addressed and curbed with benefits presented to employees so as to enjoy and always remember to track their productive time.

Further Reading:

Portia Neequaye
Written by Portia Neequaye