Are you tired of constantly playing catch-up with your team’s productivity and time management? Do you find yourself struggling to keep track of billable hours or employee attendance? It’s time to take control of your business’s time management with the help of a reliable time-tracking system.
This can help you monitor and measure how effectively your team is working so that you can make informed decisions about improving their performance. But with so many options available, how do you know which is best for your company?
This article will examine why you need a time-tracking system and the features you should look for. We will also explore factors to consider when choosing a tracking system and how to roll out the system in your business. Lastly, we will provide some of the best time-tracking systems today.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- Why There Is a Need for a Time Tracking System
- Features Offered by Time Tracking Software
- Factors to Consider Time Tracking System
- How to Roll Out Time Tracking System in Your Business
- 3 Best Time Tracking Systems
Why Need a Time Tracking System
Before we dive into the technicalities, let’s first discuss why you need a time-tracking system in your business. A time-tracking system benefits your company in a few ways:
Tracking Billable Hours
The most important reason for having a time-tracking system is to track billable hours accurately. This will help invoice clients and ensure you are paid for your team’s work. It also enables you to analyze how much time it takes to complete specific tasks so that you can plan accordingly in the future.
Especially with the emergence of remote work, having a reliable time-tracking system is more critical than ever to ensure that employees are not overworking and getting paid for the exact number of hours they work.
With a time-tracking system, you can also monitor your team’s productivity and identify areas for improvement. This will help you use resources best and ensure employees allocate their time efficiently.
For example, you may notice that one team member is consistently taking an extended break every day or spending too much time on unimportant tasks. Addressing this issue with them may be necessary so that they can become more productive. With a tracking system, these issues can be identified quickly and addressed before they become an even bigger problem.
Making the Best Use of Resources
Another critical aspect of having a time-tracking system is to make the best use of resources. You can identify which tasks take too long or need more attention and allocate resources accordingly. This will help you prioritize your team’s workload and manage their time better.
For example, suppose you notice a particular task taking longer than expected. In that case, you can decide whether it needs more manpower or if additional training would benefit the team member. With this information, you can ensure that your resources are used most effectively and efficiently.
Managing and Prioritizing Tasks
As a project manager or business manager, typically, you would have to deal with multiple tasks and projects at once. However, not all tasks have equal importance, and you must prioritize them.
A time-tracking system will help you identify which tasks are taking up too much of your team’s time and resources and where they should focus more attention.
A time-tracking system can help you manage employee schedules by providing accurate data on their work hours so that you can ensure they are not overworking or underutilizing their talents. It can also help you better plan for future projects by organizing the tasks and resources needed.
Time-tracking is also sometimes required by law, especially in specific industries. An accurate system helps you ensure compliance with regulations and that your employees work within the time limits set.
By having a time-tracking system, you can provide transparency to employees and clients so they know precisely how much time is spent on projects. This helps build trust between your team and clients, which is essential for successful collaborations.
Finally, time-tracking allows you to measure the return on your investment (ROI) and identify which projects produce the most results. This will help you make better decisions on allocating resources and optimizing your workflow.
Features Offered by Time Tracking Software
When time tracking systems came into the market, it was mainly used to track employee attendance with a simple start-and-stop time clock. But now, time-tracking software is much more sophisticated and offers many handy features.
We can categorize the features into three segments:
- Basic Features
- Standard Features
- Premium Features
Let’s look at each one in detail.
These features are common to most time-tracking systems and include:
- Time recording – the ability to track the total hours worked for each employee over a specified period.
- Timesheets – enables employees to record their shifts’ start and end times and any breaks taken.
- Attendance tracking – records when an employee arrives at work, leaves during lunch or breaks, etc.
- Basic reporting – provides some reports that managers can use to analyze team performance. Basic reports usually include hours worked, late arrivals, and early departures.
Standard features are slightly more advanced than basic features and they typically include:
- Project tracking – allows managers to track the progress of a project by monitoring how much time is spent on it.
- Expense tracking – records costs of each project, such as materials or travel expenses.
- Advanced reporting – provides more detailed reports that provide insight into team performance. Advanced reports usually include data points such as hours worked per employee, tasks completed, and revenue generated from projects.
- Integrations – enables integration with other applications (e.g., accounting software) for further analysis of data points across different systems.
Premium features are the most advanced and may include:
- Real-time tracking – allows managers to monitor employee activity while working.
- Geolocation tracking – records the location of each employee when they clock in or out.
- Task management – helps teams manage their tasks by assigning them to specific employees, setting deadlines, monitoring progress, and more.
- Analytics – provides powerful analytics that can help with decision-making and resource optimization. Analytics usually include data points such as time spent on projects per team member, project profitability margins, etc.
Factors to Consider Time Tracking System
When choosing a time-tracking system, there are many factors to consider. Here are a few of the most important ones to help you get started.
Business Type and Size
Your business type and size will determine the best tracking system for your company. If you have a small business, essential time-tracking software can be enough to complete the job. An enterprise-grade solution may be necessary for larger enterprises with more comprehensive features.
Also, you may opt for a different system depending on the type of business you are running. For example, a manufacturing company would need software tailored to their needs, such as scheduling and production tracking, while an IT firm may require project management tools.
The features you require from a time-tracking system will depend on your business’s needs. Common features include:
- Time tracking and attendance monitoring
- Project and task management
- Scheduling and resource management
- Budgeting and invoicing
- Reporting capabilities
On some occasions, you may be able to find a basic time-tracking system for free, which will suffice your needs, whereas more sophisticated solutions often come with a fee.
A time-tracking system should be able to grow with your business. It should be able to scale up as your business expands without investing in additional hardware or software.
You may also want a system that can connect with other tools and services you use to create an integrated ecosystem of applications. This will allow you to streamline processes and increase efficiency across multiple platforms.
Ensuring your time-tracking system is compatible with your existing software and systems is vital. For example, if you already use a project management tool such as Trello or Asana, finding a tracking system that can integrate with those tools would be beneficial.
Security is an essential factor to consider when choosing a time-tracking system. Ensure the software has encryption protocols and other measures to protect your confidential data. Additionally, you should check if the vendor offers technical support in case of any issues or possible security breaches.
Pricing and Return on Investment
Finally, you should consider the pricing of different time-tracking systems and calculate your return on investment. Determining how much you’re willing to invest in a system that will give you an adequate return on investment is essential.
For example, if the software is too expensive for what it offers, then it may not be worth investing in. On the other hand, if the price is right and it provides features such as employee monitoring or project tracking, this can help boost productivity and save money in the long run.
How to Roll Out Time Tracking System in Your Business
Once you choose the system that best meets your needs, it’s time to roll out the system in your business.
Here are a few steps you should take as part of the rollout process:
- Step 1: Explain why you are implementing a time-tracking system for your team. This can help them understand why it is essential and how it will benefit them in the long run.
- Step 2: Introduce the tracking system to your team and provide training. Make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities when using the system so they can get up to speed quickly.
- Step 3: Instead of implementing it throughout your organization at once, start with a pilot program. This can help you identify any issues and make necessary changes before the system is rolled out to everyone.
- Step 4: After successful completion and review of the pilot program, start rolling out the system to other departments.
- Step 5: Monitor and review your team’s performance as they use the system. This can help you identify any areas needing improvement and make necessary changes to ensure everyone is getting maximum benefit from it.
3 Best Time Tracking Systems
There are many time-tracking systems available that can help you monitor and measure your team’s performance. Here are some of the top-rated systems on the market today:
1. Day.io – Overall, the Best Time Tracking System
Day.io is a robust cloud-based time-tracking system that helps businesses monitor and manage their team’s performance. It features an intuitive dashboard where you can easily track the progress of individual tasks, projects, and overall productivity levels. The software also has automated reporting tools to help you generate accurate client billing or employee payroll reports.
- Comprehensive time-tracking for tasks, projects, and clients
- Reporting functionalities for excellent business insights
- Manual and automatic time clock
- Overtime control and paid time off management
- Employee scheduling
- Client billing and invoicing
- Integrations with third-party applications for enhanced productivity
- GPS, fingerprint, and facial detection for solid authentication and time theft prevention
- Time and attendance tracking: $4 per user/month
- Project and time tracking: $6 per user/month
2. Paymo – Best for Invoice Management
Paymo is an award-winning time tracking and invoicing software that can help you keep track of billable hours, create invoices, and manage client payments. It also has project management tools to help you plan and assign tasks more efficiently.
- Time-tracking with detailed activity logs
- Pomodoro tracking for extended focus management
- Project and task management tools
- Invoicing capabilities with customizable templates
- Team collaboration features for better communication and file sharing
- Integrations with third-party applications such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Slack
- Free: $0, basic features for personal use
- Starter: $5.95 per user/month
- Small office: $11.95 per user/month
- Business: $24.95 per user/month
3. Deputy – Best for Scheduling and Task Planning
Deputy helps you manage employee attendance, schedules, and tasks. The system offers an intuitive mobile app that can be used to track time from any location. It also features scheduling tools to help you effectively plan and manage staff rosters.
- Scheduling and task management tools
- Employee and client communication features
- Geofencing for time theft prevention and monitoring of employee location
- Time clock compatible with multiple devices and platforms
- Wage compliance and analytics
- Integration with POS, HR, and payroll software for smooth business process
- Premium: $4.90 per user/month
- Scheduling: $3.50 per user/month
- Time & attendance: $3.50 per user/month
Wrap-Up: Leverage Time Tracking System to Boost Productivity
Time-tracking systems allow businesses to monitor and measure their team’s performance. You can ensure your team works productively and efficiently with the right plan.
By considering factors such as features needed, budget, and ease of use when selecting a time-tracking system for your business, you can find one that fits your needs perfectly. Don’t forget to consider how best to roll out the new system so that it is easy for employees to adopt.
Try Day.io today to get started with the best time-tracking system for your business.