These days, time tracking is finding its way to the agenda of an increased number of business leaders. The reason for this is that tracking working time will deliver some specific business benefits, that almost all types of businesses can capitalize on. On the other hand, most business leaders also have several concerns related to the implementation and operation of a time tracking process. With this blog post, I’ll look into the main benefits and at the same time, I’ll touch upon a few points to pay attention to.
1. Increased profitability
Time tracking provides the opportunity to get insight into how an organizations personnel resources are utilized. In other words, it’ll become easier to get an overview of what the salary costs are spent on. It’ll also be possible to keep track of project finances and work dynamically with prioritizing resources, if some activities are consuming too much of these.
2. Precise invoicing
Registration of time usage related to external projects, tasks, assignments and customer and client cases creates a solid foundation for precise invoicing. I most cases, an increased billing rate can be achieved. If the process is digital and automated, it also means that the invoicing process can be executed fast and effectively. This caters for an increased cash flow and improved liquidity.
3. Increased productivity and smoother workstreams
With time tracking it’ll become easier for the employees to steer through projects. It’ll also be easier for e.g. a project team to have full overview of the progress, and at the same time also the individual employees’ progress on specific subtasks.
4. Better planning through insight
After some time with a well-defined process for time tracking and the right tools to support the job, data on time usage is compiled. These data can be used to create insight into the magnitude of specific tasks and the actual time usage spent on different types of tasks and projects. This kind of insight can be used for future planning and benchmarking purposes.
5. More precise communication
Detailed time registration towards e.g. projects or assignments, whatever they are internal or external, makes it easier to craft precise communication targeted at various stakeholders regarding progress, milestones, expected completion and potential delays.
6. Compliance to rules and agreements
Time tracking provides overview of the employees’ actual working hours. In the cases where working time rules and collective agreements needs to be complied to, it’s crucial to have control over actual work time in the organization. This is becoming more and more important for all types of businesses because this ruling from the EU Court of Justice indicates, that general registration of working time can become a mandatory requirement at some point in the future.
Now, you might think that “this was only 6 benefits of time tracking, but the headline promised 10 benefits!” Well, that’s right, but don’t worry, if you read on, the last 4 benefits are right around the corner. But before that, we’ll take a quick look at the potential obstacles (or challenges, some might say) that I see, related to the implementation of time tracking.
Potential challenges with time tracking
One of the main concerns that many business leaders have, is related to how a requirement of doing time tracking will be received by the employees. Fact is that there’s a risk that some employees will perceive it as increased supervision and control. On the other hand, it’s also a fact that other employees won’t be bothered the least. One thing is certain though, it’ll call for a change of behavior in the organizations, because the employees needs to adapt to a new task in day to day business. Another point of attention is therefore also on the actual time that it takes, to do the time registration. Here, it’s obviously important to find a tool that’s easy and intuitive to work with.
In particular, the concern about the employees view of time tracking leads me on to the next benefits – because they focused on the advantages for the employees.
7. Personal efficiency
Time tracking provides the individual employee with the opportunity to work with his/her personal efficiency through utilization of the insight into own resource spend, that’s built up.
8. Structure and overview
A tool for time tracking is also a tool for keeping overview of current tasks, projects, and deadlines as well as it’s a tool for planning the efforts.
9. Identification of patterns
Time tracking also provide the employee with the option to identify patterns in his/her individual work. This can be used to point out the various time wasters, that all people often are hit by at some point and want to eliminate.
10. Visualize actual working time
For the employees, it’s also an advantage to be able to visualize actual working time, including overtime. This gives a foundation for a fact-based dialogue with managers and colleagues.
These employee benefits are very important when we’re talking implementation of a time tracking system. Because no matter how you’ll toss and turn it, and point out all of the benefits for the business, it’s crucial that you, as a business leader, also manage to explain the employee benefits when it’s implemented. This isn’t much different, than if we we’re dealing with an implementation of any other tool, that requires the change of daily routines. We know that from our more than 20 years of experience with implementation of Expense Management solutions.
So, remember, that if you want time tracking to be a strong tool for your business, it requires great leadership.