Where’s All Your Time Gone? How to Find It and Get It Back

Have you ever wanted to know how much time your employees spend surfing the web, sifting through their email inbox or attempting to find a document hidden in a mountain-high pile of file folders?

According to a Wall Street Journal article, office employees waste about 40 percent of their time on average when they are on the clock. Believe it or not, when employees waste time, it is not necessarily done on purpose. Rather, it is simply because they are unorganized.

When you put time tracking technology into action effectively, it can transform the way your company operates.

In fact, many executives today use time tracking insights to provide team members with an accurate overview of peak, performance and productivity, allowing everyone the opportunity to manage resources better.

Why Should You Encourage a Culture of Time Tracking?

It’s no surprise that the majority of employees today prefer to feel supported and respected to grow and contribute.

Implementing time tracking software to improve efficiency and workflow can encourage your team members, as long as you’re not using the technology as a way to micromanage their workdays.

On the other hand, overly-extreme time tracking efforts can result in a potential uptick in stress and impatience within your workplace, especially as employees become solely focused on the monetary value of time.

Thus, achieving a smart balance is crucial.

Time tracking provides data that is vital for monitoring both your employee and business performance. The data also gives organizations the ability to streamline workflows, increase productivity, benchmark and forecast, and uncover everything from project cost, project profitability, employee availability, and employee cost.

Take the Time to Evaluate

Time tracking and its benefits for projects

The key to fostering a culture where time tracking is the norm is to make it a natural process. After all, you want to get to the point where time tracking is just a daily “no-brainer’ as soon as possible.

For starters, get the right time tracking software. The right software will be easy for the company to implement across the board and easy for employees to learn and implement in their daily work lives. It shouldn’t interfere with their everyday practices, but rather enhance them.

Next, be sure to invest ample time to talk to your staff about why you want them to record their time. If the process has not previously been successful in your organization, describe and explain why this time it will be different and better.  

And of course, integrate the information from your time tracking software with your HR software. Use the data you collect to build positive employee engagement practices or to coach employees on ways to use their time more wisely.

Benefits of Time Tracking for Employees and Projects

Let’s take a deeper dive into why time tracking technology is essential:

For employees, it:

  • Offers insight into how much time they spend on everyday tasks;
  • Reveals where inefficiencies occur — data that can be used to request additional resources;
  • Encourages autonomy;
  • Helps with productivity flow;
  • Empowers them to use their own data for goal setting;
  • Provides data that can be used to receive recognition if they meet deadlines, budgets or goals;
  • Prevents overscheduling, which ultimately boosts engagement, morale, and productivity.

For projects, it:

  • Reveals key operational metrics that may otherwise be unknown;
  • Helps staff gauge the true cost of a project;
  • Provides real-time visibility into both completed work and remaining work;
  • Helps team members stick to timelines and budgets;
  • Saves money;
  • Helps determine if a team has the bandwidth to take on a new initiative.

GanttPRO Gantt chart software progress tracking

The True Value of Tracking Time

Time tracking comes alive when your employees feel like they play a key role regarding the overall work they accomplish.

If you are a leader, it is important to provide knowledge, letting your team members in on the story of why each person is doing the work they are doing each day. Take the time to explain what the purpose of each project is and how specific projects help move your company forward.

Finally, be sure to address “what’s in it for them” if you implement time tracking software in your company. Empower and give each team member the right amount of independence to make decisions, so they feel like they are contributing to your brand’s overall success.

Once your staff feels like they are part of the story and its achievements along the way, they will start to grasp and realize the true value of tracking time, mainly because it will also matter to them.

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