To track or not to track – that’s the question most freelancers and their clients ask themselves now and then. For us, it’s not even a question and these benefits of time tracking software will show you why.
Before we start off, let’s define what “time tracking software” is.
Time tracking software is a piece of software (typically, a desktop and/or mobile app) that tracks the time, manpower, and resources spent on a particular task (tasks) by an employee or a group of employees.
As a rule, time tracking software has such features as:
- tracking time
- tracking billable hours
- taking screenshots of the employee’s device screen
- analytics and reporting
Who are the typical users of time tracking software? They are small business owners (especially the ones working with freelancers), freelancers, and everyone else wanting to track their time spent on doing something.
How do they use the time tracking software? Here are some interesting stats:
As you can see, the majority of employers have already said “goodbye” to old-school methods of time tracking and switched to modern tools.
Now that we have agreed on what time tracking is, it’s time to dig deeper and find out how exactly we, the users of time tracking software, can benefit from it.
Top 10 Benefits of Time Tracking Software
“It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” Steve Jobs
Obviously, where there’s business, there’s got to be some sort of tracking – of every meaningful metric, whether it’s time, expenses, revenue, productivity, and so on.
Why? Because if you track something, you can objectively measure it. And if you measure it, you can understand what factors influence the performance of that particular metric. And if you understand it, you can change it. End of the chain argument.
Therefore, the first and foremost advantage of all time tracking tools is the ability to get objective metrics, which you can act upon in order to improve and optimize your business processes.
Let’s see how it works in detail.
1. Keep Track of How Your Employee Spend Their Time
Of course, this is not to say that some members of your team might be slacking off from time to time. It’s just that people are people, and it’s not uncommon for an employee to spend his/her time ineffectively, often concentrating on things that aren’t urgent or important.
Some of you may even argue – well, I trust my team. Yeah, but this recent survey conducted by HR.com says 43% of hourly-paid workers have admitted exaggerating their hours.
One of the benefits of time tracking software is that you (the manager) get the full picture of where, how, and when your employees waste spend their time and help them set the priorities right.
2. See How Much Time It Actually Takes to Complete a Task
If you have a web development/design studio or if you are a freelancer specializing in particular areas, you know how important it is to give the correct estimates and quotes. Sometimes, the very fact of you getting the client’s order or not depends on it.
Time tracking software allows you just that: keep track of the average time needed to complete certain common tasks and amount of expenses you incur.
More accurate estimates => more orders.
3. Save Money by Billing Clients for the ACTUAL Amount of Work Done
There can rarely be two 100% identical tasks – therefore, in some cases, you will need to spend more time than expected in order to get the job done well.
Clients, however, are not always easy to deal with – especially, when you ask them to pay more than you’d previously agreed on. They would want to have some justification, some reasoning – that’s when time tracking apps may come in really handy.
You may be thinking “30 minutes here, 20 minutes there – not a big deal.” When we’re talking a few days, it may not be a big deal – but think months and years.
E.g., 30 billable minutes equal $40; if you keep spending extra, non-accounted for 30 minutes every day, you will end up losing $800 monthly, which is certainly not good.
4. Avoid Micro-Managing
Benefits of time tracking are obvious, and many companies make software that automates this process. For example Screenshot Monitor allows you to take random screenshots of your employees’ screens to see what they’re actually up to at any given moment of time and track their task progress.
This helps you save time on physically checking on the employees or requiring them to send mandatory work report. Less time spent on micro-managing => more time for strategic planning.
Side note: despite what some people may think, time tracking tools are not spyware. There is no privacy violation, there is no invasiveness – in fact, there isn’t anything to be concerned about.
Most time tracking tools are out there running in your background without you even noticing it. The ones who are afraid of or concerned about time tracking software are usually people who have got something to hide or simply slackers who don’t want to get busted.
5. Time Tracking Motivates and Disciplines You
Even if you are already a highly motivated individual with zero time to waste, there’s always room for improvement. Knowing that your work is clocked and monitored summons your concentration and doesn’t allow you to stray away from the road to great results.
In fact, as a worker or a freelancer, you may even find yourself being challenged to complete a certain task faster than your teammates or your own self previously.
6. Manage Your Pricing More Effectively
Sooner or later, there comes a time to reconsider your pricing – usually, in terms of increasing it. How do you know when to do it? Well, analytics from your time tracking software might help.
You get the average time spent on completing a certain typical task. Then you deduct the salary of your staff for that period and other expenses to see if the current price still leaves you in the green zone. If not, it’s time to change the rates!
7. Connect to Your Payroll
Integrating the data from your time tracking software with the payroll system you are using is a great way of cutting costs and time while allowing you to get the full picture of what’s going on in the “Salary” department.
8. Improve Your Planning and Budgeting
OK, a time tracking tool alone will not enable you to do this, but it will provide a great deal of data and insights when you are in the planning mode.
Work estimates, quotes, rates, project timelines, and deadlines – all this information will help you adjust your plans and keep your budget balanced.
9. Track and Manage the Efficiency of Your Employees
Being a wise manager also means you allow your subordinates to grow and take on more responsibilities as well as stimulate or punish them. How do you know whom to promote this time?
One of the benefits of time tracking software is that it gives you all the data you need to evaluate the performance of your team in general and its members individually.
Most timet racking tools can be easily integrated via their API with the current project management or business software you are using to achieve maximum convenience.
That pretty much does it for today’s portion of knowledge from Screenshot Monitor blog. Thanks for reading the “10 Awesome Benefits of Time Tracking Software You Might Not Be Realizing” article – we hope you enjoyed it.
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