Time tracking is a productivity and accounting method that lets you see how your employees spend their time. It also provides insights into how many resources they use per task or project, which can identify potential gaps in your processes that may be costly.
Businesses, regardless of size, need to understand how their teams manage their time and resources to estimate costs and timelines more effectively — and to communicate with clients about potential disruptions to delivery schedules.
Understanding your team’s time management will better inform your future project plans and help you allocate resources appropriately. However, tracking all of this data manually can be daunting.
But, what if there was a tool that could track your employees' time spent on a task, empower them to learn from the past, and keep your projects on time and on budget?
With time tracking software, you can capitalize on all of these tasks effortlessly. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a time tracking software to increase your team’s productivity and show how it helps by:
- Empowering your teams with time tracking
- Informing your teams with smart reports
- Learning better time management strategies
- Tracking hours worked (billable and non-billable)
- Keeping your projects on time and on budget
With access to these insights and tools from time tracking software, you’ll be able to create more efficiency in your workflows, make accurate estimates for your projects, and boost productivity without burning out your teams.
Empowering your teams with time tracking
Being able to collect crucial data about your team as they work on projects lets you see any gaps in productivity and resource management. It also helps you communicate those areas of concern to your teams.
As you gain better insights into your team, you can educate them on improvement opportunities and recognize areas of peak performance. Doing so will position them for success and help them perform their roles more effectively. This is where time tracking software comes in.
Working behind the scenes, Harvest is an easily integrated, flexible time tracking software that will record employee time spent on projects and provide detailed reporting that can help them understand their productivity levels.
With time tracking software, your teams can look at past projects, find areas they could improve upon, and have a clearer picture of each task that can help them plan more effectively for future projects. Empowering your teams with insights and data will assist them in staying on task and within budget.
Informing your teams with smart reports
Using time tracking software will not only provide your team with essential data that helps them improve their workflows but it will also:
- Highlight which tasks are more profitable than others
- Ease any burnout concerns
- Give you the ability to create clear, detailed reports
With smart reports, you can educate your teams on the areas they perform well and those that take extra time or resources. By giving detailed information to your team members, they’re better equipped to make real-time decisions on how to utilize the resources they already have and determine if they will need additional help or more resources in the future.
As you detail productivity and workflows to your teams, they become more invested in their outcome objectives. You begin to create better cohesion between departments as employees understand how their work impacts others and vice versa, helping create better accountability and motivation.
Most importantly, understand that communication needs to be a two-way street. Detailing the hard facts and numbers that you generate with time tracking is one thing, but you need to also ensure your team members can embrace the data with an open forum or another way that they can make suggestions and inputs to their workflows and processes.
By providing your teams with input and data, they can take an ownership approach to their workflow, improving motivation, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.
Learning time management strategies
With insights into how employees spend their time working on a task, the next challenge is to teach them ways to manage their time and develop time management strategies for each task and project.
By understanding how much a task may take, your teams can better plan for and manage the time they need to complete the project. In addition, you can implement time management concepts using these insights.
For example, the Pomodoro Technique is a productivity method that teaches you to create incremental tasks to focus on with built-in breaks. Using this technique allows your team members to break projects down into smaller tasks and complete them in less time with more focus. Here’s how it works:
- Set a timer for 20 minutes
- Work exclusively on one task for the time
- When the 20 minutes are up, take a 5-minute break to do anything related to the task you were just working on
- Re-set a timer for another 20-minutes
- Repeat this cycle for 4-5 intervals before taking a more extended break
By gaining insights into how their time at work is spent, your teams can better handle tasks by creating more manageable parts.
Keeping your projects on time and on budget
As you and your team have better insights into your overall performance, you can incorporate that data into increasing your overall productivity. Time management is a skill that will help your team stay on task, be more efficient, and help you keep your projects on time and within budget.
By implementing these tools and having them at their disposal, your team can better pinpoint areas they can improve, create workflows that accelerate their contributions, avoid disruptions, and help them develop more accountability in their roles.
In addition, these performance improvements will help you stay on timelines with your current projects and more accurately estimate costs and labor for future jobs, helping you create better budgets and maintain profitability.
Time tracking software doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to use. Harvest makes it easy for your teams to integrate with the tools they already use, so you can get accurate data and improve your productivity. Sign up today and get a free trial at Harvest.