Back in 1950's America – when cars cruised down streets lined with soda shops on every corner – workers didn't have the option to simply log into their computer or smartphone app when they arrived at work each morning. Instead, they would dutifully insert a paper card into mechanical machines that punched holes or stamped ink onto it to record their working hours precisely.

These humble beginnings laid the foundation for what would eventually become one of mankind's greatest organizational assets: digital timesheets! As technology continued its relentless march through history, evolving from clunky computers taking up entire rooms to sleek devices fitting snuggly inside pockets, we adapted our methods for keeping track of precious minutes spent on tasks throughout each day.

Nowadays, businesses can utilize online timesheet software that makes monitoring and managing work hours a breeze. With these versatile tools, companies across all industries can analyze data with ease, allocate resources more effectively, and improve overall productivity. 

This new age of timekeeping has truly revolutionized the way we approach our daily grind – making it easier than ever to stay on top of projects and deadlines without breaking a sweat.

What are Timesheets?

Put simply, timesheets are electronic documents used to record time (billable hours) based on hourly rates in an organization. Such records may appear as daily, weekly, or even monthly timesheets, giving companies the ability to display the overall productivity of employees from an even bigger perspective.

It might sound technical, but timesheets are a simple and effective way for employers to ensure that their business is being staffed and managed efficiently. With online timesheets, you can easily track projects, monitor labor costs and be certain about the accuracy of billable hours being invoiced to clients.

Having all this data stored in one place also helps businesses save money by avoiding mismanaged time and miscalculated wages. In essence, timesheets are modern-day time clocks as they accurately capture when people come in and leave work.

When Did They Become So Popular?

The concept of timesheets, believe it or not, dates back to the 16th century when stables had ledgers (long before computers were invented) that tracked horse labor. From there, timesheets have been used in more and less sophisticated forms ever since – from paper records to punch cards to daily timesheets online.

Even better, with different forms of timesheet software available, employers now have more options for tracking employees and streamlining their operations.

The Benefits of Timesheets for Different Industries (Including Yours, Hopefully)

Employee timesheets provide countless benefits to employers across all industries. This simple digital tool can effectively track employee hours and overtime spent on the job. It helps employers ensure that they’re paying employees fairly for the time they put in and prevents overpayments due to incorrect calculations of hours worked.

1. Manufacturing Companies

In manufacturing, it’s essential to keep track of how many hours employees are working and whether there is any overtime in the pay period. As well as preventing errors in the payroll process, employee timesheets can monitor the productivity of staff over time and ensure that they’re adequately compensated for their hard work.

One famous example of a manufacturing company that uses timesheets for its employees is Boeing, which is famous for designing and manufacturing different types of aircraft. Part of the evolution of their digital employee experience includes timesheet submission and tracking. 

In 2020, they planned on using Boeing News Now (BNN), an all-in-one platform intended to help employees access the latest company info, manage their personal data, submit timesheets, and access other digital tools. 

During the same year, the time and attendance management segment for workforce applications reached $2.4 billion in revenue, so there's no doubt that several manufacturing companies have shifted to timesheets for their employees. 

2. Office-Based, Home-Based, Wherever Employees Are

There's this thing called time theft, in which employees steal company time by logging work time even if they didn't actually do anything. Statistics even show that for every dollar earned by a US company, 20% is lost to time theft. Employee timesheets help employers track ‘time thieves’ by automating the tracking of employee hours and eliminating manual entry or paper-based systems that are prone to errors.

Flexible working is increasingly popular, as it allows companies to stay ahead of their competitors. But this can create a challenge for those responsible for payroll. To avoid this, businesses can use employee timesheets to obtain updates in real-time, so managers can easily identify who has worked what hours and how much they should be paid.

With a modern timesheet, they can do this without having to manually calculate everything themselves or relying on outdated payroll software.

3. Professional Services

Lo and behold: the sector that used timesheets long before they were mainstream. Timesheets are integral to professional services companies that need to track billable hours and ensure all tasks are accounted for when invoicing clients. From accounting firms to tech consultants, accurately tracking the time spent on each project or task is crucial for any organization looking to stay profitable.

A real-world example can be seen in the article Billing Process Inefficiencies & Improvements from Perform Law. In this article, the law firm discussed how switching from producing manual timesheets to electronic timesheets and automated programs improves billing processes significantly for legal service providers. 

Highlighting billable hours as the prevailing form of legal service pricing, the firm noted that electronic time tracking allows professional service providers to gather more accurate data points on the hours tracked by each employee, as well as the ability to analyze and uncover trends within their operations which gave them better insights into revenue potential and profitability.

4. The Food Industry

TL;DR and became hungry after chunking a pile of text blocks? We won't talk about food.

Let’s face it: when running a business that's mainly based on food, time management is key. And with burnout being one of the top concerns for food business owners, tracking employee time is an essential element of success. For this reason, electronic timesheets have become increasingly popular in the food industry.

This allows employers to accurately monitor billable rates and ensure that their entire team is not overworking. Additionally, it simplifies payroll and eliminates tedious manual calculations so businesses can quickly pay their employees without any hiccups.

For example, automatic notifications via mobile apps can alert employers when employees are approaching overtime hours, simplifying the process of monitoring employee activity. Utilizing a comprehensive timesheet solution helps businesses in the food industry maximize their profits and minimize health problems among employees.

5. The Retail Industry

Retail and e-commerce businesses rely heavily on employee time tracking solutions to manage their employees’ hours. Time clocks are an effective tool for tracking the exact start and end times of shifts as it eliminates human error from manual entry. Meanwhile, weekly timesheets allow employers to monitor attendance more accurately and quickly identify any discrepancies or issues related to overtime pay or the legality of work hours.

Some physical retail stores even have timesheet software that allows employees to log on using QR codes or facial recognition in just a matter of seconds. This helps store managers save time and resources by not having to manually enter data for each employee while still ensuring accuracy in their timesheet information.

6. Healthcare Providers

Accurate time tracking is crucial for healthcare providers. Time tracking software can help medical practices track hours worked by employees, manage payroll and billing, set rates for different services provided by clinicians, and audit timesheet data to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

Additionally, many modern tools come equipped with geo-tracking capabilities that allow supervisors to confirm the exact location of their employees at any given time. These features are essential for ensuring patient safety by verifying the credentials of those interacting with them. They also make it easier to comply with HIPAA requirements related to patient privacy regulations.

Timesheet software also helps healthcare professionals streamline administrative tasks such as managing appointment schedules and submitting insurance claims more quickly – all while providing accurate information on employee attendance and productivity levels in real time.

Final Thoughts

Didn't find an industry to match yours? Don't worry, time tracking applications can be used in various industries. Time tracking software simplifies tedious administrative tasks for businesses across all sectors and is essential for efficient operations.

It helps employers make sure their employees are working the hours they’re scheduled to while ensuring that wages are calculated accurately. With so many features and benefits, it's no wonder that time-tracking technology has become so popular in today's business world!

Give Harvest a Try

For your time entry and tracking needs, look no further than Harvest, our comprehensive timesheet solution for businesses. We support all types of timesheet entries, including hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. You can also introduce advanced mobile app options that allow employees to clock in and out with the tap of their fingers from any location or device.

Harvest provides users with all the insights they need into employee attendance and productivity levels in real time as well as detailed reports on every aspect of their operations – giving employers complete control while eliminating manual errors associated with traditional paper-based methods.

Try Harvest for free or contact our team to learn more.