Understanding how your team members spend their time at work and the amount of resources they need to accomplish a task is crucial when it comes to planning and allocating resources for future projects. 

The best way to gather these insights is by tracking the time spent on tasks and projects with intuitive time tracking software. Data collected from time tracking provides valuable operational insights that help you make informed business decisions. 

Time tracking software also makes tracking your team’s productivity and performance simple. For example, you can identify areas where employees can improve their performance by monitoring the amount of time spent on tasks and projects. This also allows you to accurately measure employee progress on projects over time.

These are just a few of the many ways time tracking can benefit your business. In this article we’ll lay out how time tracking software helps you: 

  • Generate accurate reports
  • Track hours worked
  • Group team activities into categories
  • Create metrics to gauge the effectiveness and efficiency
  • Analyze data for key insights
  • Create more accurate reports
  • Automate scheduling 

Collecting and analyzing more accurate data can help you make easier decisions and improve the efficiency of your operations, which will lead to greater success of your projects.

Generate reports based on accurate data through time tracking

Time tracking is essential for any business that wants to establish accuracy and efficiency, especially when it comes to completing tasks on time, staying within budget, and generating accurate reports.

Staying on budget and making accurate estimates about the project scope requires the input of real data to understand the length, labor hours, and other resources needed to accomplish the tasks. 

With the type of data provided by time tracking tools like Harvest, you can inform your organization to make better decisions and avoid making mistakes without realizing it. 

Ensure that the report you generate best represents how each department works, what areas need improvement, and how resources are used. If you're looking for more accurate data and to make better decisions in the future, start tracking time within your organization.

Track hours worked (billable and non-billable)

The first step in creating an accurate report is logging all of the individual worker’s hours. This step can be quite challenging by itself, but even more so if you employ remote workers and independent contractors. 

Traditionally, companies track time by manually filling out timesheets for each worker or through digital trackers such as an attendance monitoring system.

However, keeping track of the total hours and resources allocated with time tracking software helps with cost estimation, payroll, and productivity analysis. Then, you can use the insights into employee performance to highlight whether you need to devote more resources or add additional training for your team to succeed.

Automating many of the more time-consuming operations like writing down hours, transcribing them to a digital format, producing spreadsheets, generating reports, and managing accounting processes will save your management teams an immense amount of time that they could dedicate toward other equally important tasks. 

Group team activities into categories

Gaining insights into your team’s workflows and overall productivity will make it easier to group activities into appropriate categories like: 

  • Completed tasks 
  • Customer interactions
  • End-to-end project processes
  • Specific departments or team projects 

Placing results into the correct categories will give you a chance to evaluate the effectiveness and productivity of teams and projects, allowing for better resource allocation and estimating project timelines. 

Create metrics for gauging efficiency and productivity

Data analysis provides the opportunity for more efficient workflows, giving your teams the resources they need to succeed. In order to do this effectively, you need the right type of insights. It’s a simple equation: good data in, good analysis out. 

With Harvest, you can collect the correct type of data and generate customizable reports, which puts your team in a better place to succeed. 

The power of quality data allows you to stay on budget and project timelines more accurately. Using time tracking software will help you create the proper metrics to gauge efficiency and productivity within your projects and with each team member. 

By obtaining these insights, you can create metrics to include duties performed, hours spent to accomplish certain tasks, and any associated costs from salaries or materials needed for project completion.

With this level of detail, staff performance can be accurately gauged, and making proactive choices about resource allocation and future hiring and training decisions easier.

Analyze reported data for insights and actionable intelligence

By collecting helpful data, including team performance, resources needed, and more, you can turn those insights into actionable intelligence that helps you identify if any processes can be improved.

This actionable intelligence will help inform strategic decisions about resource management, workforce optimization, or other investments needed ahead of time to ensure a competitive edge over rivals.

Create better reports to be shared among the team members

Once you compile the information and analyze it to determine your strategy moving forward, it’s important to share it with relevant teams. These assessments will help them understand their roles better. Generating custom reports also highlight areas of improvement and provides transparent results across various key performance indicators (KPIs).

Time tracking software can collect, aggregate, and produce customized reports that identify KPIs for your teams and provide crucial insights to pivot in real-time decision making as needed. 

Automate your employee time management with intelligent reports 

Improving employee time management is essential to improve the efficiency of your team members and boost their productivity — without burning them out. To do this successfully, you need to understand how your team utilizes their time at work and determine if there are any areas for improvement. 

Whether it’s tracking hours, managing productivity, or generating reports, automated systems provide a solution that eliminates manual data entry and offers accurate and reliable records of your team’s performance.  

By automating your time tracking, you can quickly provide real-time reports on how effective and efficient team members are with their workday.

time tracking software like Harvest helps automate this process. With the tools, you can easily integrate the data into your accounting systems and generate labor reports to help keep employees accountable and on track. 

Maximizing efficiency with a time tracking solution like Harvest can be done in a few simple steps. 

1. Set up time tracking software

Setting up a time tracking system that captures employee hours and other related metrics is the first step in creating a more efficient workflow for your teams. Look for software with user-friendly interfaces that allow multiple users access so they can easily view activity logs and input timesheet data quickly and accurately.

Your time tracking software should easily produce customizable reports so your management team can make accurate decisions about utilizing resources to provide team members with the tools they need for success. 

2. Integrate time tracking data with accounting systems

The use of software for time tracking will allow you to integrate it with accounting systems automatically, making it easier to track costs associated with employees or contractors for payroll or invoicing purposes more accurately. 

This can significantly streamline the bill payment process and make it simpler to manage project budgets by recognizing revenue more quickly.

3. Generate smart reports automatically

Innovative reporting capabilities allow you to get the most out of your automatically tracked data by generating detailed reports containing critical insights into employee performance. 

Customizable reporting like those provided by Harvest will be able to compile meaningful reports from tens of thousands of entries, providing essential insights in seconds for executives who would otherwise take hours to analyze manually.

4. Optimize your workflow with automation

By automating employee time management within your organization, you can save valuable resources while increasing cost savings and improving overall efficiency throughout the workflow. 

Identifying inefficiencies within existing processes through automation helps you address them quickly and ensure your efforts towards optimizing workflow aren’t wasted due to inaccurate manual entries or inefficient practices.

Understanding your capacity is essential for maintaining a healthy workload and gauging the sustainability of your business. Time tracking apps can provide invaluable insight into how much time you or your team spend on tasks, allowing you to manage resources better and plan.

5. Keep employees accountable through automated tools

Automated tools also help keep employees accountable by ensuring everyone is accurately tracking their time against their tasks or projects, keeping everything clear and accurate in the final report results. Additionally, you can identify the resources needed to expedite the process by analyzing team workflow. For example, if specific tasks take longer than expected, you can provide additional support or training to help employees complete them faster.

When reviewing and analyzing team performance, you need to collect the right data to inform your decision-making. By looking at the numbers for individual employees and how they compare to the rest of the team, you’ll have a better sense of how everyone is doing. 

And for peer-to-peer analysis, this data can also be helpful for team members to see where they stand compared to their peers. It can also help identify areas of strength that should be highlighted and weaknesses that need improvement.

6. Improve productivity

Time tracking apps are a great way to improve productivity. They can provide an in-depth look into how your team spends their time, the tasks that take longer than expected, and the resources that were needed to accomplish the tasks, which will highlight any personal or operational inefficiencies. For example, if a task takes an hour but takes three, it’s easy to pinpoint where the problem lies.

For your team members, the knowledge that everything is being tracked can boost  productivity by 

Encouraging users to stay on task and avoid wasting time on unproductive activities.  

Helping them stay motivated and focused on their goals allows users to set realistic goals based on performance levels.

In addition, they can look for ways to streamline processes and ensure everyone works together efficiently. 

7. Retain top talent

Retaining top performers is essential for any business to succeed. Time tracking software can be a great tool to help with this, but only if you have the correct data to operate on. 

Time tracking software provides visual reports and calendars so staff members can look back on and verify work hours, helping ensure accuracy in payroll calculations and making it easier for managers to track employee performance over time. 

Another advantage is that accurate data highlighting top performers creates peace of mind for your top employees. With automated reports, they no longer have to worry about payroll being miscredited or underpaid for overtime work due to human error. 

Being recognized for outstanding performance enhances job satisfaction. Real-time reporting will also help highlight top performers for recognition, helping retain top talent. 

As a result, businesses can retain top performers while reducing new hire training fees, saving your business money in the long run. 


Data-driven decision-making is only as good as the data it’s based on. And that’s where utilizing an automated tool like time-tracking software is crucial. 

If you need better data to inform your decision-making, Harvest provides time-tracking software that is easy to set up and offers real-time customizable reporting. 

Make the right call. Get the data you need, generate the reports and analysis to boost productivity, and sign up for a free trial today.