“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Does this quote sound a bit like a day in your office? Unanticipated landmines seem to be popping up everywhere, sending any existing projects into total disarray. And the more that disarray happens, the tighter a manager’s grip becomes on their team in an attempt to understand what’s happening with all of the assigned projects. 

It’s the perfect recipe for disaster in your workspace. Chaos followed by more questions leads to the stressed-out scrambling for answers. And it certainly doesn’t lead to increased productivity. 

When you or your team wake up to work chaos, it can set the tone for your day. Without making changes, it sets the tone for your week, then your month. If this is you or your team, you don’t have to be stuck in a hamster wheel of chaos. You can streamline your work days with time tracking. 

First things first, we’re going to define streamlining for you. 

What it looks like to streamline your business processes

Streamlining business processes involves simplifying or eliminating unnecessary steps in order to make day-to-day operations smoother, quicker, and less expensive. When you streamline your business, you might actually be able to take a few deep breaths and take measurable steps forward. That’s because streamlining business processes is a crucial element of any well-run organization. 

By taking the time to analyze, review, and strategize your company's process flows, you have the potential to gain greater efficiency on key initiatives and improved customer satisfaction. You don’t have time to waste, do you? A streamlined process can reduce wasted time and resources associated with product or service creation. What’s more, the time you save by streamlining processes can be used to develop new offerings and services that differentiate your brand from competitors.

Many techniques such as Kaizen or Lean Management are used for streamlining business processes in order to improve operational costs and output quality while also reducing waste. To take it a step further,  you can utilize time tracking technology.

Ultimately, the successful implementation of streamlined processes recognizes differences between tasks done every day versus one-off tasks that require significant manual effort when dealing with customers or employees. 

Let’s circle back around to that mention of time tracking. 

Use time tracking software to streamline your business processes

Time tracking software can be a great asset when it comes to streamlining the processes in your business. With employee time tracking, you have real-time data that can identify potential issues quickly. By analyzing trends in time management and process implementation, time tracking software allows you to adjust operations accordingly to increase efficiency.

Further compounding the productivity and accuracy of operations is the ability to measure timesheets with detailed metrics. Employee time tracking helps to give your business a deeper understanding of individual performance in relation to collective team performance and overall profitability. 

By evaluating staff’s working hours, your company can maximize employment resources, encouraging better team collaboration while at the same time attempting to provide customers with quality service. Time tracking ensures that vital goals are met without wasting any precious moments due to inefficient management or work practices.

Workflow analysis

Analyzing the workflow of your business is one of those necessary evils if you want to stay current in your market. Knowing where there are potential hiccups can improve both customer satisfaction and productivity. 

What does this have to do with time tracking? With time tracking software, businesses can gain insight into how employees work by analyzing data on employee activity. Good software tracks tasks completed, time spent on each task, and any delays or setbacks which may have occurred. 

This allows businesses to identify any potential problems or areas of difficulty and find solutions to streamline those processes. By measuring these metrics, they can pinpoint exactly what isn’t working — such as outdated systems or lack of resources —and take steps to correct them. 

Time tracking also communicates to your employees that you value their efforts. This encourages motivation for more efficient workflows and a commitment to expanding their skill set. It also challenges your team to improve existing processes. Understanding and monitoring team performance through tracking their activities makes it easier for businesses to optimize workflow efficiency — translating directly into improved customer service outcomes.

Improved productivity with time tracking

Today more than ever, businesses rely on remote employees. One of the major issues when it comes to remote work is employee productivity. Businesses are increasingly shifting toward a work-from-home model, which inevitably introduces various risks of lower productivity among employees.

Are you familiar with the scene in Up where the highly trained dogs are focused on a mission right up until they are distracted? Squirrel!! People at home often have quite a few “squirrels” that run across their work days. 

The truth is, multiple distractions can be found at home which so easily divert an employee’s attention from his/her job responsibilities. It makes it much harder for someone to be disciplined while doing their job efficiently when they aren’t in the more professional environment provided by an office-based workspace. 

Furthermore, it has been noted that it could be tricky to switch off from work while not physically being separated from your job but still having to do it in the same place where you usually relax. These factors can lead to stress and burnout if left unchecked, resulting in a loss of effectiveness and efficiency for any business trying to perform remotely.

Companies must understand the overlap between home and work that working from home can bring, as well as set strategies to accommodate both these environments with pressure points monitored closely through key performance indicators (KPIs) shared on a daily basis with team members. 

This can be achieved through using time tracking tools which give an accurate overview of how employees are spending their day, as well as providing your business with insights into where improvements can be made. Time tracking capabilities also enable managers to provide more feedback and support to their teams, ensuring that tasks are completed in a timely manner without sacrificing accuracy.

Team management improvements

Time tracking software can work for businesses with as few as five employees. It enables the team manager to establish schedules and assign tasks in an optimal way by recognizing each team member's area and level of expertise. This kind of system allows for cutting down extra workloads and ensuring minimal time investment that leads to the most efficient outcomes.

Given all of that, a time tracking tool provides detailed reports on the performance of each individual employee as well as the entire team. This gives remarkable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your squad, which is indispensable for effective team management. Managers can use this data more effectively to manage team members, promote them according to their skill sets, and uncover areas that need improvement.

Now that you know the ways that time tracking can help to streamline your business, it’s time to find out what makes Harvest more than just your average time tracker. 

How can Harvest help you streamline your work day?

In a nutshell, Harvest is an intuitive, lightweight solution for tracking hours and projects that’s easy to adopt and use daily. In other words, you and your team can seamlessly integrate our software into your workday. Rather than being required to be near your work computer, our app can be used in one digital space to track your time. 

And if you’re worried that you’ll have to replace the digital tools you’re already comfortable with, you can rest assured knowing Harvest easily integrates with tools you use daily and love. Asana, Basecamp, GitHub, Slack, Trello, QuickBooks Online, Xero, Stripe, PayPal, Chrome, and ClickUp are just a handful of the apps that Harvest integrates with.

We understand that consistency is a bit of a slippery concept for people when it comes to tracking their time. For people who struggle with consistency, tracking their time can feel overwhelming. Harvest creates automated reminders to alleviate this issue. 

Still, all that tracking isn’t super useful without reports to show you what’s going on, right? Imagine a graph with a bunch of lines but no words or numbers to explain what the lines mean. You need reports and analysis to visually show you how tracking projects and tasks is keeping your team on track to hit your business goals. Harvest paints a full picture.

If the project you’re working on isn’t profitable because it’s a time suck, you need to know what’s happening. So, along with these reports and analyses that track your time, your projects can be tracked. And when each project has a budget, those tracked projects can be kept on schedule. That means those tracked projects are kept within budget and they make a profit. 

These same reports can also give you a bigger picture of what is happening within your team. Which members are overworked? Which ones are not quite working at capacity and need more responsibilities put on their less-than-full plates? You can level out the workload with the information gained from your Harvest reports.

You’ll easily be able to recognize which things are depleting the time, energy, and budget of your team. In turn, your Harvest reports enable you to take the data gleaned from past projects to help you better prepare for future projects in regard to both cost and time spent. 

Are you wondering if our reports will work for you? Don’t worry. Your Harvest reports are customizable thanks to filters that allow you to get the specific data that is important to your business being successful. 

And of course, we’re not quite done with that very useful data. You can export your new information from Harvest into your existing reporting tools thanks to how well Harvest plays with others - making invoicing a breeze. Your time and expenses are tracked for you, making that information readily available to seamlessly and automatically send invoices and receive payment. 

Once you’ve finished with your invoice creation and payment, there’s one more thing to do to keep up with accounting. Integrate your Harvest invoices and payments directly into QuickBooks Online or Xero for simple, quick accounting.

Harvest is built to be easy to use, and you want the app to actually be utilized. It’s a time tracking tool that your team can use without the headache of learning a completely new system and all new tools. Harvest works with you and for you, not against you.

Keeping your team on track is what we’ve been doing for thousands of customers all across the globe — for over fifteen years. Harvest is made to help you succeed and grow with you when you do. Sign up for a free trial today to learn more about what Harvest can do for you.