what is the best time tracker for employees

When you think of time tracking, you may immediately picture a group of workers filing into a factory and “punching in” a card before they start their shift. However, time tracking has come a long way, and its benefits have reached all kinds of service industries and business sectors. Over 1.1 million jobs were created last year in the professional and business services industries. [source]. Therefore, these businesses must leverage data to determine how to price their services and what staffing level is needed to ensure their projects are profitable. Time tracking is an essential element of business success.

Larger companies have the luxury of hiring project managers to manage staff and keep track of work hours and pay. Small business owners are likely using manual methods to track employee hours in Excel. Depending on the size and complexity of your business, that might be fine for now. But if your business is growing and you’re adding clients, then it might be time to take a more sophisticated approach to tracking time. How can small business owners keep track of their employees’ hours? How can you keep track of worker hours in Excel? And what are your options when it comes to using a time tracker online? We’ll answer these questions and more.

What is a time tracking app?

Time tracking apps are tools teams of all sizes use to measure how much time is spent on projects and tasks. You can use time tracking apps to invoice customers accurately, estimate and staff projects, and allocate resources. In short, time tracking apps are a business owner’s secret weapon. They can help you:

  • Measure project time
  • Boost productivity
  • Keep projects running smoothly and accurately

How do you track your team’s hours worked?

Before you invest in a time tracking solution, it's important to analyze your current processes. First, take stock of your current time tracking needs by answering these questions:

  • How do I track my employee working hours? Suppose your employees follow a cadence of filling out a weekly timesheet, usually 40 hours, focused on one client. In that case, a spreadsheet might work fine.

  • Is there an app for tracking staff hours? If your employees are not following a regular cadence and you’re spending much time documenting retroactively, or if your clients have separate time tracking requirements for invoicing, then a time tracking app could help streamline this process.

  • How can I track my own hours? Small business owners wear many hats. If you feel that you’re spread thin and spending too much time on certain parts of your business and not enough in other high-impact areas that could help your business grow, it’s time to track your hours. One insight that could come from tracking your hours: where am I spending much time but not getting much in return? Is it billing? Customer Service? Marketing? Perhaps that’s your next hire.

Next, consider what you must automate and where to leverage existing tools like Microsoft or Google Suite. Can you keep track of the hours your employees have worked in Excel? Is there an app or template you can use for tracking staff hours? If your client billing and invoicing needs are minimal, starting with the tools you’re already using to capture hours worked might make sense.

What’s the best time tracking platform?

The short answer is that it depends on your business needs. There are many templates available that work in Excel or Google [link].

However, you may want to track employee time online as they work on multiple projects and tasks for your clients. In that case, a time tracking app is your best bet. With time tracking apps, it’s a ‘set it and forget it’ solution that won’t disrupt the flow of your team’s work.

Also, if you’re wearing multiple hats in your business by overseeing accounting and project management, a time tracking app can make life easier. Look for a time tracking app that generates invoices, making it easy to bill your clients and keep track of budgets.

Personalized time tracking

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to online time tracking. For small business owners, choosing between conventional spreadsheets and dynamic time tracking apps hinges on individual needs. Whether streamlining client billing or gaining insights into time allocation, the right solution depends on the nature of the business. Embracing a suitable time tracking tool emerges as the secret weapon for enhancing productivity and achieving business success.