For many businesses, time tracking is a major speed bump in an already complicated data-management process.
But you can avoid the obstacles associated with recording and reporting your team’s work hours by creating a simple, streamlined system that doesn’t interrupt the workflow of those involved.
In this article, we discuss tips to help you improve time tracking in your company regardless of the type of business you run, the size of the operation, or the number of employees on staff.
What Is Time Tracking?
Time tracking is the business practice of recording and collating information about when each member of your team works and doesn’t work.
For businesses that pay their employees by the hour, time tracking is essential for calculating the paychecks and benefits they receive.
Team members clock in when they arrive at the workplace — or when they start work if they’re part of a remote team — and clock out when they leave or stop work for the day. Some businesses also require their employees to clock in and out during breaks so management can get a more accurate understanding of the actual time they spend on a particular task or job.
For businesses that pay their employees a salary, many HR departments use time tracking and the data it provides as a means to observe and control project costs.
Team members record the amount of time they work on a specific task throughout the day, and that data is then incorporated into calculating the true cost of the job (and even estimating expenses for future jobs).
At its most basic, the theory of time tracking is fairly simple and straightforward. But when your business takes into account the total number of employees, tax laws, payroll, and many other factors, managing the data becomes a full-time job itself.
That’s why it’s essential to do everything you can to make the system in your business as effective and efficient as possible.
Tips To Improve Time Tracking
1) Check Local, State, And Federal Laws
One of the very first things you should do when setting up a time tracking system is to check local, state, and federal laws.
These regulations give you a basic framework for how your system should and shouldn’t operate. With those mandates in mind, you can then build a process that is effective and productive for your business.
To make sure your business is in full compliance with local, state, and federal laws (such as scheduling, overtime, wages, or recordkeeping), consult an attorney who is familiar with labor laws in your industry.
2) Keep It Simple
However you choose to run your business’s time tracking system, keep the process as simple as possible.
For example, the clock-in/clock-out operation should only take a few seconds from start to finish. That way, the process won’t feel like a major speed bump in the workflow and productivity of the team members who have to use it every day.
It doesn’t matter if it’s punching a paper sheet, swiping an ID card, typing a PIN, having their fingerprint scanned, or, best of all, clocking in and out using the Inch app, anything more than 10 or 15 seconds is too long to be productive.
3) Make Use Of Modern Tools
Modern tools, such as Inch, give both managers and employees powerful features that make the entire data-gathering process seamless and easy from start to finish.
On the employee’s side of things, modern tools give your team the power to clock in and out of shifts, tasks, and projects from any phone, tablet, laptop, or designated terminal whether it’s on their person, mounted in a vehicle, or in the office.
You can even set up geofences around your place of business or a remote worksite so that, if an employee is outside those limits, they won’t be allowed to clock in until they cross into the defined space.
That’s powerful control over when and where your team works!
On the manager’s side of things, modern tools open up a new world of control — not just as a time clock app, but also as a communication method, a distribution channel, and a payroll processing tool.
With the data that digital apps provide, you’ll gain insight into how your team works and how you can improve the workflow so that they perform even better.
4) Automate The Time Tracking Process
Most businesses find that automating their time tracking process with workforce management software is the best way to maintain compliance in an ever-changing industry.
Regardless of what your business does and where it’s located, team management software is the best solution for streamlining the number-gathering process.
Automation of this type makes it easy to:
- Set wages by employee or position
- See how much each shift will cost
- Forecast and optimize labor costs while you schedule
- Stay on budget
- Avoid potential overtime
- View labor as a percentage of sales
- Create payroll reports that give you insight into how your business is running
For more information on the best way to automate the processes in your business, check out these articles from the Inch blog:
5) Create Documentation And Instructions
Perfecting your time tracking system starts with creating documentation and instructions for all the processes involved.
Make the instructions as clear and as comprehensive as possible. That way there’s little or no confusion as to what you’re asking your team members to do when they start work in the morning and leave work in the evening.
Once you’re satisfied with your documentation, make it available to all your employees. The best place to publish this information is in your employee handbook. And the best place to store your employee handbook is online.
Then, regardless of where your distributed team or field service employees work every day, they’ll be able to access the information whenever they need it.
When all the procedures are collected in a place that your team can access at all times, it cuts down on — or all but eliminates — the need for managers and supervisors to take time out of their day to address problems.
6) Train Your Team
Another important thing to consider when implementing or upgrading a time tracking system is how you’re going to train your team. They’ll need hands-on instruction and guidance to operate the equipment and have at least a basic understanding of how and why it all works.
Give them as much information as possible — in both your documentation and in-person training — so that they can see how keeping track of their time spent on a job or task will benefit both them and the business.
Training your team in this way will help make everything more productive and reduce confusion and errors later on.
The Key To Easy And Accurate Time Tracking
The key to easy and accurate time tracking is choosing the right software for the job. Look no further than the Inch app and suite of tools.
As a time clock tool, Inch is the best. But that’s not the only thing our app does. Inch actually takes time tracking to the next level.
We built this software to streamline everything from team task management to workforce scheduling to labor cost control and beyond.
In fact, we designed Inch to make it easier for managers and team members — be they remote or on-site — to get aligned on their to-dos, communicate with one another, and ensure that all tasks get completed on time.
Regardless of where they’re working, those with the Inch app can perform a wide variety of tasks right from their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, including:
- Working from a shared task list
- Getting clarity on work that needs to get done
- Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
- Clocking in and out of tasks at different locations
- Completing work assigned to them
- Communicating with managers and each other
All of that and more without having to touch a mobile screen or report back to the office.
For managers, Inch makes it easy to distribute tasks manually across their teams or populate tasks automatically based on preset conditions.
This unique feature ensures that all work is covered and keeps employees accountable and clear on their specific responsibilities, expected outcomes, and deadlines.
Managers can assign work to the employees that are closest to the jobsite or generate tasks automatically as the need arises and follow work progress and task completion in real time.
Inch helps eliminate frustration for employees, headaches for managers, and inefficiencies for the business.
Whether you need time tracking solutions for your team or help keeping your employees on task and focused, Inch gives you unprecedented control over an inherently complicated process and makes it easier than ever to create the best workflow for your business.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.