For any organization, time is an asset that needs to be utilized in the best possible manner. Once you have a big picture of employees’ time, like how much time they spend on which tasks, you can have an estimate of their productivity too.
If the employees are investing too much time in any task, it may cause delays in the project and cost overruns too. Therefore, time-tracking plays a crucial role in discerning employees’ time, productivity and bandwidth so that appropriate strategies can be formulated to enhance their productivity and minimize resource wastage.
In this blog, we shed light on how time-tracking impacts employee productivity in any organization.
What is Time-tracking?
Time-tracking is the process of tracking and recording how much time an employee spends on which task and project. It also provides a picture of team productivity, time distribution across tasks and projects, the progress of the project, etc.
Earlier, time-tracking was done via traditional paper timesheets, but it came with several limitations and drawbacks. Now, modern time-tracking solutions have largely replaced these paper sheets, overcoming their limitations while providing additional capabilities like managing productivity levels.
How Time-tracking Improves Productivity?
Here are some of the ways time-tracking can help with improving productivity:
1. Provides Data for Analyzing Productivity
Time-tracking maintains a record of employees’ time and work done daily. The project manager can utilize this data to evaluate various details like employees’ bandwidth and time utilization, employees who are procrastinating their work, which employees are more productive and which ones take more time to complete tasks, etc.
Armed with this information, project managers can spot where productivity is lagging behind so that smarter decisions can be made to improve the productivity and efficiency of employees.
Moreover, employers can overview which department is spending how much time on which project and whether the time utilization is worth it or not. This analysis helps them develop a strategy that is profitable to their organization.
2. Productivity Level Comparisons
A time-tracking software provides a 360-degree view of everyone’s contribution to the team. This data is helpful for project managers to identify those employees who are putting in extra effort and working overtime to meet the project’s goal. Managers can publicly recognize their efforts or reward them for motivating other employees to be more productive.
Similarly, if managers find employees taking more time to accomplish similar tasks, they can ensure relevant training or guidance is provided in order to enhance productivity and efficiency.
3. Smarter Task Allocation
One of the most challenging jobs for any manager is to assign the right tasks to the right person according to their bandwidth and availability. time-tracking provides clear visibility into every employee’s bandwidth and time utilization. Equipped with this data, managers can correctly assign tasks without overburdening their employees.
In addition, time-tracking also gives an estimate of employees’ capacity, allowing managers to distribute tasks across the workforce more efficiently.
4. Identification and Prevention of Distractions
Irrespective of how dedicated employees are, distractions are bound to arise, leading to lower productivity. These may come in the form of attending unnecessary meetings, requests for ad-hoc tasks, long break hours, etc.
Distractions disrupt the focus of employees, which may cause their current tasks to be delayed or even derailed. With the help of time-tracking software, managers can identify the causes of distraction and, therefore, can mitigate the issue by outlining a proper roadmap.
5. Elimination of Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks can arise at any time over the course of a project for a variety of reasons. These bottlenecks can end up causing delays down the road as tasks are often interconnected. With the help of a time tracker, project managers can look for any bottleneck or roadblocks in a specific task that needs more time and address it proactively.
6. Keep Focus on Priorities
A time tracker gives an insight into which employee is working on which task and for how long. The project manager can look into whether the tasks they are working on are of high priority or not.
For example, an employee may dedicate a good deal of time to a task that can be insignificant. Therefore, with the aid of a time tracker, employers can reevaluate and redefine their priorities, which can contribute to higher productivity.
7. Ensure Mandatory Breaks
Breaks are important to boost employee morale, as it helps gain balanced emotional health and de-stress at the workplace. Failing to avail of sufficient breaks during working hours can negatively impact employees’ productivity.
This is where the time tracker comes in, as it enables blocking appropriate breaks at the right interval. These breaks will prevent burnout and mental exertion, which are said to be the top causes of low productivity.
8. Support Better Focus Levels
When employees have clarity about which priority tasks they have to work on, along with other low-priority tasks in the pipeline, they can better focus on their work and can efficiently manage their time to accomplish them.
Time-tracking is helpful in identifying the priority or urgent tasks that need to be done first, which helps them better concentrate on their tasks.
9. Keeps Procrastination at Bay
The problem of procrastination is so timeless and usually happens when employees are overburdened with unpleasant tasks or face ambiguity regarding which tasks are of high priority.
However, it has been observed that most employees are more driven to complete the work when they are provided with milestones, as it gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment.
Thus, project managers can set milestones and micro-goals in different phases of the project with the aid of a time tracker. This way, employees can work more productively to meet goals and can beat procrastination as well.
In addition, some tracking software comes with an automatic notification feature that sends the schedule overrun notification if the schedule lags behind.
10. Prevents Employees from Multitasking
When employees are loaded with multiple tasks together, they start multi-tasking to complete them all simultaneously. However, frequently switching from one task to another can degrade productivity. This can further disrupt concentration and increases the chances of errors too.
Time-tracking gives an insight into if the employees are frequently switching tasks, and with the aid of this information, project managers can evaluate and prioritize their tasks accordingly.
11. Improved Project Planning
One of the most challenging tasks of project planning is estimating the time individual tasks may take. However, time trackers retain the historical data of previous projects.
Managers can leverage this data to estimate the time requirements for future projects since the wrong estimate can result in missed deadlines, cost overruns, and overburdening the team with multiple tasks that can hamper their productivity.
3 Great Time-tracking Apps
Replicon is a time-tracking software that offers many AI-powered automated functionalities. It integrates with over a hundred popular productivity and project management apps, including Asana, Slack, Zoom, etc.
It features flexible timesheet capture that supports all types of employees in different roles. The software also helps verify, analyze, review and apply the right workflows for producing accurate timesheets.
Bonsai time tracker tool offers features to make your workflow easier and more efficient. It has an easy and straightforward interface that centralizes your timesheets. It also lets you manage tasks, track billed hours, and create and send client invoices.
Indy is a reliable tool to track your working hours on projects and helps you get paid. You can start or pause recording your work hours with a click and organize your tracked work sessions. There’s also an option to add the hours to your invoices to get paid for your work.
WebWork is an employee monitoring software that helps employers track the progress of remote teams through screenshots and reports. You can get reports as timesheets or statistics that you can easily export in different formats.
Moreover, you can automatically monitor employee attendance, monitor particular app usage, among projects, and chat with your team. The tool is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as for Android, iOS, and the web.
As improved productivity and higher efficiency levels are the keys to successful on-time project deliveries, investing in a robust time-tracking system can be enormously beneficial to any organization. Time-tracking can help organizations better manage their employees’ time and uncover missed opportunities to improve their productivity levels.