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Do You Know How to Track Time? 5 Most Common Time Tracking Problems & How to Solve Them

Time tracking software is presently one of the most widely famous tools in numerous offices and is applied in different industries. It is employed to record work hours of workers, but even individual people choose to implement the time tracking software in their work. In various organizations, time tracking is necessary.

And while workers often tend to believe that watching their work means spying on them, the aim of organizations developing time tracking software is just to help people grow more productive at work. Not only does it improve productivity but also benefits to learn the way things work in a company and properly plan the budget.

While time tracking software brings various benefits, for some it is problematical and ultimately leads to a collapse in time tracking implementation. Most company managers and workers blame the software for starting issues, but in most cases, it is how they understand the idea of time tracking.

How to know if you are tracking time accurately? It is not only about the time tracking software the company is practicing but also about all employees’ strategy to time tracking. You cannot manage your time if you do not know how to do it. After all, it takes two to tango.

Time Tracking Problems

There are numerous blunders people do when it comes to time tracking. And when something doesn’t work out as intended, the software is to be blamed, which certainly may be in some instances. But stopping these slips from occurring is the first step to reducing time tracking difficulties. Even if they look small at the start, they can have adverse consequences.

  1. Improper implementation

If your employees have not been introduced to the notion of time tracking but forced into deep water, your business will undoubtedly meet time tracking problems. Workers will get confused, and people will begin using their own practices which in turn will lead to turmoils.

To avoid that, your company should set clear procedures and modes:

  • Make one person accountable for time tracking implementation
  • Only let company managers make projects and tasks
  • Inform that time tracking implementation is necessary
  • Formulate clear rules on how to track employees’ time
  • Timesheets approval should be regular

Even if you work alone, for instance as a freelancer, you also should have clear aims when it comes to applying time tracking software. Do you have to use it to bill your customer correctly, improve your productivity, monitor your work hours or maybe all? It will benefit you in adjusting the software to your requirements and better learn how to utilize it.

  1. Guesswork

When it comes to work hours, filling timesheets is always a difficulty. And in time tracking it is a problem, that one problem that keeps everyone up at night.

Filling timesheet is one significant guesswork. People often enter estimations not the specific hours spent at work. They designate different hours to tasks and projects that were actually worked. Instead of working, people think how long they have been working for. That is because most of the tools available do not enable users to concentrate on their work by requiring them to fill when and how they worked.

  1. Misleading reports

A survey conducted in 2013 by Replicon on 432 professionals showed that “96% reported that their employees make mistakes when reporting their working time.”

The guesswork is one difficulty of filling timesheets. The second one is misleading reports. Managers should be able to check how their workers spent their working hours. (Don’t mix it with spies!) And not all tools offer the feature of detailed reports.

If workers can’t give accurate reports of their activities, managers are not able to properly designate resources. Wrong data in timesheets indicates wrong decisions for management. Wrong decisions, in turn, may create losses in the budget. That is why your company should practice the software which allows creating accurate reports.

  1. Real-time tracking

It may happen that workers will work on two activities concurrently. They will switch apps, use various tools, and visit several sites. And that data should also be incorporated into timesheets and reports.

Note that this difficulty is closely related to points 2 and 3. Using time tracking software which tracks work in the real-time is the only method to make sure all the information is reliable. Contrarily, your company will operate in imprecise estimates and forecasts.

  1. Not tracking everything

Breaks, overwork, time after finishing tasks. It all should be included in reports. Some hours may be billable, some non-billable, and it’s also important as it affects the budget and all project. Additionally, not tracking all activities can lead to guesswork and misleading reports. And so, points 2-5 fully integrate.

Understand the System

Of course, there is more time tracking problems, but these are the most common that contribute to the failure in the implementation of tools and apps. And if not taken care of, one problem may cause another. So it’s best to avoid them all by understanding that time tracking is more than just mere numbers.

Whether you work alone or with a team, you should think about time tracking as feedback. With the use of the right tools, it can be a source of information about the state of your workforce and resources. Collect and interpret the data. You can use it to enhance efficiency, predict risks, and thoroughly address issues.

It’s also a good idea to use smart resource management and not to overwhelm your employees with too much work. It will make your time tracking system a means to get a clear overview of all work and processes.

To avoid time tracking problems find out what works best for your company, be consistent, and talk with your team about concerns because time tracking is more than just numbers. But don’t forget to fill your timesheet! Or invest in a timesheet filling time tracking software!

Alma Reed is an author and researcher dedicated to enhancing productivity. She is deeply interested in areas such as time management, increasing productivity, and fostering healthy routines. Through her writing, she aims to assist people in boosting their job performance and attaining an ideal balance between work and life.

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