When Is Time Tracking Inefficient & How to Make It Work

Have you ever considered implementing a work time tracker at your company?

Inefficient Time Tracking – What Does It Mean?


According to TSheets survey, “time theft costs US employers $11 billion a year.” And time theft is one of the most important reasons why organizations decide to implement time tracking software. It can save a lot of money and at the same time increase employee’s productivity. But it happens that time tracking is inefficient and may cause more problems rather than bring benefits.

But what is an inefficient time trackingIt’s the result of not following the right practices, failing at properly implementing time tracking software, and not setting clear goals. Using time tracking software requires the right approach, even if it’s seemingly trivial.

When is time tracking inefficient? Are you doing it right? Or maybe you’re wondering if time tracking will work for you? Check out this short guide to find out and learn how to fix bad time tracking initiatives.

Time tracking is inefficient:

1. If it means more work

Implementing time tracking software requires organizing how the organization is going to use the software. If you don’t have a clear structure, it’s going to be a mess. Also, tracking time for every task and project requires systematization and a clear scope of work for every employee so that everyone is accountable for their actions.

If your company fails at transparency, people are tired with work, and overhead exceeds the normal limit, your time tracking systems and processes are inefficient. That means it’s time for you to take the right steps and fix the problem.

How to fix it?

Assign specific people responsible for the following:

  • Implementation of the time tracking software and team onboarding
  • Support and problem solving
  • Different aspects of time tracking (HR, payroll, projects, timesheet management, etc.)
  • Trainings – your employees will need them to stay on top of work, follow constant changes in the software as well as in the market

Also, choose the right software. You should look for a software that:

  • Will automate and optimize work. Such tools should have automatic time tracker, integrations with external apps, advanced settings allowing you to flexibly use the software, and should be available for different platforms and as a mobile app.
  • Will not bring more obligations and responsibilities, such as hiring more people, creating more troubling tasks, giving people more work than they can handle.
  • Corresponds to your business needs and requirements. Not every tool is suitable for every business. Some are better for small organizations, others for large, and some are even aimed at very specific sectors. Make sure to look for software that will have all the necessary features.


2. If it’s the only determinant of productivity

Productivity is not only about the number of hours tracked. It’s also about how your team is cooperating, about your customer’s satisfaction, even revenue or number of successful projects delivered.

Focusing only on tracking work hours has never attracted success.

How to fix it?

Use time tracking software as help, not as a means of getting to your goals. It’s a great analytics tool but depending entirely on it will bring more harm than good.

With daily or weekly reviews, you can check on your team’s progress and use the data time tracking software to enhance work, draw accurate conclusions, and make long-term plans. It’s worth to remember that technology is there to help us, not to slave us.


3. If you need to track tracked time

What’s the use of tracking time, if you and your team need to make sure that numbers add up? Timesheets can be a real nightmare but if your organization starts using automatic timesheet software, everything will become easy.

Inefficient time tracking means filling up timesheets manually.

How to fix it?

Implement the right software. Even though almost all time tracking software includes timesheets feature, not all are helpful in filling timesheets. Choose the one that automatically fills in timesheets so your employees can focus on what really matters, not on paperwork.


4. If you’re tracking time after finishing tasks

This is a very common problem and one of the causes of losses in money for many companies. Adding time to timesheets after work is a wrong move. It creates the phenomenon of time theft. Employees may not even know they’re adding extra hours to the actual number of hours worked.

5 extra minutes every day makes 25 minutes a week. 25 minutes a week makes 100 minutes a month. And 100 minutes a month makes 4.800 minutes a year. That gives 80 hours a year on average.

If you pay your employee $20 per hour, you may lose even $1.600 per year.

The numbers speak for themselves.

How to fix it?

Everyone on your team has to track time during work hours. It’s that simple. There are 2 benefits arising from such a practice:

  1. Employees will save time on filling timesheets (work automation)
  2. You will prevent time theft, as a result, your company will save money


5. If you’re not tracking non-billable time

This point is related to point 4 in terms of wasting money. Tracking non-billable hours allows you to save both time and money because you can easily identify what it’s being wasted on and where it could be allocated instead. That includes meetings, non-profitable clients, repetitive tasks, etc.

How to fix it?

Simply track non-billable time. Then, meet with your team, discuss the data, and find a solution to automating and optimizing work.


4. If you don’t have clear expectations

Inefficient time tracking very often results from not setting clear goals and not defining expectations. Telling your employees to track time for the sake of tracking time is one of the worst things you can do.

It will create chaos and disorganization.

How to fix it?

Ask yourself (and your team) 3 very important questions:

  1. Why do you need to track time?
  2. What do you want to achieve with time tracking?
  3. How will it help your business?


To Wrap It Up


Remember that inefficient time tracking doesn’t mean the software you use is wrong. It’s not the fault of the technology, it’s the fault of your company, wrong approach or bad practices.

It may turn out that your organization should not use time tracking software. Your business model doesn’t need this type of software. Or you simply have not defined strategy, goals, and plan for your business. That means you need to organize yourself and your company. Implementing time tracking software is a process that requires a structured hierarchy and order.

Don’t get discouraged, though; I have good news! If time tracking is inefficient in your organization, you can fix it. Take a break, reevaluate your plan, and introduce changes. With small steps, your business can become profitable and successful. Good luck!



When Is Time Tracking Inefficient & How to Make It Work

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