Even if you’re not billing out project hours, or measuring how resources are employed across the organisation, time management tools will really give you the real facts about how time is split across each section of the team.
Individuals will also appreciate how their days are spent and can optimise their working habits to ensure they’re using time effectively.
Rolling out timesheets won’t always be the most popular decision, but logging hours really does have benefits in the end.
Time management software systems are obviously not just about clocking in and out.
Although we use timesheets to log total hours in-house here (this is a legal requirement in Ireland), we also use ‘Projects‘ to record hours worked on specific jobs.
For example, my hours are split across both sales and marketing tasks and sub-tasks. That’s not an unusual circumstance in many modern, fast-growing companies with flat structures.
Keeping a note of these – and associating hourly costs to them – really helps to keep to a ‘time budget‘ on multiple roles and associate them with cost centres after the reports are exported each month.
Accurate records are also helpful for staff to show the facts to illustrate when they have pressures on time spent focusing on specific functions and to prove why they might need the additional resources they’ve been requesting.
Similarly, managers can also give meaningful guidance on where to adjust or correct the ratios of time spent or assistance in helping to streamline the workflows of team members to correct those proportions of where their focus and priorities lie.
This ‘horizontal‘ and ‘vertical‘ approach to logging working time also gives managers of remote workers or those working at home some of the weeks or on flexible arrangements a strong overview of what their team are doing.
Time Management Solutions integrated into the wider People Management suite gives a further, holistic view of where resources are employed.
One Solution that can export data on all billable hours, totally worked hours and employee costs makes sense for reporting, resource planning and accounting purposes. (‘How many of our hours worked are billable?’ for example.)
Solutions that allow you to log in from any device, anywhere, add a further element of control, especially for remote teams in the field.
Clocking in and out from on the road using a mobile and adding notes on which client and/or project the team member has interacted with or spent time preparing material or following up on – is invaluable for billing purposes.
One of the main things that rose to the surface when we started using the Projects hours in-house here was how working in blocks is way more efficient than flitting from task to task.
Some of the more, ahem, ‘experienced’ team members especially went from being vehemently proud of their multi-tasking abilities from days of yore to seeing that reacquainting yourself with projects that you dip in and out of is super inefficient.
Whereas allocating time and working to make progress on larger chunks of work is much more effective.
And all this is only apparent once time management software is in place to show the facts.
If you don’t record the facts – and base actions on that data – then aren’t you just guessing?