What do 27% of all small business have in common as 2016 gets started? They are considering investing in new ways and methods of using online time management software to grow their business performance; you’re absolutely correct. One of the greatest drains on corporate profitability at all levels is lost productivity through mismanaged time tracking, even logged time on tasks increase. Software designed specifically for time management applications can help reduce wasted time and give a more accurate picture of how and where personnel resources are used.
But what’s wrong with the current ways of doing things? They worked well enough to build multibillion-dollar empires, so shouldn’t they work just as well now? Realistically, the answer is no. Deploying time online tracking software can help point out weaknesses and bottlenecks in current processes, allowing for retooling, reallocation or outright elimination of problem points and streamlining work better and more efficiently than ever before. In this article, we will consider six tools businesses of any size can use to help improve time management and increase profitability for employee hours on-task, as well as the time-wasters these programs can reduce operating budgets.
- Am I paying for actual hours worked?
Pen-and-paper time tracking has one obvious flaw: it can be falsified. Padding time on a given project, spending time on Facebook instead of actual work or claiming a full day’s work when the employee wasn’t even present are all common forms of fraud. Meet Chrometa. This simple-to-use app automatically logs time spent on websites, takes screenshots and builds a comprehensive overview of the working day, helping curb time-wasting practices and keeping employees honest about time logged.
- Where did my day go?
If you have ever asked this question, you can bet your employees have as well. This ties in with the pen-and-paper time tracking methodology and highlights another problem: If you’re not absolutely sure you spent 45 minutes on a given project, or whether breaks are accounted for, it’s easy to lose track, leaving a potentially costly mess to clean up when invoicing time comes around. Cube Anywhere can answer this question for management, giving personal, team and overall time reports to help determine where time is going with a simple-to-use app that can run on any computer or mobile device, allowing for a birds-eye view even away from the office.
- Did I log out for my break?
If you step away for a coffee break, it’s easy to lose that time in the daily shuffle. Freckle solves this problem by monitoring activity and showing it in 15-minute blocks, as well as taking screenshots and noting inactive and off-Internet periods. It also generates a user alert if a break isn’t included in the overall daily time, and gives a nice array of ways to create reports and invoices based on its internal time-tracking.
- Is the time I’m paying for creating value for my business and clientele?
Even small slips in productivity can become big losses for your customers and company over time. Slow website load times and a “quick peek” at personal email or social media accounts on the job are some of the champion time wasters of the modern working world. OfficeTime is a no-subscription, single-purchase program with the functionality to monitor work time and generate invoices and time reports, but takes this a step further by tracking computer-based tasks and away time in real time, helping to pinpoint places where small time-wasters could become large expenses over time.
- What if I just want to keep it simple?
Maybe you don’t need a time tracking system that features a lot of bells and whistles, but you do need some extra project management capability. PayMo can help with this, giving a basic, easy-to-use interface that delivers time tracking and invoicing, as well as simple but powerful project management tools such as a calendar and team tracking features. It is a subscription app that offers a free plan as well as premium options for those who need a more robust suite of features.
- What if I just need basic overviews instead of detailed daily breakdowns?
If you just want to get an idea of where your daily time is going rather than down-to-the-minute tracking, Toggl may be your answer. This app’s stripped-down interface allows for single-click start-and-stop task tracking and entry, plus basic notes about what was done during the working block. It also points out gaps or idle time in the day, allowing you a more general overall picture of daily time-on-task with report generation for Summary, Daily and Weekly overviews.
Time tracking software will be an investment more companies are moving toward in 2016, and the trend has already begun. These six apps and programs can be tailored to fit nearly any budget, from shoestring to sky’s the limit. What kind of time tracking software would best meet the needs of your company? Answering this question and implementing the right program for your purposes can mean the difference between a sleekly running productivity machine and a black hole of wasted time and expense for you and your clients. Which one of these apps do you think would best fit your company?