Time tracking is often seen as a tool for managers, but it actually offers huge advantages for employees. Instead of being a means to contain and control, more businesses are beginning to see it as an enabler – choosing employee-first tools that help employees towards greater self-management, self-knowledge and mastery.
Many people still aren’t aware of these benefits, or treat them as an afterthought, but time tracking simply won't work without group buy-in. Employees need to know how time tracking technology will serve their interests and provide value. Clearly communicating the benefits of time tracking for employees early on is key to successfully introducing time tracking to your team.
Employee autonomy counts for a lot – having a knock-on effect on productivity, creativity and engagement, as well as employee happiness and workplace trust. People want to be respected to manage their own professional space, and time tracking offers the means to do so by helping you:
Understand your capacity – essential for planning work, managing others’ expectations and protecting against burnout.
Document workload fluctuations – to address unsustainable processes and workflows with their team.
Keep to priorities – to ensure you have enough time for your most important tasks.
Capture work outside your remit – protecting against all those extra tasks and requests that aren’t your responsibility.
Provide evidence for improvements – showing where you are overburdened for requesting additional resource, or proving productivity to secure remote work opportunities.
Facilitate flexible working – allowing you to share updates on your progress and activity effortlessly.
Understanding how you work is essential to mastering your productive performance. Time tracking offers a ton of insight on unconscious behaviours and work patterns to help build greater efficiency and meaning into your day. You can use time data to identify:
Average task length – so you know how long different types of work tend to take you.
Unproductive tasks – like duplications of effort or low-value admin tasks that can be outsourced.
Wasted time – understanding how procrastination gets the better of you.
Interruptions – from colleagues and pointless meetings, to invasive work apps.
Productive patterns – understanding the boundaries of your natural focus and when you work best.
Distractions – from serial multitasking, to side tasks and dropping everything to satisfy a low-value request.
Employee value hinges to an extent on our visibility – that our efforts and the quality of our work is recognized and appreciated. But given the distance that often exists between managers and employees, it’s not always easy for bosses to fully take stock of everything you’re achieving. Time tracking goes some way to correct this by documenting:
Invisible tasks – like client communication, task management, internal coordination and late-night emails.
Project progress – so the whole team has a transparent view of where different bits of work are at.
Travel for work – whether flying to a conference or heading to a client site.
Daily productivity – seeing all the things you have achieved each day in one neat place.
Colleague availability – seeing who has room to help you out, or who needs support when your work is quiet.
Good time trackers don’t just provide you with insights – they give you the means to act on them. The best offer project dashboards, report templates, scheduling tools and automation to help you manage your productivity and efficiency. Automatic time tracking tools like Timely help you:
Create better schedules – plan in tasks ahead and use automatic tracking to see how you end up performing against them.
Estimate with confidence – when you can see all the tasks that go into a project, and how long each tends to take, you can set more realistic deadlines.
Manage your deep work – block out time in your calendar to commit space for cognitively rewarding deep work.
Optimize your workflow – cut out all of the repetitive and needless tasks that hold your productivity back.