5 Proven Benefits of Having a Time Tracker at Work
Share this content :
Imagine that you’re at your desk, either in a cubicle or in your home office, and you’ve been working for what feels like hours. After filling out six or seven reports, you finally stretch your arms out wide and log out for the night. However, just as you’re about to get off the chair, you glance down at the clock. Whatever time it reads, you immediately begin wondering if you worked the eight hours you promised or if you’re turning in too early. Unsure of what to do, you decide to sit down and go for another hour or so just to be safe.
If you feel unsure about how much time you’ve spent at work, don’t worry. You’re not the first person to lose track of how many hours they’ve logged in. Without proper tracking, however, you risk losing your salary or burning out to try and compensate. To keep your mind safe and your hours in check, these apps can help you get the job done. Here’s what you need to know about having a time tracker at work and how it can help you at work!
What is a time tracker?
A time tracker is an application or device that monitors how many hours you’ve spent at work. Depending on which one you use, it can record the overall amount of time you’ve worked or the individual shifts you take for different tasks and goals.
Businesses worldwide, especially those that operate online, use time trackers to help watch over their workers. Those who work hourly can use a time tracker to get paid for the time they’ve spent. There are also those who use time trackers to make sure they reach their weekly or monthly requirements.
One popular example of a time tracker at work is Hubstaff. It allows all kinds of workers, from tenured members to freelancers, to record the number of hours they work. The app also takes screenshots of the computer or phone to ensure that work is being done. I use Hubstaff for my companies to help keep each person accountable for the amount of work they do each week.
What are the benefits of using a time tracker?
First of all, the time trackers of today are a huge advancement over the old school. Punch cards for time aren’t as effective for companies these days, especially those transitioning to online platforms. Manual log-ins and spreadsheets can be unreliable at times. Plus, there’s always the chance that a worker is not being completely honest about how they spend all their time at work.
That’s why the apps today show such promise to the companies that use them. Here are five benefits of having a time tracker at work and how it can improve your team.
1. It helps promote accountability and transparency.
Tracking the actual hours someone spends at work can be a matter of subjective opinion. There are definitely times when you are working hard and your full effort is focused on getting the job done. There are also times when you slow down and try to do easier tasks to avoid straining your mind.
With a time tracker, you can keep track of what type of work you do and how much work you do for it. For example, in Hubstaff, you can monitor the activity rate of different teammates and see how much they get done. You might notice that some are taking it slow and maybe not doing as much as they should. You’ll also find those who are truly dedicated and give 110% of their effort to make each minute as productive as possible.
2. It informs you of where the most effort is used.
In addition to tracking how much work is done, a time tracker can help you or your team leader note where most of the work happens. Knowing what tasks take the most time or attention can aid you in planning the tasks for the next day or week. For example, you can ask your team to put certain projects on hold to focus on more important and urgent tasks.
3. It keeps your managers and bosses updated.
A time tracker at work often provides all the details and reports to the team leader or the head of the company. It allows them to know what each team member is doing without having to actively watch over them each hour of the day. Not only does it save you and your boss time, but it also covers everyone who may or may not be helping the company out.
4. It helps you pace your activities and schedule.
Like the example in the introduction, poor time tracking and management can lead you to work harder and longer than you have to. Imagine that you spend four extra hours on the weekend to finish a task. Not only does that take away precious rest time, but it can also make you feel unhappy and unappreciated at work.
With a time tracker, you can monitor and pace yourself when you are doing your different projects. By knowing how many hours you spent, you can choose whether to hurry up and finish the project or to slow down and review everything. You can also use this to know if it’s time to shift to a new task so that work doesn’t feel repetitive and monotonous.
5. It inspires colleagues at work to do more and do better.
I believe that time trackers are a good source of motivation. Time tracking helps you monitor how much work you and your colleagues do, as well as the hours spent. As a teammate, if you notice that someone is working late in the night to meet their tasks, wouldn’t that inspire you to do a better job?
Furthermore, knowing that you’re being monitored can help you plan out how you work effectively. You might be one of those marathoners who can handle long shifts at a time. You might also be one of those sprinters who prefer short yet focused bursts of energy for their workday. Whichever style fits, a time tracker at work helps you keep an eye on how effective they can be.
How do I use a time tracker effectively?
As you can see, tracking the amount of time you spend working can help you become more productive and focused. That said, like any good device, it takes the right approach to make it worthwhile. Here are some tips on using a time tracker at work effectively.
Outline your projects before you start.
Before you even start working, it’s always crucial to have a game plan. Knowing what kind of work you plan to do for the day, whether for an hour or for an entire shift, will help you streamline your time tracking. That’s why it’s recommended to outline each project and task before starting.
To make it simpler, break down your time and projects into smaller, doable tasks. For example, if you plan on doing research about productivity, break it down further into different subsections. You can spend a couple of hours focusing on defining productivity, finding its features, and understanding how people understand it.
Focus on the important tasks first.
As effective as a time tracker is, it’s only going to be useful if you actually do work. Anyone can do simple tasks, like logging in or filling in reports. However, depending on what job you have, it’s the crucial goals or projects that need attention first. For example, a writer can only do so much research before they have to start drafting their article. So, if you want to make your time tracker at work worthwhile, always remember to use your time for important projects first.
Break down goals into manageable tasks and steps.
Many people tend to write a general outline of what they plan to do for the day on their time trackers. Some might simply put “research” or “revise” as a project. However, that kind of task is so broad that it can be hard to know what to focus on first. For example, what kind of research is it? Are you using it for a future article or marketing plan? Is it something to do with a platform or a device? Without enough explanation, you might find yourself lost on where to focus your efforts on.
Do yourself a favor by breaking down each task and goal into manageable actions. For example, you can focus on researching topics about mental health or about content marketing. While it’s still a broad subject, you now have a focal point for all your research. You can then follow up by making a task for summarizing all your findings for future articles or reports.
Remember to list completed and pending tasks.
When you make your tasks, it’s a good idea to review which ones you’ve accomplished at the end of the day. The best way to stay motivated is to know that you’ve done something useful, even if it’s just one project. To keep yourself focused, always take time to reflect on what you were able to do in your shift that day. Did you finish all the tasks that you set out? If not, how many are left? Can you work on those tomorrow or will you need more time? By reflecting on these questions, you can plan out the rest of your week to be as effective and efficient as possible.
Manage your time and hourly rate to fit your lifestyle.
Lastly, a time tracker is only as useful as the lifestyle you have. If you let applications like Hubstaff force you into work when you’re too sleepy or unmotivated to do it, you might as well not work at all. A time tracker at work only monitors; it should not define how you live or how your work style goes.
To make it all come together, plan out the hours to fit your lifestyle needs. Take time to pause when you have an emergency or pressing matter, like checking on your kids or eating lunch. If you need to pause for a short rest, do so. No one is asking you to work throughout the day, especially if it makes you feel exhausted. Remember, a time tracker at work is a useful tool, but it’s your dedication that matters at the end of the day.
Thank you for reading this article! If you found this helpful, please don’t hesitate to share it with your family and friends. For additional knowledge, you can get a FREE copy of my book, which you can download here. I will share practical tips and tricks for becoming a millennial millionaire!
- BambooHR. Accessed on November 14, 2022. What is Time Tracking?
- Dhingra, A. (2021, July 23). 8 Time Tracking Tips to Make Your Life Easier. G2.
- Hubstaff. Accessed on November 14, 2022. The Benefits of Tracking Your Employees’ Time.
- Hubstaff. Accessed on November 14, 2022. What is Time Tracking?
- Scoro. Accessed on November 14, 2022. 16 Time-tracking Best Practices for Teamwork.
- Soucy, L. Accessed on November 14, 2022. The Top 10 Benefits of Time Tracking (and How to Track Time). Biz 3.0.
- Viter, I. (2021, April 19). Why Time Tracking is Important for You & Your Organization. Forecast.
Share this content :