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Employee time tracking plays a big role in an efficient workday, whether you opt for manual or software-driven systems to help you manage it. 

Time tracking, or accurately recording the hours worked by employees on their various tasks and projects, allows small businesses to: 

  • Keep an eye on productivity
  • Divvy up resources efficiently
  • Make sure they’re fully compliant with their local labour regulations. 

It’s also a great way to gain insight into your costing and sharpen your workflow management. 

Let’s look at everything you need to know about employee time tracking, including how to simplify and streamline it with smart time tracking software.

Why track employee time?

The most obvious reason to track your employee time is for accurate payroll processing. When everyone knows their time is fairly and accurately tracked, you’re more likely to avoid wage disputes and payroll errors. 

That’s not all employee time tracking will do, however. You can also gain valuable insight into the work habits and productivity of individual employees, as well as the bigger picture of team performance and about your business. Aspects like managing project timelines, how your budget is used and your overall progress toward your company goals are all easier to track. 

Last, but certainly not least, accurate time tracking also supports staying compliant with labour laws and regulations, particularly around employee work hours and overtime. In short, time tracking helps build accountability across your business, contributes to transparency and trust and helps to boost your operational efficiency — all key aspects of business success, especially for smaller businesses with no margin for error on these matters. 

Top 10 benefits of employee time tracking.

So that’s time tracking in a nutshell. Now, we’ll take a closer look at some of the main benefits of time tracking for small businesses in greater depth. 

1. Increases profitability

More profit, more success, right? When you are accurately tracking your employees’ time, you can easily call out areas of your workflows that aren’t, well, working! You can also make sure your limited resources are being well used, helping to cut down on wasted time and give you insight into where there might be some cost savings. Increased efficiency means higher profitability and less resource wastage.

2. Accurate employee hours for pay runs

Another cornerstone of a successful business is ensuring your employees are compensated fairly and accurately. With time tracking, you never miss an hour they work — and you won’t accidentally pay for the ones they didn’t. 

In addition to improving the accuracy of your payroll, it fosters trust and confidence between management or owners and employees and makes wage disputes a thing of the past. Easy integration with payroll software is a key benefit to watch for in your time-tracking tool of choice.

3. Labour law compliance

Hand-in-hand with that fair labour environment comes labour law compliance. Whether you need to follow the sometimes complex provincial and federal labour laws in Canada or are bound by the US’s Fair Labor Standards Act, transparency and clarity around working hours help you stay compliant. You can see how many hours employees are working, make sure overtime is not only fairly paid, but also within legally mandated hour limits and easily identify employees who may be overworking under the law. It makes for a healthier working environment and wards off potential legal issues.

4. Bill and pay clients accurately

Billable hours. Difficult to bill if you don’t know what those hours are! Time tracking the number of hours your team puts into a project lets you better:

  • Manage deadlines
  • Manage different tasks your team is working on
  • Makes sure clients are accurately billed for the work

Overall, this can help improve customer service as you coordinate and communicate with your clients. It also makes for extra client transparency, as well as protects you in the event of a dispute or dissatisfaction.

5. Make data-driven decisions

Another pillar of a smart, efficient work environment is data. More importantly, accurate data.

Data is a powerful tool for making informed decisions around workforce management, resources and project prioritization. It also helps with planning hassle-free expansion as you grow your business or decide if you can onboard a new project. 

With accurate information from the data in your time tracking, you can better adapt to changing market conditions and optimize your setup for the best possible success.

6. Set clear team objectives

Employee time tracking isn’t just about managers and owners keeping track of their employees. With time-tracking data in hand, you have full visibility into team and individual performance and the amount of time they need for projects and jobs. 

It can give everyone a better understanding of people’s capacity, availability and progress, as well as the most important tasks due. They can coordinate better, you have smoother workflow management and the whole team benefits. This lets you assign tasks more efficiently, and the team’s performance and objectives are properly aligned with the project needs and your business goals.

7. Increase employee productivity

Time tracking also gives you solid, indisputable data on your team’s time as employees work on specific tasks. Could they spend their time better? Do others have scope for future projects? Are task prioritization and time management in place? 

When employees know their hours are tracked, it encourages accountability and helps to foster a culture of productivity. It also lets you recognize and reward that efficiency, which incentivizes employees to perform at their best. 

8. Encourage work-life balance

The science is clear on this one — hustle culture may sound productive, but it doesn’t actually make for good work

You get the best from your employees when they are fresh and energized about their work, not teetering on the edge of burnout and drowning under unrealistic deadlines and too many daily tasks. When you help employees embrace a healthy work-life balance, you are also promoting higher job satisfaction, lower turnover and better morale. That will do more for productivity and your bottom line than a few extra hours squeezed in at the last minute ever will!

9. Better project management

Time tracking lets you identify potential bottlenecks and adjust your project schedules as you need to. Timely delivery, efficient workdays and higher client satisfaction will follow. Your employees won’t have to over-work just to deliver if you have the information you need to make sure they have the proper tools and resources, a realistic deadline and a sensible project schedule.

10. Provide workplace transparency

When your employee schedules, availability and workload are clear and visible, your decisions make sense to everyone involved. Both clients and employees can trust your decisions and communicate openly about issues they may be having. This greater transparency and visibility will also improve how your teams work with each other and encourage an air of collaboration.

How to effectively track time.

So, time tracking has many benefits for businesses, especially those on the smaller side with limited resources. How do you make sure time tracking doesn’t become another time sink?

While manual tracking with paper timesheets or in spreadsheets can work, getting the robots on your side with fast, accurate employee time-tracking software will make it a whole lot easier. 

Automated time-tracking solutions make it simpler to record, monitor, schedule and analyze your employee hours. Having a single, central portal is the best way to minimize mistakes and omissions. 

Plus, time tracking software is typically loaded with powerful tools (think of customizable reports, direct payroll integration and other juicy features) that make keeping track of your employee time easier, more accurate and faster — and who doesn’t love that?

Track time better with Time by Wagepoint

Time by Wagepoint is designed for the specific needs of small businesses. It has the tools to effectively get the job done with none of the fuss, aiming to be one of the best time trackers on the market. Create schedules, send reminders, let your staff members clock in and out, and review and approve their hours effortlessly.

Time by Wagepoint offers a time tracking and attendance solution aimed at simplifying payroll processing and time management for businesses.

1. Automated time tracking

Let your employees clock in electronically with Time by Wagepoint’s automated time tracking and banish those manual timesheets forever. You can enjoy reduced errors and a faster admin cycle, saving time to focus on what really matters — your deliverables.

2. Customizable settings

Tailor Time by Wagepoint to meet your business’ unique needs with customizable settings. Here’s an example or four of how you can customize your setup. 

  • Create custom schedules based on job role, location and employee availability.
  • Generate detailed, filtered reports to show you exactly what you need to know, when you need to know it. 
  • View and edit custom timesheets.
  • Set custom alerts to track missing time, late clock-ins, overtime, shift change requests and even geofence violations. 
  • Set custom geofence areas for clocking in and out.

3. Real-time reporting

Need up-to-date insights into your employee hours, attendance and labour costs? Pull up detailed and filtered reports to see timesheet data based on employees, dates, roles and locations. There’s also a timeline schedule report. You’ll never be left wondering where those hours are really going — you’ll always have the insight you need when you need it.

4. Mobile access

Everything’s better with an app. Employees have the ability to clock in and out, submit leave and personal time requests and view their schedules anywhere through their mobile devices. This could be a useful tool for any team, but it’s a great thing for field teams and remote workers.

5. Payroll integration

If you’re already a Wagepoint user, Time by Wagepoint will integrate seamlessly with your Wagepoint payroll software. If you’re looking for even more streamlined payroll processing, say goodbye to manual data entry for good and enjoy accurate payroll calculations, more time and fewer errors. Do note that integration with Wagepoint payroll is currently on offer for Canadian clients only.

Curious to see what Time by Wagepoint can do for your business? Here are a few links to get you started:

​“I was spending too much time fixing time errors, investigating discrepancies, and retracing employee footsteps after the fact.” 

– Jacylnn Willems, Elevate Your Landscape

Who is time tracking useful for?

Fast, accurate time tracking benefits every business. However, here are a few examples of where time tracking can really make a positive impact.

Small businesses and startups

Time tracking is particularly important for small business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs who don’t have much time to waste. Smaller businesses need to maximize the resources they have and need optimal productivity from their teams. With more efficient management of hours, tasks and projects, streamlining your operations is simple.

Teams with flexible work hours

The idea of a 9-to-5 business world is a thing of the past. Employees are actively looking for flexitime work environments. Flexible schedules are great, but they can get messy — unless you have strong time tracking on your side. With clear accountability and transparency your staff can trust, you can ensure fair compensation and make certain your team is productive, no matter when they work.

Hybrid or remote teams

Another workplace trend is the movement toward remote and hybrid work teams. When your employees aren’t all under the same roof, strong time tracking can make a world of difference. It increases, you guessed it, visibility and accountability, followed by trust and transparency. Set your worries about what your remote workers are doing to rest, and simply enjoy the enhanced job satisfaction these work models bring. 

Businesses that bill by the hour

You bill by the hour — but can you justify those hours to your client? With time tracking in place, it’s easy to do. Whether it is settling a dispute or simply showing your clients they can trust you as a partner, time tracking makes determining billable hours as easy as the click of a button. Accurate invoicing and maximized revenue will follow.

Businesses with field workers

Hybrid and remote work may be the buzzwords of the day, but this isn’t the only employee type that doesn’t have a traditional workspace. Whether you have repair teams in the field or your sales fleet on the road, you can easily see what’s going on behind the scenes and feel confident everyone is meeting their workday expectations. Some modern time-tracking software even offers geofencing to ensure employees are on-site and working as intended.

How team members benefit from time tracking.

Time management is a plus for everyone, no matter what their job title may be. However, time tracking is of great benefit to some key organizational roles.

Project managers, small business owners and team leaders

Real-time data and insight into project progress, resource allocation and where bottlenecks are occurring are particularly beneficial to those in active leadership roles. You can respond to problems faster, have a better idea of who needs more support, reward high-performing employees and make sure every project stays on track.

HR managers and finance/accounting personnel

Anyone involved in the wage- and people-management cycle will enjoy the many benefits time tracking brings to the table, too. HR managers can keep on top of labour law compliance and easily monitor leave and attendance and employee performance, as well as identify potential time theft

Meanwhile, your accounting and finance team has a simplified, accurate way to track hours and compensate them. There’s also all that data we mentioned — beyond payroll calculation, you can also easily reconcile employee hours and analyze your labour costs. We’d call efficient time tracking one of the must-have payroll software features.

Non-traditional workers and hourly employees

We already touched on this point in our benefits section, but it is worth mentioning again. Today’s work environment has shifted away from the cubicle farm concept. Many valuable team members work remotely or in the field, and freelancers and contractors are a pillar of the workforce. Time tracking benefits everyone in this model.

Final thoughts on employee time tracking

So there you have it — all the basics you need to know about time tracking. Bringing fair, accurate and above all transparent systems to manage employee hours into your workplace is a recipe for happier clients, happier employees and simplified administration. Who doesn’t love that?

Track time with the help of software

If you’re ready to power up your organization with simple, effective time tracking that doesn’t have a steep learning curve, then you need Time by Wagepoint in your corner. 

Start your 14-day free trial or schedule a demo to see how Time by Wagepoint to tap into the benefits of employee time tracking.