Keeping track of employees’ hours is a practice that’s likely older than Henry Ford’s assembly line. From manual pen-and-paper entries and punch cards to modern automated tracking software, employees have been required to account for the time they spend working for years.
On one side, many entrepreneurs, consulting firms, and freelancers have been well ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing automated time tracking, as they’ve found value in its ability to help them correctly invoice clients and gather supporting proof of hours worked. On the other side, however, many employees who have not previously been subjected to accounting for work hours have voiced concerns about their companies adopting time tracking. Such controversy has gained special traction with those employees who work remotely.
For companies looking to implement time tracking to improve worker productivity and general workflow and scheduling, it is imperative that managers play open cards about why it’s necessary and beneficial to track employees’ time. Before installing an employee hours tracker, managers should highlight how employees can benefit from accessing their own personal time-tracked data to see how they use their time, set their own productive schedules, or negotiate extensions on deadlines. Tracking time can also highlight company-implemented time-wasting activities that could be adopted to allow employees to spend time on more important tasks instead.
From ensuring accurate payroll and client invoicing to aiding performance appraisals, employee rewards, effective project management, and productivity, time tracking has and will continue to be an important element in most companies’ operations. To make the most out of this activity and lower employees’ wariness of such data being gathered, it’s necessary for companies to be transparent and remind workers that modern methods of tracking time are simply adjustments to a practice that has already been in operation for decades.