From a purely business and numbers point of view, using time-tracking software makes perfect sense. It records and monitors how you and your employees spend time on tasks/projects.

And because time trackers monitor what everyone does all day, you enjoy a few tangible benefits – including the following:

Advantages to time tracking

Time Tracking - Remote Workmate
  • Spots bottlenecks in processes – Time tracking would highlight impediments that your team encounters like time-consuming procedures or tedious tasks that can be automated. By finding where most of your unbilled hours are from, you can make better use of your time.

  • Identifies distractions – Because you see where your time is spent, you can recognise the specific instances when your attention is diverted (e.g. unplanned tasks, social media), the amount of time you’re delayed, and work on minimising or avoiding these interruptions.

  • Helps employees find their peak productivity levels – Time tracking can also help you and your employees determine the hours when you’re most focused and complete the most work. You can then plan your hours and tasks around these times.

  • Increases accountability – In a collaborative virtual environment, it helps to know who did what, when they did it, and how much time they spent doing so. Time tracking enables this and leads to greater accountability among your team, giving them a sense of greater responsibility.

  • Monitors productivity – In using time-tracking software, you can determine your team’s work capacity and manage their workload fluctuations, ensuring that they won’t get stalled with unproductive tasks.

Downsides of time tracking

Downside Time Tracking - Remote  Workmate

However, when it comes to staff relations, the use of time-tracking software is a little murky thanks to several disadvantages.

  • Hurts employee morale – When you track your employees’ activities, they’ll likely get the impression that you don’t trust them, and feel that they’re being spied on. If you don’t properly communicate why you’re monitoring their time and output, it can negatively affect their morale.

  • May violate privacy – One concern surrounding time tracking is employee privacy, especially with screenshotting. What’s key is that you’re honest with your staff in explaining how tracking time helps the company, how the software works, and what you’ll do with the data gathered. Tell them that they can always suspend the tool when doing personal activities.

  • Causes stress – Time tracking can boost productivity, but it can also increase stress. While employees do better when monitored, they’ll perform poorly if they think their employer doesn’t trust them. To make up for this and help regain your employees’ trust, use time tracking as a basis for rewarding top performers.

  • Distracts employees – Imagine gaining some momentum on a task when a time tracker menu pops up, asking what you’re working on. Consequently, you’re forced to stop, choose your task’s category, and put in some notes as well. Unfortunately, it’ll take you about 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain focus from a distraction.

Time-tracking software can improve employee productivity, but your success will depend on how you implement it. Pushing an excessively detailed approach, for instance, will make tracking time tedious even for the simplest of tasks.

On the other hand, being lax in your time-tracking efforts means you won’t know what your team is doing and how much time they’re spending on it. This lack of direction will impair your team’s output.

What’s key is finding the ideal balance between measuring the time you spend and adapting to what the information tells you, while managing your employees’ expectations.

Scale up your business

Remote Workmate - Hire The Right

Your business will inevitably grow when your team runs efficiently (thanks to time tracking). If you’re looking to expand your team, partner with Remote Workmate. We do all heavy lifting for you, including payroll and onboarding. This means finding the ideal talent becomes so much easier.

You can actually choose from our pool of top candidates right away. Simply click the button below to browse a wide range of profiles on our Hotlist page.