5 of the best: tech-savvy time sheet solutions
Insights takes a look at some of the best time recording software on the market and why paper-based time sheets no longer meet the requirements of modern day businessJermaine Haughton
Time sheets are a common feature for the modern workplace, recording everything from client meetings to toilet breaks. But in an era where workplaces have evolved allowing for flexible and remote working, whereby duties do not have to take place in the office, what is the best way to keep track of what your staff are doing?
In theory, paper timesheets are a bulletproof piece of evidence of the hours of work an employee or team have provided for their employer, and any associated clients.
Particularly in agency-based or contracted jobs, timesheets are a key tool for managers to prove the times and hours that work was done, and form the basis of how the contractor generates the invoice for that work.
Paper timesheets also provide companies with a historical bank of information providing an insight into how long certain projects take allowing them to compare it to similar tasks. By having a relatively precise estimate on the amount of time needed on certain projects, companies can be more competitive in winning work.
On the other hand, paper timesheets are not without their challenges.
Critics say the process of collecting the information for the completion and submission of timesheets can be slow and very labour intensive, involving tiresome reviewing and correcting processes.
Managers chasing around the office for paper timesheets are unproductive, equally the system doesn't prevent workers lying about the work they have done or providing incorrect information.
The result? Disruptive payment disputes by employees, bosses and clients.
The growth of a more analytic work environment, increasing pressure on managers to explicitly show a return on investment to clients and the improved efficiency and usability of database and recording technology have seen many companies adopt online time management and recording systems.
Although some online timesheets or shift recording systems may have an initial set up fee, there are some cost effective offerings.
Managers must weigh up potential costs with the substantial amount of money saved from the paper alternative. This method makes it possible not only to track attendance, but also allows managers to monitor employee work at the computer.
Time tracking software allows organisations to streamline the payroll process, saving time on processing attendance and performance data.
Here are five of the top tracking tools for bosses to manage their staff’s time better:
Time tracking app Chrometa captures your time on and off the computer. It automatically records your software usage, like how long you spent on Facebook, the length of time you spent drafting a proposal, working on a spreadsheet or emailing a client.
Bosses can then view the results on Chrometa’s time usage summary, timeline and graph.
Offering detailed time tracking and time management features plus a powerful built-in invoicing feature, OfficeTime allows users to view which team projects are on track, over budget, or have recently been completed.
Instead of a monthly fee, you purchase OfficeTime for a flat rate and the company promises to refund users who are not satisfied in their first 120 days of purchase.
The cloud-based solution features a number of time-tracking options, with employees able to clock in and out via traditional time clocks, Internet-connected computers, mobile devices and telephones. Through the use of an online portal, Stratustime also manages paid time off, generates employee schedules, monitors overtime hours and has integrated payroll services.
uAttend's time clocks are plug-and-play ready, send data in real time to the system, include lifetime guarantees and are among the cheapest we found.
Besides being able to record when employees come and go, the system also manages paid time off, tracks how long employees work on specific projects and creates office-wide schedules.
Most suitable for freelancers, Fanurio allows users to record billing time to multiple projects by creating invoices and expense reports. The system also lets you classify activities as non-billable, and nudges you to record time if you happen to forget.