The rise of the time tracking app for remote work
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has turned office life into home office life. While that certainly has enabled companies to adapt to the new business landscape and helped create other benefits (we hope working in your PJs never goes away), it created several issues as well. These include questions of productivity and especially management. How does one manage team members efficiently? How to allocate team members to projects to maximize efficiency and go time tracking afterwards? One thing that can definitely help is time tracking software.
The reason to consider a time tracking app is simple. The aforementioned management headaches are here to stay, because the future looks remote, as 78% of business executives in a PwC report agree that remote is the new norm. The employees agree, as 96% want to have some form of remote work. Managing the other side of the Web and keeping the team on the same virtual boat is only possible with the right tools.
A timetracker in the toolbox
A team, remote or physically present runs on three things: communication, productivity, and coffee. We will leave the coffee-talk for the break, but for the other two, there are several great options. Most notably, apps like Slack or Trello and even Discord enable chatting, file-sharing, calls, and anything you might need. But it does not stop there - to keep communication open and productivity high, we recommend time tracking software. A time tracking app makes managing several projects easy - even with a fully remote team. And there are free time tracking apps! Here’s how they work:
- Projects and tasks are created and people are assigned to it
- As they work on tasks, they record time spent working manually or automatically
- The app is very smart, and therefore records all of this
- Now the managers have a clear idea about what people are working on and the team members can track their workflow
Time is not money without time management
There are several time tracking apps to choose from: we prefer using Clockify. But you can consider Toggl, Timely, RescueTime, and others. The way they work seems simple enough at first glance, but the benefits that come with time tracking applications are surprisingly complex.
- Easy remote work management
It is immediately visible if a big project is progressing according to plan or if it needs more attention. One can also easily see if the people are working on high priority tasks. It also helps to identify who has spent the most time with certain projects and can possibly mentor others with less experience. The progress of external providers can also be tracked easily, so everyone can focus on work rather than emails and meetings. On top of that, it helps with prioritization - if more time is needed for documentation, testing, or some other task, your timetracker will notify you.
- Time tracker app reporting
With Clockify or a different time tracker app, you can tell your client something like “we have invested over 200 work-hours into this project and it has been our top priority this week” instead of just “we’re working on it”. It also gives you better time estimates on when things can be finished.
- Profitability management
Time tracking software also helps with economic reports. Marking “billable” and “non-billable” items is a big help to see how much time is really spent working on projects. Also, if complications arise, such as software bugs, you can see how much of a dent they were able to do in the bottom line - this is a tremendous help with fixed-price projects.
- Timesheeting and other HR benefits
As part of the software, you will also find a timesheet app. It also serves as a productivity tracker. It helps managers and team members see how much time they spent on the main project, on administration, work emails, in meetings, and such. Timesheeting also helps to identify the leaders and even see which time of the day is the most productive. That way, you can schedule meetings which will not interrupt while the best team members are in their zone. Invoicing for external providers becomes easy, too, as both parties see the timesheet and how many hours were spent working.
There is “king” in “time tracking”
As you can see, a simple time tracking tool can come a long way. It has both an automatic and a manual tracker, complex reporting and it can definitely oil up the machine that is your team. And the proverbial cherry on top? You can have them for free. There are many free time tracker apps or time apps with enough functions that paying is not necessary. If you do want to make use of a paid version of a time tracking app, monthly fees start around 7$ (Timely), 9$ (Toggl), and 10$ (Clockify).
Whether you are a small workgroup, a big team or a squadron of contractors that are working to reach a project deadline, organizing things clearly is rarely a bad thing. As mentioned before, 2020 is the year the world started working remotely. And it will continue to do so. In order to adapt to the new situation, having a simple time tracking tool can definitely yield great results, and can even do so for free. As the saying goes - modern problems require modern solutions. The time is right.
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