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Is Time Tracking Killing Your Team’s Productivity?

Some offices seek to determine issues with productivity through time tracking software, but sometimes time management is just the block preventing a successful project.

Finding the balance between efficacy and efficiency is important, and time tracking can help with this. Understanding how to use this software effectively can make all the difference in a business. 

Time tracking software comes with psychological and practical ramifications. Tracking can impact how a team works as well as the perception of work. Done poorly, it undermines productivity and fails to show where time is going. 

Time tracking done in too much detail creates tedious work that can lead to frustration over simple tasks. This tedium will decrease productivity and undermine trust in the workplace. 

Finding the balance between tracking and remaining flexible is essential. This is why we’ve created a list to help develop a management system and find a time tracking software that works for your business. 

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The Good 

Time tracking is not without its benefits and uses. One easy area where it comes into play is with payroll. You can use small business payroll software to determine who is doing the work and what to pay them. 

Is it easy to determine how those hours break down though?  

Typically, people have around three hours of productivity in an eight-hour workday. The rest of the day is consumed with communication, breaks, meetings, and other workplace issues. Using time tracking software can help answer the question of how the day breaks down. 

Determine Which Day is the Most Productive 

Knowing when employees are able to accomplish the most essential tasks can help you be more intentional about scheduling. Some people need to knock out meetings first and then get to work, while others prefer the opposite. Time tracking can let you determine which approach is the best for your office and team. Understanding how the workload is spread out throughout the week can help you identify windows of productivity and maximise them.

Determine Why Productivity Falters 

Recognising why and when productivity might falter can help optimise the schedule in reverse. Sticking to a traditional work schedule might not be best for your team. Using time tracking can identify where to make changes. 

Productivity is impacted by factors like meetings and work culture. If meetings are scheduled poorly, it can interrupt what is otherwise a productive period in the office. Use time tracking to get creative with the schedule and increase productivity. 

Identify Best Employees 

Time tracking shows who your top players are and lets you create better estimates of how long a project will take in the future. Determine how efficient and quick your team is through identifying key employees. This requires a careful balance between finding employee strengths and creating a negatively competitive environment. 

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The Bad 

When used poorly, time tracking can have a negative effect on an office. Operating at full productivity all the time is not realistic. If you are seeking to ensure your system is on the right track, think of the following perceptions. 

Respecting Privacy 

Determining if your team is on task is difficult. But there has to be a limit when tracking employees. Software that relies on screen capture or minute-to-minute tracking is not the ideal move. If this is the route you take, your work culture might be in question. Tracking employees and potentially docking them for a little procrastination? That spells trouble for the team as a whole.

Balancing Time 

Time tracking is designed to be a passive tool. If it begins to overtake the workflow, you might need to reassess how you are doing it. 

The tools should be relatively simple to use and should not interfere with getting work completed. Ideally, you are looking for a system that takes less than 20 minutes to utilise throughout the day. Remember, for the employees to use it, they are using their time at work. 

Make it Meaningful 

Don’t collect information without a purpose behind collecting it. You can use the results to reward productivity and identify ways to improve how the team cooperates. Depending on the business size, time tracking might not be necessary. Always think about the meaning behind gathering the data and be intentional with how it is being used. 

Don’t Stress 

Time tracking software increases productivity, but it can raise stress levels, too. Employees tend to perform well under observation, but not well if they think their employer doesn’t trust them. 

Time tracking can easily become a source of stress and mistrust. If used for punishments, unfairly, or inconsistently, it can be a distancing factor.

Use the Best Tool

Overall, the key to time tracking is finding the right tool for your team. There are a number of ways to do this and plenty of systems that help make the process easier. For small businesses, SME Solutions time tracking software has everything you need to manage your team and their payrolls. Keep the thoughts from this article in mind as you determine how time tracking can help your business and your team. 

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