We live in the digital age. There’s no point in denying that technology is becoming inevitable in the workplace. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing - it’s given us many helpful tools, enabled easier and faster communication and file sharing, and it’s also made hiring global talent possible.
So let’s embrace it and welcome all the benefits that modern-day technology has to offer.
In this spirit, we’ll be talking about time tracking tools and why buying a work tracker is an essential step towards optimizing both your remote and your in-office teams’ performance and making your job as a manager much easier.
So here it is - the list of top 10 best timekeeping app functionalities that you’ll just love having around:
1. Attendance Sheets
We’ll talk quite a bit about automation, but basically the idea is this - whatever you can automate, you should automate. Especially if the process in question is menial and doesn’t require any innovation or thought. We’ll take attendance tracking as our first example.
Sure, you can find a free online time clock for employees that lets them enter their clock ins and clock outs, but only the automatically generated, accurate and clear attendance reports provided by the full-fledged time tracker such as Workpuls can give you all the precision and automaticity you need.
And you’ll love this feature because the convenience and reliability of attendance time tracking software free you from having to do anything other that install it. After that, the software records each employee’s first and last daily computer activity and reports in back as their clock-in and clock-out, respectively.
2. Productivity Timelines
Another useful feature that some time tracking company tools offer are productivity statistics, reports and timelines. All of these are extremely handy when it comes to measuring employees’ performance, evaluating their progress and coming up with improvement strategies. And if you take a look at various employee time clock reviews, you’ll notice that many have at least some form of productivity data.
Apart from many insightful aspects of it, including productivity stats, trends and biorhythms, we’ve chosen timelines to focus on in this section just to give you a glimpse into what this functionality can do.
Using the timeline resource time tracking software provides gives you information on when employees are active, when their productivity is at its peak, when they start losing focus and need a break, and so on. Based on this, you can optimize their workload in the most informed way possible.
3. Easy Installation
Yes, even the implementation process usually isn’t difficult. Of course, this isn’t always the case, so you need to make sure beforehand that time tracker download and installation is quick and painless. Cloud solutions are typically straightforward, so you won’t have any problems there.
Then, if you choose the system with good compatibility, you automatically get both Mac and Windows time management software. Finally, all you have to do is implement it on all corporate computers.
This sounds daunting, but you shouldn’t underestimate the convenience of today’s software technology. Using an active directory allows you to install the system on all machines at once. Better yet, the latest feature lets you send an email invite to your employees and they install it with a click of a button, which is perfect for remote workers if you happen to have any.
4. Automatic Time Mapping for Projects
Now, not every software out there will have this feature. Workpuls, for instance, does and it’s really handy when you want to assign employees’ task time to different projects. In a regular scenario, even the best time logging apps are manual to an extent. Admittedly, this extent goes as far as pressing a simple start/stop button, but still - if the process can be automatic, why wouldn’t it?
The way automated time tracker works is it assigns specific tasks to appropriate projects by detecting the name of the files employees are working on. No need for workers to do anything other than name their documents so that it makes sense in the context of the project.
Why would you need this sorting at all? For instance, this is a useful feature of time tracking software for contractors, designers, marketers or any other profession that deals with multiple clients. You just let your employees do their tasks while time tracking software reviews the file names and assigns this time to a particular project. You get clean overview and client reports without lifting a finger.
5. Billable Hours
Another feature that’s also especially invaluable for companies that work with many clients is calculating billable hours. Basically, this is the combination of attendance tracking (in case you pay your employees on an hourly basis) or task project tracking (in case your clients pay for your services by the hour) and a set hourly rate for each employee or project.
This way, you get ready-made reports that you can send to your clients. Best of all, you can rest assured that the billable hours are accurate, untempered with, and error-free. Both the clients and your employees will appreciate the reliability and fairness of this system.
6. Client Access
If you want to earn even more points with clients, there’s a feature that some time trackers give you which allows you to share access to project tracking data with your clients. This is gated access, so you don’t have to worry about them getting confidential information on other projects.
With this handy functionality, you can give your clients login details and they’ll be able to access the tracking reports on their project whenever they wish and find out how it’s moving along. This ability not only backs up your accountability with the client, but also eliminates the time-consuming need for frequent reporting on your progress.
This is why there’s no better solution than time tracking software for accounting firms and similar client-oriented industries if you want to optimize your reporting process.
7. Calculating Overtime
One of the special features of your time tracker that your employees are going to adore is overtime recording.
Considering the fact that your trackwork software automatically takes attendance, it’s pretty much expected to also be able to tell you how much extra time each employee has put in at work, if any. So you’ll never have to bother with employees’ requests for overtime reimbursement or, in case you have flexible working hours at your company, taking into account when employees came to work.
Using a time tracking software is a much easier way to ensure fair compensation for your employees.
8. Use of Apps and Websites
Whichever solution you’ve decided to implement in your workplace, be it the most sophisticated IT time tracking software or a free timekeeping app, it’s almost sure to have at least some extent of software usage tracking.
This feature basically lets you see what programs your employees are using, as well as which websites they’re visiting. This data is provided to you both in real time and as regular periodical reports. And there are two major reasons why you’re going to love it.
First of all, it gives you an insight into how office time is used in your company. In other words, you’ll get to pinpoint slackers and hard workers. This is also how productivity stats are calculated, so you’ll get the whole picture of your team’s performance.
And secondly, you’ll get to find out which apps and websites are most useful to your employees so that, if it’s some sort of professional software that you have to pay for, you can continue investing in it. And if there’s a program that you’re subscribed to and it turns out it’s just collecting dust and nobody’s really using it - well, you can save yourself a lot of money by dropping it.
9. Team Overview
Aggregating data on a team, department or even company level is a very handy option to have. Now, not every free time logging software will have this functionality, but if you choose to invest a bit more in your solution, you’ll discover that it’ll make your job a lot easier, especially if you’re running a large company.
The best part is - all the data that you have for individual employees you can also get for teams. Including, but not limited to, productivity reports and biorhythm, attendance tracking, software usage, and so on. This is a better and much cleaner overview simply because it tells you everything you need to know without overwhelming you with huge amounts of information.
So it’s definitely something worth looking for in employee time clock software reviews if you still haven’t got one.
10. Online Access to the Dashboard
Finally, a feature to accommodate your occasional business travels, need to check on employees from home or just the necessity to use a different computer from the one where the original time management software download happened - the ability to access your dashboard on the web.
Using this functionality is as simple as going online and typing in your login details. After this, you have every little piece of data that you normally do on your computer. And you can access it from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Just one of the many perks of online interconnectedness and accessibility.
And so here we are - after going through all these different features and capabilities, and seeing how they can benefit your business, we can only conclude that the best app for tracking work hours is the one that gives you a variety of options you can use to improve your processes and that helps you manage projects and clients. And that’s something that’s always going to be a smart investment.