There’s something all small business owners have in common:
We all want to have a better understanding of what’s going on in our companies, and eliminate time-wasting practices.
As your company grows, you may start to feel that you are losing control of the day-to-day intricacies of your business.
Even though taking on more staff is a sign of success, you might also feel like you are starting to lose a grip of what everyone is doing each day, and this feeling of detachment can lead to you getting frustrated and feeling like your business is running without you. On top of that, inefficiencies and time-sucks start creeping into your employees’ workflows.
None of us want to feel like this, right?
Thankfully, you can gain a better idea of what goes on in your business by using employee timesheets. If you want to take your game even further and gain powerful insights where the inefficiencies and roadblocks are, and where resources are being misallocated, you can start using an employee timesheet software.Learn how you can automate timesheets through the use of software and what are the best tools Click To Tweet
Benefits for small to medium businesses
Timesheet software helps you to understand what the people inside your company are doing.
You can keep a track of where anyone in your company is spending time, and which areas of your company are receiving the most resources (and whether they are using them effectively).
Why is this helpful?
Because it helps to give you all of the information you need to make informed decisions about your company. You will be able to tell which employees are working inefficiently, which departments are overstaffed, and where workflows can be improved.
Having information about where all of your employees are spending their time (through clear daily, weekly, and monthly reports) allows you to spot new growth opportunities, identify areas of resource over-allocation, and helps you to better fine-tune your management style to suit your employees’ style of working.
It also helps to dramatically increase productivity, as it helps employees monitor and manage their own time more effectively. Being able to see at the end of each day where they spent their time is a great way to provide motivation for them to work better the next day.
Having a concrete account of people’s time also helps to highlight inefficiencies, either in teams or in workflows, as you can clearly spot where tasks and projects take longer than they need to.
As your company has grown, your control over the hiring process may have decreased, and you may feel like you have less of an idea of how your individual employees work. Timesheet software can reverse this feeling as it empowers you to be able to spot poorly performing projects and time-wasting tasks, and thus make important business decisions based on real data, not your gut feeling.
Aside from this, one of the most overlooked benefits of timesheet software for a small business is that it can help reduce meetings.
Think for a second whether you would automatically authorise a $5,000 expense.
You’d probably need some persuading of its value to your company, right?
Too often people schedule meaningless meetings that waste people’s time, achieve little, and cost the company. Think about the hourly rate of each of your employees, and then consider the cost of holding regular all-staff meetings against the benefits they generate. When you do this, you find that your regular meetings actually cost your company thousands of dollars in lost productivity and revenue.Would you approve a $5,000 expense automatically? Why do you keep scheduling pointless meetings then? Click To Tweet
Timesheet software exposes costly business inefficiencies like unnecessary meetings and unproductive initiatives, and can help to dramatically increase everyone’s productivity for the better of your business.
The best timesheet options for small to medium businesses
Now that the benefits of timesheets are clear, you are probably wondering what options there are for timesheet software.
Depending on the features you’re looking for in timesheet software, there is a wide range of options – from Google spreadsheets to automated timesheet software.
Hubstaff is a powerful time tracking app that also includes online timesheets. The software was built with growing and remote teams in mind, so it has some really great features like application and URL tracking, screen monitoring, employee benchmarking, and reporting, that you can use to track every aspect of your business.
The software also integrates with leading project management solutions like Asana and Basecamp, so you can track your employees’ time across their existing workflow.
Hubstaff is great for small to medium-sized businesses as it is automated and requires very little input by the employees or by you.
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This enterprise-grade time tracking software is highly advanced and is best suited to fast-growing companies with varying time tracking needs. The reports are detailed, and the software has advanced features like expense tracking and multi-level timesheet sign-off.
Replicon is perfect for growing medium-sized businesses that are looking for a more advanced way of keeping track of all of the time their employees spend at work.
A resource and planning tool that is used by some of the world’s most respected companies (IBM, Google, and Twitter), ClickTime is perfect for keeping track of expenses, time, and resource allocation. The software also comes with great reporting features that allow you to view time tracked at a glance.
This app doesn’t include features like taking screenshots, monitoring apps and URLs, or benchmarking employee productivity, but the features it does include are well-executed.
This free timesheet software is used by thousands of freelancers and small agencies across the world. With QuickBooks integration, DCAA compliance, and professional invoices, WeWorked is ideal for those who aren’t looking for advanced and powerful software options.
While it doesn’t have a range of powerful features for productivity monitoring, WeWorked does offer detailed reports, timesheet approval, and leave balance tracking.
If you don’t require dedicated and powerful timesheet software, Google docs can be a great alternative that allows for collaborative time tracking. With this, you can create multiple timesheets for different employees, teams, or have a single timesheet that you use to track the company’s time as a whole.
To give you an idea of what can be achieved with Google docs, we’ve created a sample timesheet that you are free to download, adapt, and modify.
How to introduce a timesheet software in your small business
If you’ve found the right timesheet software for your small business, you can easily implement it into your company’s workflow by following a straightforward process.
To make it accepted by your employees, and to reinforce that its aid to business practice, start the rollout of timesheet software from the top down.
Announce to your company that all executives and managers are to start using timesheet software and time trackers, and that they will soon roll out to all of your employees.
This will help your employees with the transition and make it much easier for them to accept the move to more in-depth tracking.
Once you have done this, create a culture of time tracking and time management in your company. Try to make responsible time management and productivity a part of the fabric of your enterprise.
You can do this by having all of your employees, including yourself, share your timesheets at the end of each week – this helps to increase transparency, and helps to encourage workmates to keep improving their own metrics and out-produce each other in a healthy and competitive way.
Beyond this, look to integrate time tracking software with all the apps in your company’s workflow. If you regularly use project management apps like Asana, Basecamp, or Trello, choose time tracking software that integrates with those and allows you to seamlessly transition to a fully-automated time tracking system.
Let us know in the comments below what is your experience with implementing timesheets in your organization.
This post was originally published in June 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and relevance.