Time tracking is a useful way to monitor your employees’ productivity and oversee each project’s completion status. Other than staying organized, a time tracker can also help you find new ways to incorporate automation into your day-to-day activities. Once a task is automated, the employee is free to focus their time and energy on a more productive activity.
Benefits of Time Tracking
The idea of time tracking conjures up an image of a boss peering over the side of the cubicle as they monitor each worker’s output. In reality, tracking software is about more than just checking up on employees to see if they are doing their jobs. If you aren’t tracking how your employees’ time is spent, you’re most likely losing precious labor hours to inefficient tasks.
When you start tracking your employees’ time, you can create better estimates of your labor usage for each project. This can change how you allocate resources or bid on potential projects. Additionally, it gives you a chance to see how each team member performs when it comes to different tasks or roles.
From a management perspective, tracking programs make it easier to get an overview of each project’s completion status. If a project is running late, you can rearrange how team members are organized before you have a major problem. When you have an underperforming project, tracking software can help you understand why things aren’t going according to the plan.
More importantly, apps for time tracking allow your employees to operate at the highest level possible. When you track how their time is spent, you can quickly see patterns and repetitive activities. Later on, you can use automation to get rid of unnecessary tasks, so your employees can focus on doing their best work.
How Time Tracking Identifies Automation Opportunities
Through the best time tracking online, you can identify new opportunities. You can figure out how to automate your organization’s processes. As a result, you can boost the productivity of your people and projects.
1. Figure Out Your Goals
The first step for your time tracking program is figuring out how your processes work, so you can modify them later on. Additionally, this is a chance to determine how much time your team spends on each activity. If an easily automated task is only done for an hour or two a month, the time and money spent on automating it probably won’t be worthwhile.
2. Look for App-Based Tasks
When deciding which tasks are best for automation, you should start by looking at app-based tasks. If every part of the process involves SaaS products or software, you can easily automate the entire process. The same thing is true for copy-and-paste tasks.
3. Think of Ways You Can Automate Common Tasks
After your time tracker has helped you find frequent tasks for automating, the next step is figuring out how to automate them. Spend some time watching the task unfold. As you watch team members perform the task, think about steps you can remove or ask about ways you can modify the task’s pain points.
4. Standardize Common Tasks
One of the best ways time tracking can help is by spotting repetitive tasks. Once you find back-office tasks, like transaction duplication or transferring data from lead-generation forms, you can standardize them. Other than being more productive, this tip allows you to avoid human errors for tedious, repetitive tasks.
5. Start Automating Simple Tasks
While automating complex tasks would help you save a significant amount of time, these tasks tend to be more time-consuming and difficult to automate. Instead, break down complex tasks into simple steps. You might not be able to automate everything at once, but you can help remove some of the easiest parts of each task to free up your employees for other activities.
6. Replace Time-intensive Tasks
Often, the best opportunity for automation will become clear as soon as you start using an app for time tracking. As you get data about how your employees are using their time, go through it to see the biggest drains on their time. These are the first activities you should consider automating.
With every type of automation, you have to consider the labor costs of doing the tasks versus the time and money costs of automating it. Short, one-off tasks are poor choices for automating because it takes longer to automate these tasks than to do them. With time-intensive activities, the positive rewards for automating are much clearer.
7. Improve Processes Whenever Possible
Even though you’ve done a certain task the same way for years, you don’t have to keep doing it that way. Instead, you can make improvements, so the task is faster or easier to do. You may be able to streamline the workflow, increase data sharing, or remove unnecessary steps in doing the task.
8. Prepare for the Future
While it might not make sense to automate a task right now, you also need to consider the future implications of your decision. If you know your company will be investing in a certain activity or transitioning to a new process, you may want to prepare for those changes in advance. By thinking about where your company is headed, you can future-proof your team and streamline your workflow.
Set Your Team Up for Success
Time tracking is about more than just monitoring your employees’ productivity and project completion. It can help you become a more efficient project manager and reduce the number of repetitive tasks team members have to do each day. By avoiding tedious tasks, you can also improve job satisfaction and worker retention.
Once you have found the right opportunities for time tracking and automation, you can immediately begin streamlining your workflow and processes. If you are uncertain about how to get started, we can help. To find out how time tracking software can help your team become more productive, try a free 14-day trial with eBillity today!