In theory, tracking employees’ time makes perfect sense. It gives access to invaluable data about productivity, while simultaneously instilling a sense of ownership in your employees. This sense of ownership in turn, can potentially boost productivity of your teams.
However, in the real world, time tracking is surrounded with several misconceptions that have given it a bad rep, especially among employed professionals.
Many employees would agree that they get the “Big Brother is watching” kind of feeling when they know their time is being tracked. Others may simply succumb under the pressure of the perception that they are being constantly watched and their activities analysed.
The perceived benefits and preconceptions around time tracking can have a significant influence over the result of implementing time tracking in your organisation.
That’s why, it is important to consider all the pros and cons of time tracking before you can make a decision about implementing it.
Let’s begin with the benefits of time tracking:
Reduced Time Spent On Employee Management
The most basic function of time tracking is perhaps to reduce the time spent in managing employees and tracking their productivity. A time tracking system doesn’t just track time, modern software come loaded with features that enable the automation of your organization’s entire attendance and payroll processing system.
The extra time that your managers have can then be put to good use in activities that may further boost the productive output of your business.
Access To Data
Time tracking data offers invaluable information that if used right, can be used to streamline almost any process at an organisation.
For starters, time tracking enables you to find out exactly how much time is needed to complete a certain task. With this information, you and your employees can make more accurate predictions and commitments.
Similarly, by comparing the attendance data with data from your project management tool, you can predict the future hiring needs of your business and proactively act to address them.
Reduced Operating Costs
With diligent time tracking, you can minimise and even eliminate time leaks. What are time leaks? These are the hours your business cannot bill your clients for because one of your employees forgot to fill out their timesheet during a client meeting.
With automated time tracking, the need for remembering and spending time filling out timesheets will no longer be there. Giving your employees more time in their work day and ultimately reducing operating costs while boosting revenue.
Cons Of Time Tracking
Just like everything else, there are a few challenges and hurdles associated with time tracking. Let’s see what these are:
The Dangers Of Micromanagement
When time management is implemented, some ambitious managers on your team may feel tempted to micromanage. If that happens, it beats the whole purpose of time tracking (spending less time managing employees).
The most effective way to prevent micromanagement is to clearly define what time tracking data will be made available to your managers and what they are supposed to do with the data.
Lack Of Morale
If your employees feel like they are being spied on and watched, it is bound to have an effect on their morale. This lowered morale may also lead to more serious problems like amplified employee churn.
The easiest way to combat this is to have a conversation about time tracking with their employees. Help them understand the benefits of time tracking and how it will enable you to give them more autonomy and freedom while reducing micromanagement in the organisation.
The conclusion is simple, time tracking does have some downsides, but with the right kind of effort, they can be managed.
What challenges are you facing with implementing time tracking at your organisation? Share with us in the comment section below.