9 Time Tracking Best Practices: A Guide with WebWork Insights

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Why do we track time, and why do we need time tracking practices?

For various reasons. Some track working hours due to workplace policy; others track to hone their time management skills; and some monitor their employees’ hours to ensure productivity. 

In all these and other cases, one thing is unanimous: time tracking is pivotal for enhancing time management and productivity, both professionally and personally.

In this article, we will explore employee time tracking best practices with WebWork. 

Time Tracking Best Practices with WebWork

There is no better place to learn about the best practices of time tracking than on the blog of WebWork Time Tracker, with actionable examples.

Now to the practices.

1. Test out the time tracker before getting your team to use it

Before introducing time tracking to your team, do research and decide on the tracker you want to use. Then test it out. Always test it out yourself to understand all the bits and pieces, even if the platform, like WebWork, is user-friendly.

Ideally, begin testing out the tracker among a small number of employees. This method will reveal potential areas that might require training for employees.

Especially in the beginning, it is much easier to monitor how a small number of employees adapt to time tracking than it is to dive in headfirst with the whole company. 

Plus, the small number of employees is also more likely to test out the tracker conscientiously than the whole company, with tens if not hundreds of people. 

2. Communicate the purpose to your team clearly

Tracking someone else’s time might appear as crossing the line of personal space, but when done correctly, it isn’t.

That is why it is essential that you prepare your team and explain the company’s rationale for tracking time. 

Depending on the reason, whether it is cases of inefficient time management, missed deadlines, or signs of waning productivity, clarify how time tracking will solve these issues. 

If you have a team who are being paid hourly, they will most likely welcome the decision as it directly benefits them to be paid accurately. WebWork simplifies this process with the help of billable hours and converts tracked time directly into earnings.

But in other business models, the need for time tracking might not be so obvious at first.

Explain to your team that time tracking benefits not only the business but also them personally. Each employee will see how much time exactly they spend on work-related activities and can improve their time management skills accordingly. 

WebWork also promotes the work-life balance of employees with customizable reminders to prevent burnout. This is one of the features that you must definitely encourage your employees to use both for professional and personal well-being.

They can select what types of reminders they want to receive, including reminders during work hours such as to drink more water or take a walk, or reminders about personal life, such as spending more time with family, resting, health, and so on.

3. Train your team for maximal results 

Training is as important as the decision to implement time tracking.

After discussing the need for time tracking and explaining its benefits, the next step is to train your employees. 

Instead of getting them to use the time tracker with no prior instruction, start by training. This step connects directly with the testing-it-out-yourself step. Remember how it took you time to figure out how the tracker works and its properties. Your employees will go through the same process.

Training will prepare them for the actual tracking process. They will be confident in when to use automatic time tracking and when to add time manually.

Instead of worrying that the tracker was off or they had to take a longer break, they will know what to do in such cases based on training or discussion prior to it. 

For example, when they are in a meeting and the tracker turns off by detecting inactivity, explain that they can add time themselves. Or even if they forgot to start the tracker, it is not a big deal, they can still add time without worrying.

By familiarizing them with the tracker and especially the sections you will be using, you will make your team more confident in using it. 

4. Be transparent about what data you track and why

As an employer and human being, you must follow the rule of ethical conduct and disclose to each employee that you are going to track their data and which data exactly. That includes time logs, automatically tracked time, app and web usage, URL tracking, mouse and keystroke frequency tracking, and more, if any.

Doing so will help avoid feelings of distrust and confusion among your employees. And creating an environment filled with mutual trust is the guarantee of success and well-being in any team.

5. Ensure transparency

While personal data like screenshots should remain private, sharing data on task completion can motivate conscientious work. 

WebWork solves this with the help of 5 member roles: workspace owner, executive manager, project manager, team manager, and employee. Each of these member types has distinct permissions and access to tracked data, resulting in a more organized management process.

6. Respect privacy 

Even though most time trackers offer screenshots, including WebWork, it is better to use them only in critical situations. You are already tracking time and even app or website usage, and adding screenshots to it can breed resentment or inaccurate time logging.

To create trust and build rapport with your team, respect their privacy as much as possible. 

In fact, this point does not refer to screenshots only but to balancing monitoring while respecting privacy.

Create an environment where your team members feel free to share their worries about the tracking process and listen to them. 

7. Allow room for inaccuracy in time tracking

When you don’t use time tracking for hourly payment purposes, do not force your team members to be as precise as a Swiss watch. After all, it is impossible to track every single second. Remember that overemphasis on precision can stress employees, affecting work quality.

While WebWork does offer precise time tracking by tracking even idle time, use this feature judiciously, focusing on overall patterns rather than minute-by-minute accounting.

8. Don’t use tracked data as the main source of performance review

A point worth mentioning again and again is that tracked data should not be the sole criterion for performance review.

While it is quite valuable for measuring project duration or finding bottlenecks in the implementation process, it should not be the only source for employee performance review.

You might wonder why? Especially as time tracking is a solution for improving productivity, right?

The mere fact that you introduce time tracking is highly likely to have a positive effect on employee performance. People work differently; more hours tracked doesn’t equal more work done.

9. Monitor work-life balance to prevent burnout in your employees

Tracking time is beneficial for improving time management and productivity in the team, but tracking work-life balance is beneficial for each employee.

That is why employee well-being must be equally important for you as an employer.

I will insert my all-time favorite quote about the topic here, which is:

Happy employees are productive employees.

WebWork’s work-life balance metrics visually indicate healthy and excessive work hours with the help of colored categories.

By taking a mere look, you can see who needs to slow down and who needs to improve their time management habits. Especially if you have a remote employee, they might be prone to falling into the trap of working too many hours, sometimes even till midnight.

Make sure you take care of overworking cases and prevent your employees from burning out. 

Remember that it is easier to prevent burnout than it is to treat it. 

Conclusion

Time tracking is more than a tool for efficiency; it’s a means to balance work and life.

Following time tracking best practices is vital to adopting the right attitude and method of tracking employee time. The best practices for time tracking with WebWork, curated based on research and data from actual users, aim to make your team productive and knowledgeable about time tracking.

After all, it is their time that you are going to track. 

 

Liana Papyan
WRITTEN BY

Liana Papyan

Liana Papyan is a content writer and an English language enthusiast. Her current writing niches are remote work, productivity, time tracking, and the like. Liana also writes marketing copy and is trying to be a UX writer at the same time. The only thing she likes more than writing is reading.

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