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  • Becoming More Productive Through Workforce Management

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    Turning to Time Sheet Technology

    The old punch-card time clocks are joining rotary dial phones, typewriters, and physical fax machines on the technological trash heap. Today, there’s an app for that.

    Every business needs to keep track of the time employees spend at work. If your business has both salaried workers devoting time to specific projects, and hourly workers performing measurable productivity tasks, time tracking gets more complicated. Time sheet software apps can help by easily tracking simple and complex situations while factoring in overtime, sick leave, holidays, and other special circumstances. Electronic time sheets let you:

    • Track payroll time and project time. Record simple “time-in/time-out” attendance, plus hours spent doing billable tasks for individual projects, speeding up billing and invoicing. Customize fields and calculations to match your business needs and minimize manual data entry.
    • Access data from one central source. Paper time sheets often end up in different filing cabinets and even spreadsheets can get fragmented across computer networks. Electronic time sheets live in the cloud and are accessible from any Internet-connected device so you always know exactly where your records are.
    • Make corrections instantly. Time sheet software lets you make a correction once and have it instantly populate all relevant fields and update calculations. This results in fewer errors and gives you the ability to approve changes immediately.
    • Generate reports for individuals, groups, or the whole company. Reviewing historical reports can give you insight into billing trends and labor costs and allow you to segment the data in a way that is most easily analyzed by you and your managers.

    Telecommuting and remote tracking
    By moving your time sheet tracking to a Web-based software system, you can be more flexible in hiring remote employees, and enjoy the cost saving advantages of telecommuting.

    When employees are not physically on the premises, time tracking becomes much more vague and difficult to monitor. Online time tracking allows your remote employees to log their hours in real time using their laptop, smartphone or other Internet-connected device, even if they are out in the field. This gives you more control over workers who you may physically interact with only occasionally.

    Cost savings
    Electronic time sheets can lower business expenses by making your payroll more efficient and accurate and increasing your understanding of project time commitments so you can devise ways to lower costs. It also compiles human resource data necessary for automatic billing and invoicing. Deadlines are less likely to be missed, and the productivity of your employees can be analyzed and improved through training, where appropriate.
     

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    Game Plan

    • Like scheduling software, cloud-based time tracking software is SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) sold on a monthly subscription basis, depending on the level of features you need. For side-by-side comparisons showing ratings and features of 10 time tracking software solutions, visit this page.
    • If you need time tracking and scheduling plus other business and employee planning solutions, consider a single platform, single interface system that incorporates all aspects of workforce management. To see ratings and read reviews of some popular all-in-one workforce management software systems, see this list from Software Advice.