Trust — a two-way street in using time tracking software with remote workers
By TRISOFT team
When it comes to remote workforces, keeping tabs on the time worked by your employees can be quite a challenge. Aside from the financial and administrative benefits, a software that tracks the time spent on outsourced projects will also create a more intense feeling of trust and belonging, which is vital to a healthy work environment.
Easier time and people management
Managing time or people, for a change, are not easy tasks for any company. All the more when we’re talking about a company that handles virtual offices. For some managers, it’s common practice to interrupt employees all along the process of their work with questions, ideas and update requests, which has proved quite counterproductive on the long run.
Tracking time, however, will enable the employer to intervene only where he’s absolutely needed, for instance when he notices that a certain employee has spent a lot less time or a lot more time than predicted on a task. And as an employee, you will dig this system even more, since you’ll be able to work in peace and organize your tasks the way that suits you best. As long as you do your job in time and professionally, everything will run smoothly and without much distraction.
Payroll and HR management
One great advantage of time tracking systems is that they can link and integrate with accounting and payroll software. This way, you will have online, actual time records of your employee hours and you will be able to review them at any time.
Hence, a web-based time tracking software will help your company and HR department increase their efficiency, by allowing you to concentrate more on the core of your business. You will have all the reports at hand at any time and the payments will be easy to process.
Also, your employees will benefit from this great advantage, as they’ll be able to spend more time being focused on the actual tasks, rather than project management responsibilities. Moreover, as a certain task progresses, they will find motivation in checking their own productivity by viewing the reports real time.
Since your time tracking system can be accessed from wherever you need to, both yourself and your employees will be able to go online and log in the worked hours, even though you might be in one corner of the world and your employees in the opposite one.
You will keep a relaxed relationship with the employees and be able to intervene in order to show your support when needed. For instance, if a job is delayed, you can instantly access the records and reports for it, see who was assigned to get it done and contact them in order to make sure they have the proper resources to handle the task.
This way, you will always be on time when someone needs your assistance and your employees will appreciate your promptness and availability.
Evaluate future projects better
Billing as many hours as a project needs will help you have an image on the costs of the project and also foresee the costs of future, similar ones. This will be helpful in the offer part of a project — enabling you to give a client both an estimate of time and a price quotation at the start of a job, which will be very close to reality.
Take for instance the situation in which you absolutely need to make a price offer to your customer before launching the project. Past experience will be helpful, even if you will only refer to bits and pieces of projects you worked on in the past.
On the other hand, you might learn that many clients will appreciate the system and will agree to pay you based on the reports of logged working hours at the end of a project.
The Big Brother challenge
However easy this might be for you as an entrepreneur, the system may become a tad uncomfortable for your employees, if you fail to properly manage the situation.
For starters, they might feel like they are being watched by Big Brother, so they need to be explained exactly the purpose and benefits of a time tracking software — especially those involving less fuss over their process of work. This way they will see that it actually gives them more freedom than monitor their every move, as it initially sounded.
So a good way to avoid tension — towards you and the software as well — would be to discuss this openly with your employees and point out how important this is in the relationship with the clients, financially wise. Their input has to be valued and respected, since their attitude and understanding of the process is what will add value to each task and project.
Keep in mind that in a business, no matter how small or big, employees who feel trusted and respected are always more productive.
Trust is a two-way street
And this leads us to the most important part of this work system — that is trust. Being able to trust your employee with reporting the worked hours throughout a project and on the other side, trusting yourself, as an employee, with the responsibility to correctly report what you are working may be quite a challenge.
In a business environment where everybody seems to deceive everyone in order to gain more, if you decide to build a company up on remote resources, you need to first build trust among your people.
A time tracking software will allow you to give them credit and most importantly give them the space to freely express their creativity. You will discover that, despite the odds, people are generally interested in doing their jobs well and they care about keeping a professional approach. All you need to remember is trust is a two-way street, so from whichever side of it you’re looking, it’s always good to know the person on the other side has got your back.
To sum up, managing a project or a team from afar may be difficult if you don’t have the necessary tools. By creatively implementing the use of a time tracking software, your mission will become easier and more fun and in time your business will achieve more. Also, your team will experience better communication and a more intense feeling of trust, this way providing better and more professional services at the end of the day.
P.S. Disclosure: We’re working hard on releasing our own time tracking app. Stay tuned for a complete and efficient tool that will revolutionize the way you manage your remote resources.