Work time reporting is key if you want to analyse whether the given project is profitable. Well-presented statistics let you see how much the given project cost you actually. After you deduct those costs from the amount which your enterprise earned on the project, you can more or less determine its value. In the perfect scenario, when the same number of people works on the same project 8 hours a day, such costs are easy to count.
Reporting the work time of individual employees is important as well. Knowing how long your employees worked on the given project, you can calculate how effective and profitable they are for the enterprise. This is why we present 8 solutions for reporting work time of your employees.
1. Work time reporting through declarations
If you cooperate with freelancers or delegate tasks to in-house employees, you can of course rely on their own declarations. This approach will work with short and petty tasks which can be completed in a matter of hours or during one workday when you are focused on one task only.
Simply ask, when you order or delegate a task, the person sending you the finished files to inform you how long the task has taken them. However, such methods for reporting the work time of your employees do not belong to the most accurate ones. After all, nobody has a timer in their head and any communicated values are approximate. In addition, it is easy to fathom that few people will remember about it and they will simply invent a number of hours.
2. Recording each and every session
You can instruct your employees to turn on a simple application timer in their telephones or on a website every time they start to work on a project. Of course, you also have to instruct them to stop the timer when the stop working on a project or go on to other tasks and then to write the time down. At the end of the workday, they can sum up the time spent on each project, thus allowing easy calculation of how long they worked on the given task.
However, this is not the best method for reporting work time. It takes a lot of time and, similarly to the first one, is burdened with a high risk of errors and inconsistencies. Nevertheless, it allows the employee to develop conscientiousness and is not expensive at that.
3. Record work time with timesheets
How to report work time in a yet another way? You can create special tables in Excel or other spreadsheet, where each employee can enter how much time they spent on the given project or task. However, mere preparation of such spreadsheets takes some time.
Anyway, the human factor will have a say here: someone can easily forget about it. Such methods for work time reporting are not accurate, but what works to their advantage is a low price and the fact that a table made available to all employees will result in them controlling each other and reminding to supplement the necessary data.
4. Simple software for work time reporting
There are also other examples of software for reporting of work time of employees. Similarly functioning applications include WorkTime, Timly, Hours, InEwi and many more. Some of them are an expanded timer, others are more adapted to the work conditions. They allow not only calculating the work time itself, but also requesting a holiday or sick leave.
5. What if you could pack all that in one?
If you work on a project with others, it is worth using project management software featuring time reporting. IC Project is an example of such software. You can use it to communicate with others on an ongoing basis, assign tasks, add comments to tasks, report, create plans and action strategies.
It has all the necessary functions, so you can say that if it is not the best way to report work time in 2020, then surely it is at least one of the best. IC Project gives you access to an automated process of reporting the work time of each person working on the given project. In addition, you can learn how much time each person spent on finishing a specific task.
6. Calculate the value of a project using the work time spent by your employees
IC Project also features an innovative tool which calculates the value of the given project on its own. Just enter the hourly rate spent on each employee: it will allow you to calculate the profitability of the given project with costs broken down into individual tasks.
The system will automatically convert the reported work time of the employee into money and you will have all key information in one place. As a result, you will not have to do any additional work: the tool will do everything for you.
Such reports can come in handy not only when issuing invoices. They will also facilitate analysing data and calculating the work time and costs to be incurred in next projects. If you know how much time was spent on specific tasks, you can assume that they will take the same amount of time unless you implement tools that will accelerate certain processes.
7. Task-based reporting instead of time measurement
A good idea is to report work on the basis of tasks. In other words, you just agree with the relevant person on the rate for which they will do a task. The greatest advantage of that method is that you do not have to track the work time of people working in such a way.
You know the rate in advance, so it does not matter how much time the given person spends on a task: the deadline is all that matters. You have to tell such an employee or freelancer when you want the given task to be completed. When they start to work and how much time it will take them – this is not your problem.Such arrangement allows you to plan your budget much better. You can learn of the costs of individual tasks before you valuate the work for your client, so the risk of underestimated costs will be minimised.
Of course, this method is the easiest to employ when working with freelancers who work remotely, so the rate you pay them will be the only cost they generate – in the case of in-house employees, you have to add all administrative costs or costs of office space maintenance.
8. Explain to your employees what it is all for
When you are implementing any of the work time reporting system, you should make sure to talk to your employees about it. Nobody likes when anyone “follows” what they do and how much time they spend on the given task. You have to explain to your employees that work time reporting aims to increase the productivity and improve the evaluation of cost-effectiveness of specific tasks and projects. This is not a tool to control and supervise employees or introduce any sanctions.