Resource planning

The importance of tracking time in resource management

Reija Stenroos
Reija Stenroos
Head of Sales and Marketing

Tracking employees’ working hours is the key to knowing how time is spent – both on an individual level and in the business overall. It is vital for a productive, healthy business.  

In principle, it is fairly simple to record the personnel’s working time, and it can lead to many improvements in areas such as team productivity, easier invoicing, and ensuring that projects proceed as budgeted.

Advantages of recording working time 

The most important aspect of time tracking may be ensuring that customers receive accurate invoices. This is especially important for organisations that provide billable consultancy work. For them, every minute counts. The company’s profitability ultimately rests on billing customers for the work done for them.  

Records of working time also make it transparently clear how much time has been spent on which projects, customer relationships, or individual tasks. In the best case, tracking working hours makes it possible to identify whether certain jobs routinely exceed the budget. This allows for timely intervention. At best, it becomes possible to notice when the personnel do not have the right competencies and greater efforts need to be made in training. It also reveals when too little time has been allocated for certain tasks.  These observations can help you to prepare better, more accurate quotes, which means a higher billing rate in the long run. 

Customer communication is also easier when all of the working hours for a project are recorded. Sometimes, customers may want to know why it is taking so long to get a task finished. Customers are naturally keen to know that their money is being well spent. If the working time is recorded accurately along with appropriate comments, the situation is easier to justify and demonstrate to the customer.

Better management through time tracking

Profitability is important, but it is just as important to know what your employees and teams are actually doing. In the best case, it is possible to notice if certain people or even entire teams are working at over-capacity. If the situation cannot be corrected, you can quickly find yourself in a situation where people feel exhausted and end up on sick leave. When the personnel notice that tracking working time does not mean the organisation is imposing additional requirements on them but is actually using the information to ensure a healthy work-life balance, they will consider it a good thing and are likely to keep more accurate records of their working hours. 

It also provides an interesting insight into how employees actually spend their working days. How much time is spent in meetings or responding to emails? By identifying time-consuming tasks, it is possible to improve working methods and boost productivity. Individuals will also find it easier to understand the structures of their days. This information can help employees to identify detrimental working habits and change them. Better working methods make work more meaningful and productive. 

Time tracking encompasses all of the following:

  • Accurate invoicing means better profitability. 
  • Improved profitability allows for more competitive pricing, which leads to more billable work.
  • The possibility to monitor the success of resourcing. Resourcing can be more accurate when it is possible to compare actual results to planned values. 
  • Better efficiency improves scheduling and balances out employees’ workloads. 
  • Better management by knowing how employees spend their time. 
  • In the best case, employees will become more motivated when their work efforts are shown transparently. 

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