Small to medium-sized business should be concerned with accurately tracking employee time. At a minimum, such records point to profitability. Tracking time also helps to meet budget targets for projects. Although most know these things matter, some are challenged to find time tracking software for small business that works properly.
Rather than invest time and dollars into finding a solution, many are accustomed to manual processes. These were wrought with issues when they were popular; with the advent of affordable Cloud-based and other tech savvy options, sticking with a system that can throw a project off course does not make sense.
Switching from a spreadsheet-based or paper time tracking system opens a new world of desktop and cloud-based solutions. Following are a few suggestions businesses should consider when reviewing different options.
Technology continues to advance with more offerings for web-based software that operates in a Cloud environment. Two primary reasons make these products the best time tracking software.
The first reason is it saves time when employees and management are not scrambling to keep up with the latest updates. Replacing applications is also unnecessary.
Utilizing software ran on multiple servers is the second reason web-based software works well for small businesses. No one is distracted by technical issues or a power outage that disrupts workflow.
Implement Software throughout Company
Whenever there is a decision to use time and attendance tracking software, the decision must include the entire company. This simplifies processes across departments. Revisions to schedules are seen by all employees.
Implementing a company-wide software system prevents complications that are sure to surface when information is entered more than once. Each department involved with a project has greater ease with communicating, thus gaining more effective collaboration.
Select Features Tailored to Small Business
Even businesses within the same industry can have varied practices and needs. Therefore, it is important to evaluate time tracking software for small business based on specific goals and objectives. This is necessary to keep things running smoothly.
It also helps the transition run smoothly for employees who try to adapt to a new system while completing tasks.
In some small businesses, a tailored software system might include fields for:
• Paid time off
• Vacation days
• Sick leave
• Holiday pay
• Bonus pay
Monitoring employee activities might be necessary to help maximize output. Tracking time may expose areas where employees are not as productive.
Reviewing all options and finding the right system that has all the features to tailor to the business.
Convenient Documentation for Team Members
Solid communication between departments is essential to avoid problems. The chosen platform for tracking time should include documentation so team members can add changes for everyone to see.
For instance, an employee might need time off for a unique situation not specifically covered in the paid off policy. His manager can leave a notation on the time off request that explains the variance. Doing this prevents miscommunication and confusion by keeping everyone – from the employee to the payroll clerk – on the same page.
Mobility Away from the Office
Very few workforces have employees that do not travel, whether across the city, country or world. Small businesses must smartly accommodate telecommuters and traveling employees. These employees still need to record their time, but in a different way than office workers.
Companies can select a software solution that allows employees to manage their time and attendance from wherever their work takes them.
Choosing software that employees can access from different devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs makes it convenient. All employees need is a secure Internet access. Additionally, companies can keep track of what the mobile workforce does daily.
Sophisticated Reporting Techniques
One of the strongest allies to increasing the productivity and overall efficiency of a workforce is identifying trends from sufficient data. The best time tracking software should gather mass data and synthesize it to produce easy-to-read reports.
Ideally, the reporting feature should produce graphs and charts that makes data more digestible for different individuals. This data helps businesses identify where operations run smoothly and where there is room for improvement.
Is Time Tracking Software for Small Business Affordable?
Research may show that some time tracking software is cost-prohibitive for small businesses. This should not, however, dissuade decision makers from switching. There are plenty of options that have the same level of benefits as the popular, more expensive tools, at an affordable price.
Many tools are on the market that offer simple systems that are specifically for small to medium-sized businesses. Basically, there is something to fit every budget.
Beyond the final price tag, businesses should consider the functionality of tracking software. Invoicing and project management rely on labor hours, so a streamlined tool can benefit systems that are already in place.
Businesses can be in a position to thrive by implementing a time tracking software. In addition to the technological advantages, businesses will see other benefits to integrating this type of system. Inefficient work habits, sharing information and scheduling daily tasks represent just a few of the thing that minimize daily frustration. Before long, a small business can change from low productivity to a more profitable environment.