The Easy Way To Track Employee Hours

Chris Bird
By Chris Bird · Jan 05, 2024

In this article, I am going to go through the essentials for tracking employee time. This includes:

  • Time-tracking methods
  • How to do Manual Time Tracking
  • Pros and Cons of Manual Time Tracking
  • How to do Automatic Time Tracking
  • Pros and Cons of Automatic Time Tracking
  • Is automatic time tracking better than manual time tracking?
  • FAQs

Why is Tracking Work Hours Important?

Tracking hours is essential for businesses of all sizes and industries. It helps business owners and managers keep records of employee work hours, ensuring accurate payroll processing and preventing time theft. By tracking employee hours, businesses can monitor labour costs, billable hours, and employee productivity levels. This information can be used to identify areas for improvement, adjust staffing levels, and allocate resources effectively. Additionally, tracking hours can help businesses stay compliant with labour laws and regulations. With the right time-tracking tool or software, businesses can streamline the process and eliminate manual errors, ultimately saving time and reducing payroll errors.

Automatic vs Manual Time Track?

Manual Time Tracking:

Manual time tracking uses spreadsheets or paper timesheets. This involves employees manually recording their working hours and tasks performed. While this method is affordable and easily accessible, it is prone to human errors and can be time-consuming for both employees and HR departments. If you want to find more about how to track time in excel we have an article here:


Pros of Manual Time Tracking:

  • Simplicity: Manual time tracking often requires just a pen and paper or a basic spreadsheet. There's no need to learn new software or tools.
  • Flexibility: You can customise your tracking method to suit your specific needs without being confined to the features or limitations of a software tool.
  • Cost-Effective: There's no need to invest in software or subscription fees, making it a cost-effective solution for individuals or small businesses.

Cons of Manual Time Tracking:

  • Time-Consuming: Manually recording and calculating time can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you're tracking multiple tasks or projects.
  • Prone to Errors: Manual entry increases the risk of human error, such as forgetting to record time or making mistakes in calculations.
  • Less Analytical Insight: It's more challenging to generate reports, analyse trends, or gain insights from your data without the analytical capabilities of digital tools.
  • Data Loss Risk: Physical records can be lost, damaged, or destroyed. Even digital spreadsheets can be accidentally deleted or corrupted.
  • Scalability Issues: As your business or projects grow, manual time tracking can become increasingly cumbersome and inefficient.

Accurate time tracking is a cornerstone for any successful business. Manual methods, such as spreadsheets, offer simplicity and cost benefits. However, they can be prone to errors and might not scale well with growing business demands. As you navigate the best approach for your company, it's essential to balance the ease of manual tracking with its potential limitations. Choose wisely and ensure your method aligns with your business's future goals.

Automatic time tracking

To streamline the process and overcome the limitations of manual methods, many businesses opt for time-tracking software like TimeNavi. These tools provide user-friendly interfaces, automated tracking, and comprehensive reports. They offer features such as mobile apps for on-the-go tracking, project management integration, and even location tracking for remote employees.

TimeNavi is an automatic time tracking app that calculates the time from your employee's calendars.

In conclusion, effective employee time tracking is crucial for businesses' financial management. While manual methods like spreadsheets and Google Calendar can be utilised, time tracking software offers a more convenient and accurate solution. By leveraging the right tools, businesses can effectively and efficiently track employee hours, enhance productivity levels, and optimise labour costs.


Pros of Automatic Time Tracking:

Efficiency: It eliminates the need for manual entry, saving time and reducing the workload for employees and managers.

Accuracy: By automatically recording time, it reduces the risk of human error, such as forgetting to log hours or inaccurately recording durations.

Detailed Insights: Many automatic tools offer analytics and reporting features, providing insights into work patterns, productivity levels, and more.

Integration: Many automatic time tracking tools can integrate with other software, such as project management tools, billing software, or payroll systems, streamlining various business processes. TimeNavi for example is integrating with Quickbooks.

Cons of Automatic Time Tracking:

Privacy Concerns: Continuous monitoring can be seen as invasive, potentially leading to trust issues or discomfort among employees.

Learning Curve: While designed to be user-friendly, there's often a learning curve associated with new software. Training might be required.

Cost: Automatic tools often come with subscription fees or upfront costs, which can be a consideration for people like freelancers.

Potential for Misuse: If not set up correctly, automatic tracking can sometimes log non-work-related activities, leading to inaccurate records.

So… Is automatic time tracking better than manual time tracking?

We at TimeNavi know automatic time tracking is far better than manual time tracking! Automatic time tracking as with TimeNavi means you have:

  • Low error rates: Automatic time tracking ensures precise payroll calculations, minimising discrepancies.
  • Compliance with labour laws: For sectors like Texas Counsellors under the SB 179 law, it guarantees that counsellors meet the 80% direct counselling duty requirement.
  • Accurate Project Planning and Estimation: Enables clearer timelines and realistic resource allocation based on actual time spent on tasks.
  • Checking Project Profitability: Helps in assessing the real cost of projects against revenue, ensuring they remain profitable.
  • Accurate Invoices when Billing per Hour: Ensures clients are billed for the exact time spent, avoiding disputes and fostering trust.
  • Benefits Both Employers and Employees: Employers get precise data for decision-making, while employees are assured fairness in work assessments and payments.

In summary, automatic time tracking offers efficiency and accuracy and even essential business functions like understanding how profitable a project is for your business. If you’re interested in an automatic time tracker you should try TimeNavi. Timenavi automatically calculates your Google Calendar events so you can spend your time doing what matters and not manually counting every hour. Become more efficient and spend time on what matters to your business:

Here’s a bit more detail on each of those points so you can assess it properly yourself.

Calculating Payroll Accurately: Low Error Rates

Calculating payroll accurately is essential to avoid errors and ensure employees and clients are paid correctly and on time. Manual time tracking methods often result in human errors and discrepancies that can lead to payroll mistakes and dissatisfaction among employees. However, implementing automated time tracking solutions can greatly reduce errors and streamline the entire payroll process. These tools eliminate the need for manual timesheets and allow employees to track their hours more accurately. With features like automatic time trackers and user-friendly interfaces, businesses can achieve low error rates, increase productivity levels, and reduce labour costs associated with payroll processing. By leveraging automated time tracking, businesses can calculate payroll more precisely, resulting in accurate payments and improved employee satisfaction.

Compliance With Laws

Compliance With Laws: How Do You Keep Track of Employee Time?

When it comes to time tracking for employees, businesses must comply with various sector-specific laws and regulations. Different sectors have different compliance laws regarding the number of hours employees work or the type of work they engage in. Here are a few examples:

Education Sector: In some states, such as Texas, there are specific laws governing the work of school counsellors. According to the SB179 law, school counsellors in Texas are required to spend at least 80% of their time directly on counselling duties. To ensure compliance, schools need a reliable time tracking tool that accurately tracks the time spent by counsellors on counselling activities.

Healthcare Sector: In the healthcare industry, compliance laws vary across different roles and positions. For instance, nurses might be required to adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which regulates overtime pay and working hours. Employers in healthcare must implement a time-tracking system that accurately records the hours worked by nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure compliance with FLSA regulations.

These examples highlight the importance of having effective time-tracking solutions tailored to meet specific compliance requirements. Businesses need to invest in user-friendly time-tracking software or apps that can address sector-specific laws and regulations efficiently. By doing so, they can not only avoid non-compliance penalties but also ensure accurate timesheets, reduce labour costs, and maintain employee productivity levels.

Accurate Project Planning and Estimation

Accurate project planning and estimation are essential elements in effectively managing employee hours. By tracking employee hours, businesses can gather valuable data to estimate the time and cost required for each project accurately.

With automated time tracking tools, businesses can easily distinguish between billable and non-billable hours. This distinction is crucial for accurate project estimation, as it allows businesses to calculate the cost of employee hours that can be invoiced to clients. By accurately estimating the time and cost required for each project, businesses can avoid underestimating resources and ensure fair pricing for their services.

Accurate project planning also enables businesses to allocate resources efficiently. By tracking employee hours on different projects, businesses can identify areas where additional resources may be needed or where efficiencies can be achieved. This data helps make informed decisions about hiring additional staff or redistributing workload.

By implementing reliable time-tracking solutions, businesses can streamline their project management processes and minimise the risk of errors. Accurate project planning and estimation are essential for meeting deadlines, delivering quality work, and maintaining client satisfaction.

In conclusion, accurate project planning and estimation rely on effective employee hour tracking. By utilising automated time tracking tools, businesses can accurately estimate the time and cost required for each project, allocate resources efficiently, and ensure fair invoicing practices.

Accurate Invoices when Billing per Hour

Accurate invoices are crucial when billing clients on an hourly basis. Tracking employee hours using reliable time-tracking tools helps businesses achieve financial success by ensuring precise invoicing based on the actual time spent on a project.

Time tracking tools provide accurate data on the hours worked by employees, eliminating the guesswork involved in manually tracking time. This data allows businesses to create invoices that reflect the exact amount of time spent on a project. With precise invoicing, businesses ensure that they are not undercharging for their services, maximising their revenue potential.

By generating accurate invoices, businesses can promote customer satisfaction. Clients appreciate transparency and knowing that they are being billed only for the time actually worked. Accurate invoices build trust, improve client relationships, and enhance customer loyalty.

Moreover, precise invoicing based on tracked employee hours helps improve cash flow. With accurate invoices, businesses can promptly bill clients and receive timely payments. This improves cash flow, allowing businesses to meet financial obligations, invest in growth opportunities, and maintain a healthy bottom line.

In summary, accurate invoices are essential when billing per hour. By tracking employee hours using reliable time-tracking tools, businesses can provide precise invoicing, resulting in improved customer satisfaction, cash flow, and profitable client relationships.

Checking Project Profitability

Tracking employee hours plays a crucial role in checking project profitability. Accurate time tracking allows businesses to understand the labour costs associated with each project, enabling them to identify areas of inefficiency and make informed decisions to improve profitability.

By tracking employee hours accurately, businesses can have a clear picture of the time spent on various tasks and projects. This information helps in understanding the true cost of labour for each project, allowing businesses to allocate resources more efficiently. If certain tasks or projects are consuming a significant amount of time without delivering the expected results, businesses can identify these inefficiencies and take corrective actions to optimise productivity.

Moreover, accurate tracking enables businesses to keep within the project budget of hours. By monitoring the hours spent on each task, businesses can easily identify areas where they are overspending their team's time. This helps in controlling costs and ensuring that the project stays within the allocated resources. It also allows businesses to have a better understanding of project timelines and deadlines, reducing the risk of delays and additional expenses.

In conclusion, accurate tracking of employee hours not only helps in understanding the labour costs associated with each project but also enables businesses to identify inefficiencies and make informed decisions for better profitability. By keeping a close eye on project hours and allocating resources wisely, businesses can optimise productivity, control costs, and deliver projects within budget and on time.

Benefits Both Employers and Employees

Automated time tracking through employee time tracking apps like TimeNavi offers numerous benefits to both employers and employees. Firstly, it frees up valuable time for employees to focus on their work, planning, and communicating with their teams. With time tracking tools in place, employees no longer need to spend precious minutes manually recording their hours, allowing them to dedicate more time and energy to their tasks and projects.

Additionally, linking the outputs of an employee to the time spent on their work provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of different areas of their job. By analysing the correlation between time input and output, employers can identify the most productive and efficient tasks, helping them streamline processes and optimise productivity.

Furthermore, tracking employee hours helps to avoid micromanagement and build trust among employees. Instead of constantly monitoring employees' every move, employers can rely on accurate time tracking data to assess productivity levels and manage workloads effectively. This fosters a sense of autonomy and empowerment, leading to higher employee satisfaction and engagement.

Moreover, automated time tracking ensures accurate and error-free payroll calculations. By eliminating manual timesheets and reducing the risk of human errors, employers can confidently process payroll, avoiding costly errors that can impact employee satisfaction and trust.

Finally, employee time tracking helps individuals develop better time management skills. Through regular monitoring of their own time usage, employees can identify areas of improvement, eliminate time-wasting activities, and prioritise important tasks more effectively.

In conclusion, automated employee time tracking provides benefits not only to employers but also to employees. It frees up time, provides valuable insights into productivity, avoids micromanagement, ensures accurate payroll calculations, and helps individuals improve their time management skills. Adopting an effective time-tracking solution like TimeNavi can greatly contribute to the success and productivity of businesses and their workforce.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Keeping Track of Employee Time

What options are available for keeping track of employee time?

There are various options available for keeping track of employee time, including mobile apps, desktop apps, and time tracking software. These tools provide convenient ways for business owners to monitor and manage employee hours. We’d recommend TimeNavi and Google Calendar but hey, we’re a bit biased.

Can employee time tracking tools improve payroll accuracy?

Yes, employee time tracking tools can significantly improve payroll accuracy. By automating the tracking and recording of employee hours, businesses can reduce human errors and ensure accurate payroll processing. A few automatic tools include…

Are there any benefits of using time tracking software for project management?

Yes, using time tracking software for project management can provide valuable insights into the actual time spent on different tasks or projects. This information can help businesses track project progress, estimate future timelines, and allocate resources more efficiently.

Are employee time tracking tools user-friendly?

Many employee time tracking tools come with user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and easy to navigate - TimeNavi especially. This makes it simple for employees to record their work hours accurately and for managers to review and approve timesheets.

In conclusion, using time tracking tools not only helps prevent time theft and improve payroll accuracy but also provides valuable insights for project management and resource allocation. These tools are designed to be user-friendly, making it easier for both employees and employers to keep track of employee time accurately.

Let’s Try TimeNavi Now