Understanding the inner workings and tracking a watchful eye over your processes is essential when managing a business.
This, however, can be extremely stressful, confusing and indirectly costing you money. Administering the use of accurately completed timesheets by all employees can provide an effective, simple and convenient means of understanding the state of your business and employees. Having this knowledge allows you to cut costs in the present and continue the savings on future projects. As the business landscape has evolved so has the nature of timesheets to the extent where widespread digital time tracking software has become an optimal way of collecting data and information. Now time tracking has become easier than ever.
What Are Timesheets?
Timesheets are a method of tracking how much time is spent on a task. The result of this extends to different parts of managing a project or business.
A functional timesheet generally consists of certain key elements:
- Identification section
A place to write your name declaring that the contents reflect your work.
Recognition of the date at which the task or work was completed.
- Activity information field
A list of the tasks which you have completed.
- Time log
A record of the time spent on each task typically denoted in hours. Some timesheets have time slots for start time, finish times, breaks, overtime work and more.
There are many benefits to using timesheets including, tracking productivity, tracking project costs, measuring employee performance, billing clients, estimating future costs and planning PR. Individual time sheets may vary in presentation but each consists of these constituent elements and serve to track the time spent on certain tasks.
How Can You Get Your Employees to Fill in Their Timesheets?
You and your business can only reap the many benefits that using timesheets offers if all of your employees fill them in. The information you are gathering can’t be fully useful if there are gaps because it creates messy, inaccurate totals and leaves you with frustrating guesswork or ruining your project budget. Working with others doesn’t always go to plan and so the question remains; how can you get your employees to fill in their employee timesheets?
Having to fill in something that is confusing and complicated will make you less likely, interested and successful in doing it, especially after you have spent the day working. Therefore using employee timesheet templates that are simple and easy to use can help eliminate the neglect that is felt towards filling in a timesheet.
Explaining the benefits of filling in a timesheet (for the business AND the individual employee) can create an incentive and sense of individual and collective obligation towards completing their timesheet. (Friendly reminders never hurt either!)
How Can Timesheets Save You Money?
1. Allow You to Measure Your Productivity
A correctly completed timesheet collates the number and titles of tasks with the precise count of time spent on them. You can determine whether a task was completed on time, early or late and clearly see how many tasks are being completed. Therefore, providing you with an indication of your company’s output productivity in relation to the number of tasks completed over time. Having collected such knowledge allows you to evaluate the current rate of productivity and assess your business’s progress towards your goals for productivity. Abnormal results that are reflected in the timesheet can lead you to address issues of work output inefficiencies, effectively increasing productivity and essentially saving the business time and money on issues that would have otherwise not been discovered without the use of a timesheet.
2. You Can Track Project Costs More Accurately
By using a timesheet, you can avoid miscalculations in project costs more effectively than without one. Miscalculations here and there can throw off your budget records and ruin your chances of receiving accurate results. The way that a timesheet is structured allows you to view the costs related to certain projects or tasks, displaying the time or units associated with the overall spending. This shows single unit costs or hourly wages multiplied to get the total costs. This informs you of exactly what the budget is being spent on. Tracking project costs allows you to accurately assess your financial situation and distribute resources accordingly.
3. You Can Measure Employee Performance
Productivity is associated with output and the steadfast production of goods and services. In the business world, time is money and being able to track the tasks your employees complete along with the amount of time spent on them can give you a measure of employee performance. A timesheet exhibits the tasks completed by an employee along with a time measurement to accompany the work. This displays output over time and simply put, productivity. Now you can further investigate the causes behind the results i.e. why an employee is performing in a certain way and address how to facilitate positive employee performance while augmenting performance miscarriages. When done correctly, as a result, there is an increase in employee performance will be reflected by an increase in organisational success as an entity. This may look like increased available funds, larger customer base, better workplace chemistry, bigger profit margins, higher rates of employee retention etc.
4. They Are Excellent for Billing Clients
Figuring out the correct sum to charge a client is essential to maintaining the integrity of a business but can prove to be frustrating and anxiety-inducing. Dealing with your money and that of others is no trivial pursuit, it is a serious line of business which affects a large part of people’s personal lives. Having a timesheet cuts out the guesswork, eases the stress and provides you with the precisely professional price for billing clients. The way this works is that your timesheet measures time spent working and multiplies it by your hourly wage. A timesheet excel template monitors this and may also keep track of other factors such as the days you have worked, overtime pay and more for you and your employees. It automatically provides totals of hours and money earned which cuts out inaccurate client billing totals. This accurate timesheet billing total stops you from potentially undercutting your earnings at the risk of overcharging clients. The money earned matches the work you have done, saved you money and remains available for later use. It is a sustained way of maximising your profits earned for the work of your business.
5. Helps Estimate Future Costs
Accurately tracking the time and monetary costs of past projects can provide you with a base or guideline so that you may estimate the cost that goes into completing future tasks/projects. If the nature of a task is similar to that of which you have completed in the past and tracked the time and monetary costs of using a timesheet, the budget for future tasks can be more trustingly emulated. Even the use of free timesheet software can prove beneficial in this regard. The lessons learned from the tracking and assessment of past projects/tasks can be taken into account when forming your budget for future tasks. The baseline levels of individual performance, stocks orders and collective processes can be further optimised and reflected in the future projections. This lowers the margin of error and reduces overspending. Every time a timesheet is completed and successfully tracks a project, it serves as an incremental step forward in your business towards cutting down on costs and planning for better future projects.
6. Helps Plan Your PR
The term “PR” is an abbreviation for ‘public relations’. It is the relationship between your business and the public concerning its reputation, level of awareness, popularity, public opinion and understanding. Having a PR plan is an essential way of harmoniously syncing your business intent and operations with an informed interpretation in the public domain. Believe it or not, using a timesheet can actually help you plan your PR. Your timesheet tracks time spent on tasks by employees and collects data on costs, estimates, billing and management. It helps assess your current position affords you time to spend elsewhere on tasks such as planning PR. It also allows you to identify a potential unique selling point (USP) such as quick service or low costs that give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace which can be used as marketing material in your PR plan.