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The 4 Biggest Time Tracker Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

We all don’t like it when there’s a new system or program to implement at work.

“Alright, time to make my freelancers hate me,” remarks the boss sarcastically.

“What a treat! Another instrument of torment in the nine circles of hell,” thinks the freelancer.

Time tracking can be inconvenient for both parties at first, but it can be beneficial down the road. Freelancers can identify what they can and can’t achieve within their available time. Meanwhile, employers can have a grasp of how they should allocate tasks, tools, and budget. Indeed, once you give job tracking a try, there are valuable rewards to enjoy.

Even so, no one is perfect. Anyone implementing a new program is off to a shaky start. Of course, there’s still a bit of a learning curve, and we all make mistakes. So, don’t beat yourself up and throw in the towel if no one is happy at the beginning! What’s important is you learn about the usual time tracker mistakes to avoid so that you can use the system effectively.

Employer Mistakes

Oh, so an expert analyst said that your time tracking system would work. Perfect! No need to worry then. However, you must know that at times, even proven methods can cause problems. Of course, there is no room for mistakes in business. You wouldn’t want your colleagues pointing fingers at you when the Weekly Net Usage Stat is thrown out of whack, right? Well, here are some of the mistakes you should avoid when tracking tasks:

Mistake 1: Not Having a Proper Implementation Process in Place

You may have the great idea of sending a quick memo to your freelancers about using a time tracking software program. If you do this, don’t be surprised if people storm your office with their pitchforks. This is what happens when you do not show concern for your freelancers. Remember that nothing turns off workers more than the thought of being spied on. As such, you must have a proper implementation plan in place.

Here are some of the points you should consider when using a task tracker for your freelancers:

  • If you’re managing remote workers, schedule a virtual meeting to discuss the time tracking system.
  • Be honest with your freelancers and tell them the purpose of time tracking. Of course, don’t forget to tell them that spying on them is not your top priority. Kidding aside, let them know that it is for the legitimate purpose of prioritization, organization, and productivity.
  • Guide your freelancers through the implementation plan and illustrate the advantages.
  • Allow them to use the software freely for a couple of weeks. Let them get the hang of the program.
  • Entertain questions and feedback from your remote workers.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to educate your freelancers about the significance of time tracking. Moreover, you must show them how to do it properly. It would also be great if you could find ways to motivate them into using the program. What’s important is you lower the chances of them getting frustrated or angered by the entire process.

Mistake 2: Using the Wrong Tools

If your task tracking plan goes haywire, don’t believe people when they tell you:

“It’s fine. No one would have seen the problem coming.”

They’re just polite, and they do not want to hurt your feelings. When it comes to managing people, there is always a wrong way and a right way to do it. Keep in mind that time tracking is not a magical ice cream flavor that will work well for different individuals. To make the process as practical and straightforward as possible, you need to weigh your business needs against the features of a particular tool.

Alright, so your CEO friend recommended a task tracking program that their company uses for hundreds of their employees. Naturally, you were enticed when they mentioned, “Kaizen this…Kaizen that…blah, blah, blah.” Well, hold your horses for a second. What may work for large corporations may not be perfect for a small group of freelancers. When you use a tool that is not compatible with your business needs, you could end up wasting valuable billable hours.

When selecting the ideal task tracking program, consider these factors:

  • When selecting the ideal task tracking program, consider these factors:Would you need time tracking on multiple devices?
  • Would you need automated tracking for meetings, calls, and other auxiliary activities?
  • Would you need the tool to get a general sense of your time or you need something more detailed?
  • Would you need help generating reports?

Of course, there are more details you need to cover than what we mentioned. Despite that, we hope you got the idea. Remember to make a list of must-haves for your time tracker. Doing so will help you assess the tools with a more cautious eye.

Remote employee Mistakes

They say it takes two to tango, and that couldn’t be truer in using a time tracker app. If employers can make mistakes in implementing a task monitoring system, freelancers can do the same. Here are some blunders you should avoid:

Mistake 1: Leaving Out Certain Activities

One common mistake that freelancers commit is leaving out activities that they consider as ‘unbillable’. These tasks include team huddles, official meetings, and sending emails, among many others. You may not be aware that not tracking these activities can lead to severe money losses.

A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review discovered that the American economy loses 50 million hours a day in productivity. This problem occurs when employees forget to track the time they spend on reading and answering emails.

Here are some eye-opening facts about task monitoring:

  • If you’re managing remote workers, schedule a virtual meeting to discuss the time tracking system.
  • In conclusion, employees do not log about 40% of their working time. It is alarming when you think of the percentage, especially since that’s nearly half of the work hours. It is not surprising why task monitoring does not work for a lot of people.
  • Now, there are many reasons why people do not track these activities. Perhaps, they forget to do so because they’re drowning in so much work. It is also possible that they simply do not care about the new system.
  • Whatever the case is, things will be more convenient with a proper task tracking app like Traqq. With such a reliable software program that is efficient, transparent and easy to use, you wouldn’t find time monitoring such a tedious process.

Mistake 2: Using the Time Tracker After Completing the Task

Let’s face it. There’s only one Ryan Gosling in the world. Aside from him, no one else is perfect. Admit it—you can make mistakes, forget things, or lie. So, how certain are you that retroactively filling in your spreadsheets would be accurate?

When you fill in your timesheet after completing the task, you will end up doing guesswork. As we’ve illustrated, inaccurate task monitoring can lead to imprecise reports. Needless to say, this can cause various managerial and financial troubles.

We understand how time-consuming manual timesheets can be. So, you won’t be blamed if you choose to fill them in once a week or once a month. However, do note that this practice can cause even more inaccuracy to the data you submit. If you’re struggling with this system, we can suggest that you use a real-time tracking tool like Traqq. Before you start working on a task, all you need to do is click a button. Usually, task tracking apps can generate weekly and monthly reports for you.

With an automated time tracker, employers and freelancers alike can cut down the time spent on monitoring tasks. Consequently, it will be easier to identify where and when people are most productive. It all boils down to choosing the right tool that will suit the business’ needs.