Why employee time tracking is controversial (and how to fix that)

Employee time tracking optimizes business efficiency but often is controversial as it finds employees feeling spied on.

Employee time tracking is a controversial matter that often finds employees feeling spied on. Although productivity and time management are critical factors for a company’s success, time tracking may cause serious issues. That’s why it’s important to establish transparent communication to avoid misconceptions.

When building your business, there comes a moment when you need to entrust work to other professionals. If there’s no foundation of trust, you’ll end up hovering over your employees' shoulders, constantly checking them out. As a result, this will interfere with their activities and impose an invasive working model that promotes neither creativity nor positivity.

To keep your team motivated while simultaneously holding them accountable, you must emphasize the perks of time tracking. Combine it with a time tracker like Daily and enjoy a solution that benefits everyone. In this article, we’ll analyze the pros and cons of time tracking and how to fix this controversial issue. Let’s dive in!

Cons of time tracking

When the level of trust within a company decreases, performance is decreased as well. As a result, innovations are harder to implement, and the business stays still. Moreover, the company’s culture is ruined, and eventually, people are prompt to quit. So, before jumping into the benefits of employee time tracking, it’s essential to highlight the drawbacks so that you know what to avoid:

  • Risk of micromanagement. It might be tempting for employers to nitpick every detail of their employees' tasks through time tracking. However, this lack of autonomy deprives employees of their personal space to approach work in their own way.

  • Decreased employee morale. Time tracking can make employees feel as if they’re not trusted. Nobody likes being watched. That’s why it’s important to clarify early on why you’re tracking their time and what the benefits are for the business in the long run.

  • Discrimination. If an employee takes longer to complete a task due to physical or mental disability, it might create discrimination towards them for their “lack of productivity”. Time tracking can pose problems in that case.

  • Reductionism. Some employees rush to complete a task just for the sake of better time tracking stats. However, they end up creating more significant problems by not paying attention in the first place. On the other hand, you might have outstanding, dedicated employees who take twice the time to complete quality work and yet evaluate them unjustly.

  • Paranoia. Employees are likely to feel like the workplace is an unwelcoming environment where their every move is monitored. Gradually, time tracking can harm their sense of well-being, causing them excessive stress levels.

Pros of time tracking

Did you know companies can recover on average $52,000 in billable time per professional just by shifting from weekly or monthly to daily employee time tracking? You see, employers are not these indiscreet, intrusive people who want to control their employees' every move. But oftentimes, there are good reasons to track and report time. Let’s review them:

  • Improved project management. Employee time tracking gives you access to analytics from previous projects. This helps get an overview of the company’s capacity and resources and whether you can take on more projects in the future. It also helps delegate work more efficiently to get the most out of your team.

  • An accurate estimate of billable hours. By tracking your employees' time, you can create accurate invoices of all the worked hours down to the minute. This way, you don’t risk losing any money. Plus, you can provide new clients with quotes based on historical data from previous projects.

  • Transparency. This is key to every organization that wants to track how employees work and what they can do to improve (business) efficiency. In addition, supervisors get a better idea of areas of weakness that need improvement.

  • Motivation. Time tracking offers specific metrics that help employees prioritize tasks and track their progress. This way, they can shift their focus from tedious tasks to more profitable high-level projects. Moreover, you can set goals as a team to finish work within specific time frameworks and use time tracking as a guide to achieving that.

  • Accountability. If a team member chronically wastes time or another one spends way longer than they should on specific tasks, you’ll have evidence to justify disciplinary actions. Employee time tracking allows you to hold your team accountable for what they’re supposed to be doing and what they’re actually doing.

  • Greater productivity. By uncovering employee “dead time” spent on non-profitable activities, you’ll be able to redirect assignments and recommend changes to improve performance.

Employee time tracking is worth it

As long as employees’ work-life balance is respected, time tracking is an excellent way to improve productivity and increase revenue. However, it’s crucial that you find a time tracker without violating employees’ privacy, such as Daily, which doesn't record screens or monitor all user actions. Make sure you clearly communicate with team members the benefits of time tracking before imposing any software, and you’ll find that the controversies are significantly decreased.

Screenshot

Time tracking without being a pain.

Accurate time tracking by periodically asking what you are working on. No more timers, stopwatches, or note-taking.

Report your hours stress-free, create better invoices or increase your productivity.

Download for Mac