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Agency Management & Controlling
Optimize time recording: Tips for successful use
Time recording is becoming more and more important. It optimizes processes, prevents incorrect calculations and organizes everyday work. In short: it is effective. In this article you can find out exactly what you can achieve with time recording and how to use it correctly.
Optimize time recording: How it works properly
In order to work efficiently and optimize processes in an agency, workflows must be timed. Time recording in companies is nothing new, but due to the new possibilities of technology everyone is talking about. Freelancers also benefit from modern software. But how exactly is time recorded? How can I inspire employees? What are the problems?
Advantages of time recording in the agency
- increase in efficiency
- More accurate time and cost planning
- Relief for employees
Especially in creative agencies that work together on large projects, time recording via software can lead to a considerable increase in efficiency. The management gets an overview of where time wasters exist and recognizes where resources were misused. For example, some work steps simply take longer than expected, which is why it makes sense to deploy another worker here.
In addition, the recording can be used to check why some work steps require so much time. Only when the problem is known can measures be taken to save time efficiently. This not only has advantages for the company, but also for the employees, as they can be relieved in the long term by diagnosing the problems. And this is the point that is often overlooked by time recording users.
Time recording should not be about putting employees under pressure. This would have a negative impact on the working environment. An authentic overview of who worked on the project for how long can also have a positive effect on the working atmosphere. Especially those employees who have achieved a lot feel treated fairly. They no longer have the feeling of being the agency's silent driving force. For employees who work rather slowly, time recording can be a trigger to boost their ambition.
Advantages of time tracking for freelancers
- increase in efficiency
- accurate cost estimates
- credible bills
While employees theoretically always receive the same salary no matter how much they do within their usual 8 hours, a freelancer must acquire an efficient working style. He cannot afford to fool himself by investing time in unimportant activities or by distracting himself again and again. On the contrary, he needs real time hacks to be efficient. This includes the precise planning of the most important activities of the day and also the recording of time.
In this way, he can control how efficiently he has worked, draw up realistic cost estimates and issue invoices with a clear conscience. With the right software, they can show customers exactly how long it took them to complete each step, increasing not only their efficiency, but also their credibility.
The problem of employee time recording
The fact that time recording in an agency always turns into a farce is due to the fact that employees are people and not machines. Even if some of the employees conscientiously note their times and enter them in the software, there are some who estimate their time afterwards and others who only enter their times when they are requested to do so. The result: the time recorded no longer has much to do with reality. In addition, employees are directly or indirectly required to work 8 hours a day. This is how we try to fill exactly this period with activities, which is more of a hindrance to efficient, project-related work.
As already mentioned, employees are people. This also means that they tend to act as economically as possible - in relation to themselves. This means: as little effort as possible with as high a return as possible. Recording times costs energy and avoids any advantages for the individual. So why should they be motivated to record time exactly? Many employees are not even aware of the advantages of time recording. So what can you do to revolutionize the bad image of time recording?
Time recording: Tips to motivate employees
There are three methods by which employees regard time recording as meaningful so that time recording is no longer seen as something negative, for example as a control or to increase the workload of employees. And then use it.
3 Methods to motivate employees for time recording
- education on the benefits of time recording
- sharing in the benefits of time recording
- a professional time recording software
Employees feel comfortable in a company if they are part of a vision and not just jump on command. So it makes sense to explain to them why time recording in a company can make a difference. If they understand that time recording is used to save time, optimize work steps, relieve employees, and ultimately generate more revenue, they will find it useful and can accept it better.
But what good is it if the company generates more revenue? It benefits them if they are rewarded for it. A reward could come in the form of vacation days or a bonus, for example, and give time recording a completely different perspective.
In addition, employees should be able to enter data as easily as possible. Best of all, they hardly have to deal with it. But to find the perfect solution, let's first look at some possible solutions.
How can time be recorded?
One thing is clear: the age of time clocks and tables on paper is over. Such options will not be discussed further here. Nowadays there are measures that are more precise and simpler.
Time recording with the physical stopwatch
Don't misunderstand. This is not about a stopwatch as we know it from sport. There are stopwatches in various designs that can be placed on an office desk. The advantage here is that the physical presence of the stopwatch reminds employees of the recording. However, it is also clear that such a stopwatch must be connected to software on the PC in order to provide a useful service.
This means that the stopwatch is rather a nice-to-have. The software for time recording is mandatory.
Time recording with the software
But what can such a software do and which is the most suitable? In principle, professional software offers simple operation, statistics for company management and individual customization options. For example, certain rights can be assigned to certain employees. It also offers the option of recording working hours live or manually afterwards. Thanks to a high degree of automation and simple operation, it can save time in time recording.
Some software, such as the agency software PROAD, even enables other functions, such as the administration of holidays, hourly billing or varied widgets such as web conference services, drink reminders and customizable dashboards. Which software suits you best should simply be tried out. A free demo version already helps a lot, you can set up the software without losing your data, if you decide after the test weeks to implement the software in the company.
PROAD is individually configurable by different modules. Simply set it up, try it out and have everything at a glance.
One employee for time recording
This option is less common in German agencies. In theory, there is the possibility of hiring an employee whose job is to record everyone's times. This has the advantage that the statistics do not suffer from the carelessness of individuals and the remaining employees do not have to worry about the recording. For this job, however, particularly pronounced social skills are necessary in order not to fall out of favour with colleagues. In addition, this type of time recording is not exactly cost-effective.
Time recording at a glance
Time tracking can result in better use of resources, time savings and increased revenue. This is just as true for companies as it is for freelancers. The current best method of time recording is professional software and this will not change in the near future. It can be expected that the software will become more automated and user-friendly over the years. Which software is the right one has to be decided according to individual needs. Therefore it is best to use software that is tailored to your company like a tailor-made suit.
Fitting like a tailor-made suit? Tailor your software to suit your company best.