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4 ways digital time tracking helps you manage remote teams

As businesses switch to remote workforces due to the coronavirus, time tracking is more important than ever to maintain productivity.

Businesses have sent employees home to work remotely, due to preventative measures like social distancing that slow the spread of the coronavirus. So employers may be wondering how to maintain a productive workforce while their employees share workspaces with partners, kids, and pets. 

Despite the potential distractions, research shows that employees can be just as—if not more—productive when working from home. 54% of employers rated their remote employees as “highly productive,” according to a 2019 survey of remote workers and their managers. Making the switch to a remote workforce requires adjustments, but employee time tracking can help. Here are four ways that time tracking for remote teams can help everyone stay connected, on task, and productive.

1. It can increase team visibility 

One of the biggest challenges to managing remote teams is a lack of visibility. In an office environment, you can glance over to see who’s working, who’s on a break, or who’s in a meeting. But when everyone is remote, managers don’t have that same convenience. 

With a digital time tracking solution, employers can see who is on the clock and what they’re working on. Employees can switch jobs or tasks when they need to communicate when they’re in meetings or working on other projects. When combined with other web tools for remote teams, like instant-messaging apps, you can reach employees when you need them. Plus, managers can ensure workers are tracking hours accurately and not submitting incomplete timesheets for payroll.


2. It can improve accountability on tasks or projects

With a traditional timesheet, managers can only see when employees clock in and out. But that won’t help managers determine how long remote teams are working on projects. And that can hamper productivity.

But with a time tracking app that lets workers track time by project, customer, or task, you can improve accountability. Your employees can track time for each task, and employers can see how much time workers spent on each project. 

Depending on your time tracking solution, you may be able to run reports on those tasks, projects, and hours worked for each employee. As you build up historical data, you can use that information to track projects and compare estimates to actual hours worked. Your team can be more accountable for time spent on tasks, and employers can use that information to improve processes and productivity. It’s a win-win.


3. It can help employees maintain a schedule

Now that employees are working from home—some for the first time—they may find it harder to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The line between work and home might start to blur. And a mix of isolation, overwork, and overlapped routines can lead to an unproductive work environment. 

Workers who use a time tracking tool—even salaried employees—can help maintain a healthy, scheduled routine. Just the act of clocking in can help them get in the zone for the workday. 

Then they can see how much time they’ve spent on the clock, which can help prevent overwork and burnout. The right tool can even set notifications, reminding them to clock out at the lunch hour and take a break. And if managers want to set shifts for workers throughout the day, a digital time tracking and scheduling tool can help them. Create schedules and send them to workers instantly.


4. It can give you more time to plan for the future 

Employees aren’t the only ones working from home. Managers and administrators are also managing the switch to remote work, all while keeping business operations afloat. Some processes that you might have had in the office may no longer work in your “new normal.” Collecting physical timesheets and entering time data for payroll manually is one process that may no longer be feasible. 

Digital time tracking solutions can help. Employees can submit time for payroll from a desktop or mobile app, making it easy for managers to approve time. And when you easily sync that time data to your preferred payroll solution, you can streamline and speed up your payroll process. That gives you more time to run your business, find new revenue streams, and forecast sales from your own remote workspace.

Reap the benefits of digital time tracking

If digital time tracking seems like a solution that could work for your remote teams, consider TSheets by QuickBooks. With features like the “Who’s Working” window, employee scheduling, and real-time reporting, your team can stay on task, visible, and productive. 

TSheets is more than a time tracking solution. Businesses that use TSheets and report savings say they save three hours running payroll and 5% on gross payroll costs, on average.1 For businesses that bill by the hour, TSheets can help them increase billable time by 11%, on average.2 

For remote teams, TSheets can make managing employee time fast and easy. And employees can track time on a computer or an iOS or Android smartphone. As your remote team adjusts to this new way of working, TSheets can help everyone stay more organized and on task.

See how digital time tracking can help your remote team stay on task.

1TSheets surveyed 4,906 customers in the U.S. in December 2019. On average, businesses that report gross payroll time savings save 3.15 hours. On average, businesses that report gross payroll costs savings save 5.14%.2TSheets surveyed 4,906 customers in the U.S. in December 2019. On average, businesses that report an increase in billable time added 11.46%.