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Accurate Track of Employee Hours with Minimal Effort

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There is no way around time recording - without accurate employee time tracking, you can't manage attendance and payroll, bill customers, or even comply with EU regulations. But that shouldn't mean you have to waste time and effort to do it. Thousands of companies lose up to two hours per week per employee and $50,000 per year per employee through cumbersome, inaccurate time tracking technology. But there is a modern, automated alternative that outsources the entire task. For those new to the concept, here is a guide to efficient and accurate employee time tracking.

Track employee hours automatically

A new type of automated time tracking software can create an infallible digital record of all employee hours without the need for start/stop timers, notes and manual data entry. You record the time that employees spend on various tasks and use AI to create accurate time sheets for them. Employees' time is reduced from hours to minutes - they only need to review and approve their timesheets to publish them.

Automating time tracking offers several powerful benefits. First, it completely eliminates the possibility of human error - instead of creating timesheets from memory or adjusting logs for an overrunning timer, employees can easily access a machine-accurate log of all their activities. Second, it eliminates the pain and inefficiency of time tracking management, freeing up more time for the high-quality productive work that actually creates value.

But that is not all. The data collected by automated tracker applications like IceHrm gives employees rich behavioral insights into their work practices. For example, knowing how much time you spend on average on tasks enables you to eliminate inefficiencies, create better schedules, calculate costs and estimates more accurately, and understand your own productivity. Automatic trackers also capture frequently overlooked billable hours and off-hours tasks - very important if you have a habit of working during commuting, evenings or weekends. If you know that all project work is recorded, regardless of when and where you do it, you can be sure that all overtime is accounted for.

How to NOT track employee hours

Time and attendance technology developed in the 19th century is simply not suited to the digital work landscape of the 21st century. Yet so many companies struggle with outdated, primitive methods of tracking employee time. If you care about the accuracy of your time records at all, here's some guidance on how not to record your employees' hours.

Manual methods

The majority of companies around the world still use manual methods to record employees' working hours. These are usually timer-based time tracking software, but some also use free online spreadsheets and hourly calculators. Although these approaches represent a slight advance over pen and paper time recording, digitization is virtually their only advantage. They don't really solve the problem of time tracking - they just make it a little easier to use.

Bright, well-designed user interfaces are nice, but any application that requires constant manual management or input from you during the day will require a huge investment of your time and attention. Because it is cognitively impossible to start and stop timers sensibly and accurately - or to remember every detail of the day - manual time tracking devices produce bad data. In fact, research has shown that even if an employee manually logs their time-sheets during the course of the day, they are only 67% accurate.

Of course, manual entry is also associated with a lot of fuss. If you have to constantly divide your focus between your work and a timer, it's difficult to achieve an uninterrupted flow status - the space where we produce our best work. You must also accept that a large part of your day is wasted tracking your hours. What's more, manual methods do not provide real insight into how to improve performance, processes or resource allocation - they are just a collection of half-remembered time stamps and subjective notes.

Software for monitoring employees

Despite their inaccuracy and inefficiency, manual methods are by far not the worst way to record employees' working hours. This dubious honor is due to a software for monitoring employees. These tools consist of invasive monitoring systems, they are based on the assumption of mistrust and suspicion, and they perpetuate the (unfair and false) idea that most employees are lazy and apathetic and need to be monitored to get the job done. Some are even specially designed so that employees cannot recognize them from the list of programs running on their computer.

Employee monitoring software uses devious methods to effectively spy on employees' private monitoring activity - such as hidden screenshots, mouse and keystroke monitoring, and remote access to devices. All this so that employers can secretly see if their employees are "working hard or hardly working", as one software description puts it. This is obviously a shocking breach of trust and completely undermines employees' confidence in monitoring. If you want to build a culture of transparency, honesty and psychological security, tracking employee hours with a tool that supports surveillance tactics is one of the fastest ways to sabotage it.

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