Sometimes, time is your friend. Sometimes, it’s your boss. But, until recently, no one thought of time as being mobile. Now, the best timekeeping practice takes place on the web.
For an employer, time management is vital. Employees’ productivity has preoccupied businesses ever since it occurred to them that they should pay by the hour. Time became a consumable asset, so business owners needed some way to benchmark employee performance. So, they introduced timekeeping.
Maybe the earliest bosses cracked a whip as a timeclock, but it was industrial engineers who began to take time seriously in the late 1800’s. Along with time-study experts, they decided that workers had a duty to produce as much as they could within the hours assigned. So, work and tools were designed to maximize output per minute.
But, modern employers think differently. No boss ignores productivity, but productivity no longer simply equals quantity. When branding and quality rule, management uses timekeeping as a source of information, costing factor, and performance benchmark.
Time equals information. Workers formerly worked through time. So, minutes missed or breaks extended meant fewer pieces of work. And, that might still apply to work that is cottage industry at core.
Now, management sees patterns in the use and consumption of time, only one of many key performance indicators. These analytics might show intense work at certain days of the week or times of the day. Patterns may reveal the need to reorganize the work or workers. Or, data may indicate what is productive and nonproductive in a process.
Time affects costing. Hours linked to product or service provided the simplest tool for setting a price. That is, if one worker took one hour to make a product at $9.00/hour, the customer would pay $9.00 plus an item share of the business’s other expenses plus the desired profit margin.
Today, management treats time and expenses as something more dynamic. Solid timekeeping data reveals how those hourly expenses vary seasonally, change with different materials, and run processes. For example, manual work might be intensive one hour and meeting-focused another hour.
Performance takes more than time. Time is a good start for measuring performance. It’s simple, clear, and understandable that, on average, an employee should complete a number of tasks each hour. Logically, work is not being done when they spend part of any hour away from their tasks.
But, work has changed and rarely happens in straight lines anymore. Productivity now includes meeting time, collaborative discussions, process reconfiguration, and quality checks. So, while time remains a benchmark, it also runs in the background of performance more than it once did.
Management has a high-tech solution. Employers are fast giving up on the old-school time-clock by the door. It punched cards that would be sorted by hand or once automated readers. They’ve opted for software that creates easily shared and used digital records.
Cloud-based timesheet app now enable timekeeping from any location with web access. And, they do it with real-time reporting that lets management track individuals, teams, processes, and projects. The best timekeeping practice let managers do all this and still process leavers, PTO, and payroll. Employee time clocks are as close as their smartphone.
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.