According to a recent study, approximately 78% of businesses in the US use some form of time tracking. It’s a popular method for employers to keep track of their employees’ productivity and to ensure that they are spending their time wisely. With remote work becoming more prevalent, employee time tracking has become even more important. 

However, despite its popularity, employee time tracking doesn’t always work as expected. In this article, we’ll explore the problems with employee time tracking and how to avoid common pitfalls. So if you’re interested in learning more about employee time tracking and how it can affect your business, keep reading!

The Problems With Employee Time Tracking

Employee time tracking may seem like a simple solution to monitor remote workers. It can actually create several problems that managers need to be aware of. Some of the most common issues associated with time tracking include:

1. Decreased Trust Between Managers And Employees

When managers rely too heavily on time tracking tools, it can create a sense of micromanagement and lack of trust in employees. This can ultimately lead to decreased employee productivity and job satisfaction. Workers may feel like they are not trusted to manage their own time and workload.

2. Limitations Of Time Tracking Tools

Time tracking tools can provide some insight into how employees are spending their time. But they have limitations in accurately measuring productivity and output

For example, if an employee spends time on tasks that are not directly related to their job, this can skew their reported hours. This can include tasks such as attending meetings or responding to emails. 

Time tracking tools also cannot measure the quality of work or account for variables like work interruptions or unforeseen issues.

3. Negative Impact On Employee Morale And Motivation

The implementation of time tracking can have a negative impact on employee morale and motivation. Employees may feel like they are being constantly monitored and evaluated solely based on the amount of time they spend working. This can create a stressful work environment, leading to burnout and decreased productivity.

How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Employee Time Tracking

While employee time tracking can create challenges for managers, there are ways to ensure that it’s used effectively. Some key strategies to consider include:

1. Establish Clear Expectations And Goals

To avoid micromanagement and distrust, it’s important to establish clear expectations and goals. Managers should communicate what is expected of employees in terms of:

  • Performance
  • Deadlines
  • Work quality

They should also provide regular feedback to help employees improve their time management skills.

2. Encourage Open Communication

Open communication is critical for building trust and promoting a positive work environment. 

Managers should encourage employees to communicate openly about their workload, challenges, and concerns. They should provide support and guidance as needed. This can help to prevent burnout and improve employee morale.

3. Focus On Outcomes And Results

Rather than focusing solely on the amount of time spent working, managers should focus on outcomes and results. This means setting clear objectives and tracking progress towards achieving them. Instead of monitoring every minute spent on a task. 

This approach can be more motivating for employees and lead to better overall performance.

4. Use Time Tracking Tools Strategically

While time tracking tools may have limitations, they can still be useful when used strategically. Managers should consider how to use these tools in a way that complements their overall time tracking strategy. 

For example, they could use time tracking data to identify trends or areas where employees may need additional support. Instead of relying solely on the data to measure performance.

5. Address Time Theft Proactively

Time theft is a common issue that can occur with remote workers. Particularly when they are not being monitored in person. Managers should be aware of the signs of time theft and address them proactively. 

Signs can include consistently missed deadlines or incomplete work. One way to combat this is by setting up regular check-ins or implementing stricter deadlines to ensure that work is completed on time.

The Benefits Of Working With A PEO

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can provide a range of benefits to companies. Especially, those looking to expand into new territories or adopt remote working. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. HR Support

One of the most significant benefits of working with a PEO is having access to HR support. PEOs can provide expertise in areas such as recruitment, onboarding, training, and compliance. This can be particularly valuable for companies that are new to a region or country.

2. Cost Savings

Another advantage of working with a PEO is cost savings. By outsourcing HR functions, companies can avoid the expense of setting up a dedicated HR department. This can be especially beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to hire a full-time HR team.

3. Employee Benefits

PEOs can also offer a range of employee benefits. This can include such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. This can help companies attract and retain top talent, even in a competitive global market.

4. Compliance

Compliance is a critical issue for companies operating in multiple jurisdictions. It can be challenging to navigate the complex web of employment laws and regulations. PEOs can help ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues and penalties.

5. Time Savings

Finally, working with a PEO can save companies time. By outsourcing HR functions, companies can free up valuable time and resources that can be used to focus on core business activities. This can include developing new products, entering new markets, and improving customer service.

Achieve Success With Remote Teams And Employee Time Tracking

Employee time tracking can be a tempting solution for businesses managing remote teams. But it comes with many potential issues that can negatively impact employee productivity and morale. To avoid these pitfalls, companies need to have a clear time tracking strategy in place. 

Additionally, partnering with a PEO like Bradford Jacobs can help streamline the process. Our PEO services cater to remote work and offer essential business components like HR and payroll, making onboarding a breeze. Contact us to get started.