Remote work offers many benefits, such as flexibility, autonomy, cost savings, and work-life balance. However, it also challenges communication, collaboration, motivation, and accountability. One of the most critical aspects of remote work is timesheet management.
How do you track and manage the hours you and your team spend on various tasks? How do you ensure that everyone is working efficiently and effectively? This is where timesheets come in handy.
What is A Timesheet
Timesheets record the time employees or contractors spend on different activities or assignments. Timesheets can help you track and manage the hours you and your team spend on remote work and help you with payroll, invoicing, and client management.
Timesheets can also help you optimise time management and improve productivity and performance. But how do you track time for remote work? How do you manage timesheets? How do you optimise timesheets for remote work?
Keep on reading to get all the answers!
How to Track Time for Remote Work
There are different methods that you can use to track the time of your team members. Here are some commonly used methods:
This is the simplest and most traditional method of tracking time. It involves manually entering the hours you or your team spend on different projects or tasks into a spreadsheet or a paper form.
This method is easy to use and requires no special software or equipment. However, this method is also prone to errors, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies. It is also time-consuming and tedious to fill out and update timesheets manually.
Automatic time tracking:
These automatic time trackers come with an advanced and modern method of tracking time. It involves using software or apps that automatically record the hours you or your team spend on different projects or tasks based on your computer or mobile activity.
This method is more accurate and reliable than manual entry, as it eliminates human errors and biases. It can save you time and hassle by automating the creation and updating of timesheets.
Online time tracker software:
This hybrid method combines the best of both manual entry and automatic time tracking. It involves using software or apps that allow you to manually enter or automatically record the hours you or your team spend online on different projects or tasks.
Online time trackers are more flexible and convenient than manual entry or automatic time tracking. They give you more control and options over how you track time. It can also provide more features and functions, such as reports, alerts, integrations, and customisation.
One example of online time tracker software is Task Tracker. This cloud-based platform helps you track time, monitor productivity, manage payroll, and invoice clients for remote work.
How to Manage Timesheets for Remote Work
Once you have chosen a method and tool for tracking time for remote work, the next step is to manage timesheets.
This involves setting up and customising timesheets, reviewing and approving timesheets, and using timesheets for payroll, invoicing, and client management.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Set up and customisation: The first step is to set up and customise timesheets according to your needs and preferences. This may include defining projects, tasks, rates, currencies, approval workflows, etc.
- Review and approve timesheets: This may include using reports, alerts, and reminders to check the timesheets’ accuracy and identify and resolve any discrepancies. You may also want to approve or reject the timesheets and provide feedback or comments to the employees or contractors who submitted them.
- Use timesheets for different purposes: Now, you can use timesheets for payroll, invoicing, and client management purposes. This may include using integrations, calculations, and templates to generate and send invoices. Also, you can track and manage the payments and expenses related to your projects.
How to Optimise Timesheets for Remote Work
The final step is to set up a timesheet management system for remote work. This involves using tips and best practices to improve time management and productivity and avoid common pitfalls and problems.
Here are some tips and best practices:
Set clear expectations:
One of the critical factors for successful remote work is setting clear expectations for yourself and your team. Define each project or task’s scope, objectives, deliverables, deadlines, quality standards, communication channels, and feedback mechanisms. This way, you can ensure everyone is on the same page.
Another critical factor for successful remote work is communicating regularly with your team and clients. This includes updating them on your progress, challenges, and achievements.
Also, keep asking them for their input, feedback, and support.
This is important to build trust and rapport with them and also avoid misunderstandings or conflicts.
Feedback is essential for remote work, as it helps you and your team to improve your performance and quality of work.
Keep on sharing feedback as per the situation or purpose. Feel free to share positive or negative feedback, formal or informal, written or verbal. Make it timely, specific, constructive, and actionable. Always balance feedback with recognition and appreciation.
Recognition and appreciation are also crucial for better timesheet management.
It helps you and your team to stay motivated and engaged. You can express recognition and appreciation in various ways, such as praise, compliments, rewards, bonuses, and incentives.
Make them sincere, genuine, and consistent, depending on the situation and the preference.
Avoid time theft:
Time theft is one of the common problems for remote work. Your team can use time for work-related activities instead of wasting time.
Sometimes, time theft is intentional; other times, it is unintentional or accidental. Distractions, procrastination, boredom, and fatigue are the significant causes of time theft in remote work. However, you can prevent it by using an online time tracker software that monitors your activity and productivity levels.
Overwork is another drawback of remote work. You or your team can work too much or too hard beyond the capacity or limits.
High expectations, tight deadlines, heavy workload, and lack of boundaries are the leading causes of overwork. Overwork can adversely affect your health, well-being, performance, and quality of work.
You can avoid overwork by setting realistic goals, prioritising tasks, delegating work, taking breaks, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. For all that, you can use an effective timesheet management system.
Final Thoughts about Timesheets
Managing timesheets is excellent, but that is not enough. You must also use a suitable method and an online time tracker to manage it well.
Try these practices and a daily task tracking tool to maintain your timesheets and create a satisfying remote work experience.
If you are looking for online time tracker software to manage your timesheets, check out Task Tracker. This is one of the best online time trackers for remote work.