Timesheets: How project management software can help
Timesheets: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.
We get it … timesheets can feel a little mundane and your employees probably don’t consider them a favorite part of their job, but the fact is they’re a useful data source for businesses today.
Filling out timesheets means your employees have to spend precious time out of their already busy work schedules trying to remember what they did throughout the day (or week, depending on when they get around to doing it), and logging tasks manually for tracking purposes. A study conducted by AffinityLive describes the resistance succinctly in their study on the cost of today’s poor time tracking habits: “[filling in your timesheet using a standalone time tracking software] is a disconnected afterthought and not part of any other systems people use to get their work done.”
“But time tracking is important—,” businesses may argue.
And we agree.
A time tracking system adds structure to an organization. It helps instill employee accountability, boosts transparency in the company and aids leadership make better decisions.
So, where’s the happy middle? What about logging tasks as they get done? Could this help the process and ensure better accuracy? Honestly, not really—mostly because of how employee work habits have evolved throughout the years.
According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, “part of this difficulty derives from the fact that the way we work now, makes it trickier to track exactly how much time we’re spending on projects.”
Not only is it impractical to expect employees to log each and every single task as they finish it, but also old-school timesheets may actually cost businesses money. “If it then takes you three minutes to go into your timesheet program to record the time, you’ve gone from spending 3% of the work unit in administrative overhead to spending 60% in overhead,” according to the same Harvard Business Review study.
Time Tracking Issues in the Construction Industry
The real issue here? Standalone time tracking software can’t give businesses true visibility into what’s really going on in a construction organization. Businesses like yours, with multiple teams and departments that work simultaneously together and independently, are probably finding it a little difficult to get a big picture overview.
Providing transparency in terms of how different resources are used in construction is essential for seamless operations and better asset management. However, standalone timesheets are unable to deliver the kind of in-depth, granular data construction companies need to improve current processes.
Payroll is dependent on accurate time tracking data. But when employees log time in standalone time tracking software, human errors and mistakes inevitably happen, causing either – or both – the company or employee having to deal with the wrong pay.
The lack of transparency from old-school time trackers increases the risk of employees not being super truthful in how they are spending their time. Furthermore, because this type of time tracking can’t be automated, employees find the process tedious and time consuming, and are less likely to complete it whole-heartedly.
Inevitably, some construction workers report directly to the jobsite, while others divide their time between the jobsite and the main office. Some administrative employees are required to report to a brick-and-mortar building, while others spend their time outside managing the project and collaborating with homeowners. Also, keep in mind that construction teams’ tasks are diverse—each requiring different skill sets and expertise—making it difficult to standardize time tracking across the board.
A Real Solution
Would it be too farfetched to hope that technology today can offer a simple, straightforward solution to address all these issues? Of course, not. The solution? Construction project management software like Buildertrend.
Construction companies (like yours) can breathe easier knowing that automating a lot of the “not-so-fun stuff” associated with time tracking with a more robust, cloud-based solution makes data gathering more efficient. It also puts into context the time and effort your team puts into completing a project. This means you’re accurately monitoring progress, as well as doing it in the most empowering way possible.
That all being said, if you’re considering a construction management software to address the above issues and improve your business, here are key features to look out for:
1. Simple user interface for easy adoption and implementation.
How the program looks and feels is a key consideration for technology adoption, especially if you want the tool to be used by your employees. If you’re looking to make things simpler for your team, ensure that the construction management software you’re using will actually make things easier for them. In the case of time tracking, choose a solution that can be used across any device, anywhere.
2. Geofencing to help better manage employee time.
A geofencing feature automatically alerts team leads and supervisors when an employee clocks in or out, or is away from the job site during work hours. This feature allows managers to have better visibility for their on-site teams so they can manage labor costs more efficiently.
3. GPS location tracking for better monitoring of remote teams.
Ensuring accurate time tracking in an organization where team members don’t all work from exactly the same place can be difficult. The simple task of clocking in and out when an employee isn’t at the main office can be challenging to track. GPS location tracking streamlines the time tracking process by allowing employees to easily clock in and out of the job site from their laptops, tablets or smartphones.
4. Reporting tools for comprehensive insight.
With a robust construction project management software, leadership can gain greater insight into how they can improve operations and make administrative tasks more efficient. For example, payroll can use the gathered data to track work hours and overtime. It also provides an opportunity to track construction assets more efficiently.
5. Robust features for better management across the board.
A construction project management software can unify disparate construction processes within one powerful system to ensure better management of construction projects. Its dynamic data gathering features, project management and financial tools provide better visibility into operations and minimize risks. Operational and coordination issues can also be managed in real-time.
Time is money, especially in business. Conquer the challenges of time tracking to improve your business growth. Make it easier on yourself by using a construction project management solution that addresses all your wants and needs. If you want to know more, get in touch with us at Buildertrend.
Buildertrend provides residential construction companies a user-friendly, web-based software to help them build more projects, complete projects faster, reduce costly communication errors, and maximize customer satisfaction. Discover how our software can work for you by scheduling a live demo.