Time Tracking

What are the Essential Features in a Time Tracking Solution?

November 15, 2022

Time trackers have already become a critical component of remote teams as they carry several essential features that enhance team productivity, create transparency, and contribute to a streamlined workflow altogether. These are tools that track your team’s time spent on different tasks ensuring an accurate representation of:

  • The work employees completed 
  • The hours they spent on different tasks throughout the day

Generally, modern time tracking solutions are broadly categorized into 3 types:

Smart time tracking software: These tools are automated, which means they silently track employees’ activities in the background, so your team can access them when they want without having to manually log hours into timesheets. These are gaining popularity and preference among employers by the passing day.

Timesheet Software: Think of excel sheets where you have to log time against tasks. These sheets can often be inaccurate and prone to human-error, especially if not filled out every day because employees may forget about some tasks they performed a day or two earlier. There are dedicated software with similar functionality with some additional features to make the process less daunting.

Time Recording Software: These tools are somewhat similar to smart time tracking solutions, with the only difference being that you have to manually start and stop the timer on them. Other than that, their functionality remains the same when it comes to time tracking features.

Recommended read: Why Modern Organizations Need Time Tracking Software

Essential Features in a Time Tracking Solution 

Automated time trackers are not just about tracking time. They combine several other aspects to make remote team management efficient for managers.

Here are some of the most essential features in any time tracking solution. 

Automatic Time Tracking

This one is a no-brainer. Tracking time efficiently is the primary feature of any time tracker on the market. 

As a manager, you want to make sure your remote team members deliver work on time without delays, and this feature allows you to keep track of it. They generally have a desktop app, browser extensions, and mobile apps that track activity without hindering work. 

At the day-end, employees can review their work logs and share them with managers. Since all activities are captured automatically, you can rest assured that the time logged against each task is accurate. 

In-App Notifications and Quick Reports

While managing a remote team, you want to stay informed about things like which employee logged hours, how many didn’t, if anyone created a task you need to approve, or a task has been marked ‘completed’ by an employee.

With time tracking software, managers can stay up-to-date about any activity that takes place within the tool, which makes several key processes transparent and manageable. 

Project Management 

Not all time tracking solutions have a dedicated project management module integrated within, but this can certainly be a key feature to have. It allows you to easily assign users to different tasks and monitor their work rates against those projects. 

In addition to tracking the time employees spend on a project, this feature can also help you track project statuses and adjust deadlines when you have the time. Time trackers that have the project management module also highlight performance disparities using employee capacities and their task completion rates.

You can identify employees who take less time in completing a certain type of project, and assign them similar projects in the future for efficient and timely delivery of work. On the flip side, those who’re taking more time in a particular type of task can be reassigned to other projects. As a result, you will be able to effectively complete more projects within their assigned deadlines.

It’s safe to say that choosing a time tracker which offers project management features can significantly improve your team’s productivity levels. 

Payroll Management and Billing

With insights into users’ work progress, project statuses, predetermined capacities and hourly rates, it just makes sense to integrate payroll management into these software. You will find this feature is most modern time trackers.

Payroll management uses employees’ data like hourly rates and hours invested in a project to identify billable hours accurately. This way, you’ll know precisely how much you owe each employee against each project. Some solutions also add a billing feature to leverage this data and create automated invoices for clients. 

Resource Management 

User management modules are now becoming a common feature in time tracking tools. Managers need it to leverage the time tracking and project management insights for better resource utilization. The most essential function of the resource management feature is to identify user capacities (how many hours they can work per day or per week), and then assign projects based on that. 

This feature also allows you to compare user performance by comparing the total capacity with the total number of hours worked. Other than that, you have the basic functions like adding or removing employees in projects, changing capacities and per-hour rates, etc. 

What More Should You Expect From Your Time Tracker?

Developers are meeting the rapidly growing demand for time tracking solutions by equipping these software with additional features that can further streamline remote teams. For instance, in addition to the essential features in a time tracking solution, you may also get:

  • Third-party integrations to track data from other sources, further streamlining project management 
  • Business-specific KPIs to measure performances and identify top-performers
  • Quick reporting to ensure your team focuses more on its primary tasks and less on the otherwise time-consuming tasks like logging hours

Benefits of Using a Time Tracker to Manage Remote Teams

Time trackers are becoming an integral part of successful teams which benefit from these solutions by:

  • Promoting accountability within teams which makes them more efficient 
  • Making user, team, and task progress transparent so both employees and managers know where they’re performing well and areas where they need to improve 
  • Reducing your stress about work by providing you all the essential features to monitor remote teams from task creation to completion 
  • Increasing productivity by keeping track of projects, capacities, working hours and more, enabling you to take timely decisions if required 

Recommended read: How Remote Team Time Tracking Ensures Better Performance

The Best Time Tracking Software on the Market Right Now

We don’t like to brag, but timegram is a feature-rich, zero-tolerance time tracking tool that offers all the essential features you need in a time tracker, and more. 

Read more about our timegram’s key features here, or opt for a free trial right away. 

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Umer Asad

About the author

Umer is a creative geek, a soccer enthusiast, and a self-proclaimed standup comedian. He brings over half a decade of writing experience to the table with a knack for the SaaS niche. In his free time, you’ll find him in queues at fast food chains, playing PUBG, or doing adventure traveling.

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