Time Tracking In The Office: Does Every Second Really Count?

Companies are reducing working hours going from 9 hours to 8 hours to maximize productivity. Some organizations even slashed an entire working day, making business weeks from 5 days to 4 days to control and monitor the stress and productivity of workers. With such trends setting efficiency benchmarks, the business environment is starting to look good 2020 onward.

Although it’s considered a form of micromanagement where bosses keep a check of the work done in time periods. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at what it is and the good and the bad that it offers.

The Good: Advantages

Keeping a Log

Time tracking allows tracking employee productivity and project performance. It helps companies organize the allocation of resources and re-allocate them if needed. Tracking the time-bound productivity will help businesses gain insight into areas that could use improvement and plan employee development strategies.

Increased Productivity

Studies show that those people who are able to keep track of their time are better at their work and work more effectively. They can trace their efficiency more specifically and improve their sense of productivity. This will result in them instinctively spending less time on unproductive tasks and distractions such as breaks on the phone, taking calls in the middle of work, etc. There’s one more problem it solves that some consider to be a skill, that is multitasking. Multitasking can take a serious hit on your overall productivity and shift your focus on multiple things rather than hustling on just one.

Prioritize projects

With a time tracking system, companies can use calendar, benchmarks, and allocate staff resources according to the priority of the projects. This will help businesses track the productivity of each member on specific tasks and help them scale efficiency accordingly. This enables the organization to allocate hours and shift deadlines for high-priority projects easily.

Reduced Costs

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to cut costs wherever possible to reduce control budgets and improve their bottom line in general. Employee time tracking makes it easy to correct inefficiencies and eventually cuts back on wasted costs by pointing out the areas that need improvement.

Increased Accountability

Time tracking helps raise general accountability amongst teams regarding projects, deadlines, and overall performance. The amount of work done in a particular period, if justified by all workers, will reduce the complexities of dealing with large amounts of lags in productivity. When there are many people involved in the same project, companies need to know:

  • Which employee did what
  • When they did it
  • How much time they spent

More accountability leads to more responsibility, which leads to a higher sense of ownership of tasks. When employees care about their work and what it showcases about them as team members, they put their heart in. By monitoring how much time is spent on tasks, employees become more aware of their contribution and its role in the project.


Effective employee tracking gives managers a more precise and definite picture of the work process. If specific tasks consistently take up too much time, it may be time to sit down to review and optimize the task or process altogether. Sub-par and substandard quality can not be granted legitimacy simply because it was completed in the allocated time.

Transparency allows making internal decisions based on data and stats on an everyday basis rather than abrupt and irregular disruptions to check in on updates.

However, time tracking is not all fancy, professional, and a useful office tool, it can have several disadvantages. Too. Let’s take a look:

The Bad: Disadvantages

Decreased employee morale

Although the time spent in the office and the work done there is the company’s business, some may feel that time tracking is intrusive and micro-management. This is a very common reaction where employees have when a time tracking system is implemented. No one likes to feel like they and their work are constantly being monitored. To relieve employees of such thoughts, clarify the intent of implementing such a system. Employees should know that companies are interested only in the productive factors that relate to the time employees put in and will not be used to judge their work ethic.

Can be Confused Micromanagement

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: time tracking is a form of micro-management. But, there’s also a question that we would like to put forth: have you heard of something called healthy fats or good fats? A type of fats called monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are beneficial for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. Think of micro-management as “good-fat” which, when exercised, can help the organisation achieve higher productivity, better coordination, and overall team performance by aligning employees’ efforts with the company’s objectives; and much like good fats, The benefits outweigh the costs.

Complex systems can be expensive

The cost of an employee time tracking system can sometimes be a concern. Systems that provide such tracking and payroll data can be really expensive if you’re going for a company-wide implementation. But companies don’t need to implement time tracking for the whole company right away. They can start slow to give themselves time to adapt to the system and technology as well as help employees habitualised to such a policy. Companies must take slow and steady steps in this time to explain to employees why they’re implementing the system to clarify any doubts or misunderstandings.

Should Companies Invest in Time Tracking

Yes and no.
Yes, companies should know what the time spent on tasks is and how members allocate hours on the job.
No, companies should not interfere with employees’ activities and monitor each move and task.

Companies need to be respectful of employees’ privacy while employees should be cooperative with the productivity management strategies of the company. If the two can work in sync and provide each other with credible, reliable information, then both can work with the same vision and effortlessly achieve organizational objectives and then some more.