The main goal of digital agencies is very simple: to promote the best creative work and deliver their projects on time. But how to keep track of time while maintaining an efficient workflow?
How can time tracking help you
In any digital agency, time is money, no matter how easy you consider to define tasks, budgets, projects and deadlines is. There is an infinite number of fortuitous events that could happen unexpectedly, that not only depend on the agency but also on its clients or team. These situations can easily get out of control if the only reference material is a spreadsheet.
Keeping track of time constantly can be overwhelming at times. If you are having a difficult day, tracking time can serve as a reminder of how little you are doing. However, keeping track of time is one of the best things you can do for your business, since every hour you capture is another hour that you can bill, and if you are executing fixed-price projects, you can identify which are your more profitable clients and projects.
On the other hand, being sure that your valuable time is well spent is essential, as it’s not only about how much you work, but how well you work. No matter how much time you spend on a project, there is a great chance of not being productive. If you are aware of your work in progress, if you are working within the correct deadline, or if you are aware of how much time you should dedicate to each task, you will incredibly reduce stress levels, and in turn, the margins of error.
5 keys to effective time tracking
For these and many other reasons, we share five keys that can help you keep track of time effectively, are you ready?
1. Agile and simple time tracking
For most people, work time tracking can symbolize control, so a large percentage of employees don’t feel comfortable using a time tracking system. On the other hand, having to constantly lookout for employees to correctly record their work hours every day is unconfortable and tricky for managers.
Using TrackingTime is infinitely advantageous for both employees and managers. With reminders that notify employees what are they tracking at the moment, or if they are not tracking anything, providing applications to track time from mobile, Slack, and +70 online services.
2. Avoid data inconsistency
Creating consistent reports can often become a challenge for large companies, as each employee keep track of their work hours in their own way. If you usually send regular reports to your clients, you can create report templates that allow you to quickly obtain data from a set period of time, therefore, every data should be consistent. While you’ll still need to take time to analyze the data and share your observations, you will avoid having to rebuild a report from scratch every time. TrackingTime provides functionalities to ensure that your timesheets are consistent: “duplicate project”, “automatic audits”, and user roles to define which employees can or cannot edit certain tasks and projects.
3. Start with a pilot test
In order for creative professionals to adopt and strictly follow a practice that takes them away from their creative work, they must see the purpose of the system. Creatives want to use their brainpower in their creative work, rather than an administrative task. Therefore, the easier the time tracking system is, the more likely the team will use it. If you are new to the world of time tracking, do not try to start by aiming that all of your employees track 40 hours per week, it’s better to start with pilot test on a particular client / project / team, analyzing later how they did, so they can learn to use the tool step by step.
4. Track non-billable hours
As important as tracking billable hours is also keeping track of hours for which the customer cannot be charged. This will allow you to see how profitable a customer is and which tasks should the team focus on. TrackingTime reports allow you to analyze in detail how many hours you can bill your clients per project and how many hours will be recorded only as expenses.
5. Set deadlines and time budgets
Particularly in the creative industry, a task can take an hour or a hundred. For example, imagine creating a new logo for a customer. You can have it ready in one day or you can be working on it a whole month. Setting time limits and deadlines will help your employees to use their time consciously and efficiently according to your priorities.
How can a digital agency benefit from time tracking
Taking a strict approach to sticking to schedules, improving communication, creating work templates when possible, and using tools that fit your process is idyllic. However, while some of the approaches mentioned above require company-wide adjustments, others affect employees on an individual level. That is why efficient time management is a goal that everyone in a digital agency must commit to. At TrackingTime we provide a friendly and easy-to-manage platform so that any employee, regardless of their position, feels at ease when tracking their time.