Time tracking is not about spying on your employees

employee time tracking illustration

Why spying on your employees is a bad idea

We all want to feel motivated at work and a key factor is feeling trusted by your manager to get the job done. Tracking employees’ time in detail, screenshots and all, might feel empowering to managers, but it is very disheartening to employees. It’s almost counterintuitive - you want to track employees’ time to ensure their productivity but the simple act of imposing an invasive time tracking solution can actually drive down productivity. 

Keeping your teams motivated means trusting them to get the job done. And spying on our employees does not invoke trust, on the contrary it will degrade it. But tracking time doesn’t have to be about surveillance. Tempo enables employees to maintain their autonomy and avoid feeling watched over like Big Brother, while simultaneously holding them accountable. And while employee monitoring software might feel like a good idea and a simple solution to a complex problem, it is the opposite. 

With a tool like Tempo Timesheets you can place the emphasis on results rather than time spent at work. You will also be able to obtain valuable project-based data, which is missing from employee monitoring software, while avoiding sensitive privacy issues that come with many monitoring tools. 

Give your employees the autonomy to manage their time as they see fit with a time tracking solution that benefits everyone. 

employee time tracking illustration

What is time tracking really about?

Tracking time is about understanding where your organization is investing time. It’s about learning and leveraging the data stored in tracked time to make better business decisions. It can be used to better estimate future projects for a client or determining whether to take on a large, new project. It is about learning about the capacity of your teams and making sure everyone gets a chance to work to their fullest potential. 

“Time tracking is about learning. It is not about monitoring” - Carl Hye Thaisen, helphouse.io

We asked a sample of Tempo customers what their primary reason for tracking time is. Most of those who responded want to track time to understand where time is being spent. A large number track time for financial reasons like invoicing or for tax credits. A portion tracks time for other reasons. All in all, most organizations seem to track time to make better business decisions and make sure projects and initiatives are profitable.

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How to introduce time tracking at your organization

We recommend that you communicate clearly what the goal of time tracking is. You should also explicitly acknowledge the common misconception that time tracking is about spying on employees and work to dispel it.

Here are some ideas you might want to go with

  • You want to invoice customers more accurately and decrease the number of disputed invoices
  • You need to align projects and tasks better across multiple departments and teams
  • You want learn from past projects to be able to better estimate future projects
  • You want to make sure to focus efforts in the right areas and not spend too much time in meaningless meetings

The benefits of time tracking will be different from one company to another. It is important that you find what matters to your organization. You might have to coach some of your team members to show them that while the act of tracking time might be tedious the benefits outweigh the cons. Over time, they will realize that time tracking is not about monitoring, it is about learning. And once you have convinced your team of the benefits of tracking time, you can also let them know that tracking time with Jira time tracking tools like Tempo Timesheets is as easy as it gets. Tempo is available for Jira time tracking on Cloud, Data Center, and Server on the Atlassian Marketplace.

With Tempo, tracking time in Jira is as easy as it gets 

With Tempo Timesheets, there are multiple ways to track and log time so everyone can find a way that suits them that suits their workflow. 

Here are the top 10 ways of tracking time with Tempo

  1. Directly in the Jira issue view
  2. By starting a tracker in Jira
  3. Converting Tempo plans into logged time
  4. Connecting your Google or Microsoft 365 calendars
  5. Using the mobile app
  6. Dragging and dropping issues in Tempo to the ‘My Work’ view
  7. Use the Timesheets view
  8. Press the ‘w’ key anywhere in Jira
  9. Log time from the ‘My Work’ view in Tempo
  10. Fill in time slots in the ‘Time’ view of Tempo

Watch the video for details on each method. 

We continuously add new and improved ways to track and log time and are adding more and more automated functionalities to our solutions. Your developers might be interested to hear we are working on a VS code integration and automatic suggestions based on your Jira activity. 

“Tempo Timesheets helped us to save time when logging our work, as we can do it directly in Jira, and the user interface is very customer-friendly,” says Reinagl. “The time logs are now more detailed, which gives us additional cost information on our projects.” -  Denise Reinagl, Paradine

If you’re starting your journey with Tempo Timesheets, or just want to get a better feeling for what is possible with the tool, see our webinar recording Tips and tricks for getting started with Tempo Timesheets.

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