Why Do Companies Use Time Tracking Software?

Time tracking software is an ingenious invention that allows companies to gather hard data and analyze this data to better understand productivity, employee performance, and security concerns. 

Time tracking software is a must in remote workplaces, but it can also improve data visibility, prevent catastrophic data loss in the case of data breaches, and catch time theft before it robs your company. 

We think that time tracking software should be used in all companies. This article will break down what time tracking software is, the best uses for this software, examples of how companies can use time tracking software, compelling evidence for using it in your place of work, and how to get started. 

What is Time Tracking Software?

Time tracking software is a monitoring tool that companies can use to monitor employee and user behaviors. This software might track whether or not the user downloads files, introduces malicious software, or accesses unauthorized networks. 

This software can be installed remotely from a single console onto other workstations on the same company network. The administrator can then access the data and screen monitoring from that single console. 

Time tracking software ranges from being able to track the time spent on projects to providing security features as well. Remote companies can use time tracking software for monitoring purposes, tracking project and task time and evaluating remote employee performance. When deployed stealthily, the software can also be used for employee surveillance.

Best Uses for Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software is best used for productivity management, but it can also be used for tracking security

Its uses within your company really depend on your needs, of course, and the software features. If you just want to use a time tracker, you might be limited in insight. You’ll be able to measure project length, assignees, task length, and completion days, for example. However, when accompanied by project management software you can better understand company success.

To give you a better sense of why companies use time tracking software, here’s how it works for productivity management and security:

Does Time Tracking Work for Productivity Management?

Time tracking for productivity management is one of the biggest reasons why companies will use a tracking tool. When in a company network, tracking software allows both employees and managers to see: 

  • How long a project took 
  • The number of projects that your employees are on
  • Work hours billed
  • Attendance or timesheet tracking
  • Billable hours (including integrations to payroll platforms)

These are common tracking features included in an online time tracking app. But you can also get more sophisticated tracking features. There are plenty of additional features, though, including separate workstations for separate businesses, employee scheduling, and expense tracking.

Comprehensive time tracking software can help managers come up with a tracking system:

  • Emailed reports that indicate time worked, time spent on projects, wasted time, and more. It can also help inform time estimates on future projects.
  • If the software has user behavior analytics, then managers can assess common trends in user behaviors, like when your hourly employee normally works, the behaviors they normally do, and indicators of weird or anomalous behaviors.
  • For project management, managers can identify how long things take based on the team, the client, the project, tags, or descriptions. It can also be organized by week, month, day, and year. Reports can be detailed, provide a brief summary, or give a weekly overview. 
  • Additionally, the software can also provide logs of communication histories, email histories, keystroke logging, and file movement for data visibility.
  • One of the best features for productivity management is time spent on applications and websites. This allows managers to see if remote employees were really working or if they were procrastinating.

How Does Time Tracking Track Security

Another reason why businesses would consider employee time tracking is for security reasons. Most cybersecurity breaches (95%) are due to human mistakes so insider threats are one of the biggest threats to company security. An insider can unknowingly let malicious actors into a secure company network by clicking on a malicious link in an email or dropping their security key card. 

Therefore, with employee monitoring, businesses can detect odd employee hours or strange movements. If your employees are logging in at odd hours and not tracking time, then you might be able to detect an insider threat before it gets worse. 

Time tracking software that runs stealthily on an employee computer might detect behaviors and alert the management so that managers can secretly see what’s going on. Perhaps the insider threat is actually an employee who has gone rogue. With keystroke logging and communication monitoring, then employers can have added insight into what their employees and remote employees are doing when they think that no one is watching. 

Examples of How Companies Use Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software is used in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Remote company: Remote companies use time tracking software to track projects and time management. The remote worker may need to “log in” or start the day and then they would track a specific task or project as they move throughout their day. This software could also log the keystroke, the communication logs, and email histories so that managers can ensure that a) their remote employees are actually working and b) that no weird or malicious activities are being conducted on company time and company computers. 
  2. Software company: Software companies, or those with developers, coders, UI/UX engineers, and so on, work hard to develop strong working software. However, oftentimes these workplaces can be kind of chaotic. Time tracking software can be grounding and even provide data points so that workers can track when they are overworked or if a project is running long. This software can save a company from extensive time theft too to stop employees wasting time and therefore company money. 
  3. Insurance agency: Insurance agencies handle a lot of sensitive customer data so they would want to use time tracking software to ensure that the data is secure and that none of the employees are doing weird behaviors. Time tracking software can track attendance, time spent on tasks or client management, and provide wasted time reports for insurance workers. It can also allow managers to assess employee performance for both in-house and remote workers. 
  4. Manufacturing plant: In more industrial work settings, time tracking software would actually be used for attendance and for monitoring work done. Since there might be less project tracking and computer use, the time tracking software would be useful for tracking hours for contract workers, tracking attendance, and alerting management to weird clock-in times and insider attacks.

Compelling Evidence To Use Time Tracking Software

Aside from these great use cases, there is compelling evidence to use time tracking software. Time theft, or your employees not working while on company time, can cost your business thousands of dollars. Moreover, data breaches can bankrupt companies. And, not surprisingly, time tracking software can lend a hand to stopping both of those things. 

Time tracking software can save your company thousands of dollars in time theft, and help employers improve their bottom line, company culture, and employee workflows. When employees are engaged, they are more productive, resulting in a potential increase in profits by 21%. (Forbes). 

It can also stop data breaches from happening, saving companies thousands in lost or corrupted data, customer mistrust, and downtime. Most companies think that they won’t fall victim to a security attack. And with a big shift to remote work, many companies might actually be exposing themselves to more security and time theft vulnerabilities and not even know it. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused a significant rise in cybercrime and phishing attacks, most likely due to the increase in remote work and insufficient security protocols around that remote work.

Most companies don’t train their employees for data security. And if you have remote employees, then you are risking your company to shadow IT. But, with time tracking software in place, you can get data for productivity purposes and increase data visibility for security purposes. While time tracking may seem “nice,” these use cases should act as compelling evidence to start using this tracking solution in your workplace immediately. 

How to Start Using Time Tracking Software in Your Workplace?

Starting the use of time tracking software in your workplace is relatively easy. Companies like SoftActivity provide reasonable licenses to use for workstations and remote employees using Windows and Citrix software. 

All you really need to do is purchase a license or try the software for free. You can also educate yourself on the uses of this software so are prepared for privacy concerns. You’ll want to address concerns with your employees but prepare them for positives that will come from this software as well. 
After all, this software is not just for employers. It is also to improve employee workflow, collect data on overwork and burnout, and provide constructive strategies for employees to improve employee engagement and company culture. See how SoftActivity can improve employee productivity.

By SoftActivity Team.

December 13th, 2021