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Why your timesheets are fundamentally flawed

Last updated on 
September 24, 2020

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Timesheets are the basic stuff business. They document your activity, help you prove your worth to clients, and define how much money you make each month. But, as far as important records go, the majority of timesheets created today are fundamentally flawed. Too many businesses use error-prone manual methods to bill and report on their work, which in turn introduces a hefty administrative cost to their business. So what's the solution? How can we improve the timesheet creation process, to objectively document our labor without excessive overhead?

The problems with manual timesheets

Timesheets are riddled with problems, and these are some of the biggest offenders:

💨 They’re inaccurate

Few people meticulously remember to start and stop timers and take notes throughout the day. Instead, they log hours after the fact from memory, leaving timesheets vulnerable to expensive inaccuracies.

🤸🏿‍♀️ They’re inflexible

Work that takes place outside normal working hours often isn’t recorded, and time spent on daily communication (like email and meetings) are serially overlooked. As such, you often miss out on hidden billable hours.

😴 They’re boring

Have you noticed how much people hate filling out timesheets? It's a textbook low-value, repetitive task that doesn't advance us towards our goals or offer any reward. As a result, we often put off doing it completely.

⏳ They’re time-consuming

Timesheets oblige every single one of your employees to set time aside every day to account for what they’ve done. That can amount to two hours a week being spent on time tracking per employee, which is a colossal overhead.

⚡️ They create tension

There’s no dignity in chasing a timesheet and employees resent being lumped with mundane admin, meaning timesheets often introduce friction between managers and employees.

😤 They’re unproductive

Even though they’re important for your business, filling out timesheets feels like an immensely unproductive task. No one wants to feel unproductive.

🧠 They’re unnatural

Creating timesheets is actually really difficult because humans aren’t designed to track everything they do in hyper-detail. Put in the wider context of daily task switching, logging ever activity accurately becomes practically impossible.

The single underlying reason responsible for all of these problems comes down to the fact that timesheets manual documents. Humans can't satisfy the machine precision timesheets require: we’re often inaccurate and make mistakes; we’re socially-conscious and want to project a productive self-image at work; and we simply don’t have the attention span or cognitive power to recall a huge series of actions in great detail. So wherever you have a timesheet that’s created manually, you have a business whose means for profit is completely dependent on human nature. And that is a wildly inconsistent and unreliable thing.

Introducing automatic timesheets

Thankfully, there’s a much more accurate and efficient alternative: automatic timesheets! Automatic apps like Timely can now draft accurate timesheets for you while you work. There's no need to start and stop timers, or take notes - these apps capture and process all your work activity automatically – from time spent in work apps and browsers, to GPS locations, calendar events and emails.

They then use AI to translate you work activity into an accurate daily timesheet. You just need to review its groupings and approve it to make it public to your team.

💡 Learn more about automatic timesheets

The benefits of automatic timesheets

Automatic timesheets completely solve the problems created by manual timesheet creation, by allowing you to:

  • capture everything you work on, so you bill for all your work
  • free time for important productive work
  • keep team activity transparent (especially important if you're remote)
  • Set better project estimates and report accurately
  • remove the time tracking burden

⚡️ Try out automatic timesheets for yourself for free

Keep your team ticking

Timely automatically tracks team hours,
activity and capacity to keep remote work visible.
Lead happier, healthier teams.

Book a demo

Keep your team ticking

Timely automatically tracks team hours, activity
and capacity to keep everyone connected.
Lead happier, healthier teams.

Book a demo

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