A survey by FlexJobs shows that 65 percent of employees said they would be more productive working from home. Only three percent stated they would be less productive. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that most companies are considering making remote work permanent.
The shift to working from home has had significant impacts on marketing teams. Companies now understand the benefits of bringing together a remote marketing team, with access to a global talent pool topping the list.
However, the fact remains—building and managing a remote team is harder than an in-house team. The best solution to mitigate some of these challenges is to take advantage of the productivity tools available today.
Time tracking software is one such program that can tremendously help boost team productivity. Yet, some teams don’t use a time tracking app, worrying that it may add additional work to an already packed schedule. However, the upsides of time tracking for your agency far outweigh the hassle of using a manual clock-in/clock-out program.
In this blog post, we tell you why, as an agency owner or manager, you should consider time tracking. We also share tips on how to choose the right time tracking system for your agency.
The Benefits of Time Tracking for Remote Marketing Teams
As the famous Peter Drucker put it: “What gets measured gets managed.”
Only by measuring time can you effectively manage it. If you do it properly, you can enjoy its many benefits, some of which we highlight below:
1. Zero-In on Profitable Projects
As an agency, your profitability is directly linked to the effective utilization of your resources. Obviously, if your team wastes too much time on the wrong projects, your overall profits will decline.
A time tracker ensures accurate tracking of project work. You’ll know the exact number of hours employees actually spend on unprofitable projects, and get a better understanding of the real versus billed rate.
2. Discover Your Best-Performing Employees
A study by O.C. Tanner Learning Group discovered that 79 percent of workers who quit their jobs cited lack of appreciation as the key contributing factor.
As a manager, a time tracking tool helps you identify your most productive team members. You can then reward the employees for their efforts through various incentive programs available in your organization. This can also serve as a wake-up call for underperforming employees to put more effort next time.
Now, how do you track remote employee productivity? A good employee monitoring tool automatically records user activity levels and displays the data neatly in a timesheet. You can then analyze an individual’s or group’s report, share it with top management or send it to a client.
3. Get a Sense of What Employees Are Good At
Tracking your remote employee productivity not only helps you discover top performers but also what they are good at.
A recent study by the University of Warwick shows that happy employees are 12 percent more productive. So, as an agency owner, you owe it to your business to keep employees happy. One way to do this is to assign them work they enjoy doing.
A time tracker offers a convenient way to figure out the tasks each employee is most efficient at. In turn, you’ll notice a performance boost since everyone is working on what they do best.
Another area that can bring real benefits to managers and remote teams is spotting problems early on. An employee may be struggling with a specific task but finds it difficult to admit. Time tracking makes it easier to identify such workers, whom you can then train or coach to help them improve their overall performance.
4. You Get Better Estimates
As a project manager, you know that project estimation is a delicate art. It’s not easy to figure out how much time and resources a deliverable would consume. It gets even more complicated for marketing agencies given the nature of their work.
Now, picture a scenario where you have historical data on exactly how much a specific deliverable will cost. Wouldn’t it make for more accurate estimates? Using a time tracker gives you enough data to determine:
- if you’ll have enough time to deliver top quality products or services while keeping the business profitable,
- if you’re spending more time than the client paid for, and
- how much time each project or task will take to complete.
5. Track How Much Effort Goes into Each Project
If you bill clients a fixed amount by project or are working with a specific budget, it’s paramount to monitor the effort going into each project. Doing so ensures you don’t go over hours and end up in losses.
Additionally, you must know what your work schedule looks like throughout the day. A time tracking app will then come in handy as it offers an efficient method to track your planned hours.
6. Build Better Workflows
When you implement remote team time tracking, you will start to recognize themes in your workflow. For instance, you may notice certain processes are taking forever to complete, but the time isn’t justified for the task. A time tracker offers crucial data that can help you detect efficient and inefficient workflows. Perhaps, you need to break down a complicated project into many smaller tasks that are simpler to achieve.
Additionally, you may find that encouraging your remote team members to monitor their own work habits can help them overcome distractions and stay focused. With improved workflows, your marketing team will work more efficiently and become more productive.
7. Improve Project Management, Employee Management, and Team Collaboration
Usually, there are different aspects to a project, and at any given time, there will be multiple teams working on different parts of a project. It’s therefore essential to monitor everything that’s going on right up until the end.
Monitoring your employees’ activities gives you insight into who is overloaded or underworked. You can then reassign tasks accordingly to achieve better results.
A time tracker gathers all the data on a timesheet, reflecting the overall workload of each employee. This level of transparency will help you manage your remote marketing team more efficiently and ensure reasonable workloads.
8. Efficient Invoicing
As an agency, you most certainly bill clients based on hours. If that’s the case, you can’t avoid tracking your team’s time. You’ll get accurate timesheets, and your accounting department will definitely appreciate access to comprehensive data on logged hours.
It becomes easier to offer clients invoices based on accurate timesheets.
Tips on Choosing the Right Time Tracking Software for Your Team
There are several broad options an agency owner or manager should consider when choosing time tracking software.
- Basically, you want automated software that monitors your team’s activities in the background. All the employee needs to do is clock in when starting a project. The timer automatically logs work hours, reducing human error common with manually filling out timesheets.
- An excellent time tracking system sends alerts and notifications to users, letting them know how much time they’ve spent on a task. If an employee forgets to turn on the timer, they get reminders to do so, ensuring the effectiveness of the data generated.
- Of course, you must choose a time tracking app that offers additional features that match your business model. Things like fully automated monitoring (with optional screenshots) can allow you to silently track the project progress, regardless of your team’s location.
- Lastly, you want a time tracker that offers a robust reporting structure. No one wants to deal with boring and complicated timesheets, that’s why you need a tool that generates easy-to-digest reports. Some programs offer daily, weekly, and monthly reports to let you check the overall performance of the team. Reports provide valuable insight to management, such as identifying profits and growth trends, budget estimations, and so on.
It Isn’t Late to Start Tracking Time at Your Agency
Having a great team with diverse talents isn’t enough for a marketing agency to succeed. They need help coordinating, collaborating, meeting deadlines, and staying within budget.
Time tracking ensures you make sound decisions about deliverables, find profitable projects and clients, and manage resources better. Over time, you’ll identify areas of opportunity that can make your business more successful.