As it is rightly said,
"Where your attention goes, your time goes"
Time tracking is essential for businesses of all sizes. By
tracking how employees spend their time, companies can improve
productivity, profitability, and employee efficiency.
In this article, let's look at the time tracking statistics and
understand why time tracking is essential.
What are the different time-tracking methods?
Companies use different time tracking methods; some may opt for
manual time entry while others may opt for automated systems.
Manual time-tracking method:
Manual time tracking involves employees manually entering
their work hours, work details, and projects into a timesheet
template or a spreadsheet. In this method, the employee notes
the start and end times and enters them into a
Which companies track time manually?
Small businesses that do not have a budget to invest in
time-tracking software use spreadsheets or punch cards.
Companies who work for specific clients or projects are
satisfied with using spreadsheets to track their employees'
Startups or nonprofits may initially choose manual
time-tracking due to budget constraints.
What percentage of companies still track time manually?
In the US,
, and in Canada, 58% still use paper timesheets,
spreadsheets, and punch cards to track time.
50% of professionals agree that manual data input and
adjustments are time-consuming.
Professionals who surveyed paper systems said they need to
correct 80% of timesheets they receive.
Employers overpay 200 billable hours because of the manual
time tracking method - (WorkPuls, 2020)
Manual time entry, whether spreadsheets or handwritten templates,
$50 billion each year due to inaccurately
or untracked billable hours.
What are the disadvantages of tracking time manually?
The manual time-tracking method can be time-consuming
and prone to errors.
- It isn't easy to track time for multiple clients and projects.
- There are chances of data getting lost or misplaced.
It is challenging to analyze work done with spreadsheets as they
cannot generate high-level reports required for analysis.
Automated time tracking uses software to track employee time
automatically. This method is more accurate and efficient than
manual time tracking, and it can provide businesses with a wealth
of data about how employees spend their time.
The automated time tracking method is also an employee monitoring
software that records all your activity on your desktop without a
timer and captures work hours in real time.
Is automated time tracking beneficial?
- 73% of
businesses are satisfied by automating the time-tracking
Companies eliminate lost productivity and recapture wages
of $666400.00 yearly wages by automating time-tracking processes.
Automated time tracking reduces the time taken to calculate
time cards from seven minutes to one min.
Are employees happy using an automated time-tracking system?
The system also tracks the other user activities, like the sites
they have browsed, how much time they have spent on social media,
file transfers, etc., which the employees may not prefer. At the
same time, this also reduces the trust between the employer and
As per the Gartner
survey with 239 large companies, 50% gather
employees' biometric data and monitor the contents of employee
emails and social media interactions.
- 22% of employees are also concerned that employers have access to
their personal information and activity due to this monitoring.
- 59% of employees
feel stress and anxiety about workplace
Reasons why employers prefer using an automated time tracking
Employers do this to avoid insider attacks and data breaches,
which may lead to heavy business losses.
of respondents feel that insider attacks have become more
frequent, and 63% think that privileged users and admins pose the
most significant risk for data breaches.
The result of data breaches is the loss of critical data and damage
to the brand image.
of employers have caught an employee working on a second
of employers say that they monitor employees to understand
how their employees spend their time.
69% of managers believe that employee monitoring improves
Examples of companies using employee monitoring software:
The JPMorgan Chase
monitoring system has created quite a debate.
They monitor every activity, from office attendance to time spent
on Zoom calls, calendars, and emails.
- UnitedHealth Group
was also highly criticized for its employee
monitoring process, where the computer keystrokes of the employees
are monitored to ensure they are active.
Check-in Check-out method
Check-in/check-out time tracking is a method of tracking employee
time by having them clock in when they start working and clock out
when they finish. This method is quite effective and calculates
accurate work hours of employees. It also ensures that the staff is
The benefits of using a Check-in check-out time tracking system:
This method saves 30+ hours in administration and increases
Over 90% of time tracking software offers the timer feature.
According to industry reports, the check-in check-out time tracking
software is expected to grow to $1.8 billion by 2027.
The growth is driven by increasing usage and demand for
The average user takes 1-2 minutes daily to check in and out of the
system. The time may vary depending on the user’s familiarity with
Which companies can use the check-in check-out software?
This system is beneficial for Freelancers who work on multiple
projects where they can select the project and tasks and check in.
This system is also very helpful for the construction, legal,
software, marketing, and healthcare industries.
What is Time-theft?
Time theft is the act of an employee intentionally or unintentionally
misappropriating company time. This can include taking unauthorized
breaks, socializing during work hours, browsing the internet for
personal reasons, rounding off work hours, or falsifying timesheets.
Time theft can significantly impact business revenue, leading to
employees being paid for hours they have not worked.
According to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics
, the average wage in
the USA is $33.44 per hour and $1146.99 per week. So, an if employee
clocks in 10 minutes late daily, and if we consider 260 working days in a
year, it will lead to $1450 approximately of stolen time for a
How has time theft impacted businesses?
of American workers and 62% of Canadian workers admit to
committing time theft.
of hourly workers admit to exaggerating the amount of time
As per the study, 75%
of the businesses in the US are affected by
It costs employers $11 billion annually and takes as much as 7%
of your gross annual payroll. (Workpuls, 2020)
It costs $400
billion annually in lost productivity.
- Robert Half International’s
study says an average employee steals
2.4 hours of paid time per week, 104 hours per year.
Productivity drops by 1.5 percent when employees access social
media while on the job.
A typical organization loses 5%
of revenues each year to time
Examples of companies suing their employee for time theft:
Karlee Basse had been working remotely as an accountant for Reach
CPA. She sued the company for wrongful termination, asking
But in court, the company revealed that they have been tracking
her activities which showed that she spent more than 50 hours on
non-work related activities and must pay $2459.89 in
The Defense Contractors
(L-3 Integrated Communications Corporation,
Vertex Aerospace LLC, and L-3 Integrated Systems) agreed to
pay $4.63 million to the US Government for submitting inflated
bills for reimbursement of their services. It was alleged that
the contractors knowingly submitted the bills for more hours to
the government than the actual worked hours.
What is Buddy Punching?
Buddy punching is a form of time theft in which one employee checks
in for another employee late for work. This can be done by sharing
login credentials or physically clocking in for the other employee.
Buddy punching can significantly impact business revenue, leading
to employees being paid for hours they have not worked.
Image Courtesy: Freepik
However, it is essential to remember that buddy punching is a form
of fraud and can have severe consequences for employees and
How can buddy punching cost you money?
It costs employers $373
of US workers admitted to buddy punching
75% of businesses experience it.
of employers experience a loss due to buddy punching.
Which businesses suffer the most due to buddy punching?
Businesses like restaurants, call centers, healthcare, construction
sites, or manufacturing industries predominantly suffer from this.
It usually happens when people use systems like punch cards,
spreadsheets, or paper-based timesheets.
Is Time tracking software helpful for remote work?
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in remote work.
Many companies have found that remote work can be a cost-effective
and productive way to operate.However, managing remote employees
can be challenging, as tracking their work status and productivity
can be difficult.
Time tracking software can help businesses track remote employees'
work status efficiently. These software solutions typically allow
employees to clock in and out of work, track their time on different
tasks, and view their overall productivity.
Managers can use this
information to track the progress of projects, identify areas where
productivity can be improved, and ensure that employees are doing
Impact of Remote work on employees:
of remote workers are putting in extra work hours on the weekend.
By 2025, 36.2
million American employees are expected to work
40% believe they are more productive at home than at the office.
say they have high job satisfaction working remotely.
Due to covid-19, the number of remote workers has increased
of managers prefer to trust their remote employees by using
time -tracking tools.
50% of companies with a permanent remote work strategy say they
will pay employees the same for the role regardless of location.
64% of leaders say that they have developed productivity tools
for remote employees.
are concerned that remote working may reduce employee
productivity and focus.
How do companies keep track of employee activities during remote work?
like Quandle or Instahyre use employee monitoring software
to track all user activities, from keyboard movements to emails
or other laptop activities.
And there are small businesses or companies like OfficeClip
that keep track of only the employee work hours through a time tracking
software. This time tracking for different projects and tasks is
essential to keep track of project status and analysis of work done.
How is time-tracking software helping to increase productivity?
Time tracking software can help you track the accurate time you
spend on tasks. This can help you identify issues or areas where
you can save time. By taking corrective actions, you can
your productivity and efficiency.
It is also essential to keep track of billable
and non-billable hours.
Managing and planning non-billable tasks can reduce the time
spend on them and focus on critical tasks.
Only 18% of people have a proper system in place to track time.
93% of employees in the US say that their paycheck are on schedule
due to productivity tools like time-tracking.
- On average employees spend 2.8 hours only on productive
34% of employees who use time tracking software are more
productive than the one who does not use it.
17% of employees using time-tracking software are more likely
to meet deadlines.
What are the factors that affect productivity?
Workers checking messages and emails every six minutes affects
The US economy loses 50 million hours in productivity per day
because of unrecorded work activities.
An employee may lose up to 4
hours of valuable work time due
Multitasking affects productivity by 40% because switching
from one task to another can be stressful.
44% of employees say that stress negatively impacts productivity.
What is the cost of not tracking time?
The cost of not tracking time can be significant for businesses of
all sizes. Here are some of the critical drawbacks of not tracking time:
- Track employee work hours: This can make it challenging to ensure
that employees work the agreed-upon number of hours.
- Get project status: Tracking the progress of projects and
identifying potential delays can be challenging.
- Measure employee performance and productivity: Without a software,
it will be difficult to identify areas where employees can improve
their performance or where resources can be reallocated.
- Identify employee issues: This can frustrate and disengage
employees, impacting productivity.
- Bill clients accurately: This can lead to businesses either
overpaying or underpaying their clients, damaging relationships.
In addition to these direct costs, not tracking time can also have
several indirect costs. For example, businesses may need more time
and resources to manage projects and resolve issues. They may also
experience higher employee turnover, as employees may become
frustrated with the lack of visibility into their work.
The cost of not tracking time for businesses:
The US economy loses 50
million hours in productivity due to
unrecorded work activities.
of people are actively tracking time.
Companies that do not track time are less likely to be profitable.
Employers overpay on an average of 200 billable hours a year
because of the absence of a time-tracking solution.
Companies that fail to manage time lose over $18000
on average in a year.
In the USA, the FLSA requires employers to track their employees'
time, and if there is a violation of the FLSA, they may be fined or sued.
of people don’t use a proper system to track time.
of managers still believe they would rather trust their
employees than use time-tracking tools.
53.4% of individuals confess that they do not track their work
The cost of not tracking time can be significant, and businesses
should carefully consider the potential risks before making a
decision. By tracking time, businesses can gain valuable insights
into their operations and make informed decisions that can help
them to improve their bottom line.
Examples of companies who had to compensate for not tracking time:
Apple had to pay $30.5
million to thousands of workers to settle a
lawsuit over unpaid wages. The workers had to wait in line for up
to 45 minutes after their shift while their bags were searched
for stolen goods. While Apple did not track this time, and as
per FLSA, employees must be paid for time spent on activities
before clocking in or after clocking out to perform necessary jobs.
Similarly, a group of employees sued Netflix
for not being paid
hourly wages, overtime wages, and break hours. Netflix did not
track this time, which led to employees being underpaid. Netflix
finally settled the lawsuit.
How can Timesheet Errors hurt your business?
Timesheet errors can have a significant impact on both employers
and employees. Employees may be overpaid or underpaid if time is
not tracked correctly, leading to financial and legal problems.
Common errors include incorrect work hours, missing timesheet
entries, and duplicates.
What is the impact of timesheet errors?
The US economy loses 50
million hours a year to errors in
timesheets. This lost productivity adds up to $7.4
billion a day.
of companies face struggle with timesheet errors on a
weekly or daily basis.
92% of businesses speculate that user errors are most
likely the cause of timesheet errors. It depends on how the
time-tracking system is used.
13% of employees forget to track hours.
of business owners agree that employees forgetting to
clock in or out or record their work hours is the biggest
How can companies find out the errors in the timesheet?
Timesheet errors can be deliberate or accidental. Deliberate
errors are made intentionally by adding up more work hours.
Accidental errors happen due to carelessness or misunderstanding
Companies can find errors by:
- Manually reviewing timesheets: The managers who manually check
each timesheet can find errors.
- Automated checks in the system: Nowadays, online systems are
designed to track errors where they can find duplicate entries
or entries more than a desired range of hours worked.
- Data analysis: Companies analyze the data and can identify
patterns in the timesheet where they can find out a sudden
increase in the number of hours.
- Audits: Many companies conduct periodic audits for timesheet
How to avoid timesheet errors?
Educating employees on correctly using the
time tracking system is
essential to avoid timesheet errors. This includes providing
clear instructions on entering time, correcting errors, and
handling unexpected situations. Additionally, employers should
regularly review timesheets to identify and correct any errors.
Examples of deliberate timesheet errors:
- A US Army intelligence officer was employed as a security
guard for DOD. She falsely claimed for the work hours where she
was absent, resulting in losses to the government. She was
sentenced to one month in prison and a fine of
- A Federal contract employee
falsified the timesheets for two
agencies, costing the government $70000. He worked for both
companies, OPM and NSA, neither of whom knew he was working
for the other. OPM paid him $43706 for the hours he did not work,
and NSA paid him $26940 for the hours he was not on the site. He
was charged with a fine, five years in prison, and had to return
the amount he got.
Procrastination in Workplace
Procrastination is a common problem in the workplace, and it can
have a significant impact on productivity and profitability.
When employees procrastinate, they waste time on non-essential
activities, leading to missed deadlines, errors, and customer
This procrastination leads to businesses suffering heavy losses
and work getting delayed.
of men and women in the US are procrastinators.
An average worker wastes 2.09
hours each day due to
Unnecessary distractions lead to $650
billion of lost
productivity and innovation.
Office chats distract 80%
What are the factors that contribute to procrastination?
Fear of failure, perfectionism, and a lack of motivation.
However, one of the most common causes of procrastination is
distractions. Social media, email, taking long breaks, and office
chats can all be major distractions, making it difficult to focus on
What can businesses do to reduce procrastination?
Companies need to create a culture of accountability. For
accountability they should implement time-tracking software
that requires employees to record their work hours. This will
help to ensure that employees are held responsible for their
time and work.
Another important step is to provide employees with the tools
and resources they need to be productive. This includes
providing them with training on
time management and project
Finally, businesses should also be aware of the potential
distractions that can occur in the workplace. They should
minimize these distractions, such as blocking social media
websites and email during work hours.
By taking these steps, businesses can help to reduce
procrastination and improve productivity. This can increase
profits, improve customer satisfaction, and create a more
positive work environment.
General time tracking statistics:
When are employees most productive?
The average worker is only productive for
2 hours and 53 minutes
a day; rest time is spent checking social media, taking breaks,
searching for jobs, making calls, messaging, eating snacks, and
discussing with co-workers.
Productivity rates drop down to 45% between noon and 3.00 pm.
Most employees are productive between 6.00 am to 9.00 am.
How much time is spent on unproductive tasks?
Employees spend up to four
hours a week on unproductive tasks.
- $37 billion are spent on unproductive meetings.
There are 25 million meetings per day in the US.
Executives consider 67% of meetings to be failures.
As per the research, the average employee spends 12% of their
working hours using social media.
Workplace distractions cost each employee an average of 3 hours
Nearly nine in ten workers i.e. nearly
admit to procrastinating at
least an hour per day.
What is the average time spent on meetings?
of companies time is spent on meetings.
69% of workers spend more than an hour of their day in meetings.
34% of employees spend two to five hours on call or meetings per
week that do not accomplish anything.
of managers say that meetings help solve problems.
of respondents say spending too much time on meetings and
phone calls distracts them from work.
An average CEO spend 72% of their time in meetings.
Employees attend 11-15 meetings per week.
- 89% of meetings in the US lasted less than an hour.
of employees never track time in meetings, while 44%
track meeting time.
How much time does an employee spend on emails?
of work time is spent on reading or replying to emails.
- The average worker checks email 11 times per hour.
- 84% keep email open in the background while working.
- The worker spends 2.5
hours daily doing email-related
activities, or over 350 hours of email work per year is going
- Emails cause professionals to leak over $50,000 in revenue per
- 35.8% of employees never track time spent on writing emails.
- Companies fail to bill 700 hours annually due to employees not
tracking time on email or in meetings (Affinity Live).
How automated time-tracking has helped companies?
Automated time tracking has saved businesses many hours, and it is
found that companies using time-tracking software are more
productive, can bill their clients accurately, streamline payroll
operations, make working hours fair and equal for all, and are
more likely to meet their deadlines.
Image Courtesy: Freepik
Companies that use an integrated timekeeping and payroll
solution exceed revenue targets by 7%.
Companies that integrate the software with timekeeping and
payroll features are 44% less prone to making errors in payroll
73% of businesses are satisfied after automating tools.
Many companies have saved millions in revenue by automating the
time tracking system. The system has reduced timesheet errors
and increased accuracy in payroll processing.
Challenges faced with time tracking:
The main challenges with time-tracking software include the following:
- Implementation: To be effective, the software must be installed
properly and integrated with third-party systems, such as
payroll. This can be a complex and time-consuming process.
- Cost: Time-tracking software can be expensive, depending on the
size of the business, the features of the software, and the
level of support required.
- Employee buy-in: Employees must be willing to use the software
and track their time accurately. If they are not, the software
will not be effective.
- Privacy concerns: Some employees may be uncomfortable with the
idea of their activities being tracked by GPS. This is a valid concern, and businesses should address it with employees before implementing time-tracking software.
Why employees are hesitant to use a time-tracking software?
4% of employees say that GPS tracking invades their privacy.
- 20% of employees would take legal action if monitored outside of
- 16% of workers raised concerns about GPS tracking, and companies
addressed their issues.
- 9.1% of workers fill in their timesheets once a week, and 3.6%
do it once a month, causing even more inaccuracy in the data
they put into.
- 66% of employees show concern about employers monitoring the
website they visit
- Keep track of employees' time:Time tracking is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes.
By tracking time, businesses can gain valuable insights into
how their employees spend their time, which can help them
improve productivity, bill clients accurately, and meet deadlines.
- Choose the right one: There are many different time-tracking software solutions
available, so it is important to choose one that is easy to use
and meets the specific needs of your business. The time entry
process should be effortless for employees to adapt to a new
system. To arrive at the right decision, try our
decision matrix template.
- Train employees: Ensuring employees enter the correct work hours for suitable
projects and tasks is also essential. This can be done by
providing employees with the necessary training to avoid
- Well-planned meetings: Meetings can drain productivity, but a well-planned meeting with
a clear agenda can be a tool for collaboration and
- Analysis: Tracking time is critical to analyze the data for future
estimations, improve employee productivity, and get an overview
of employee performance and project status.
- Review: Regularly review the timesheets to ensure they are accurate.
- Start small: If you are a small business, start by tracking
time for just a few key employees or projects. This will help
you to get a feel for how the software works and to see if it is
a good fit for your business.
- Get employee feedback: Once you have implemented time-tracking
software, get feedback from employees on how they use it. This
will help you to identify any problems or areas where the
software can be improved.
- Be flexible: The best-time tracking software is flexible enough
to meet the needs of your business. If you find that the
software is not working for you, be willing to try a different one.
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