09 Nov 2016

The Hidden Cost of Inaccurate Timesheets

09 Nov 2016

A recent study by AffinityLive estimates that workers are losing out on about $50,000 a year just due to the time they spend daily reading and answering emails.

That number seems a little high and may make you wonder how much time a day they are devoting just to email.

The study had 500 participants and 40% admitted they never track the time they spend reading and answering emails while 33% always do.

More than half of the people in the study said their employers use timesheets to pay them, as well as bill clients for the work they do.

The majority of people affected by this were in the professional services industry, which includes doctors and lawyers, among others.

The study estimates that the U.S. economy is losing 50 million hours, or $7.4 billion a day, in productivity.

Part of the problem is that the way we work these days is different. We can check our emails from our phones and don’t have to sit in the office in front of a computer to stay connected.

Checking our email and responding to email anywhere at anytime makes it more difficult to track how much time we are truly spending on projects.

It was easy to track when we had to be in the office to do all of our work, because when it came time to fill out timesheets, we just put in how many hours we spent in the office.

Many people wait until Friday to fill out their timesheets, and then spend quite a bit of time trying to remember what they spent their time on all week.

Since it only takes a couple of minutes to read and reply to an email,  they don’t put it in their timesheets, not realizing how that couple of minutes per email can add up significantly when they are reading and responding to several emails a day.

They also don’t account for the time spent filling out their timesheets – making their timesheets incredibly inaccurate.

Inaccurate timesheets are costing them thousands of dollars a year and making them appear less productive than they’ve actually been.

If they spend an hour filling out the timesheet and three hours reading and answering emails, there is at minimum four hours of work a week unaccounted for – and that adds up to nearly 200 hours a year.

These are two hundred hours they should have legitimately been paid for. It’s been found that people who fill out their timesheets at least once a day have a more accurate timesheet than those who choose to only fill them out once a week.

This is due to them being able to recall what they’ve done that day much more clearly.

Timesheet inaccuracies can also go the other way. People can pad their billable hours to make them appear more productive. They might also work on personal tasks on company time.

One of the biggest things people admit is checking on their social media while they’re supposed to be working.

This doesn’t cost them money, but it costs the company they work for thousands of dollars per person per year.

There are software programs and apps that eliminate timesheets and track the work you do automatically.

There’s one being developed that’s even intended to track the amount of time you spend going through your work email.

It will be able to track the time you spend on the phone with clients based on their phone numbers, and track the time you spend in face-to-face meetings with clients based on geographic location.

While the features sound great, it also sounds intrusive. It’s important to fill out an accurate timesheet, but do you really need to be monitored just to achieve that result?

Other  less intrusive apps and software – like ClockIn Portal – already exist, and most companies that use them have stuck with them and eliminated timesheets all together.

Being able to track your hours from an icon on your computer desktop or smartphone make it so easy and fast, that tracking your time will be faster than ever. This same software can also make payroll processing easier as well.

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