"Time is really the only capital that any human has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose." - Albert Einstein
It’s never questioned in business that “time is money,” but company behavior rarely matches that sentiment. A Unrubble survey of international Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) shows that 57% of those surveyed use no form of time management and time tracking tool. Most SMEs wouldn’t hesitate to purchase accounting software and tools to manage their money, but less than half invest the same sort of oversight into their management of time. If it’s true that time is money, or as the Einstein quote implies, time is even more valuable than money, then it’s time to start thinking about new ways to spend, track, and manage our use of our minutes, hours, and days. In this article we’ll examine why businesses of all sizes should consider time management tools, and what they stand to gain by improving oversight of their time as capital.
Time management tools are for small businesses, too!
While the Unrubble.com survey shows that 75% of companies with 20 or more employees do use time management and time tracking tools, 62% of companies with between 1 and 5 employees and 67% of companies with 5 – 10 employees do not. Intuitively, one might assume that with so few employees, time management should be fairly simple and not require specialized tools or software. However, that’s not how it turns out in practice.
No matter the size of the company, the majority of those who do not use time management tools reported less than desirable time time-related practices. Of the 1 – 5 employee companies who don’t use time tracking tools, 60% reported a need to improve time management practices. For the 5 – 10 and 20+ employee companies, 100% of those that don’t track time reported the same. Therefore, time management tools do become more critical as a company grows, but even the smallest companies recognize a need for improved time management oversight.
Do I really need time management tools?
Time management tools are unnecessary in the same way that accounting tools are unnecessary for managing money or calculators are unnecessary for doing complex math. Sure, it’s possible to get by without them, but are the time and effort costs worthwhile? Consider that of those companies that use paper timesheets, regardless of company size, 100% reported a need to improve time management practices. On the other hand, only 25% of companies who use an app, software, or cloud-based time tracking solution reported such a need.
Simple, old-fashioned methods of tracking and managing employee time may seem like cost savers for SMEs, but are ultimately a source of inefficiency and bound to create a drag on the company. A better questions is: How can time management tools improve my business?
How time management software can help your business
If time management were just about getting employees to work on time, pen and paper systems would work just fine. However, modern time management and time tracking tools offer a broad array of value and functionality that could be transformative for a SME.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a comprehensive time management system is its ability to reduce absenteeism among employees. Such tools also usually include scheduling software to make the creation of a breeze. HR will also benefit from streamlined app-based leave requests as well as automatic record processing, organization, and storage that helps keep timesheets on the right side of the law. Further, tracking software eliminates the slog through payroll computations at the end of the month by completely automating the payroll process.
Last, but certainly not least important, savvy managers can use time tracking data to help employees break bad time management habits, reward positive contributions, and boost employee productivity and accountability at work. Start treating time like the important capital resource that it is, and make the most of it by switching to business-boosting time management tools.