With companies adopting hybrid and remote work policies, employee time management is becoming an increasingly important factor in maintaining a productive workforce.
Poor time management can lead to missed deadlines, overworked employees, and reduced quality of work. In contrast, excellent time management skills can improve the quality of work, boost productivity, and reduce the risk of employee burnout.
Fortunately, there are several ways to promote healthy time management among your employees.
In this article, we’ll look at 12 crucial methods to improve employee time management skills and three key benefits that come with it. As a bonus, we’ll also look at the best way to track employee performance and work hours in 2022.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the following links to jump to a specific section)
- 12 sure-fire ways to improve employee time management
- 1. Organize and structure your workforce
- 2. Plan projects and set achievable timelines
- 3. Prioritize projects based on deadlines
- 4. Delegate tasks to the right people
- 5. Create effective lines of communication
- 6. Understand your employees’ productive hours
- 7. Reduce distractions at the workplace
- 8. Maintain clear guidelines on software usage
- 9. Lead by example
- 10. Collect feedback from your employees
- 11. Educate employees on time management practices
- 12. Organize activities to improve employee time management
- 3 key advantages of effective employee time management
- Track employee work hours and performance with Time Doctor
Let’s get started.
12 sure-fire ways to improve employee time management
Proper time management among employees is essential for maintaining a productive workforce.
With that in mind, here are 12 essential elements to motivate and improve your employees’ time management techniques during a workday.
1. Organize and structure your workforce
The first step to effective time management is organizing and optimizing your workforce.
Maintaining a structured pipeline and educating employees on the protocols and procedures for every task can help keep work flowing smoothly.
Additionally, a well-organized workspace is as important as an organized workforce.
If you have an office space, make sure everything has its place. It saves time searching for items while keeping the office space neat and professional.
In a remote setup, emphasizing the importance of a clutter-free workspace will motivate employees to adopt a more organized setup. It could also help improve their work efficiency.
2. Plan projects and set achievable timelines
Systematically mapping out projects and setting realistic targets may help your employees increase their productivity and the quality of work.
Managers and supervisors can assign deadlines without making employees feel overwhelmed or leading to the planning fallacy. The planning fallacy refers to underestimating the time needed to accomplish a task when predicting how long it will take.
Employers can also prompt employees to set deadlines according to their own time as it can help them become more confident in their planning.
You can also provide your employees with time management tools or software programs to help them manage time effectively.
3. Prioritize projects based on deadlines
Educate your employees on the importance and urgency of various clients and projects. It’ll help them plan out their schedules better.
Multitasking might be counterproductive for some employees, so it’s important to make sure employees don’t overload themselves with smaller tasks.
Additionally, senior employees can also guide newer employees with prioritizing their daily and weekly scheduling to improve their time management skills.
Effective project management improves the quality of the final product and can also boost client relationships.
4. Delegate tasks to the right people
Making sure the right people are assigned the proper tasks could lead to maximum workforce productivity.
To do this, managers can create teams based on their understanding of employees’ strengths to effectively tackle larger projects.
Assigning employees the right tasks can help with optimum resource utilization, leading to good time management.
5. Create effective lines of communication
Maintain clear lines of communication to keep team members informed about important milestones in projects.
Using the right communication tools and following clear communication protocols could improve employee collaboration.
For example, if a team member keeps all project-related discussions on a single platform, it can help prevent miscommunication.
It’s also essential to teach employees how to communicate effectively and significantly mitigate any potential misunderstandings.
6. Understand your employees’ productive hours
Diligent employee monitoring might give you insights into their most productive hours.
Approaching your employees might also help you understand their work habits and if they are working overtime.
Helping employees understand their peak productivity hours can allow them to prioritize more demanding daily tasks when they are most alert.
Additionally, you could educate your employees on avoiding the ‘Afternoon Slump’ to improve productivity.
7. Reduce distractions at the workplace
Workplace distractions are part and parcel of the work culture.
However, if they aren’t kept in check, they might reduce employee productivity and lower work quality. Team leaders must identify a powerful distraction and eliminate it at the earliest.
Distractions such as engaging in social media, browsing the internet, and taking non-work-related phone calls are the top contributors to procrastination and poor time management.
To reduce distractions for newer employees, consider teaming them up with productive employees to help them focus and manage their time better.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that some distractions may help employees take a quick break from work and refresh.
8. Maintain clear guidelines on software usage
It’s essential to educate your employees on using various management software applications, such as an Employee Self Service (ESS) portal or a time tracking app, as it may help improve team efficiency.
It’s especially important for managing a remote workforce.
Having employees use programs effectively allows them to track their time and work accurately. It also helps management work with an organized data pool.
Another good practice is to take your employees’ opinions when mapping out the software use processes.
9. Lead by example
Team leaders can substantially influence employees since they work with them daily and are in a better position to pass on the knowledge to their team members.
It’s also important as an employer to follow every guideline laid out for employees since actions speak louder than words.
For example, if employees are required to keep track of work hours, employers need to follow the same as it can help build trust among employees.
10. Collect feedback from your employees
Business owners can learn more about how to improve workflows from employee feedback.
It helps employers assess innovative approaches that might help save a lot of time. For example, if a particular workflow or decision is receiving negative feedback, it’s best to nip it in the bud as it might cause complications down the line.
Include your employees in meetings to make more informed decisions on changes to the management strategy. It can make employees feel they are a part of the solution and positively affect employee engagement and morale.
11. Educate employees on time management practices
Educate employees on the best practices for staying organized and managing their time and other resources.
It’ll allow employees to make better decisions and plan their work schedules efficiently.
Teaching employees how to manage their time can also help employers figure out better strategies for effective time management within their teams.
Managers could also suggest different methods of time management training, such as the Pomodoro technique or Eisenhower Matrix if their employees find it hard to cope with their current time management method.
12. Organize activities to improve employee time management
Activities and games during team meetings are great ways to improve time management skills. It helps make the learning process fun and relaxing while also increasing employee knowledge retention.
Activities like these might also help employees get to know each other better while simultaneously teaching them new skills.
Let’s now look at three major benefits of proper employee time management.
3 key advantages of effective employee time management
With excellent time management come three significant benefits. Let’s take a look.
1. Improved work quality
Effective time management can help employees improve their quality of work.
Good time management skills let employees focus on the most important task in the moment, which lets them deliver their best.
This can be an added advantage on the project management front too.
For example, a manager can ensure that the most urgent tasks are assigned to people who are most capable of finishing them fast and delivering desired results within time.
2. Boosts employee productivity
Employees who can manage their time efficiently can contribute positively towards overall productivity.
They can take on more demanding tasks and might even be able to tackle deliverables in a shorter time.
They could further help employees struggling with task management by guiding them on effective methods to complete work within given timelines.
Additionally, increased employee productivity may improve client relations, leading to better-quality projects and increased profitability.
3. Reduces stress and anxiety for employees
Improved time management skills among employees could also have positive benefits on their work-life balance.
These employees can manage personal and work tasks throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed, giving them more free time. Moreover, employees with a healthy work-life balance are more likely to be happier.
Now that we’ve discussed the best practices to improve employee time management, let’s look at how you can keep track of their work hours and performance.
Track employee work hours and performance with Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a time tracking software program used by major companies like Verizon and Ericsson, as well as small businesses, like Thrive Market.
It helps employers track their employees’ work time and performance.
Additionally, it can help automate processes such as payroll management and attendance tracking.
Let’s take a look at some of Time Doctor’s key features.
A. Accurate time tracking
Time Doctor’s easy-to-use interface allows you to accurately track your employees’ work hours on specific projects or tasks.
In the manual version, an employee will need to enter the task’s name and start the timer before working, similar to punching in a time clock.
Time Doctor will keep tracking time spent on each task, and employees may stop the timer when they’re finished or want to take a break.
Time Doctor also offers a silent version of this tool with no user interface, allowing it to run silently in the background.
The silent app does not interfere with employees’ day-to-day routines and lets them continue working in a flow state.
Employees may also use the mobile app to track time on Android devices.
B. Idle time tracker
The idle time tracker notifies employees if they have been inactive for a certain amount of time. Employers or managers can define the time limit of idle time before Time Doctor sends the employee pop-up notifications.
Time Doctor detects inactivity through keyboard and mouse inputs, but it’s not a keylogger as it does not record which keys are pressed.
It reminds them to take a break or gently nudges them to get back to work while also giving you insights into how employees use their time.
C. Productivity ratings
Time Doctor lets you set productivity ratings for different websites and apps your employees visit.
The tracking software allows you to decide which websites are necessary for work and rate them accordingly.
You can categorize websites into four ratings:
D. Accurate reports
Apart from employee time tracking, Time Doctor also provides you with accurate reports for your employees’ performance and productivity.
Here are some of the detailed reports that you can view:
- Project and tasks report: View employee hours for individual projects and tasks.
- Activity summary report: Get real-time summaries of your employees’ productive and unproductive work times over a specified period.
- Hours tracked report: View how many hours your employees have worked in a day, week, or month.
- Customizable report: Generate custom reports for individual employees based on specific parameters.
- Web and app report: Keep an eye on which websites your employees visit during work hours.
E. Payroll management
With Time Doctor, you don’t have to worry about manually calculating how much to pay your employees or bill your clients.
The payroll feature efficiently manages payments through automated or manual timesheet systems. It also adjusts payrolls for billable hours according to salaried or hourly employees.
Time Doctor integrates with popular payment portals such as Paypal, Payoneer, and Wise. You can also customize payment currencies and payment rates if you have overseas employees.
Educating your employees on the importance of time management could help boost productivity and improve work quality.
At the same time, it’s essential to give your employees enough time and guidance to deal with their projects and tasks efficiently. This will help them figure out their own methods of effective time management.
You can overcome most poor time management challenges and improve your bottom line by following the methods we’ve discussed.
Vaishali Badgujar is a Content and SEO specialist at Time Doctor, an employee-friendly time-tracking system that boosts productivity.