In just the past decade, the typical business workplace has changed significantly. Most of this change is to technological improvements that have made connecting with other people via the Internet significantly easier.
Another reason for the change is the need for companies to work leaner in order to remain competitive. Many businesses are now reconsidering traditional expenses such as employee lunch rooms, individual offices, and even centralised corporate headquarters themselves. Today’s more productive technologies often mean it makes more sense to have less centralisation and more remote workers, freelance workers, and outsourced labour.
While this has certainly reduced the amount of overhead many companies paid in the past for larger – and more inefficient – central offices, it has made keeping track of workers more complicated. This is especially the case when many of the “workers” are actually outsourced contractors working remotely – sometimes even from the other side of the world.
Time Management Software and the New Business Dynamics
This more complicated business dynamics requires a more sophisticated approach to maintaining optimal interaction between team members while minimising obstacles to productivity. To find these types of solutions, many businesses have turned to the efficiencies that made this new business model possible in the first place: The Internet.
The Internet is more sophisticated than it was just a decade ago. And it’s getting bigger, faster and with a farther reach every day.
Time management software uses the built-in efficiencies of the Internet to address the two biggest goals of most businesses today:
- Developing an interconnected network that promotes collaboration
- Allowing managers to measure, maintain and monitor their employees, whether they work for the organisation or are contracted freelancers.
Time management software accomplishes these goals through the fast, efficient software that takes the place of traditional time and attendance tools and provides the platform for communicating, monitoring and interacting with both remote and in-house workers.
Time Management Systems for Time and Attendance
While the way employees work has evolved greatly over the past 15 to 20 years, the way they are compensated for their work has largely remained the same. People need to get paid for the work they do, whether it’s hourly pay, an annual salary, or a fixed fee for contracted labour.
But time management software does more than just record worker’s hours, calculate payroll, and keep track of such things as employee benefits and tax information. Sophisticated time management systems include analytical tools that allow decision makers to use this type of tangible data to understand how their labour processes work, how efficient (or inefficient) they are, and what things they can do to get more value for the organisation’s labour expense.
For example, paid hourly or salaried labour can instantly and automatically compared to productivity. This data can then be transformed via time management systems to graphs that visually show which segments of a typical work day are most efficient and which are the least efficient.
Time Management Software for Scheduling
These same time management systems can then apply this analysis to scheduling, incorporating them with other digital tools – such as forecasting and sales history – to accurately create the most efficient schedules that are going to result in the lowest labour cost with the highest profit yields.
And these time management systems are sophisticated enough that they can learn as they go, continually making organisations simultaneously leaner and more efficient and profitable.
Time Management Software for Keeping in Touch
With workers and contractors scattered around the globe, managers have new demands placed on them in terms of keeping tabs on what everybody is doing at any given moment. Because they can no longer simply walk down the aisles of an office and look over people’s shoulders, today’s managers need more sophisticated systems that allow them to have the same supervision capabilities – or even better.
Fortunately, today’s time management systems are up to the task. Many time management software programs will automatically create screen-shots, for example, which provide managers with a permanent record of every individual worker’s progress at any given moment. This allows supervisors to manage directly when remote workers need guidance or help staying on task, as well as to give creative people the room they need to breathe new life into projects.
Time Management Systems and Compliance
Automated time and attendance systems can help with today’s organisations needs to be in compliance with often complicated and convoluted government requirements. Keeping such records using paper or mechanical systems is a logistical nightmare. But web-based time and attendance software can simplify the process of monitoring, collecting, collating and reporting data automatically and instantly.
Such things as workers’ break times, paid holidays, policies that are grandfathered in for certain employees, collective bargaining requirements, seniority rules, and other highly involved and often confusing policies and procedures can be inputted, collected and simplified via high-speed, efficient algorithms that make all the calculations accurately and track data simply.
This helps reduce errors, improve processing time, and reduce time hourly and salaried employees have to spend on what are essentially bookkeeping tasks. Plus, management can have peace of mind that all required wage and hour rules are in compliance with local, state and federal regulations.
Time Management Software and Customer Service
Then there’s the additional benefit of improved labour management and better customer service. Prior to the use of these types of time management systems, many businesses found it difficult to tell how effectively their employees were interacting with the public until they heard directly from somebody who had either a negative or positive customer service experience.
But today’s sophisticated software can be integrated with both monitoring and training modules that ensure that 1.) All customer contact employees are working off the same script and hitting the same key interactions, and 2.) Supervisors can continually monitor every customer interaction in order to assure the organisation’s high standards are always being maintained.
Today’s businesses have changed substantially from what they were a decade or two ago. Fortunately, time management software has eased the transition to the new business dynamics and provided businesses with the tools they need to not only survive, but to continually improve.