Archive for November, 2010

How to successfully monitor your employees Internet usage

Monitoring internet usage at work might seem heavy handed or even draconian -  trying to curb personal internet usage and wasted time at work is generally hard to police.  Blocking particular websites, or tracking the sites visited by employees is usually problematic and most approaches don’t prevent wasted time.  Before we tell you why, consider the following…

This problem is HUGE. Wasted time at work is one of, if not the most important challenge facing companies all over the world. The cost to business each year is in the billions.

In an their annual “Wasting Time at Work” survey, Salary.com found that sixty-four percent of respondents report wasting one hour or less each day, 22% waste approximately 2 hours daily, and 14% waste 3 or more hours each workday. Personal Internet use topped the list as the leading time-wasting activity according to 48 percent of respondents.

Time wasted at work

More recently, a UK based employment site MyJobGroup.co.uk surveyed 1,000 British workers and found that almost 6 percent of them spent over an hour a day using social media of some kind, including Facebook. This is roughly one-eighth of their workday. By extension, about 2 million of Britain’s 34-million-person workforce likely were doing the same, costing the British economy about 14 billion pounds in lost productivity.
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5 Reasons Why Most Time Tracking Software is Flawed

Have you tried tracking time for yourself or your team?
Have you ever tried to use software to track time in your workplace?

If you’ve answered YES to either of these questions it’s more than likely that you’re fully aware of how problematic time tracking can be.  Most options, with or without time tracking software, rely on user input, and more importantly, an honest account of how work time has been spent.

Forcing staff to complete time sheets or report time spent on particular tasks will never work with any degree of accuracy.

Here’s why:

1. Real time tracking is not the standard

Popular web based software tools that companies use for tracking time include Basecamp, Harvest, Freshbooks, Wrike (… and there are dozens of others). They all have one thing in common; they rely on the user to estimate from memory how much time they worked on an item. This guesswork is not likely to be accurate as the activities are not tracked in real time.

Some of these software solutions do offer “real time” tracking (html windows, desktop software and even iPhone apps). However the real time tracking is not the standard way of using the application and it’s all too easy for staff members to resort to estimating how long they spent on an item.

Relying on people to correctly “guess” how long they worked on each item is the most important reason why time tracking reports are vastly inaccurate.

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New Time Usage Weekly Report Feature

Over the past few weeks we have been working on a reporting feature that shows you the type of applications used, as well as web sites visited during the week. Application usage is categorized to show the sort of applications that have been used (instead of time spent for each individual application).

Here is an example of what time usage report will look like:

This new report will be sent to managers for themselves containing data for everyone on their team, it will also be sent by default to all non-managers (without team data).

This is a great addition to Time Doctor reporting features as it allows you to zero in on exactly how your team has been spending their time (based on application and website usage), instead of just their reported tasks and priorities.

We decided to only include web sites visited for over 10 minutes in a 1 week period to reduce the amount of data for managers -  we wanted to make sure that we are helping you focus on the big picture instead of getting bogged down in too many details.

We hope you find this report useful and please send any feedback you have. I’m sure the report will continue to improve as we receive feedback over the next few weeks.