Many companies still (falsely) believe that making their employees submit Excel timesheets is helping to improve productivity inside the office. This might be a good idea in theory, but reality is another story. When faced with the Excel timesheet template, most employees will try to estimate a whole week’s (or even month’s) activities in one go. This gives very inaccurate data because of our faulty memory and it encourages “sugarcoating” the work hours. On top of this, the “filling the Excel template” kind of activity takes more time that could be used on something productive. In essence, time management shouldn’t be time consuming!

Choose the right software

This is essential. Set up your team in Toggl. This great employee time tracking tool allows either real time tracking or submitting work time manually. The important thing is to use it daily – either on the web browser, with the desktop widget or the smartphone app. Toggl provides beautiful reports, graphs and a team’s time usage dashboard for managers. And if you really prefer old-school, you can also export the timesheets as Excel files.

Set common guidelines

Should you track every task or just general projects? How specific should the descriptions be? Should you track lunch time as well? Make sure that all these guidelines are explained to your employees and at the same time, be open to suggestions. The best practices might take some time to develop, but the basic tracking is so simple you can all be doing it in less than a minute.

Show example as a productivity fan

As a manager, you should be the one who shows the lead. Track your own time and make sure every team member knows about it. You could share your experiences and keep the topic “alive” in the office.

Make it fun and competitive

Filling Excel timesheets is not fun, tracking time with tools like Toggl is. Toggl allows you to see who has tracked the most time in the last 7 days. Motivate employees to perform better by making a shout out for this top time tracker! Or put Toggl’s team dashboard on your office TV. This way everybody can see what others are working on and get a competitive vibe going.