The misconceptions about employee time tracking are deeply embedded in minds, which could be misleading and sabotaging employees' success at work.  

In case you struggle to balance the fear of productivity damage with trust risk we urge you to separate myths of employee time tracking from reality.

Time tracker is a powerful business tool that proved its efficiency across many services and industries, especially in terms of the unexpected shift to WFH.

In general, time tracking is welcomed by flexible, innovative teams that take a data-driven approach for achieving results and sustain high agility.

Paradoxically, while time tracking systems are widely applied across many industries (marketing, design, development companies), all the myths around using time tracking at work stem from software functionality that actually benefit employees.

Without further ado, what's in the list?

MYTH#1: Time Tracking Gets You Controlled

To understand the root of the myth, we need to look back at the origins of time tracking. Being appealing as the means of attendance check, time tracking as we know it now, was in use since 1888 to measure when employees were arriving and departing from work, which is mostly about control, no denial.

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Promotes Flexibility  

With the considerable progression of our technologies, time tracking changed, to say the least. Instead of the rigid clock punch, there is a digital tool that is:

  • launched by an employee with a click
  • capable of recording the work time automatically
  • enabling employees to manage their work time remotely
  • scheduling work hours with flexibility.

Myth#2: Time Tracking Gets You Overloaded

Time tracking has the dark connotation of the imposed work overload linked to the idea of real-time monitoring of the performance of the employees. However, this negative scenario occurs not due to time tracking but to micromanagement causing the inadequate workload distribution, which is a deeper laying problem signaling of a toxic office environment.  

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Facilitates Workload Distribution

Employees get a full overview of time utilization, which means that any kind of negotiating more workload can be supported with specific time metrics delivered by reports and timeline recordings in a single dashboard. Advanced tracking apps allow employees to use time tracking:

  • to track individual tasks
  • to collect time tracking data
  • to build the system of feedback  
  • to manage information on individual productivity.

Myth #3: Time Tracking Gets You Stressed

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Time tracking used by agile teams is associated with tight deadlines and, thus, deadline stress. But as they say, the trick of usage is about the dosage. Time tracking for the sake of calculating is indeed useless and can distract rather than assist. Concentrating on the looming deadlines turns time tracking into nightmare and causes procrastination while the performance pressure can be detrimental to work.

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Makes Time Management Simple

Once the company claims purpose-driven employee time tracking, it brings considerable changes in addressing most of deadline issues.

Scenario planning rather than attempting to predict the future outcomes proves effective in meeting deadlines stress-free provided that project-performers have access to precise time metrics allowing for clear visualization of scenarios. Employees can use data on time tracking:

  • to estimate time they need on performance of challenging tasks
  • to allocate time according to estimates and priorities
  • to create a sense of psychological safety with the support of accurate and reliable time metrics.

Myth #4: Time Tracking Gets You Price Tagged

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If time tracking is used only to translate the tracked hours into employees' salary, it impoverishes their work and decreases the value of their skills and talents. As a result, it leads to resentment and diminishes their engagement.

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Identifies High Performers

Though employees understand employer's good reasons for collecting time tracking data (processing payrolls, simplifying requests for time off, etc.), they still may find it hard to balance logic with emotion.

If this is the case, the company has to find ways of showing employees appreciation. Employee time tracking can:

  • help identify areas of improvement
  • provide valuable insights for employee performance review
  • broaden the company HR strategy building.

Myth #5: Tracking Time Gets You Zero Creative  

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There is a strong belief that time tracking made as a major policy of management in the company leads to stifling motivation. If the company skips on explanation of time tracking detail or fails to frame reasonable time tracking guidelines, employees perceive time tracking as a creativity killer and may feel negative about 'survival' in time tracking environment.

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Simplifies Routine

Moving employee time tracking from to the inventory area and outlining the borders of implementing time tracking bring effective solutions in addressing the issues of 'motivation versus time trackers'.  Employees can stay motivated by tracking progress rather than mere numbers. Employee time tracking can:

  • reduce time consumption on the admin routine
  • simplify the task logic and eliminate creativity block
  • assist in producing accurate estimates for higher productivity
  • enhance experience with smooth integrations for distraction-free work.    

Myth #6: Time Tracking Gets You Burned Out

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Endless time entries incorporating into daily office routine are seen as reminders of struggles employees experience in handling the bulks of repetitive tasks. It is vital to catch the moment when the troubling signs start flashing because the increased stress causes apathy and provokes burnout. Moreover, with it the global shift to remote mode, work can easily bleed into all hours of the day. If employees do not give themselves a chance to experiment with time tracking to find an optimal pattern of work, they are highly likely to fail to build the proper self-care.

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Helps Set Boundaries

In actuality, achieving the work life balance is precisely the domain where proper employee time tracking can make a positive impact on supplying us with means for stress management. While applying time tracking, employees need to be aware that time tracker functionality allows them to:

  • to operate at full capacity strictly within work hours
  • to schedule the zone out to achieve the right mental state
  • to get easy access to time off planning.
  • to control overwork so that it is not ruining work life balance.

Myth #7: Time Tracking Gets You Hindered

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Lack of ways to process time tracking data into understandable information might make employees agonize over tracking all the work-related activities as the concept. Goes without saying that fixing the vision exclusively on time constraints is disruptive to workflow. What's more, it detriments motivation turning an easily achievable milestone into a hurdle.

Reality Fact🔊: Time Tracking Keeps You 'Calculator-Free'

Fortunately, with the thoughtful guidance on managerial level, employees can see benefits of time tracking for creating unbroken workflow rather than struggle with  calculations. Employee time tracking can assist in:

  • grouping time reports in one dashboard
  • accessing updates on the project assignments on the fly
  • automating administrative work
  • optimizing billing operations
  • establishing a time tracking routine in several clicks.  

The Bottom Line

We have presented two images of employee time tracking based on the popular myths pertaining to implementation of time trackers at work.

In the first picture, it is an oppressive scenario that kills motivation, drains energy and, ironically, increases distance between results and performance.

In the other scenario which is confirmed by multiple use cases, applying a time tracker is just using a tool for maintaining work life balance, improved billing and creating accountability at both ends.