Since the ruling of the ECJ, one thing is certain: working time tracking is coming. As soon as the Federal Parliament passes the relevant law, every company will be obligated to systematically document the working hours of its employees. This means that every company will need a solution for their time tracking issues within the coming months. In the following article, you will find out why you are best prepared when tracking working time via the app, and how you can implement it in awork and in timeBro, our partner tool.
1. Tracking working time with the app: modern labour requires location-independent solutions
Previous solutions for work time tracking, such as chip cards or terminals, are bound to a specific location. They are only suitable for checking workers’ presence. Since being physically present is becoming less and less important in these modern working times, companies need solutions that also function from home office or for out-of-office work, in other words, remotely. The obvious solution is to link time tracking to the respective tool and to use an app for work time tracking.
2. Excel & Co. are free, but cause higher costs
Tracking working time via app always comes with a price. Is there no free option? The desire to find at least one free solution for an annoying duty imposed by law is understandable. But companies that have their employees fill out Excel spreadsheets or time sheets end up creating extra work for themselves.
The ECJ ruling requires that time sheets must be “accessible”, i.e., visible to authorities and works councils. This means that in the case of tables, they would have to be collected, checked, consolidated, dated and stored in a central location or in a retrievable manner by people. Questions, reminders, and warnings also lead to disturbing and senseless communication.
3. ECJ demands are met by apps automatically
According to the requirements defined by the ECJ, tracked hours must be “objective”, “reliable” and “accessible” in the future.
- Accessibility is guaranteed by the input and transparent management of all times in a single app.
- “Objective”, in the best case scenario, merely means the tracking of the date and hours. However, depending on how the law is implemented, tracking activity types and comments on activities may be added. Features such as these are very common in time tracking apps. This means you can track exactly how much working time was spent on what projects or tasks.
- On the one hand, “reliability” refers to the protection of tracked working hours against subsequent manipulation. This requirement can’t truly be met through tables and time sheets. On the other hand, times being up-to-date, complete and accurate are also important here. Let us once again take the good old way of entering working times in an Excel template as an example. Be honest: who thinks about entering their working hours in a table diligently each day? This system leads to tracking hours retrospectively at the end of the week or even month, which is always imprecise. Good apps offer automatic time tracking or messages that remind staff members to track their hours daily.
4. Project time tracking capabilities improve planning and efficiency
Working time tracking is about the start, the end, and the total amount of time worked. Project time tracking on the other hand, determines the distribution of working time across different projects, tasks processes, and clients. Up till now, it has mainly been service providers, such as agencies, IT companies, law firms, or architecture and engineering offices, that tend keep track of project times. It helps them calculate their projects profitably and plan their processes efficiently. But tracking project time is also immensely valuable as a knowledge-oriented form of working time tracking for other service providers and self-employed persons.
Without question, knowing the project times would be very useful for any other company as well. Since time tracking has to be done anyway (and it is only a small step away from project time tracking), why not use the time directly for the collection of data via an app to help optimise the respective business?
5. Free work time tracking via app? Whoever starts project time tracking even before the law, gets both in one.
Until the law comes into force in a few months’ time, all sensible app providers will integrate the tracking of pure working hours. As there will certainly be a demand for pure work time tracking apps, this will result in separate product versions and bundles.
While existing clients for project time tracking apps will receive these features as a free update, those who are looking for a solution only when the law has been implemented, will have to pay a reasonable price for these benefits.
Simple time tracking via app, directly on your smartphone
With awork, you can start tracking working hours on projects or tasks directly. Tracking hours via the stopwatch or entering times retrospectively is also possible. With the all-new awork app, these features are now available on your smartphone too. What is more, awork is completely free for teams of up to ten users and three projects. This way, time tracking with the app becomes child’s play for freelancers too, for example. Just open up the app, start tracking hours, and you’re done!
In addition to intelligent time tracking with uncomplicated reports, as well as project and task management features, awork’s web app also has interfaces to 1,000+ other apps. Among other things, timeBro’s automatic time tracking has already been integrated into awork.
Completely automatic time measuring via a computer using the timeBro app
timeBro is the perfect solution for anyone, who frequently forgets to track their hours or cannot remember exactly what he or she has worked on. The app automatically tracks the duration of all computer activities, calendar appointments and absences for the user. timeBro’s special feature is its employee-friendly data protection concept: all data is only stored offline on the respective device. In other words, there is no cloud, meaning only the user can view his or her timekeeping.
With these reminders, days can be reconstructed faster and more precisely. Times can also be entered via the drag & drop feature. timeBro and awork are connected through an interface. This way, projects can be imported directly and tracked working time can be exported to awork with just one click.
That is how timeBro’s automatic time tracking works
About our guest author
Our guest author, Niclas Preisner, 31, worked as a young creative in several agencies and founded the startup timeBro three years ago. In recent years, he has familarised time tracking in hundreds of companies.