Time tracking: condensed or detailed?

Learn about different timekeeping formats
Written by Dan Gubler
Updated 1 year ago

With Staff Times, you have the choice of whether your employees document their working time in such a detailed way that the exact start and end times of each work segment and each break are recorded, or you may wish to track in a summarized way with a flat hourly working time total along with flat break times.

Let's illustrate an example

Let's assume that the net daily plan time is 8:00 hours. In addition to lunch break, your conventions allow for a 15-minute break in the morning and afternoon. All breaks are considered as unpaid rest period and should therefore not be counted towards the plan time.

Detailed tracking method

If timekeeping should performed in real time by continuous input then above example would require 8 user entries ie. start and end times to be registered with the check-in and check-out button during the working day.

To see how this time tracking example looks on the app check below illustration. From the Check-in menu, the green 'Check-in' button is used, which creates a time entry with the start time 8:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. the end time is generated with the orange button 'Check out'. The result can be viewed in the menu Daily Activities. By tapping on the line item, you access the detail view to update your time sheet and add more detail (e.g. add a designation or remark as shown in right side image).

Condensed time tracking alternative

This method of timekeeping uses a flat break deduction in your timesheet, i.e. the morning and afternoon breaks are recorded with a fixed breaktime with no need for start and end times. While it is up to the users discretion to fill in the proper rest time the advantage is that the user needs only to open the app four times during his working day instead of the 8 times as in the standard method.

The check-in / check-out button can be used to create the time entry for the morning and afternoon segments. This creates two entries in the app as illustrated below. The flat break deduction is added manually at the end of each segment by tapping the timesheet to access the edit mode along with the end time. 

As an alternative, the break deduction can be predefined by the administrator with a fixed value (see menu item "Manage Activity names", corresponding instructions can be found here). Another option is to save this typical working day as a 'Favorite' which can be inserted on future dates and edited as needed. Using Favorites is a convenient short-cut if your daily working pattern is consistent.

Flat-rate Activities

Timekeeping can be condensed even further by entering one flat all inclusive breaktime which includes short breaks and the lunch break. The user checks in in the morning and manually adds the end time including lunch break and other breaks at the end of the working day. This results in one line item in the Daily Activities page as follows:

The ultimate simplified timesheet is a single flat hours sheet, as follows:

This single sheet method is very practical for business travel such as seminars and training courses where you may have a flat-rate convention as per company guidelines. In the app, the user must create this time log in the Daily Activities page using the 'Enter a time entry +' feature, whereby the appropriate Activity name is selected in edit mode as shown in the following image with Activity name 'At work (flat hrs)': 

Take note: this Activity format must be predefined by the administrator under Manage Activity names in the admin center. A basic set of Activity names were pre-installed, including the above timesheet format. Please check the available Activity names in the mobile app and create new Activity names suitable for your company standards.

Adding expenses and Remarks

Your activity names can be set up to include an amount field should your staff need to log expenses and should you wish to track services rendered with billed amounts. A field for designations and comments are included in all timesheet formats. The following image shows an example with an Activity name which is configured to show an amount field. The user can add the a lump sum amount and narrative in the remarks field provided. Please note that a document attachment feature is in the makings.

Depending on your scenarios, it can be useful to configure your Activity name with or without a break deduction and amount field, or as a flat rate entry or to include start and end times. Staff Times gives you the flexibility to create your preferred timesheet formats by configuring your Activity names in the admin panel. Learn more about creating Activity names here.

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