The Role and Function of Remote Employee Time Tracking

With the increased global demand for remote work opportunities, managers and employers are facing a new set of challenges. The crucial one is ensuring the performance of their remote employees meets the company’s standards and maintains that quality. 

The most effective solution here is to employ the right – and the least invasive remote employee time-tracking method. In this article, we’ll talk about the role and function of remote employee time tracking in the modern business landscape and how to do it efficiently to reap all the benefits.

The Role and Function of Remote Employee Time Tracking
In this guide, you’ll learn:
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What Is Remote Employee Time Tracking?

Remote employee time tracking encompasses the entire process of counting and recording the work hours of remote workers to analyze their overall work performance and productivity

Remote employee time tracking gives employers or managers further insight into employees’ work habits, such as their clock-in and break pattern, time spent on individual tasks, etc.

Another goal of remote time tracking is to ensure the entirety of your remote team is on the same page when it comes to finishing tasks, meeting specific project deadlines, and sending in deliverables. 

Why Is Remote Employee Time Tracking Important?

Why is remote employee time tracking important

The importance of employee time tracking for companies, as well as time and project management in general, can not be understated, especially when talking about remote work environments. Some of the things that employee time tracking allows employers to do are:

Accurately Measure Productivity 

Implementing a time-tracking solution into their business allows employers to accurately measure the performance and productivity levels of each one of their remote employees. It provides employers, team leads, or managers with valuable information about how much time each individual employee spends on various tasks and other work-related obligations.

This data allows decision-makers to identify job areas that need improvement and potential bottlenecks and to improve the overall workflow of their remote teams.

Prioritize Tasks and Meet Deadlines

Time tracking tools can help employees better prioritize their tasks on their own or with  assistance from their manager, team lead, or employer. Employers use the time-tracking data to identify which tasks or parts of projects need more attention (i.e., more work hours put into them). This allows companies to prioritize work duties more efficiently, improve workflows, and have more effective project management.

Manage Workloads and Allocate Resources

Time-tracking tools and the data collected through their effective implementation give employers a full overview of how and where their available resources and manpower are allocated. With that overview, team leads can more easily identify overworked employees and employees whose work obligations allow for additional tasks or duties (i.e., underutilized employees). This way, employers or managers can distribute the tasks and workload and allocate resources evenly among remote team members.

Additionally, remote employee time tracking can be a useful resource for creating time estimates, project budget and cost estimates, and more.

Have More Accurate Billing and Invoicing Processes

A lot of remote employees perform their work in the capacity of freelancers or contractors. This makes time tracking an important aspect of remote work, closely connected to billing clients and invoicing employers. The only way to ensure both are accurate is to track the time spent on different projects or tasks. 

Tracking time allows employees to create accurate invoices and employers to bill their clients correctly. This not only promotes good relationships with a particular client but can also positively affect how a company is viewed by other prospective clients (i.e., it improves the company's brand and establishes it as a client-friendly business).  

Stay Compliant With Labor Laws

Time tracking and keeping clear and accurate records of all employee work hours is mandatory in order to comply with many labor laws (especially in the United States).  

By having accurate documentation and records, companies throughout the United States can ensure they are fully compliant with regulations and laws imposed by various state or federal legislatures for the purposes of governing labor. These types of employee records need to include everything from work hours, breaks, and overtime. 

Additionally, there are some US laws, namely FLSA, that impose legal requirements as to how exactly tracking of employee work hours should be implemented and performed.  

Improves Remote Team Collaboration

Time tracking can foster better collaboration within remote teams. By knowing exactly how specific employees operate and their workloads, efficacy, and availability, managers of remote teams can facilitate greater levels of collaboration and team coordination, preventing overlapping efforts and improving the overall efficacy of the entire team.

Increases Transparency 

Time tracking in a remote work environment can help increase transparency and prevent time theft. When remote employee time tracking is implemented into a business, it will provide employers with a greater degree of visibility and information as to how exactly remote employees are using their work hours, ultimately leading to increased transparency.

Remote Employee Time Tracking Benefits for Employees

Remote employees time tracking benefit for employees

Although public perception puts time tracking in the category of tools solely beneficial to employers, this is far from the truth. Here’s how remote employee time tracking benefits employees:

Better Work-Life Balance

Time-tracking tools help employees hone their time management skills, thus learning how to improve and maintain a good work-life balance. Good time management is associated with reduced levels of perceived stress in various environments, which can have a positive effect on job satisfaction, morale, and overall productivity. 

Objective Feedback and Room for Growth

Time tracking promotes objective and data-driven feedback that protects and provides evidence for remote employees and their deliverables. Time tracking also gives employees an insight into their performance and the areas they need to improve, thus promoting their professional growth.

Clear Expectations

One of the benefits of remote employee time tracking is that in order for the time tracking solution to function as intended, employers need to set clear expectations (regarding work obligations, tasks, projects, and similar). This means that remote employees will no longer have to guesstimate their work duties (a huge plus for anyone working in a remote setting).

Additional Functions of Remote Employee Time Tracking

Additional functions of remote employee time tracking

Apart from the above-mentioned uses for remote employee time tracking, there are other valuable functions that it can have within your corporation or business. Some of them are:

More Accurate Performance Evaluations and Feedback 

The data collected via time tracking can be used as a valuable resource when it comes to carrying out employee performance evaluations and providing them with accurate and objective feedback. 

Employers can use the gathered data to review the number of work hours specific remote employees spend on tasks related to a larger project, evaluate those numbers, and compare them to the quality of their deliverables. This ensures they create accurate and objective employee evaluations that are fully data-driven and can give a detailed insight into how a specific employee contributed to completing a particular project.  

Furthermore, this data can be used to support more constructive and objective feedback aimed at helping employees better understand how and in which areas they can improve their performance, productivity, and overall work efficacy.

Timesheet Time Tracking

Apart from regular time tracking, many tools designed for this particular purpose (i.e., time tracking tools) come equipped with timesheet time-tracking features. This type of time tracking can be useful for various purposes, such as:

Attendance and Absence Tracking

Apart from the function of tracking remote employee work hours, time-tracking tools can also be used as a reliable solution for attendance and absence tracking. Here are some key features of time-tracking software solutions that can be used for this particular purpose:

  • Real-time time tracking – This feature allows managers or employers to monitor real-time employee attendance. They can see which employees are currently engaged in work, which ones are absent, and which employees are on a break. This type of feature allows managers to react quickly to any unforeseen situations and address them in real-time.
  • Clocking-in and out – Many time-tracking tools have features allowing employees to clock in and out. This enables employers to gather accurate attendance records, which can later be used for payroll, employee evaluations, various HR-related purposes, and more.
  • Automatic notifications – Some time-tracking tools allow users to set automated notifications and reminders for better attendance and absence tracking and management. With this feature, employees can set reminders for clocking in and out, team leads can see exactly which employees are in and which ones are absent, and more.


What are the main benefits of having remote employees?

Some of the main benefits of having remote employees include:

  • Larger talent/recruiting pool – Companies that opt for hiring remote employees have an option for acquiring/hiring talent from anywhere in the world. This practice dramatically expands the recruiting/talent pool businesses can draw upon.
  • Reduced overhead and other operational costs –  Having remote employees can allow companies to save a lot of money on office space, numerous utilities, and maintenance related to it, as well as the cost incurred for the procurement of office supplies. Additionally, employees also get to save money, as they don’t incur costs related to commutes or travel.
  • Lowered negative impact on the environment – With fewer people commuting to and from the office, remote work can drastically reduce the negative impact of carbon and other transport-related environmental pollutants. 

What is a remote employee?

A remote employee is an employee who performs their work-related duties outside of a regular office environment. Remote employees usually work from home offices, co-working spaces, and other types of remote work environments.

How do remote companies track productivity?

There are various ways and methods remote companies use to track productivity. Some of them are:

  • Clear KPIs – Having clear and measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each remote employee or team can provide companies with a good-enough framework for measuring and tracking productivity. 
  • Time-tracking software – Another good way to measure and track the productivity of remote employees is to utilize time-tracking software. Apart from the obvious time-tracking feature, many time-tracking apps come equipped with various features that can aid in tracking the overall productivity of individual employees as well as entire teams/departments.
  • Daily or weekly check-ins – Some remote companies require their employees to participate in the daily or weekly check-in process. This process has remote employees sharing their work progress on a regular basis (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly).