What Is Automatic Time Tracking?

Automatic time tracking is a software feature in digital time tracking tools designed to monitor employees’ work activities in the background, without manual input. Automatic time tracking remembers the daily work activities of employees and drafts timesheets. It can be a slippery slope to employee monitoring and surveillance if done incorrectly.

Automatic time tracking is usually employed by technologically-savvy companies that use different types of digital tools. The software allows employees to focus on their tasks and save time while remaining in compliance with the time-tracking policy in their workspace. At the same time, it reduces the human error factor present with manual time tracking.

How Does Automatic Time Tracking Work?

The way automatic time tracking stands out from other timekeeping methods is by allowing employees to outsource time tracking and shift their attention to completing billable tasks.

Automated time trackers combine time tracking software and AI technology with learning capabilities for the individual’s work activities. The software is installed on a computer and set up to work in the background while the employees using it go about their day. The software records how they spend their time at work by analyzing the usage of work tools, emails, websites, meetings, etc., and recording it into a private timeline

To put it simply, the software creates an accurate digital memory of an individual’s workday. By using AI technology, automatic time-tracking software can link work activities to specific projects and generate timesheet drafts in the background without manual input. Individuals only need to review the data in the timesheet drafts and approve them for submission.

Automatic Vs. Manual Time Tracking

With automatic time-tracking software, everything is done automatically. The software:

  • Tracks every task or project the employees are working on.
  • Monitors and records how much time was spent on each task.
  • Generates accurate timesheets.
  • Operates autonomously in the background.
  • Displays when the work starts and ends.

On the other hand, with manual time tracking, employees have to:

  • Take notes or remember what they were working on.
  • Manually track their tasks and activities.
  • Create their own timesheet entries.
  • Manage work timers between tasks.
  • Remember to clock in and out every day.

The Benefits of Automated Time Tracking 

Timesheet Accuracy

Automated time tracking eliminates the chance for error that always exists with manual time tracking and, in turn, sets a new standard for accurate time tracking. The software collects everything a particular employee is working on without any misinterpretation and without missing a single detail. 

In other words, employees receive a complete, dependable, and accurate representation of their work activities. Moreover, the software tracks overlooked internal work, i.e., non-billable hours and billable hours that might have been lost in project communication and coordination activities.

Time Efficiency

Automatic time trackers streamline time tracking by recording employee activity and drafting timesheet entries for their work hours. This way, employees can concentrate entirely on their work without having to struggle with the start and stop buttons of various manual time trackers when they transition between activities.

Simplified Billing

Automated time tracking can also speed up client billing by simplifying the entire time tracking process. Sending automatic reminders to employees with missing work hours improves time-tracking compliance and ensures invoices are sent on time. The time data can also be quickly transformed into detailed reports that can be customized to display where the project budget and employee retainers are being spent.