Time tracking is crucial for understanding the time, energy and productivity of a business. It can help your team become more efficient; allocate time and resources more effectively; and even identify peak hours of productivity. But, what about knowing where you work best?
Does being in the office really make you more efficient? How does the location of your meeting affect its outcome? If you want to accurately track and bill off-site meetings, identify which client meetings are the least productive or overrun the most, and more, then GPS time clocks are for you.
Let’s delve into how GPS time trackers can enhance your business operations and productivity, and which trackers to do it with.
What actually is a GPS time tracker?
A GPS time tracker basically does what it says on the tin. It’s a time tracker that you can use like any other but with the added feature of being able to tell you where you did your work.
For example, if you have both in and out-of-office meetings on a given day, a GPS time clock will distinguish between them and provide insights into the specifics of each meeting. A tracker without GPS lacks such differentiation.
Why use a GPS time tracker?
While it depends on what’s best for you and your business, GPS time tracking can be really worthwhile. Here are a few reasons why it can be useful:
Know where your team is most productive
By understanding the productivity levels of your team as they work in different settings, such as the office versus at home, you gain valuable insights that can inform how your business operates.
If your team gets loads done when working from home, then you know that Zoom meetings in a hoodie can work well for the business. But, if the tracker reveals that your team accomplishes more when working in the office, then the shirt and tie will have to stay on.
Similarly, if meetings with clients go better in the office as opposed to off-site, then you can encourage clients to visit more frequently.
Track off-site billable hours
Tracking billable hours is important. It helps you see what to charge clients, compare billable and non-billable hours within a project to determine profitability, and more. So you want to track all of your billables, not just the time you spend in the office.
Especially if you charge different rates for activities outside of the office as it’s useful to differentiate between billable hours in the office and those occurring elsewhere.
Of course, if you charge more for billable time outside of the office - on a callout for example - then it’s essential to have a clear record of where billable time was spent. But even if your rates are consistent, it can still be beneficial to look at travel time versus billable hours
If you spend a lot of time travelling, and thus recording fewer billable hours, it might be worth arranging client meetings at the office rather than meeting them out. This is the type of insight a GPS time tracker can show you.
Easily track how time is spent outside of the office
Time trackers should show you how your time is spent, ultimately helping you figure out how to manage your time more efficiently. Tracking time within the office is relatively straightforward but it becomes more challenging once operating outside the office without the help of a GPS time tracker.
You don’t need a GPS tracker to know how much time was spent on a task or in a meeting, but you will if you wish to know travel time or verify the location of an employee at client premises.
What are the best GPS time tracker options?
There are a lot of options to choose from, but here are a couple with standout features that might be particularly useful. It’s worth noting that these options prioritize privacy and adhere to strict boundaries, ensuring no information is shared beyond your specified limits.
Additional limits can often be put in manually to further safeguard you and your data. It is paramount that you, and only you, authorize and maintain full control over your information - we believe these time clocks only share what you authorize.
If it’s optimization you’re after, Workstatus could be a good option. It does everything a GPS time tracker should do, can generate reports on what time is spent on and where, and geofencing.
That means you can choose specific places that you can clock in and out from, which might be useful if you want to make sure people are really only working in certain locations. Another good thing about Workstatus is that it also tells you how to optimize your journeys.
So if you, an employee or someone on your team takes a long route somewhere, the Workstatus will tell them that, as well as how to improve the route. That way you can spend less time travelling and more time getting things done.
This one is free for individuals, but otherwise, pricing starts at $5 per user per month.
For the basics
QuickBooks again does all the basics and has geofencing, and allows you to generate reports on how you and your teams’ time is spent in an easy and intuitive way. A standout feature of QuickBooks in particular though, is that it will tell you which employee is closest to where a task is, so you can most efficiently assign people to go and do that task. Rather than having to look manually and waste time, you can see at a glance who should be sent to minimize travel time.
Pricing starts at $10 a month
For employee management
If you want something more comprehensive, Homebase is great and has loads of features. It of course again has all the basics and geofencing. But it also lets you manage payrolls and generate detailed reports, approve and work on a range of HR tasks, and even track specific labor costs by the hour.
That tracking can be very useful to even more quickly determine project costs, or see which types of labor use the most resources for example. It’s a great option if you want to be able to do a lot of different things all in one place.
Homebase is free for one location with up to 20 users, and pricing starts at $20 per location per month for unlimited users.
If you want everything done automatically, the clear choice should be Timely. Again it does all the basics, but can also generate timing, billing and project reports all without you having to lift a finger. It can also be integrated with a variety of other apps and useful programs that make things even more seamless and allows you to do even more automatically. If you want the lowest effort option while retaining a lot of functionality, Timely is a great option.
Pricing starts at $9 per user per month.
Which GPS time tracker?
The tool you choose depends on what you need specifically and what you are willing to pay. If you want optimization, Workstatus or QuickBooks are good because minimizing travel time is extremely easy, letting you cut out even more inefficiencies.
If you like to be able to do a lot of things in one place, Homebase is great and has a huge amount of functionality. If you’d like a GPS time tracker with little to no effort on your time, Timely is the one to go for.
GPS time trackers are useful as they tell you not only when you’re most productive but also reveals where you’re most productive. This is great for deciding whether or not working from home or at off-site meetings is a good idea for you and your team.
GPS trackers help you more accurately track billable hours off-site and determine whether your time spent travelling is worth those off-site billable hours. A GPS time clock will of course keep yourself, your team and your employees accountable.
There are a lot of really good options out there for GPS time trackers, and you need to figure out which one is best for you and your business.