Remote employee time tracking isn't just for managers

Written 24 April, 2018, 3 minutes to read

As the popularity of remote working rises, so does the need for effective work tracking tools. Managers need oversight of their “absent” employees, teams need full project transparency, and remote workers need to effectively manage their own schedules. And despite the slew of invasive software out there, remote employee tracking doesn’t have to be creepy – it simply requires light-touch collaborative time tracking.

Time tracking for remote teams

Collaborative time trackers are tools for employees and managers alike, and benefit the whole remote team.

Remote workers

Collaborative time tracking provides workers with an accurate log of everything they work on which they can easily share with their teams. It’s useful for a whole ton of reasons:

  • Invoice accurately for all work
  • See how you work to create your optimal productive environment
  • Estimate the time you need for different tasks
  • Easily communicate absence, like sickness and vacation
  • Schedule effectively and understand your capacity


In-house managers can use time tracking to get the full transparency they need to lead effective teams across time zones. It gathers some of the most important performance indicators in one place:

  • Represent remote worker tasks against total project budget spend
  • Understand remote worker capacity to share the team’s workload fairly
  • Understand project task length to address productivity and efficiency blockers
  • Ensure remote workers are sticking to priorities
  • Easily access remote worker timesheets for payroll
But remember, time tracking tools are not a substitute for trust and regular communication between remote employees and teams. They simply make coordination, reporting and collaboration a whole lot simpler for everyone.

Time tracking for everyone

Good employee time tracking helps everyone get the information they need to be effective and supportive. Instead of being top-down tools for managers, time tracking apps should help remote workers actualize their own professional working set-up.

Why are we pressing this point? Because there’s a ton of creepy software out there perpetuating a model of manager-employee distrust. We’re talking about apps that send managers regular screenshots, track mouse strokes, geo-fence employee location and monitor the websites remote workers visit. They create appalling one-way power relationships which completely undermine professional dignity.

It’s something we feel super strongly about at Timely, which is why we’ve designed a time tracking app that only shows managers and teams information that remote workers have approved. Everyone using the app has the right to review their timesheets, activity and project tasks to ensure they are correct and fully representative before sharing them with colleagues. Effective collaborative tools just won’t work without this basic mutual trust and respect.

How to track remote employee time

While you can use manual methods, automatic time tracking apps make remote employee tracking effortless. With automatic time tracking, remote workers don’t have to remember to stop or start a timer, since everything is tracked for them. Timely’s AI can even use tracked time data to create timesheets all by itself – remote workers just need to approve and share them with colleagues.

Why remote workers choose Timely

We’ve built a ton of features into our automatic time tracking app Timely to facilitate remote team collaboration. Quick custom reporting and real-time project dashboards let remote teams instantly review progress from one place without wasting effort digging for information. You can instantly see the team’s capacity, activity and project budget spend to easily coordinate everyone’s efforts.

But would it actually work for your team? Trial the whole app for free with your team to see!


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