If you are a freelance worker or a contractor who is working for a company on a specific project, it’s very likely that you’re not on this company monthly payroll. Because you aren’t paid on regular basis, or perhaps you’re not on the site where your progress is being monitored, like with many remote jobs, it could be difficult when it comes to determining how much money you or another contractor deserves.
There is a so-called “honor system”. With this system, employees tell the client how many hours they worked, and the client pays them based on what they were told. “Honor system” slowly becomes a thing of the past. Firstly, because it’s based on trust, which requires a history of relations and therefore it’s unlikely to happen for the first-time clients. Secondly, the obvious flaw of this system is that there is no factual evidence to base on how long the contractor has worked and what they have been worked on. You do not know what the contractor did during that time or how long they have worked on which phase of the contract. The system lacks hard data and details about the contract.
Another way of tracking time is based on spreadsheets created in the software you own. Using productivity plugins or tools that extend the functionality of the program, saves time and effort to write out an actual timesheet. Spreadsheets are versatile so you can create a template and use the same file for multiple projects.The spreadsheet provides hard data, however, there’s no recording method of the actual time spent on the task. So, whenever we forget the exact hour we started working there’s a room for the wrong estimation.
There are people who manually record their progress with a pen and paper. You can declare what times you start and stop working per session. And you can also use a smartphone’s stopwatch feature to track time down to the second. This is great to use anywhere you are working; even in places where there is no internet or wifi connection that you have access to.
There are still human errors that can be made here, though. If you forget to record time for a work session, you won’t have evidence to show your boss or project manager how long you have worked at that time. If you happen to lose the paper you’re recording your time on, that is also not good.
There are many desktop and mobile programs that are easy to use and accurate for all members of a given project to see. Because these apps are web-based, they can automatically track your time whenever you have an access to the browser. Some of these timesheet time trackers can also calculate how much money you earn as time passes, which means no need to calculate your time and rate of pay afterward. Most of them have advanced reports section, that is useful to make sure you and your clients are always in control.
You can also be able to track your time with a smartphone; some time tracking apps are exclusive to smartphone devices. Regardless, if you are connected to the internet, you can see your tracked time from anywhere in the palm of your hand. No pens, paper, or element of trust necessary.
If you are a freelancer, or frequently hire them, consider a time tracker to accurately determine the pay project members earn in the time they are working.