AffinityLive, a professional service automation company, recently tracked over 500 professional service workers to figure out just how much money they wasted by not tracking their time. What did they find?
They said that 40% of respondents never tracked time they spent reading and responding to email and only 33% said that they always/often do. How much could you be losing by not tracking your time?
- Forgetting to track emails can cost professionals $50,000 a year.
- Not tracking meetings costs up to $32,000.
- Lost time due to insufficient records could cost a company $1,654,875 a year in leaked revenue.
Don’t believe me? Here is how it works:
The ALA (American Lawyers Association) has said that contemporaneous time keeping (or tracking time as you go) is by far the best method. It helps you to stay honest, focused, and realistic. Most importantly, it helps you to avoid losing money by not tracking the right amount of time. In fact, Attorneys at Work reported that people who reconstruct their time entry at the end of the month can lose up to 55 – 70 percent of their hours! Meanwhile, law firms that practice contemporaneous time keeping generate 25-40% higher revenues every year.
What is stopping people from contemporaneous time keeping, despite the fact that it is proven to be the best method? Well, until now it hasn’t been practical.
Gretchen Gavett, writing for the Harvard Business Review, explains that back when people used faxes and letters for communication, one would generally spend 15-20 minutes reading and thinking about a correspondence and then 45 minutes drafting the reply for a total of an hours worth of time. Then it would take about three minutes to track the time on old fashioned time sheets. In the end, the tracking took only 3% of the total time of work.
Now email communication moves much faster. You may spend 30 seconds reading an email and only five minutes responding, but it still takes you three minutes to track the time on a cumbersome time sheet. That means your tracking time moved from 3% to 60%. It no longer makes sense.
She argues that the way we conduct business has changed and yet the way we track that business has not. Technology companies are to blame for not filling the new gap.
Gavett’s article, Workers Are Bad at Filling Out Timesheets, and It Costs Billions a Day, is extremely interesting and relevant for the Hours app. What is the solution for all this wasted time and money? Better technology!
Here at Tapity, we strongly agree that the current time tracking model is broken, and that all the stress and waste it entails can be easily avoided. Now with Hours for the Apple Watch, there really is no excuse not to keep time contemporaneously. Without any hassle or wasted time, you can keep track of your time on the fly. We sure hope that the Hours app can help to reduce all this wasted time by providing a quick simple way to track billable time and rid the world of cumbersome time sheets for good.