Remote Work

10 Remote Work Challenges that Time Tracking Can Solve

The world was forced to adjust to remote working arrangements when the pandemic hit. However, telecommuting has long been gaining traction before COVID-19 sped things up.

According to IWG’s 2019 Global Workforce Survey, 80% of employees would turn down a job for one that offers flexible working. Another IWG study released in 2018 reported that 70% of employees telecommuted at least once a week.

In addition, a 2015 Stanford study found that working from home increased employee performance by 13% in a Chinese firm.

Even after the worst of the pandemic, we don’t expect the number of brands making the transition to slow down. More and more companies continue to join the trend, thanks to the reported benefits of telework.

However, remote work comes with challenges, and brands without the right tools to deal with them face serious issues.

Different tech solutions are specifically designed for virtual workplaces, and time tracking applications are among the most popular. This article will cover challenges that an automated time tracking solution can solve in a remote workplace.

Payroll Mistakes

It’s easy not to notice the importance of a smooth payroll when things are done right. However, when payroll mishaps show up, the entire company can be paralyzed. From legal woes to employee satisfaction, the effects of payroll mistakes can be disastrous.

Payroll management can be error-prone and time-consuming in traditional offices. However, it’s worse in a remote work environment where timesheets are handled manually and workers are paid by the hour.

With a remote work time tracker, payroll issues are almost non-existent. That’s because time trackers are automated. They are among the most reliable tools for calculating billable hours and generating timesheets.

Employee Accountability

Since virtual work environments lack physical supervision, you can’t depend on manual timesheets to track work hours. Using a hit-or-miss system where employees fill out their own timecards after working from home is a dangerous move that could cost you.

Time pushing, time theft, and time inaccuracy cost businesses billions of dollars every year. Unfortunately, even the most trustworthy employees can make repeated mistakes if they fill out their own timesheets. They could also take longer breaks than acceptable if they’re not adequately managed and tracked.

When you set up a time tracker, you’re introducing an effective accountability system. Employees would pay more mind to lunch break durations and time spent on non-billable activities. Employers are also held accountable for supervising a fair billing process since workers have access to time tracking data.


Employees are more likely to work in silos in a virtual office. Working solo often creates a sense of individuality, which hurts teamwork. As we know, some projects won’t move forward without everyone pitching in.

A lot has been said about promoting daily virtual meetings to improve communication and collaboration in the remote workspace. However, while those hacks work, time tracking can also play a role. For example, some time-trackers allow other workers to see when their colleagues clock in. With this feature, workers know they’re not alone and are reminded to reach out to other team members for consultations.

Productivity Tracking

You can get a spot-on overview of your employees’ capacities by tracking their work hours. It’s easy to see who completed an important task with spare time, who needs more time, and who’s almost burned out. With this data, you can allocate tasks and resources according to each employee’s strengths and specialty.

However, that’s not all. Time tracking allows employers to find out what’s hindering their workers’ productivity. These obstacles could be routine admin tasks, unnecessary meetings, clunky processes, and badly assigned jobs. Some time trackers can show how you use unbilled hours and apps and websites you spend time on. With these data, you can introduce the required changes to turn things around.

Employers can identify tasks that take employees more time to finish. This way, they can detect an area that needs improvement and work with the person to remedy the problem.

Time trackers also make sure you know your priorities and help you keep them in check. For example, they can show you data that tells if you spend time on top-priority or lower-value tasks. As an employer, you can also turn an employee’s attention to important tasks using time tracking data.


One of the main advantages of telecommuting is reduced overheads due to low office maintenance and transportation costs. However, without a time tracker, you may end up spending more on labor.

For example, you need time-tracking capability if you work with multiple clients and pay employees or contractors according to time spent on a job.

Depending on manual data to settle payments could end up costing your brand.

Even if you’re trying to save as much as possible, you can go for a free time tracking app to help prevent unnecessary labor costs.

Time Zone Differences

In many cases, going for remote workers means selecting employees from a global talent pool. Choosing the best people for the job helps your business in many ways. That said, you’ll have to deal with time zone differences.

Synergy and time-tracking accuracy are among the casualties of geographically-diverse workplaces. Some workers begin their day when others are long asleep. Keeping tabs on employee work times can be a nightmare in this scenario.

However, with a competent time tracker, time zone differences are virtually a non-issue. This is because most applications are built to compile data using the time of computers where they are installed. This way, you get real insights into your employees’ work times without noticing the time difference.


The commute to the office and the physical work environment calibrate our brains to focus on work. But you don’t have that focus switch as a remote worker.

It’s difficult for telecommuters to stay focused because the boundaries between work and personal life are blurrier than ever. There are many distractions to deal with while working from your kitchen table.

That said, a time tracker can be the mental switch a teleworker needs to stay focused. Once they hit the “track” button and see the counter, work mode is turned on. It can act as an effective motivational presence to keep employees engaged with work since they won’t waste billable hours.

Shift Coverage

Assigning shifts can be a pain in a remote work environment that offers flexible working. It’s more challenging when workers are scattered across continents. You’ll also have to deal with telecommuters who prefer working at odd hours. Reconciling these time differences and creating a fitting work schedule can be a nightmare.

The challenge is more pressing for tech support and customer service teams. Studies have shown that long support wait times can draw a company down.

However, time trackers can help you identify the gaps and plug them. You can easily create work schedules and implement them with the right time tracking solution.

Bloated Administrative Processes

Since time tracking is an automated process, it eliminates the need for specific administrative oversights. For example, managers no longer have to conduct regular check-ins, manually work out employee billable hours, or generate task reports.

Bookkeepers will also be saved a lot of stress as time trackers are excellent timesheet generators.

This way, supervisors can repurpose their time to more top-level and pressing tasks.


A Monster poll reported that 69% of workers experienced burnout while working from home during the COVID-19 lockdowns. According to the same survey, 59% of respondents said they take less time off than in a physical office.

Remote workers find it difficult to switch off their work mode because there’s no mental boundary between work home and work. On the other hand, officer workers can easily unplug once they exit their work building and commute home.

Burnout can cause irreparable damage if left unchecked. Thankfully, time-trackers can give employers all the data they need to identify workers at risk of burnout. They can then take necessary actions to nip the issue in the bud.


If you’re a startup, learning how to track employees working from home for free could be the best thing to do for your business. As it turns out, remote work is a reality that every company will eventually come to terms with, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared.

About Ambika Taylor

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