Freelancing is a great way to be in the business market, but it can also be difficult if you don't know how to manage your time.
It's important that you not only understand the importance of keeping track of your time spent on each job, but also have tools in place that will help you measure and improve your productivity levels.
In this post we'll teach you what a timesheet is and why it's so important for freelancers! We'll then go over the top five things every freelancer needs in order to succeed.
What is a timesheet?
Timesheet is a modern day term for what was once known as the time book. A timesheet is a physical or virtual tool that allows you to record and keep track of your worked time.
That means that, as an employer, you'll be able to see exactly how many hours each employee has worked for.
It is used to monitor and control the time worked by employees. This, in turn, can be used for payroll purposes as well as to assess productivity levels within a business.
As an employer you'll know exactly how long it takes each employee to complete their tasks and if they're underperforming you'll be able to address this immediately with them or take appropriate action!
History of Timesheets
The first modern timesheet actually came from the A.B.A., who, in an effort to increase profits for lawyers (seriously!) required them to start tracking their hours spent on each job and then bill accordingly.
This was done as a way of making sure that they were able to stay competitive with other law firms out there at the time.
These days, timesheets are more common place than they were back then and most companies use them to track the hours of their employees in order to assess whether or not they're meeting productivity standards.
This is done by analyzing how much time it takes each individual employee on average to complete a particular task and this can be anything from writing.
What is the purpose of timesheets?
Timesheets are the cheapest and simplest way to record the number of hours you work. It eliminates any questions about what was worked on, when it happened (and for how long), and who did it all along with their role within a project.
Timesheets are used in many companies that have employees or freelancers working for them independently under contract. It is mainly know for its accurate payroll calculation and reporting purposes.
Timesheets are a perfect tool for project management teams that have to work with different employees or contractors on an ongoing basis.
They can be used to spot problems in time management, task distribution, communication, etc., by tracking the amount of hours spent working on each project throughout its life cycle.
How can Timesheets benefit the business?
Timesheets can benefit both employees and employers in many ways. It's a great way to keep track of how much work is being completed, who completes it, when they complete it (and for what duration), so communication levels can be improved significantly within the business.
As an employer you'll know exactly where your budget is going at all times. You will be able to see which areas of your business receive the most (or least) attention and focus accordingly.
Managers can also use timesheets as a way to spot trends, such as whether or not employees are spending too much time on social media sites during work hours, for example. These "distractions" will then be addressed directly with the person in question.
How does a timesheet work?
Timesheet works in one of two ways, either as a physical tool or an online software. Physical timesheets are usually made up of pre-printed paper with grids on it that employees fill out with their work time and activities daily.
This is then added to the archive for review at any given moment by managers or HR representatives within the company.
There is also a digital timesheet which is an online tool that helps employees and managers to track their time.
The difference between the two types of timesheets is just as simple: physical tools cost more than software, but they're easier on the environment and won't run out of battery life!
Different types of timesheets
There are five main types of timesheets that businesses use to track the hours worked by their employees.
1. Daily timesheet
This type is used in companies where employees work on an hourly basis and therefore need to log their working time every day before leaving for home.
This can be done using a paper-based system or via technology tools such as a computer or mobile device.
2. Weekly timesheet
This type of recording is used in businesses where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded at the end of each week by filling out an online form showing how many hours they worked on every day.
3. Biweekly timesheet
This type is used in companies where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded at the end of every two weeks by filling out an online form showing how many hours they worked on every day.
4. Monthly timesheet
This type is used in companies where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded at the end of every month by filling out an online form showing how many hours they worked on every day.
5. Semi-monthly timesheets
This type is used in companies where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded twice a month by filling out an online form showing how many hours they worked on every day.
Example for a timesheet
In company X, employees are required to fill out their timesheets on a weekly basis. They can do this by logging into the company portal using their unique log-in details and then inputting how many hours they worked that week across all of their projects or tasks assigned to them for that period.
The first row is reserved for Monday through Sunday with the second row being reserved for the minutes.
The third and fourth rows are used to document their hours with each task or project having its own line so that managers can see exactly how much time was spent on a specific day of the week, which is incredibly helpful when it comes to delegating tasks.
Why should you use a timesheet?
1. Easier Billing Cycle
Timesheet allows you to document your work effort so you can easily bill your clients for the time spent on their projects.
This will be incredibly easy because it's all already documented in one place and won't require that you track everything down or remember exactly how long each task took you!
2. Accurate Estimates
Timesheets allow freelancers to accurately estimate how much time a task will take from start to finish.
As freelancers, this is incredibly important because it allows us to have an idea of what our profit margins are going to be before we even begin working on something!
3. Increase Productivity
By having everything documented in one place, you'll have a clear view of how much time is being spent on each task.
That means that if there are any areas where your productivity levels can be increased, such as through outsourcing work or delegating tasks to other team members so they get more experience and learn from their mistakes, you won't have to spend a ton of time finding out how you can do this.
Timesheets help managers find out which projects and tasks are most important to their employees. This allows them to prioritize work based on what is most relevant and in line with the company's goals and objectives.
For example, if a manager can see that an employee is working late into the evenings or weekends on something specific, they might make that task a priority and give it more funding or resources to ensure that the project is completed in time for their deadlines.
Every time someone looks over your timesheet, there's a chance that it will be brought up in conversation which is an opportunity for recognition and appreciation from managers or co-workers!
You can use this as a way to ask for raises when they are due. It also helps you advocate for yourself when you're not being paid what you're worth.
Timesheets are essential for keeping track of the time spent on projects and tasks. When it comes to freelancing, timesheets can help you make more accurate estimates when working with clients because they make it much easier to document your work effort in one place.
This allows you to ultimately spend less time at the end of every month trying to calculate your profit margins. You can utilize this time to market yourself more through different channels which will help you increase your client base.
All of these benefits are what makes timesheets so valuable for any freelancer or small business owner! If they are not being used in your organization, now is the time to start implementing them so you can take advantage of all their perks!